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Daily Fantasy Hockey Value Update – December 23

Michael Clifford breaks down every game in the NHL to find the best daily fantasy hockey value plays.

Buffalo Sabres right wing Drew Stafford
Buffalo Sabres right wing Drew Stafford

Dec 21, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Drew Stafford (21) chase the puck in the corner during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden. Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

I generally do not pick two players playing against each other in the same game for a daily fantasy hockey 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.

Phoenix Coyotes at Buffalo Sabres

The last game of Phoenix’s Eastern road trip is tonight in Buffalo to face a Sabres team that is 3-2-1 in their last six games.

The Coyotes have been on the wrong end of the “puck luck” hockey gods for a few games now; despite putting on 35+ shots in three of their last four games, the Coyotes have just seven goals to show for it, a shooting percentage of just 5.1-percent. They had two power play goals in their last game out, a 4-3 overtime win in Ottawa, but they are still just operating at a 14.3-percent clip over those last four contests.

Buffalo had been playing better under coach Ted Nolan but didn’t have the results to show for it. That is starting to change.

The Sabres are scoring a bit more, but it’s still not consistent; Buffalo has scored under two goals in half their games this month, and four goals twice. Part of that is in thanks to their power play, which is moving along at a 6.5-percent rate this month, and part of that is that they just don’t have the players who can score.

I anticipate a low-scoring affair and would consider Mike Smith as one of your goalies today.

Top RW Value

Top LW Value

Top C Value

Top D Value

Bargain Bin

Drew Stafford



Mikkel Boedker



Mike Ribeiro



Connor Murphy



Marcus Foligno



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