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Daily Fantasy Hockey DFS Value Update – January 20

Michael Clifford focuses on value when constructing his optimal daily fantasy hockey lineup.

Matt Niskanen, daily fantasy hockey
Matt Niskanen, daily fantasy hockey

Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen. Charles LeClaire-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.

Florida Panthers at Pittsburgh Penguins

The Panthers’ offense has gone ice cold as of late, scoring just nine goals in their previous six games and have scored one goal or fewer in six of their previous 11 games. Their last game out was a 3-2 loss to Carolina and was the ninth straight game that the Panthers failed to convert on the power play. Lastly, Florida is relying on the play of goaltender Tim Thomas, who has an excellent .933 save percentage since December 1, yet the Panthers have given up an average of 36.75 shots on goal in their last four games. If they want to stay in the game tonight, they can’t give up 37 shots to Pittsburgh and hope that Thomas bails them out (hint: he won’t).

Pittsburgh is playing just their second game in nine days and this little break has given their injured players like James Neal, Evgeni Malkin and Paul Martin time enough to recuperate from their respective issues. While the first two are expected to play tonight, Martin is still a bit up in the air as he just returned to practice on Saturday. That said, this Pittsburgh team has been on a run in the last two months rivalled only by Anaheim and tonight would be a night to flex their offensive muscle.

It seems pretty straightforward but I do expect the Penguins to rake tonight. The Penguins did lose to the Panthers early in the year with Jeff Zatkoff in net but then waxed the Panthers in their second meeting. Pittsburgh’s power play at home this year is 25-percent while Florida’s penalty kill is just over 75-percent on the road. Of course a lot of other DFSers will have the same idea tonight, but Pittsburgh should clean up. (note: Chuck Kobasew was seen skating on the top line in morning practice with Crosby. Whether he stays there or not is another issue, but he’ll at least get the chance)

Top RW Value

Top LW Value

Top C Value

Top D Value

Bargain Bin

Evgeni Malkin


Jussi Jokinen

Nick Bjugstad


Matt Niskanen


Chuck Kobasew


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