DFS NHL PICKS

Sadly, the NHL season is coming to a close so we’re here to present to you our last regular season edition of our DFS NHL picks.

Not to worry, we will still be providing fantasy picks throughout the playoffs. But as every team is in action, this is a big night.

Important note: Word came out of Pittsburgh earlier today that superstars Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang would not be dressing for their season finale, so be weary of any last minute scratches around the league.

As we’re all aware of professional sports contracts are laced with incentives. In other words, statistical plateaus that athletes must attain to cash in on big money bonuses.

To break it down, as major league sports season’s come to a close these plateaus often become the focus of individual players as they step into action. Wouldn’t you try your luck if a million dollars was the difference between you taking the shot (and scoring) or passing it off to a teammate? 30 goals on the season puts you into the upper-echelon of performers, whereas 29 goals gets you in the milder “20-goal scorer” category.

So as time is of the essence for these contracts, I’m aiming for players who will be extra motivated to reach these milestones.

If you doubt this theory and need proof, just look up how Jamie Benn won the NHL scoring title last season. Spoiler: He scored four points (a hat-trick), including the last one with 8.5 seconds left in the game (and season) to surpass John Tavares and Sidney Crosby to win the Art Ross trophy. Not to mention he did it without the other half of Dallas’ dynamic duo as Tyler Seguin sat out with an in-house suspension.

Finally, let’s take a look at my DFS NHL picks.

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If you can’t tell just by looking at it, this is pretty much a young stars team balanced out by the ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr, and Chicago’s 2015-16 dynamic duo of rookie Artemi Panarin and current NHL leading scorer Patrick Kane.

The strategy is to have hungry young guns with a lot to prove, plus a few guys on hot streaks to bring some stability.

Panarin sits at 28 goals on the season, needing two to hit the 30-goal plateau. One single point would be nice as well, as the 75-point mark would be awfully impressive for a rookie (albeit a 24-year-old rookie)

Winnipeg rookie Nik Ehlers is a nice value at $4800, and has 1 goal and 5 assists in his last 10 games while skating on the Jets’ top line with Blake Wheeler and breakout star Mark Scheifele.

The heavily scrutinized Alex Galchenyuk managed to turn a nearly lost season around just in time to be named the Montreal Canadiens player of the year. The electric American also sits at 28 goals, and you can bet his teammates (namely Max Pacioretty) will be doing everything they can to get him to 30 goals. A nice team dinner and a couple of bottles of wine is in the best interest for everyone, especially since the Habs have nothing else to play for.

19-year-old phenom Connor McDavid is arguably the best player in the NHL already. He leads the league (ahead of Jagr and Kane) with 2.71 points-per-60-minutes during 5-on-5 play. The former two come in at 2.61. While the Oilers were a disaster this year (again), the Canucks have been down right awful for the past month and are ripe for the picking. McDavid has at least one point in all but two of his previous 10 games (2 goals + 11 assists), including 3 against these very same Canucks just 48 hours ago. Did I mention he sits at 48 points (44 games) on the season? Two points in the season finale seems fitting for the young icon.

 

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Lineup

There are only five games on the NHL schedule tonight, and with the season coming to a close, matchups become even more important when considering your daily fantasy hockey lineup.

Some daily fantasy players like to spread their wealth over an abundance of games, but as some teams are fighting for their playoff lives others are dreaming of greener pastures so effort levels can waver significantly.

In this edition of my daily fantasy hockey lineup, I’ve loaded up on Kings, and Panthers, while rounding out my team with stalwart’s from playoff teams (one exception: Columbus’ hot Boone Jenner)

  • My Lineup

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The Tampa Bay Lightning were expected to be contenders this season, but have dealt with their share of drama from the get-go. Captain Steven Stamkos has had a whirlwind season including the non-stop trade rumours due to his status as an impending unrestricted free-agent, while top prospect Jonathan Drouin refused to report to their minor league affiliate for a while leading to an in-house suspension.

Just as Tampa thought that things would turn up in time for the playoffs, those hopes took a major hit when the club announced the loss of Stamkos for one-to-three months with a blood clot this weekend, and top pairing defenseman Anton Stralman with a broken leg last week. 

Scoring winger Ondrej Palat missed over 20 games this season due to injury, but has heated up of late going on a tear about a month ago and recently producing 4 goals and 8 assists for 12 points over his last 10 games.

