Pictured: Tyler Seguin and Sidney Crosby
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/12/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Jamie Benn vs Artemi Panarin

Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn has 25 goals among 46 points in 65 games this season.

Artemi Panarin failed to register a shot on goal during Monday’s 2-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The Blue Jackets managed to fire 31 shots on Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss, but none of them came off Panarin’s stick and none of them found the back of the net. The Russian forward finished the night with a minus-1 rating in 20:04 of ice time. The 27-year-old has failed to pick up a point in four straight games. He’s also gone six games without a goal. Panarin has 25 goals and 73 points in 66 games this season.

Brad Marchand vs Blake Wheeler

Brad Marchand earned an assist in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Penguins to keep his point streak alive at seven games.

Captain Blake Wheeler, who leads the Jets in assists (64) and points (83), scored versus the Sharks on Feb. 5 and notched three assists in the Jets’ 5-3 win at San Jose on Dec. 20. However, the 32-year-old Minnesota native saw his goal and point streaks end at four and eight, respectively, in the Sunday setback to the Capitals.

Vladimir Tarasenko vs Johnny Gaudreau

Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body) will be re-evaluated in 10 days. Tarasenko suffered an upper-body injury on Thursday night and he missed Saturday’s game versus San Jose. He will sit out at least the next four games. Tarasenko leads the Blues with 28 goals and sits second on the team with 58 points through 66 games.

Johnny Gaudreau was pointless on Sunday and has scored only once in 19 games. It wasn’t for a lack of effort as Gaudreau had nine shots on goal in the 6-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Gaudreau has 30 goals and 84 points this season in 69 games but has only the one goal and 10 assists in his last 19 contests.

Phil Kessel vs Cam Atkinson

Veteran Phil Kessel is in scoring slumps. Kessel and Evgeni Malkin will have new linemates tonight both at even strength and on the power play. Teddy Blueger will skate as the left winger on the second line in replacement of the injured Zach Aston-Reese while Nick Bjugstad will skate with Malkin and Kessel on the second power play unit for tonight’s big rivalry game against the Capitals at PPG Paints Arena. Those, of course, are the same configurations that ended Sunday night’s win over the Bruins.

Right wing Cam Atkinson has led Columbus of late, recording three of his career-high 38 goals in the past four games while sitting second on the team with career-best 63 points.

Alexander Radulov vs Viktor Arvidsson

Alexander Radulov scored a goal in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Radulov picked up a rebound and showed off both his hands and patience to beat Corey Crawford in the opening period. It’s Radulov’s ninth point in his last seven games, bringing the 32-year-old forward to 21 goals and 55 points in 56 games this season.

Viktor Arvidsson’s status for Tuesday night is uncertain. Arvidsson was on the ice for the morning skate, but he took rushes with Miikka Salomaki, who is still on injured reserve, and Frederick Gaudreau, who could be a healthy scratch. He didn’t participate in Monday’s practice. Arvidsson has a team-high 28 goals.

Brendan Gallagher vs Patrik Laine

Brendan Gallagher has totaled 8 points while scoring seven goals and collecting one assists over the last 10 games for Montreal.

After scoring 18 goals in November, Patrik Laine has gone cold. Laine has 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists) since December. The Jets are stuck trying to figure out what to do to get the second overall pick of the 2016 draft going.

Evander Kane vs Matthew Tkatchuk

San Jose forward Evander Kane is on personal leave and has been ruled out for the Tuesday contest against his former team.

Matthew Tkachuk scored three goals and assisted on another in Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Tkachuk started off his nice by converting on a two-on-one, taking a feed from Michael Frolik, giving the Flames a 3-1 lead. The Golden Knights were able to tie the game before Mikael Backlund restored the lead for Calgary before the end of the second period and Tkachuk ended the game with two goals in the final frame for the hat trick. Tkachuk also picked up an assist on Backlund’s goal in the opening period, bringing him to 29 goals and 67 points in 69 games this season.

