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

NHL Daily Fantasy Hockey News Penguins vs Islanders

Dominate your competition with our  NHL Daily Fantasy Hockey News, create the winning lineup at Fanpicks.com. The Pittsburgh Penguins have won two of the first three match-up against the New York Islanders this season, including a 2-1 shootout win March 15. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang scored in the shootout after forward Chris Kunitz and Islanders forward Kyle Okposo both put one in the net in regulation.

 Pittsburgh will attempt to solidify its hold on second place in the Metropolitan Division with a 10th victory versus a division opponent in its past 13 attempts (9-3-0). The Penguins enter Saturday one point ahead of the New York Rangers, who play the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, with five games to play. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who practiced Friday, could return after missing three games because of an upper-body injury. Trevor Daley, Dumoulin’s partner before the injury, has replaced Olli Maatta, who is week-to-week because of a lower-body injury, next to Kris Letang. That pair has impressed in Dumoulin’s absence and likely will stay intact until Maatta returns. Forward Bryan Rust is day-to-day because of a lower-body injury and did not practice on Friday. Sullivan said Maatta and Rust are slowly progressing but aren’t set to play yet. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was given a maintenance day Friday and could be replaced by goalie Matthew Murray against the Islanders or the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

A regulation victory could pull New York to within one point of second place in the division if the Rangers lose to the Sabres. Given that scenario, the Islanders would control their own fate moving forward with one game in hand on the Penguins and Rangers. The Islanders will play the remainder of the regular season without defenseman Travis Hamonic, who sustained a lower-body injury during the first period of a 4-3 win facing the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. Islanders coach Jack Capuano announced Friday the injury would force Hamonic to miss the rest of the regular season. Hamonic’s status will be re-evaluated after the regular season, when his availability for the playoffs will be determined. Defenseman Marek Zidlicky is expected to be inserted back into the lineup after last playing March 6 because of an upper-body injury. Rookie defenseman Ryan Pulock, who has played 10 games, gives New York another option, but Capuano said he would favor experience when evaluating defensive pairings.

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Value Picks

With six NHL games on this evening, we present to you our daily fantasy hockey value picks.

Value Picks

Casey Cizikis ($3900) – The gritty centerman has found the scoresheet in all but two of his last ten games (8 points), so regardless of the matchup it’s great value. He doesn’t play the most minutes, or have the most talent, but he always brings his lunch pail to work and brings it for his teammates. John Tavares is definitely a big target today, but don’t be afraid to stack these Islanders. They haven’t played since March 3rd and Henrik Lundqvist is out with a neck injury. These “New York, New York” games get intense, and when push comes to shove Cizikis is always around.

Devante Smith-Pelly ($4100) – How quickly did those tears dry up? Devante Smith-Pelly delivered a heart-felt interview during a media scrum on trade deadline day, shedding more than a few tears before making his departure from Montreal.  He didn’t bring it every night the way the coach wanted him too so he barely played. All of a sudden he lands in New Jersey, plays 15 and 18 minutes, and has 2 goals and 1 assist (2 games). Maybe feeling like he is actually an important piece of the on-ice product has brought out the best in the bruising forward, nevertheless, at $4100 it’s worth riding the hot hand.

Christian Ehrhoff ($3600) – Since the trade to the mighty Blackhawks the mobile defenseman has seen a major bump in ice-time, not to mention the quality of his teammates. He has recorded 7 shots over the past 2 games, as many as he had in the 8 prior.

They use him to QB their powerplay, and it seems to have opened things up for everybody down low. The freshly acquired Andrew Ladd parks himself in front, and Ehrhoff blasts them from the point while the more talented players (Kane, Toews, Panarin) use the open space to execute more effectively.

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

Detroit Red Wings vs New York Islanders 1/25/16 Preview

Detroit Red Wings (24-16-8) at New York Islanders (25-15-6)  (7 pm EST)

Both teams may be preparing for their final match before the NHL All-Star break, but the vacation hasn’t started yet. 

 

Detroit has been on a nice run of late, including six wins in their last seven road games – but dropped it’s last game, a 4-3 Saturday night defeat at the hands of the the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

Head Coach Jeff Blashill was quoted as saying  “I don’t think we played nearly our best in the last game. We’ve got to come in here real determined to do it right for 60 minutes and that gives you, really, your only chance to win. Certainly it doesn’t guarantee success.”

Goalie Petr Mrazek has been on absolute fire in January. He has an impeccable 6-1-1 record, 1.24 GAA and .955 Sv% and was not in goal for the loss to the Ducks. His last start was a 19 save shutout on Friday vs the Sabres.

The usual suspects, Dylan Larkin, Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Tatar are always options. Keep in mind that the Red Wings have a few players with bumps and bruises, so be aware of any last minute roster changes as game-time looms near.

The Islanders are 3-0-1 in their last four contests, and are well rested due to #Blizzard2016 postponing their Saturday night game. They have only played three times in the last 11 days, which will be key in tonight’s matchup with the speedy Wings.

John Tavares the Islanders unquestioned leader who has a goal and a trio of assists in his past four games, needs to come up big in this one. He has not been the MVP caliber player he normally is, but the Red Wings have holes on the PK where Johnny T is most dangerous.

 

Defenceman Nick Leddy is on a three-game point streak, scoring two markers and adding a helper.

Posted in NHL