Though the Vancouver Canucks have won two straight, the Kings are still the heavy favorite. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Canucks hadn’t won one in their previous 10 and LA is true Stanley Cup contender.

Enter a trio of Kings: Jonathan Quick, Jeff Carter and value pick Kris Versteeg.

Jonathan Quick is one of the league’s few elite goaltenders, and is aiming for a career-high 40 wins tonight. He’s at least $1000 cheaper than the St-Louis Blues tandem of Jake Allen (injured) and Brian Elliott, more talented than them and has the desired matchup.

I also stacked two members from the Florida Panthers top line. Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr. Barkov has made a habit of wrecking the Montreal Canadiens this year, and capped off the season with a 4-point effort (2 goals, 2 assists) on Saturday night. The young Finn is fresh, confident and primed to wreck the Maple Leafs tonight.

Linemate and living-legend Jaromir Jagr has points in 5 straight games, while scoring at least one point in 16 of 21 games since turning 44 years old on February 15th (9 goals, 13 assists). He shows no signs of slowing down heading into the NHL playoffs.

 

 

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Value Picks

It’s a relatively light Saturday schedule for the NHL today, as only 16 teams will be taking to the ice for action. There will be five puck-drops at 7 pm ET, one at 8 pm ET, and two more at 10 pm ET to close things out.

As usual, we’re here to provide you with a little extra nudge when assembling your roster, so take a glance at our daily fantasy hockey value picks below to help make your squad a winner!

Daily Fantasy Hockey Value Picks

G Garret Sparks TOR $6500 – The Red Wings are 5-5 in their last 10, including a 1-0 loss to these same Maple Leafs (Mar. 13), a 4-3 loss to the lowly Montreal Canadiens, and a 7-2 shellacking courtesy of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Of course there’s the flip side to all this. Jimmy Howard is an option at $6700 if you see this as an opportunity for Detroit to break-out, but goaltending is right at the top of the list of reasons for their struggles over the past month so proceed with caution.

G Cam Talbot EDM $6700 – As I stated earlier this week, “The Flames are merely a flicker on the road” moments before Calgary took to the ice for an 8-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Now, the Oilers are certainly no Ducks, but Calgary’s road record speaks for itself (12-24-3). Edmonton is considerably better at home (though it’s still nothing to brag about; 18-19-2), and Connor McDavid will produce tonight. The rookie phenom just had a seven game scoring streak snapped, and hasn’t gone more than two consecutive games without registering a point all season.

D Niklas Kronwall DET $3700 –  Kronwall has returned to form since being activated off the injured-reserve on February 23rd. Detroit’s defensive leader has scored 7 points in his last 10 contests, and has collected assists in three straight.

RW Jaromir Jagr FLA $6300 – The grizzled super-vet posted 15 points in March alone, including a point-per-game over his last 10 games. The Panthers are home to the Canadiens who are coming off a 3-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Mike Condon is getting the start for the Habs again, and rarely does he play two strong games in a row. Florida has a nice opportunity here, especially since Joel Hanley is penciled in as the Canadiens number four defenseman this evening.

C Riley Sheahan DET $3600 – I’m aware I put Garret Sparks in the value column, but Sheahan’s recent production cannot be denied. The Red Wings centerman has four goals in his last 5 games, after only recording nine in his first 72.  That price tag is a hell of a steal when considering Sheahan has the same amount of goals as Henrik Zetterberg (13). 

Posted in NHL

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL Fantasy Hockey Preview

Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference face up tonight in this battle for the Atlantic Division supremacy when the Florida Panthers travel to the Tampa to face the Tampa Bay Lightning. This NHL Fantasy Hockey preview is brought to you by FanPicks and WIN up to a $1 million with only $1 when you play in our NHL Magic Million promo contest at FanPicks.com

 

NHL Fantasy Hockey Preview

The Florida Panthers come into this game having 3 out of 4 games against the Tampa Bay Lighting this year. They’re currently tied with the lightning in terms of points at 91 but are second behind them in the Atlantic Division due to few regulation/overtime wins (Tampa Bay 40 vs Florida 34). Both teams have 8 games remaining and are battling this late season for the divisional lead. This will be a huge and great game for both teams. Their Forward Vincent Trocheck has goals in 3 straight games and 4 of his past 5 games.