Tyler Seguin vs Sidney Crosby

The Stars’ playoff hopes are diminishing, but to his credit, Tyler Seguin continues to be the Stars’ best offensive weapon every night. He’s been playing at a point-per-game pace in 2019 with 28 points in 28 games, and against the Sabres he has a chance to run the table with no shutdown center to keep him in check. Seguin has feasted on Buffalo with 23 points in 26 career games against them. 

Leading scorer Sidney Crosby has 15 points over his last eight games. Crosby has been filling it up against the Capitals this season, dropping five points on them in three games so far. He also registered eight points against them in a six-game playoff series last season and has 68 points against them in 48 games now throughout his career against Washington in the regular season. With the Penguins hoping to climb back into the division race, a big night from Crosby is exactly what they need, and the NHL’s best player typically delivers in those situations.

Mark Scheifele vs Jack Eichel

Mark Scheifele has a Jets-best 32 goals, and his 75 points are second only to Wheeler’s total, yet he has been held off the scoresheet in three straight games. He mustered just one shot on goal in each of his past two outings.

Jack Eichel has been suspended for two games for an illegal check to the head on Colorado’s Carl Soderberg. Eichel got a two-minute penalty on Saturday for the hit. He won’t get to play in Buffalo’s upcoming two-game homestand, but he will be eligible to return on March 16 versus Carolina.

Evgeni Malkin vs Filip Forsberg

Evgeni Malkin is two points away from 1000 for his career. He stands to become one of five active players to reach that plateau, and one on three to have done so while playing his entire career with a single team — joining Alex Ovechkin and teammate Sidney Crosby.

Filip Forsberg (upper body) is expected to be back in the lineup on Tuesday night. Coach Peter Laviolette said that Wayne Simmonds will get a chance to play with Forsberg and Ryan Johansen against Anaheim. Forsberg missed Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury when he figured he would be OK to play.

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

NHL 2017 Stanley Cup Finals Preview

Nashville Predators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Get the full NHL experience. Play our Stanley Cup finals fantasy hockey contests at FanPicks.com, as the Predators and Penguins are set to square of tonight at 8PM Eastern Time. No team has won back-to-back Stanley Cup titles since 1998, a drought the Pittsburgh Penguins can end. They are the prohibitive favorites to hoist Lord Stanley’s trophy at the expense of the upstart Predators, who are appearing in their first Stanley Cup Final.

Pittsburgh features the top three scorers in the postseason in Evgeni Malkin, captain Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel. They are the first team to reach the Cup Final in back-to-back seasons since the Penguins in 2008 and 2009. Nashville was the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and posted the fewest points of any of the 16th playoff participants, but swept Chicago in the opening round before dispatching St. Louis and Anaheim in a pair of six-game series. Predators bench boss Peter Laviolette becomes the fourth coach to lead three different teams to Stanley Cups finals. Along with Penguins counterpart Mike Sullivan, this will mark the first time that American coaches square off for hockey’s top prize.

Pittsburgh Penguins Outlook

Malkin (24 points) and Crosby (20) are running 1-2 in the playoff scoring race. They seemingly shine when the lights are brightest, with each one winning a Conn Smythe Trophy. Kessel notched six points in the seven-game series against Ottawa. Fellow 23-goal scorer Conor Sheary has not fared as well. He has yet to tally in the playoffs. Jake Guentzel is mired in an eight-game goal drought after scoring nine times in the first 11 games of the postseason.

Matt Murray, who backstopped Pittsburgh to a championship a year ago following a late-season injury to Marc-Andre Fleury, reclaimed the starting job from Fleury in the Ottawa series. He went 3-1 with six goals allowed in his four starts. Forward Patric Hornqvist, acquired from Nashville in exchange for forward James Neal in June 2014, is a game-time decision after sitting out the final six contests against the Senators.

Nashville Predators Outlook

The daunting challenge of trying to match up against Crosby and Malkin is exacerbated by the absence of top-line center Ryan Johansen (thigh), lost for the rest of the playoffs after Game 4 against Anaheim. Colton Sissons stepped in for Johansen. He supplied a hat trick in the series clincher against the Ducks, but the Predators will continue to rely heavily on Filip Forsberg, a 31-goal scorer during the regular season who scored five times against Anaheim and is riding a seven-game point streak.

