I will mention that I generally do not pick two players playing against each other in the same game for a daily lineup. The same applies for a goalie and a player from opposite teams. You might see two players among the “value picks” from opposite teams, but that doesn’t mean you should take them both. No matter the value, you’re also likely cannibalizing points, so any gains made below a certain price point – the point where production and cost intersect – can be lost if production declines overall as well.
There are many things that determine value: The player’s history (both short and long-term), the price, recent production, opponent, line matching at even-strength, power play time and injuries are just some of the factors to consider. The “Top Value” doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest player, either.
Finally, as far as goalies go, it’s the one position I’ll pay through the nose for if I really like the match-up. The same applies for back-ups with good match-ups. In a given night, with a full slate of games, I won’t have more than three different goalies across all my lineups, usually two. I’ll name the goalies I like specifically in the match-ups they appear in.
Here is today’s slate of games (and DraftDay values). Reminder: check Left Wing Lock for up-to-the-minute information on starting goalies.
Games are color-coded as follows:
Green means load up. Yellow means grab a couple of players. Red means value plays only.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins
It wasn’t that long ago that Boston was steamrolling a healthy Pittsburgh lineup in the playoffs. It’s been a closer series this regular season, with each team taking a game already this year against each other, and both teams have scored six goals total in those contests.
I bring up Boston dispatching a healthy Pittsburgh because Pittsburgh is far from healthy for this game.
Malkin won't play in Boston. Dupuis might.
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) December 6, 2013
Not only that, they are still without their second-best puck moving defenseman in Paul Martin. Pittsburgh is star-studded, but they need all those stars to have the best chance possible to beat Boston.
The Bruins are running a nearly 90-percent penalty kill over their last seven games, which includes games against Detroit, St. Louis and this Pittsburgh team. They’ll need it as, even without Malkin, Pittsburgh’s power play still went 1-2 against San Jose, and Pittsburgh has eight power play goals in their last five games.
This is a match of probably the two best teams in the East, so I don’t feel too comfortable relying on either goalie for a win. Just a reminder: the Krejci/Lucic/Iginla line is typically the line that matches with the Crosby line, so you’ll want to look elsewhere for players.
Top RW Value
Top LW Value
Top C Value
Top D Value
Buffalo Sabres at Montréal Canadiens
I commend new Buffalo coach Ted Nolan because at the least, his team is playing better. They’re still not scoring goals, though.
Buffalo has scored just 11 goals in their last eight games, and haven’t scored more than one goal in their last six games against teams not named Toronto. At times, I like certain players for value. However, the Sabres power play is just 1-for-13 in their last five games (Montréal has killed off 17 straight penalties) and the Habs have allowed the seventh-fewest goals at 5v5 (Buffalo has the fewest goals scored at 5v5).
These two teams met 11 days ago, with the Canadiens skating away with a 3-1 win. I expect much of the same tonight; the Habs should win (and might get a shutout), but they won’t blow Buffalo out of the water. The goaltender is the best play in this game.
Top RW Value
Top LW Value
Top C Value
Top D Value
Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators
I really try to hold out hope that maybe Toronto has developed some sort of system that really does limit scoring chances against. That said, the Leafs have given up 130 shots on goal in their last three games. I don’t care what “system” you think you have, no team can sustain any sort of winning streak giving up an average of 43 shots against per game.
Not surprisingly, Toronto’s first line remains the only forwards that should be owned from this team. I don’t feel comfortable owning either goalie because this could be a high-scoring game; Toronto is a god-awful 60.9 percent on their penalty kill over their last six games, while the Sens have drawn nearly five power plays per game over their last 10 games. The Sens are starting Craig Anderson, who has averaged 3.9 goals against over his last 10 games, and was in net for a 5-4 loss to Toronto earlier this season.
These are two very sloppy teams at even strength who are prone to taking penalties, so I would be shocked if this game finished with less than six total goals.