The Lightning come into this game having set a season high for goals in a game this year in a 7-4 win against the New York Islander and moving up into 1st place at the same time. They unfortunately lost a key player during the game. Their Defenseman Anton Stralman is out indefinitely with a non-displaced fracture of his left fibula, an injury that happened in the 1st period. It’s a tough loss with big shoes to fill for the Lightning. He will most likely miss the rest of the regular season and come back for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tampa Bay has won 3 straight games. Kucherov scored a goal at least in 4 consecutive games with their start forward Steven Stamkos has 6 goals in his past 6 games.

Posted in NHL

Florida Panthers vs New York Rangers

NHL Fantasy Hockey Preview

Two of the best and efficient teams in the NHL are squaring up tonight and complete their season series at the Madison Square Garden when the New York Rangers (40-24-8)  host visiting Florida Panthers. This NHL Fantasy Hockey preview is brought to you by FanPicks and WIN up to a $1 million with only $1 when you play in our NHL Magic Million promo contest at FanPicks.com

 

NHL Fantasy Hockey Preview

These 2 teams ironically rank among the worst in the league in terms of shots per game but somehow rank among the best in terms of goals scored and shooting percentages. The season’s series has been split so far seeing each team win a game apiece. The Rangers’ forward Rick Nash had a hat trick in the first contest back in November in their 5-4 Overtime win. Roberto Luongo helped the Panthers in a 3-0 shutout win early January to snap their 7 game losing streak to the Rangers while maintaining a 8 game winning streak.

 

The Rangers have only won once in their last 5 games. They will need to stay composed and focus on their playoff push with only 10 games remaining in the season. Some of their big players have not been performing lately at all. Their goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 43 saves before he was pulled last game in their loss to the Sharks and 0-3-2 in his last 5 starts. Also Eric Staal, since being acquired from the Hurricanes has 3 pts in 10 games.

 

The Panthers on the other hand are doing quite well. Despite their loss to the Red Wings on Saturday, they’re still leading the Atlantic Division and 2nd in the Eastern conference. Some of their players are red hot such as Jussi Jokinen with 15 pts in his last 13 games, Vincent Trocheck with 9 in his last 7 and Nick Bjugstad 7 pts in the last 7 games. Florida will try to take advantage of the Rangers’ penalty kill, one of the worst in the league at 77.3 %.

Posted in NHL

Penguins vs Panthers Fantasy Hockey Preview

Pittsburgh Penguins (28-19-7) at Florida Panthers (32-18-6) (7:30 pm EST) 

An exciting matchup is on tap for all you fantasy hockey fans out there.

While Jaromir Jagr turns 44 years old today, the rest of his Panthers teammates are barely legal. Franchise defenseman Aaron Ekblad was born on the same day Jagr scored his 200th NHL goal. Yes, you read that correctly. Ekblad just turned 20 on Super Bowl Sunday, while his legendary teammate will be facing off against a team he spent half a decade breaking records for.

The Panthers and Penguins will battle for precious points as the Eastern Conference playoff races start to heat up.

Pittsburgh needs the points worse than they’d like to admit, while Florida are sitting pretty near the top of the standings, but home-ice advantage in the playoffs is huge. Especially for such an inexperienced team like the Panthers.

Sidney Crosby has cooled off from his ridiculous recent pace, Kris Letang as well, while Evgeni Malkin is close- but not quite there yet as he works to return from injury.

Sid the (former) Kid will need to bring his A-game to defeat the youthful Miami kids tonight, which shouldn’t be as tough with All-Star Roberto Luongo sitting this one out while Al Montoya takes to the blue paint.

The incumbent Marc-Andre Fleury starts for Pittsburgh, and he will need to make some big saves on these skills cats in order to keep his Penguins afloat.

The Panthers have done some line juggling due to the injury of star center Alex Barkov. Jagr will not play with regular Jonathan Huberdeau, instead he will play next to Vincent Trocheck and either Brandon Pirri (if he plays – injury) or Reilly Smith…both pure snipers.

It will be a good one in Sunrise, Fla tonight as the puck drops at 7:30pm EST.

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks

On this President’s Day edition of my daily fantasy hockey picks, I take another look at a potential winning strategy to help you win your daily fantasy hockey league and make some serious cash on FanPicks.