While No. 2 center Mike Fisher appears poised to return from injury, Nashville’s strength is at the other end of the ice, with its top four defensemen — Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm — combining for a staggering 39 points in 16 playoff games. Still, the Predators’ hopes likely hinge on 34-year-old Pekka Rinne, who is 12-4 with a 1.70 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage in the postseason.

Posted in NHL

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals

Captain Sidney Crosby looks to continue his offensive assault Wednesday as the Pittsburgh Penguins kick off a three-game, four-day road trip against the Metropolitan Division-rival Washington Capitals (Enter Contest). Since returning from a concussion that cost him the first six games of the season, Crosby has registered five two-point performances while collecting 10 goals and three assists in nine contests. The 29-year-old two-time Hart Trophy winner and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy recipient tops the Penguins in tallies and is tied for second in scoring. It’s two points behind leader Evgeni Malkin.

Washington hopes to break out of its offensive slump after scoring a total of five goals while going 1-2-1 over its last four games. The Capitals were held to one tally for the second straight contest on Tuesday. They squandered their lead and dropped a 2-1 decision at Columbus in overtime. Nicklas Backstrom provided the lone goal in the setback. It was just his second of the campaign. Six-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin has gone a season-high four straight games without a tally.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (10-3-2)

Derrick Pouliot is making strides toward a return to the lineup. The defenseman participated in practice Tuesday for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury on October 20. Nick Bonino was also on the ice after skipping Monday’s practice. He’s expected to be in the lineup against Washington. Malkin is riding a four-game point streak and has landed on the scoresheet in eight of his last nine contests. Goalie Matt Murray has allowed a total of only five goals while winning each of his four starts this campaign.

ABOUT THE CAPITALS (9-4-2)

One of the problems with the team’s offense has been its lack of testing the opposing goaltender. They’ve registered 21 shots during Saturday’s 5-1 loss at Carolina. It was the lowest total in 25 regular-season games dating back to March. Washington improved by just one in Tuesday’s defeat. All 20 skaters who have suited up for the Capitals this season have recorded at least one point now that defenseman Taylor Chorney notched an assist against Columbus in his second game of 2016-17.  Left wing Marcus Johansson, who shares the team lead of seven goals with Ovechkin, has recorded just one in his last six games.

Posted in NHL

Fantasy Hockey NHL Finals

Game 5

It’s the back against the wall routine now for the San Jose Sharks. No room for error as the Pittsburgh Penguins could finish the fantasy hockey NHL 2015/16 season as soon as tonight. With a win, the Penguins could finally put there hands on the Stanley Cup at home, in front of their fan, a feat that they’ve never accomplished in their 49 year existence and three Stanley Cup conquest. In fact, of the 11 major sports championships won by Pittsburgh professional teams since the Pirates claimed the 1960 World Series at Forbes Field — six Super Bowls, three Stanley Cups, two other World Series — not one was won on home turf or home ice. Also, Penguins’ Matt Murray could become the fifth goalie to lead his team to a Stanley Cup in his rookie year — Ken Dryden(1970-71), Patrick Roy(1985-86), Cam Ward(2005-06) and Antti Niemi(2009-10) are the first four. The Sharks have waited 25 years to reach their first NHL finals. With 36 years-old’s and former captains of the team Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau not getting any younger, this could be their last chance at the cup.  Game 5 happens starts Thursday night at 8PM ET. Here are FanPicks (click to play) top NHL picks.

