Every Tuesday and Thursday I am going to give you my top tournament plays for all Daily Fantasy Hockey GPPs (guaranteed prize pool). GPPs are a general term used across the industry for your big money tournaments.
GPPs are very different from your cash games and you use a different strategy with them. In our GPPs we are not interested in safe plays, since GPPs are all about UPSIDE. We want players who can explode, as all-or-nothing type players can become GPP gold, and your value players are just as important as your star players. You need your players to have huge nights in order to take down these big tournaments.
My goal is to provide players who will be under-owned and have that big game upside you are looking for. I will also try to find as much value on FanDuel as I possibly can. Now, let’s get to the NHL GPP Plays!
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Scott Darling, Chicago Blackhawks - Corey Crawford will get the night off after allowing eight goals in his last two starts, giving Scott Darling the start in net tonight versus the Florida Panthers. Darling has been outstanding in goal for Chicago this season, winning five of his seven starts and posting a 1.97 GAA with a .937 SV%. The Panthers are a decent team and should fire 25 plus shots at Darling tonight, however they are not a strong offense (ranked 25th in goals per game) and will likely score two or less goals. Look for the Blackhawks to bounce back tonight with a win and for Darling to play well yet again. Darling is inexpensive, so you will have a lot of salary left to load up on studs, making him the perfect goalie in your GPPs.
Derek Stepan, New York Rangers - With four multi-point games in his past five games, it is safe to say Derek Stepan is playing his best hockey of the season right now. This is the start of a seven-game road trip for Calgary, and going from the West Coast to play a team on the East Coast is always a difficult task, especially when it is against one of the NHL’s better teams on home ice (18-7-5). The Flames have now lost consecutive games, allowing nine goals in the process. Meanwhile, the Blue Shirts have won six of their past seven games and have scored a ridiculous 32 goals along the way. Look for Stepan and the Rangers to stay hot tonight against the defensively challenged Flames.
Mike Ribeiro, Nashville Predators - Ribeiro has points in four of his last five games and will center the Predators’ top line alongside snipers James Neal and Filip Forsberg tonight. The Predators have scored the eighth-most goals in the NHL this year and they have scored three or more goals in all but one home game in 2015. Nashville has the best overall record in hockey (40-13-7) and the best record on home ice (25-3-1) this season. Ribeiro has big game upside in this plus matchup tonight.
Zack Kassian, Vancouver Canucks - Kassian has been reunited with the Sedin twins and has produced three goals and six shots on net in his last two games. With Kassian playing on the Canucks’ top line and number one powerplay unit, his fantasy value increases dramatically. The matchup isn’t ideal, so he should not be very highly owned, but the upside is certainly there.
Alexander Wennberg, Columbus Blue Jackets - Wennberg is a talented 20-year-old Swede who happens to be skating on the Blue Jackets’ top line with Scott Hartnell and Ryan Johansen. Wennberg also saw his share of ice time on the powerplay in his last game and currently shows up on the Blue Jackets’ number one powerplay unit heading into tonight’s matchup versus the Buffalo Sabres. Columbus should score a few goals tonight and one would think Wennberg will be in the mix.
Nino Niederreiter, Minnesota Wild - Niederreiter is another sneaky GPP value play in a great spot tonight. Niederreiter has three goals in his past four games and is now skating on the Wild’s top line with Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville. The Oilers are once again struggling badly, as they have now lost four of their past five games, allowing 21 goals along the way. Edmonton has allowed the second-most goals per game on the season (3.30) and the most goals per game in the month of February (3.45). I expect Minnesota to dominate this game from puck drop, and Niederreiter should find the scoresheet tonight.
Nick Leddy, New York Islanders – Leddy is back on the Islanders’ number one powerplay unit and has a plus matchup versus a defensively challenged Coyotes squad tonight. Arizona is one of the NHL’s weaker defensive teams, ranking sixth in shots against (31.9) and third in goals against (3.27) per game his season. The Desert Dogs defensive numbers have been worse when on the road and they also have the league’s 26th-ranked penalty kill. Meanwhile, the Islanders have the NHL’s best offense on home ice, averaging 3.43 goals per game. The Islanders should be able to take advantage of the Coyotes’ poor penalty kill, and that means points for Leddy.