On a night where three big ticket goaltenders will be taking the night off (Luongo, Crawford, Rinne), finding great value in net is all you can do. By taking Mike Condon over the more talented Jacob Markstrom you save $1500, a nice sum you can use to bolster another spot in your lineup since neither are exactly Vezina candidates.

Let’s take a look at the rest of my lineup…

  • My Roster

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In this case, I’m going to take advantage of the extra cap room and select the league’s most expensive skater Tyler Seguin. Seguin suffered a scary skate-to-arm injury last game but should be fine tonight versus the same Predators he scored a pair against earlier this year.

Sidney Crosby was very tempting as my other Center, as there’s just something about Florida that brings out his competitive nature so take the gamble if you can afford it. I couldn’t due to other desires, such as playing Alex Galchenyuk, so I slotted in the streaky Habs forward behind Seguin (Galchneyuk is listed as a center on FanPicks but a LW elsewhere). “Chucky” netted a pair of one-time powerplay goals in a frustrating Friday night loss, so his strong play could continue against one of the NHL’s worst defenses.

Patrick Eaves has points in five straight, but his $5000 price tag puts him above other viable options such as birthday “boy” Jaromir Jagr at $4900. The now 44-year-old legend has a shooting percentage 5% higher than his career average, and a date with his former franchise on his big day is worth watching.

Montreal rookie Sven Andrighetto netted a pair on Friday night, and now leads the team in goals per 60 minutes played despite just joining the top-six last game. He now skates next to Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais to form a skilled scoring line and has a matchup with the aforementioned Coyotes weak D.

The LW spot was the hardest to fill today. Thomas Vanek was a healthy scratch recently for his all-too-common lackluster efforts, but has four points in his last three games for the struggling Wild since sliding back into the lineup. Nashville’s Filip Forsberg has four goals and two assists over his last four contests, a big sign that the 21-year-old is starting to heat up after a slow start.

PK Subban has 11 points during his eight game point streak, following six points in the previous six games.  He has been on fire since Christmas time and has easily been the Canadiens best player night after night.

Predators defenseman Roman Josi has five points in his last three games and has been a beast all season, but with a high priced veteran like Subban already on the roster, I needed to save a little money on my other defenseman. Maple Leaf Jake Gardiner has benefited from Dion Phaneuf’s departure by scoring two goals and two assists over his last three games, so we’ll roll with him.

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks

Last night we introduced you to the Point-Spread Contest of daily fantasy hockey, but tonight we’ll keep it simple and take a look at the classic Salary Cap version on FanPicks.com. We’re using a 50k cap as is the standard and doubling up at each position except goaltender of course. Let’s take a look at my roster and what strategy I employed this time to win my daily fantasy hockey league.

  • My Roster

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On this classic night for hockey, we went with a classic hockey recipe. Your franchise players in net and up the middle, with support roles being filled on the wings and backend.

Taking our opening faceoff would be John Tavares. Johnny T has been on fire lately and just netted his 20th of the season. Milestones are often mental benchmarks for scorers and I expect his success to continue versus Carolina.

Connor McDavid spent his week drawing comparisons to Wayne Gretzky after his spectacular outing against his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, so I’ll let it ride against the Winnipeg Jets. Plus, it’s a pretty exciting night watching the superstar 18-year-old.

On the left wing we took moderate discounts with Arvidsson and Burakovsky. The youngers play with talented linemates (Ribeiro, Forsberg – Kuznetsov, Williams) and have been rolling. Keep it going. It’s worth the game if you need a mid-level winger. Of course LW Taylor Hall, RW Patrick Kane, and RW Jordan Eberle should be terrific tonight if you can afford them.

With Tavares and McDavid counting for nearly 30% of the cap, we couldn’t play DFS beasts Erik Karlsson and John Klingberg. Karlsson has a favourable matchup with CLB, and Klingberg should get some chances in a fast paced thriller vs the mighty Capitals. So we found other suitable candidates to do the job. We found major bargains on D with Vatanen and Phaneuf. Phaneuf’s price tag, and potential to match Karlsson in the point column tonight has him in premium discount bin. The powerplay is where I’m banking on a couple of points in the former Leafs revival.

Corey Crawford has been great all season, and though the Ducks have talent, they are dead last goals for across the NHL. He’s at home in a near must-win for the the Blackhawks if they want to be considered elite.

Posted in NHL