Player Pos Team Last Game FP Last Two Games FP Avg  Last Four Game FP Avg Last Ten Game FP Avg
Evgeni Malkin C PIT 23 10.7 10.6 10.9
Eric Fehr W PIT 18.5 7.2 4.9 4.3
Melker Karlsson W SJ 18.5 6.2 4 4.5
Phil Kessel W PIT 18 15.2 12.1 15.1
Ian Cole D PIT 15.5 6.2 3.7 3
Carl Hagelin W PIT 9 7.5 6.9 7.4
Kris Letang D PIT 9 8 8.1 8
Brenden Dillon D SJ 7.5 3 2.1 1.4
Joe Pavelski C SJ 7.5 3.5 7 13.3
Chris Tierney C SJ 6 4.5 4.2 5
Olli Maatta D PIT 6 5.5 4.8 4.5
Patrick Marleau C SJ 6 4 9.1 7.3
Joel Ward W SJ 3 10.2 11.3 9.7
Logan Couture C SJ 3 4 11.2 11.8
Joonas Donskoi W SJ 3 9.7 10.7 7.4
Tomas Hertl C SJ 3 9.7 9.1 10
MarcEdouard Vlasic D SJ 1.5 3.5 3.9 6
Sidney Crosby C PIT 1.5 4.5 6.9 11
Matt Cullen C PIT 1.5 3 2.4 2.8
Brian Dumoulin D PIT 1.5 2 1.2 3.5

Fantasy Hockey NHL Game 5 Notables

  • Melker Karlsson will skate on the San Jose Sharks top line with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton, with Tomas Hertl (lower body injury) still expected to be out.
  • Penguins winger Phil Kessel has at least one point in 15 of 22 playoff games. He leads Pittsburgh with 10 goals and 21 points.
  • Before being held without a point in Game 4, Sharks winger Joel Ward had at least one point in four of his previous five games. He has one goal and one assist in the Final.
Posted in NHL

Fantasy NHL Hockey

Stanley Cup Preview

NHL Hockey playoffs doesn’t get any bigger than this. Game 1 of this exciting Stanley Cup finals featuring the San Jose Sharks against the Pittsburgh Penguins will begin Monday at 8PM EST at the Consol Energy Center. This series has the potential to be an instant classic with the Penguins being a much different team than during the regular season and the Sharks ‘ red hot offense peaking at the best moment. Don’t miss out on this Fantasy NHL Hockey Stanley Cup Preview brought to you by Fanpicks, where you can win millions in cash prizes during the NHL Playoffs.

 

Fantasy NHL Hockey

Both of these teams have been playing at their best during those playoffs with players showcasing great talent and consistency. The regular season series is split with each tream winning a game apiece but not much history against one another.

For the Pens, it will be their first time back in the Finals in 7 years since winning the title in a 7 game nailbiting series against the Red Wings back in 2009. With only a few of the championship cast remaining such as Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh as an edge of experience compare to the Sharks. On top being there at the biggest stage, the Penguins speed is nothing like any other team San Jose has faced during the playoffs thus far. Many weapons the Pens possess in offense can hurt the Sharks if they don’t step it up physically. They’re led by Phil Kessel (18 pts) who has 6 goals in his last 9 playoffs games. It will be Sidney Crosby’s 3rd appearance in  the finals.

 

The Sharks will hope that Marc-Edouard Vlasic shuts continues his tremendous defensive work and shuts down as much of the Penguins’ top forwards. The Pens will definitely have a tougher time penetrating through the Sharks but as the series progress.

San Jose will be making its first ever appearance in a Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history. Only 2 players on their rosters have made it to the finals in their careers. Suprisingly, neither their veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have had the chance to make it to the cup.

They will rely on their cut throat offense that boasts a whopping average of 3.5 goals a game. 4 of the postseason top 5 scorers are Sharks players and their top 2 lines are nearly impossible to contain consistently.

 

This will be one of the most compelling and interesting Stanley Cup finals in recent years and we hope you’re as excited as we are for this series. Don’t forget to sign up for free and  BANK BIG this Stanley Cup with our Cross Sports and NHL Contests.

 

Posted in NHL

Fantasy Hockey Playoffs

Eastern Finals Preview

The best team in the NHL over the past two month just defeated the best team this season. Now, the Pittsburgh Penguins are off to face last years Eastern Champions Tampa Bay Ligthning in the Eastern Finals. Fantasy hockey playoffs (click to join) doesn’t get any bigger than this. Game 1 starts Friday night at the Consol Energy Center, and will be presented on NBCSN starting at 8PM ET. The Penguins went 14-2-0 to end the regular season before knocking off the New York Rangers and, offcourse, the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in the postseason.

