Fantasy Hockey

Montreal Canadiens Prospect Report

As the real NHL season winds down, so does the fantasy hockey season. So for all those without a ticket to the playoffs, all eyes are onto the off-season. Well, if you’re wondering who to keep and who may be expandable, who to draft and who to target, we got you covered!

Today we’ll start with the NHL’s worst team since December, the free-falling Montreal Canadiens who always seem to reach a new low. Injury after injury, loss after loss, new faces have been in and out of the lineup more often than at your local precinct.

Lucas Lessio was acquired earlier this season in a trade that sent Christian Thomas to the Arizona Coyotes. Neither prospect had yet to live up to their high potential, so a change of scenery was necessary in hopes of righting the ship.

Fanpicks.com fantasyhockey
Lucas Lessio Fanpicks.com Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Lessio scored his first goal as a Montreal Canadiens on March 22 when he netted the game-winner against the Ducks at the Bell Centre. Other than a few games as a healthy scratch due to the ever-turning Habs roster, Lessio has been a mainstay on the fourth line bringing his size, speed and energy to each shift. What Lessio brings in terms of work ethic and character is something the Canadiens were deeply lacking all season, and with this part of the season essentially being training camp for next year, Lessio is fighting for a permanent spot with the Habs. I personally think the fit is great and he should play the majority of the games next year for Montreal, albeit on the fourth line.

While there haven’t been many positives this season for the Habs, Sven Andrighetto might just be the exception. He’s quietly put together another solid year (13 points/37 games) for the Canadiens while again dominating the AHL (26 games/23 points).

He is out with an upper-body injury at the moment, but strung together a three-game span with four assists prior to exiting the lineup. Presumably sustained against the Senators from a crunching open-ice hit by Dion Phaneuf. At the time he was skating on the top line next to Alex Galchenyuk (the league’s leading scorer since Feb 24) and Max Pacioretty (playing his best hockey of the season).

His quickness and more importantly, his natural playmaking ability make him a valued asset in an organization sorely lacking such abilities. It looks like “Ghetto” has a spot amongst the Canadiens top 12 forwards next season, and very possibly the top six.

He is on the verge of full-time play, the Habs can only get better and he is not a household name yet. Andrighetto would be a major “value” target of mine this fantasy hockey off-season.

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Targets

FanPicks presents our daily fantasy targets once again. Important note: This isn’t necessarily an optimal lineup for you to use (though we do quite well), but rather Value Picks and Targets that could help put you over the top of your DFS contest. In order to win your daily fantasy contest you need to maximize your spending and get the right formula for victory. As you can see I still have a healthy $400 leftover, so use this roster as a fantasy aid to help land your desired athletes.

For example: While I think that T.J. Oshie could be in line for a good game tonight, the point of this lineup is to target the value picks and potential surprising performers so I’m suggesting the Canadiens Dale Weise and Bruins Brett Connolly on the Right Wing.

  • Let’s take a look at the rest of my targets today.

nhl0222

Alex Ovechkin is the lone superstar of the lineup and is a must-play, but Filip Forsberg is no slouch. The second best player in my lineup has been on a tear, and definitely holds his own star power. The Canadiens goaltending is subpar, so Forsberg could make the most of his opportunities.

Weise is rumoured to be on the trade block for the soon-to-be seller Montreal Canadiens, so a bump up to the first line in a showcase isn’t shocking. Sven Andrighetto could earn his place back on Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty‘s wing, but Weise will begin there and has a chance to produce. He scored last game and has 14 goals on the year.

The same philosophy stands for Brett Connolly. While he isn’t necessarily on the trade block, he does have great linemates in Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Marchand is 3rd in NHL even-strength goals and rolling at the moment, so Connolly should have a safe floor with some upside.

Mike Ribeiro returns to his former, and hometown Montreal Canadiens tonight. Since being paired together Forsberg has been dominant, so stacking this duo could prove fruitful.

Robby Fabbri comes as cheap as $3400 in some leagues, and has 8 points in his last 9 games. Alex Steen just went on the IR. More ice-time=more points for the talented young Blue.

Speaking of talented young Blues, Colton Parayko seems like a must-start every night. The hulking 22-year-old has 4 points in his last 3 games and continues to fill in gracefully for the injured anchor Alex Pietrangelo.

I think Andrei Markov is going to have a multi-point night, so play him if you can afford it. In this case I couldn’t so I went with the more youthful of Canadiens defenders, Nathan Beaulieu. Beaulieu is a fine talent on the backend, a terrific skater with poise and a solid defensive game. But he is still developing so inconsistency is his biggest issue. That being said, home games are when you should play him. When he gets the matchup he needs he has the opportunity to carry the puck up ice and make plays offensively. On the road he gets stuck in tough situations and needs to remain safe more often than not. The Predators like to active their D (Weber, Josi, Ellis, Ekholm), so expect the Habs to mirror that with PK Subban, Markov and Beaulieu.

