Cheap Players for Daily Fantasy Hockey – January 14

Michael Clifford

2016-01-14

Welcome back for another week of this DraftKings bargain/top-shelf column here at Dobber Hockey! Last week we had a couple very good performances (Mattias Janmark, Zach Parise), a couple awful ones (Andre Burakovsky, Joe Pavelski), and the other two at least gave us something (Christian Ehrhoff, Mark Giordano). Average isn’t the goal here, so hopefully things go better this week.

As always, for the cheap players, there will be one skater per DraftKings position priced at $3000 or less. For the expensive forwards, they will be priced at $7000 or above, and the expensive defenceman will be $6000 or more.

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Check out the $3 entry, $37 500 prize pool Sniper contest tonight on DraftKings! Just follow this link to get right to the player selection screen, and details are below.

  • Maximum of 14 375 entries, with multiple entries allowed.
  • $3 entry, $2500 top prize, and the top 2951 positions pay out.
  • Select two centres, three wingers, two defencemen, a goalie, and a utility skater.

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Cheap Players

Robby Fabbri (STL-C) – $2900

Pretty quietly, Fabbri is having a pretty solid rookie season for the Blues. He is only on pace for around 30 points, but as of today, he is second among Blues forwards in points per 60 minutes at five-on-five, and third in shot attempts per 60 minutes. This is important to know because the Blues are going through some injuries right now, and over the last three games, Fabbri has average 15:40 per game in total ice time, over two and a half minutes more than his per-game average on the season as a whole. He had a goal and an assist in those three games and those game against two of the better defensive teams in the NHL (New Jersey and Anaheim).

With the injuries, the lineup will probably constantly be shifted around. It is worth noting, though, that Fabbri played several shifts with Tarasenko in his last game, and that includes alongside the sniper on the power play. Coach Ken Hitchcock has noticed Fabbri’s game, and is rewarding him with prime situations at times.

Carolina isn’t a great matchup for the Blues, but their goaltending is bad enough that the Blues are in play tonight. Avoiding the high-priced players in a tough matchup is a good strategy, but getting exposure to those players through bargain-priced guys is infrequently a bad idea. Fabbri is a solid choice in this regard. 

Andre Burakovsky (WSH-W) – $3000

The Vancouver Canucks are not a very good team. That much is pretty obvious. That means there will be a lot of Washington Capitals players in play all over the place, though I would suspect most of the players owned will be some combination of Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Matt Niskanen. Burakovsky, who is playing alongside Kuznetsov and Justin Williams, should have the lowest ownership rate in the top-six.

A dirty little secret as far as the Canucks are concerned is this: Bo Horvat is not very good defensively at this point of his career. Since the start of last year, Horvat has been on the ice for more scoring chances against per 60 minutes than any other Canucks forward. Ditto for high-danger scoring chances against, too. I suspect the Kuznetsov line will line up frequently against the Horvat line, which is an exceptionally good matchup for Kuznetsov and company.

Using a couple Washington players in cash games and primary tournament lineups is a good idea tonight. They should have a good night offensively. With good in-game matchups alongside Kuznetsov, it seems that Burakovsky stands a reasonable chance to get on the board tonight.

David Schlemko (NJD-D) – $2800

New Jersey, undoubtedly, has had trouble scoring since the loss of Mike Cammalleri. There are a few teams in the NHL that can be cure-alls for scoring woes. The Colorado Avalanche – New Jersey’s opponent tonight – has the following rankings defensively in the NHL:

  • Shots against at five-on-five per 60 minutes: 27th (30.8)
  • Goals against at five-on-five per 60 minutes: 27th (2.4)
  • Scoring chances against at five-on-five per 60 minutes: 27th (28.3)
  • Shots against while short-handed per 60 minutes: 22nd (56.2)
  • Goals against while short-handed per 60 minutes: T-22nd (7.7)
  • Scoring chances against at five-on-five per 60 minutes: 22nd (54.1)

They’re nothing if not consistent, I guess.

Schlemko has had at least two shots on goal in five straight games, and hasn’t had fewer than 1.5 DraftKings points in any of those five games. Considering his opposition, and his time on the power play, Schlemko is a nice off-the-board bargain defence option.

Expensive Players

Joe Pavelski (SJS-C) – $7700

It’s always hard to go back to a player after he burned you (as Pavelski did a week ago). The fact remains that Pavelski and Joe Thornton are an elite duo. Tomas Hertl has been playing with them lately as well, and according to Puckalytics.com, that trio generate more shot attempts and more goals per minute when playing together (over the last three seasons) at five-on-five than they do apart. That is a good sign for a line when facing a team that is bottom-10 in both goals and shot attempts allowed like Edmonton does.

There doesn’t need to be a lot of thought process here. Despite their home woes, this is a great matchup for the Sharks, and for the top line. With an ideal combination and a good matchup, Pavelski is a fine top-tier option for tonight.

Alex Ovechkin (WSH-W) – $8700

Obviously, for cash games, I wouldn’t use both Ovechkin and Burakovsky. They play on separate lines, and only play a little bit together on the power play. Because of the matchup tonight, though, it’s hard to get away from the Caps tonight.

To be blunt, part of it is Ovechkin’s insanely high floor. So far this year, Ovechkin has managed at least four shots on goal in 30 of 41 games, and of those 30 games, has at least an assist in 25 of them. One of those five games with at least four shots on goal and an assist, he had 15 shots. So in 26 of 41 games this year, or 63.4-percent, Ovechkin has had at least four DraftKings points. With the Canucks in town tonight, it’s hard to believe he won’t get to that level tonight, and that recoups about two-thirds of his price. There is a lot of upside beyond that.  

Shea Weber (NSH-D) – $6100

A total of 15 of Weber’s 26 points garnered so far this year have come on the power play. While DraftKings doesn’t have a bonus for power play points, the fact that the Predators are playing the Jets bodes well for Weber’s production: Winnipeg gives up the most power play opportunities per game, and trail only the Flames in scoring chances allowed when on the penalty kill. That is a bad combination for the Jets, but a good one for a player that relies on power play points for production as Weber does.

Don’t forget to check out the Sniper contest on DraftKings tonight! Just $3 to enter, and you can get to the player selection screen through this link.

*Some stats courtesy of Hockey Reference, Hockey Analysis, War On Ice, and Puckalytics. Line combinations from Dobber’s Frozen Pool

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