Daily Fantasy Hockey Value Update – December 10, 2013

Pavel Datsyuk
Nov 23 2013 Detroit MI USA Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk 13 skates with the puck in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Joe Louis Arena Ottawa won 4 2 Rick Osentoski USA TODAY Sports

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.

Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo has been playing better hockey lately, but the results just have not been there for the team. The Sabres have gone 1-7-1 in their last nine games, scoring more than one goal in just three of those games.

There are a plethora of problems in Buffalo; they can’t score on the power play (one for their last 14), they can’t score at even-strength (no more than two ES goals in a game in six straight games), and they just don’t have any depth (they have two players with more than 10 points on the season).

Ottawa has done a very good job of shutting down mediocre teams for goalie Robin Lehner – he only had 44 total shots against Tampa Bay and Detroit combined – and Buffalo’s scoring problems aren’t going to help matters.

I don’t like taking teams on a back-to-back, but I can’t consciously bet on Buffalo. My top play from this game would be Lehner.

Top RW Value

Top LW Value

Top C Value

Top D Value

Bargain Bin

Drew Stafford

(BUF)

$7250

Clarke Macarthur
(OTT)

$8250

Ville Leino

(BUF)

$5650

Patrick Wiercioch
(OTT)

$7950

Erik Condra

(OTT)

$5750

Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals

Tampa Bay, since losing Steven Stamkos, has been pretty inconsistent. They won two games without him, then lost four, then won two etc. The word “identity” gets thrown around WAY too much, but without their top goal scorer, it’s tough to figure out who this team really is. They scored nine goals against Philadelphia and the Rangers at the end of November, and have five goals in four games since. When I have a team I’m this uncertain about, I look for depth plays and that’s it. I can’t put my money on a volatile team in a volatile game.

The Capitals are winners of four of five and have scored nine goals in their last two games. The surprise is that they have done this without their power play for the most part, as they have just one goal with the man advantage of those nine previous goals.

Washington is being powered by their depth as of late. If you look at those recent goals, you see names like Fehr, Chimera, Brouwer, Schmidt, Oleksy, among others. This tells me teams are paying extra-close attention to Alex Ovechkin (no surprise there), and it’s freeing up a lot of room for the secondary players. And there’s a little bit of luck involved, to be sure.

Top RW Value

Top LW Value

Top C Value

Top D Value

Bargain Bin

Martin Erat

(WSH)

$6450

Marcus Johansson

(WSH)

$7850

Mikhail Grabovski

(WSH)

$7800

Sami Salo

(TBL)

$5850

Tyler Johnson

(TBL)

$6150

New Jersey Devils at Columbus Blue Jackets

I’m not one to typically make a big deal about a matchup that the New Jersey Devils have, as they don’t score a ton, but they do have 16 goals in their last six games and will be taking on a Columbus team coming off a difficult game against Pittsburgh that is starting their backup goalie on back to back nights.

This one doesn’t really take a lot of analyzing: The Devils are a rested team who is playing really good hockey while Columbus is a tired team playing decent hockey. I wouldn’t be afraid to take a couple value plays from New Jersey.

Top RW Value

Top LW Value

Top C Value

Top D Value

Bargain Bin

Damien Brunner

(NJD)

$6150

 

Matt Calvert
(CBJ)

$6300

Travis Zajac

(NJD)

$7700

Eric Gelinas

(NJD)

$7700

Dainius Zubrus

(NJD)

$6150

Los Angeles Kings at Montréal Canadiens

Expect a very, very, close game between these two teams. Over their last 22 combined games, neither has lost in regulation. Los Angeles hasn’t allowed more than three goals against since November 2nd and the Habs haven’t allowed more than three goals against since November 7.

Neither goalie is confirmed tonight but expect Ben Scrivens and Carey Price to get the nod.

Typically, when you take Canadiens players, the expectation is production on the power play. However, Los Angeles has the fifth ranked penalty kill and have killed 20 of their last 21 short handed situations. On the flip side, Los Angeles hasn’t scored a power play goal in eight straight games while the Habs haven’t allowed a short handed goal in seven straight games.

I would be tempted to take Carey Price, if only because I think he’ll face 30+ shots tonight. That said, I couldn’t bet on the Kings losing just about any game comfortably, so I would probably stay away from this game altogether.

Top RW Value

Top LW Value

Top C Value

Top D Value

Bargain Bin

Daniel Briere

(MTL)

$6200

Dwight King

(LAK)

$5750

Mike Richards

(LAK)

$9450

Jake Muzzin

(LAK)

$6800

Brandon Prust

(MTL)

$6300

Detroit Red Wings at Florida Panthers

Last week, Florida went into Detroit and I refused to take players from each team because the game was such a toss-up. This time, not so much.

For those that may have missed it, this came out yesterday:

After missing some time with a concussion, Pavel Datsyuk should be back tonight, on the top line and on the top power play unit. I hate to pin the hopes of an entire team on one player, but I’m not sure Detroit wins this game without him.

That said, I still don’t feel overly comfortable taking Detroit players. Having Datsyuk back is great, but you’d have to think he needs a game or two to get back into the swing of things. I would look for Panthers tonight, but not the HUB line (Huberdeau, Upshall, Bjugstad), as I would expect Datsyuk to be lined up against them.

Top RW Value

Top LW Value

Top C Value

Top D Value

Bargain Bin

Todd Bertuzzi

(DET)

$5650

Tomas Fleischmann

(FLA)

$9200

Stephen Weiss

(DET)

$6600

Brian Campbell

(FLA)

$7900

Daniel Cleary

(DET)

$6200

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