In goal, likely MVP Brayden Holtby was my numero uno selection as he has a great matchup and is just too good this season. He’s fresh and ready to to go. The cheaper option here was Boston’s Jonas Gustavsson. He is 10-4-1 this season, and the visiting Blue Jackets are a good matchup (3rd worst in NHL) for the Bruins backup goaltender.

 

Posted in NHL

Here’s another installment of my winning (hopefully) daily fantasy hockey lineup. This week we are going to take a look at one of the lesser-known ways to play daily fantasy sports. An old friend perhaps, the point-spread.

In a point-spread contest, athletes are ranked by a spread rather than an appointed salary. There may or may not be a point cap, similar to a salary cap. The top players will be ranked below 0, and the “cheapest” players will be your positives. IE: Sidney Crosby is the NHL’s most valuable skater at -13.8, while injured rookie Lucas Lessio is a +7.7. The spreads are based off their FPPG production.

  • My Lineup

InsiderNHLLineup

I went with the small spread mentality. Don’t start too deep in the hole right out of the gate, and maximize your values. A well-balanced philosophy combined with boom-or-bust picks was my best chance to wrangle this one in.

So obviously my team is Montreal Canadiens dependent. Goaltender Ben Scrivens has played his best hockey of late, riding a three-game winning streak into Buffalo so I had to take him at -0.5 (a great discount for goaltenders). The line of Alex GalchenyukTomas Plekanec-Brendan Gallagher is one of the hottest in the NHL, so I went with Galchenyuk. The least productive of the bunch, which is why I’m banking on a break-out.

With that line so hot, captain Max Pacioretty is due for a return to the spot light. He started getting some chances toward the end of their previous game, and a young team like the Sabres may be just what the doctor ordered. Pacioretty was too expensive for this owner and his aforementioned philosophy, so we went with his setup man, David Desharnais. While we know he won’t contribute in multi-categories, if he can get 2 assists, a couple of shots on goal and maybe even one across the goal line, it will have been worth the gamble.

My joker, perhaps the X-factor…Jaden Schwartz,.The uber-talented young Blues forward is returning from a fractured ankle he suffered in October…49 games ago. He will find his place next to his two former linemates Jori Lehtera and Vlad Tarasenko in a line that could produce instant fireworks.

Marian Gaborik returns to MSG with his rolling LA Kings, so I’ll take the chance that the veteran plays a solid game against the team that traded him because he wasn’t effective enough for them.

The only big ticket item we have is Penguins Defenseman Kris Letang. His -9.8 price tag, or shall I say spread, didn’t scare us away.  A matchup with the lowly Hurricanes could be a tasty treat for the red-hot blueliner. His FPPG totals are just too ridiculous to even consider not playing him in with this matchup.

Alexei Emelin has been looking like a stud on his own blueline over the last few contests and his muli-category ability makes him very appealing. Not to mention Jeff Petry is out with an injury so Emelin‘s playing time will go up.

Checkout our daily blog for our previews and picks!

Posted in NHL

Buffalo Sabres vs Montreal Canadiens 02/02/16 Preview

Buffalo Sabres (20-26-4) at Montreal Canadiens (24-23-4) (7 pm EST)

The Montreal Canadiens suffered another defeat last night, this time at the hands of the 13th place Philadelphia Flyers. The general thought is that the Habs are about to roll over and concede defeat to the Sabres on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre.

Personally I think Brendan Gallagher is going to lead the way for the Canadiens in this one. I believe the team is past the point of feeling sorry for themselves and will be flat out angry. They will skate hard, shoot a lot and crash the net to score goals, while giving the Sabres all they can handle defensively.

Max Pacioretty had six shots on net last night against the Flyers but couldn’t light the lamp when the team needed it most. He is streaky, so a few targets toward the net could result in a couple of goals. Watch for the break out.

Alex Galchenyuk created a few chances for the offensively challenged Canadiens but his teammates couldn’t cash in, so he may be another breakout option.

Sabres rookie Jack Eichel has been tremendous of late and has 34 points in 50 games and seven in his last five.

Ryan O’Reilly just came back from the All-Star game, and could take that experience with him to grow as a leader even more. The Sabres think they are slowly climbing out of the basement, and RR will have to be the man to lead the way if they have any hope.

Goaltender Robin Lehner has been good of late, even though his Sabres dropped the last two games he played. The Canadiens don’t have an arsenal of scorers, so one big save may be enough.

It doesn’t matter who’s in nets for the Canadiens, as neither Mike Condon or Ben Scrivens are fantasy hockey worthy.

Posted in NHL