The Pens made the conference final for the first time since 2013 with balanced scoring, improved defense and rookie goalie Matt Murray’s solid play that has kept veteran Marc-Andre Fleury on the bench. They still must find a way to contain a dangerous Tampa Bay offense that is led by Nikita Kucherov (nine goals, 12 points) and Tyler Johnson (13 points). The Lightning lineup could even become more lethal, potentialy having back top-pair defenseman Anton Stralman (broken fibula) and captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot)at some point in the series. Tampa Bay has beaten the Penguins three straight in the regular season, despite being outshot 109-74 combined.

Stralman has gone through full practice over the last few days, but he doesn’t look like he’s a 100% percent yet. Versatile forward J.T. Brown (upper body) could be back in the lineup after missing almost a month. Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn (nine points) and the emergence of Jonathan Drouin (eight assists) stepped up to take the offensive reigns during superstar Steven Stamkos’ absence. In defence, 6-foot-6 Victor Hedman was the key figure during the second-round series victory over the New York Islanders. He stopped captain John Tavares clean, denying him of a point for the last four games while recording eight points for himself.

It will not be an easy task for Lightning coach Jon Cooper to decide which line his best D-Man, Victor Hedman, will go up against. Pittsburgh’s four forward units have all produced in the postseason with three of them represented among the top four scorers. Captain Sidney Crosby (10 points) and Evgeni Malkin (nine) each center a line while the trio of Phil Kessel (five goals, 12 points), Nick Bonino (eight assists) and Carl Hagelin may be their best in the playoffs thus far.

Posted in NHL

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.

NHLDFSapeil9

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

Fantasy Hockey Targets

Early Games

With four early games on the schedule this afternoon, Fanpicks is here to supply you with the fantasy hockey targets you’ll need to win your DFS contest.

As always, we supply you with at least a couple of DFS value picks (usually more) and fill out the roster with big-ticket players.  There’s nearly always cash leftover in order to give you the flexibility to make it your own. (Lineup Below)

  • Starting the day at 1 pm (est) off is Minnesota versus Buffalo. The Wild are the heavy favorite, but they have an array of scorers so it’s hard to say who’s going to have their day. The safer way to go when dealing with teams like that is to ride the hot-hand of course. Those hands belong to Jason Pominville today. The former Sabre has 12 points in his last 9 game, and a return to your former stomping grounds is always inspiring. Jack Eichel was tempting, as he played over 23 minutes last game but we were dedicated to our other options up the middle. That’s not to say don’t play the kid, he is a very nice option today.

Rather, Rasmus Ristolainen ($3700 – Value Pick) will represent the Sabres for my squad. He is their number one defenseman who played nearly 25 minutes a night, and has 36 points. Sure he can be a defensive liability, but other players with similar qualities (I’m looking at you Tyson Barrie), cost A LOT more.

  • Next up at 3 pm, the Flames are in Pittsburgh to face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

Crosby has 5 points in his last 3 games and will be relied on to lead the charge against Calgary. When he’s at the top of his game, there is none better.

I selected Carl Hagelin as an insurance policy to Crosby. He’s that extra lining to protect your big investment. Simply, if it’s Evgeni Malkin‘s line that goes off, you can still get in on those precious Penguin points.

Newly acquired Justin Schultz should make his debut in black and yellow this afternoon. At $3000 he could be a huge value pick, especially if he gets any powerplay time with the big guns. But that’s by no means a gaurantee, so I went with the slightly more costly option in Derrick Pouliot ($3300 – Value Pick). The 22-year-old quietly has 6 assists in 17 games since being recalled from the AHL. and usually plays around 15 minutes a game. He is a very talented puck mover and does get some time on the man-advantage, so if he can get at least one assist I will be satisfied.

Marc-Andre Fleury will be between the pipes and has only allowed 2 goals in his last 3 starts. The Pens need to win this game if they want to carry momentum into the playoffs, so I’m going with arguably (Dubnyk) the safest bet in the pool.

  • Also at 3 pm, the Avalanche play host to the Predators. Filip Forsberg is the man to own in these days, but as I went with cheaper options at LW I tagged his setup man Mike Ribeiro at center instead. All of those cross-ice one timers Forsberg scores on the PP come off the stick of Ribeiro, so if he can piggyback the mighty Swede it’ll be a good day.

Since I wasn’t taking the number one sniper in this game, Jarome Iginla instantly became a target. He’s already scored once this season against Nashville, and playing in Colorado gives the veteran a chance at the matchups he needs to thrive.

  • Finally, at 4 pm the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks do battle for Pacific division supremacy. Tied at 80 points a piece, the Kings have 2 more wins than their SoCal bredren, but two points today and none of that matters.

Ryan Getzlaf sat out Anaheim‘s last contest, but should be back today. In any case, David Perron is a solid value pick. He’s been a mainstay in my lineup for the past month and always performs. He isn’t just riding the coat-tails of the bigger named Ducks either, he is setting them up for success too. Jamie McGinn (LW) is also a nice option today, he’s scored in both games for Anaheim since being acquired at the deadline.

  • Lineup

nhlearlyfanpicks

Posted in NHL

Early DFS NHL Picks

My early DFS NHL Picks for the day. There is another contest with four great evening games coming up. This one highlights the five awesome afternoon games we have the pleasure of watching this Saturday.

FDNHL27

The Superstars: Filip Forsberg is on fire, Sidney Crosby could ground the Jets, and Roberto Luongo has a great matchup and is heating up.

Star Power: Jaden Schwartz has been money since returning from a season-long injury, Dallas Star (pun intended) John Klingberg is a heck of a value at $5800. Need I say anything about Gostisbehere?

Role Players: Boston’s Kevin Hayes pretty regularly contributes. Victor Arvidsson of the Predators was demoted to the third line recently, but has come up with double digit fantasy points in his last two contests. I’m going to take the chance on him again and hope he keeps me afloat with an average performance at worst.

X-Factor: Since I couldn’t afford Tyler Seguin, Valeri Nikuschkin will have to do. He is riding shotgun with Jamie Benn and Seguin and has 2 assists in his last two games.

The plan is for the big guns to have BIG games, while my X-Factor comes through in the clutch. Let’s see how this edition of my DFS NHL picks fares on this bright Saturday afternoon.

Posted in NHL

As we have done each week, I will provide you with another daily fantasy lineup. You can choose to play the entire roster, or take some of my targets and sprinkle them into your selections. My philosophy includes players on streaks, good matchups, great value, and the occasional hunch. So here’s another version of my lineup.

  • My roster

nhllineup0218

I’m riding the hot David Perron, along with his defensive teammate Hampus Lindholm in a matchup with the struggling Vancouver Canucks. The Ducks duo should contribute offensively, while Lindholm can add points with a couple of blocked shots.

Alex Ovechkin was just too expensive to make it all work, so I subbed him out for youngster Andre Burakovsky. He’s not quite Ovi, but he has been on fire in his last 10 games, and plays with the uber-talented passer Evgeni Kuznetsov.

Dustin Brown has 9 assists in his last 10 games and his Kings are rolling. It may be a risk, but with the injury to Marian Gaborik the veterans ice-time is sure to go up.

Ryan Strome has been playing on a line with John Tavares (who has been tearing it up) so his production has risen dramatically. Strome was a very high draft pick just a few years ago, so he definieitly has the ability to pile up the points and light the lamp regularly. He is someone to keep an eye on as the season moves forward.

Up the middle I took my two power picks, Joe Thornton and Sidney Crosby. Thornton has been looking youthful since Christmas and Crosby is the wildcard. If he plays great he will put you over the top in your contest, if not you better hope an average performance at that salary doesn’t cripple your daily fantasy lineup.

To cap it off, Keith Yandle has points in four straight, while Antti Niemi has a great matchup as his Dallas Stars take on the Arizona Coyotes.

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

NHLlineup0215

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