Cheap Players for Daily Fantasy Hockey – December 17

by Michael Clifford on December 17, 2015

Going through some cheap players, and some top-end options as well, to use tonight on DraftKings.

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Welcome back for another Thursday edition of DFS values for DraftKings here on Dobber Hockey. Reminder that if you want to jump in on the action on DraftKings, just follow this link to make your way into the Sniper contest tonight. The details of the contest are below:

  • $45,000 Guaranteed, $3 to enter
  • Top prize of $3000
  • 17,241 entries, top 3525 pay
  • Draft nine roster spots: 2-Centre, 3-Wing, 2-Defence, 1-Goalie, 1-Utility
  • Contest closes at 7 PM EST

As always, there will be three skaters, one at each position, that are of the bargain variety. They are players that will all be priced $3000 or under. There will also be one skater at each position that are of the expensive variety. Each forward will be $7000 or more, with the defenceman at $6000 or more.

Cheap Options

Jared McCann (VAN-C) – $2800

It has really been quite a tumultuous season for McCann. After a start that saw him score five goals in his first nine games, McCann went on a fairly cold stretch that saw Bo Horvat play ahead of him consistently, and McCann getting just 11-12 minutes a night for the most part. Of late, though, McCann has started to play more, posting at least 15 minutes in two of the previous five games, and centering Radim Vrbata and Chris Higgins.

The hope here is the McCann line stays away from Philadelphia’s Couturier line. In Philly’s last home game, the Couturier line was matched against the other team’s top line. They have also been playing some very good hockey, and have improved with Jakub Voracek joining the fold. If that happens, I like McCann’s lines chances of scoring a goal against a Flyers team that has had some poor goaltending lately.

Viktor Arvidsson (NSH-W) – $2900

There are a couple things working in Arvidsson’s favour as far as daily fantasy value goes. First, Arvidsson is getting a lot more ice time this time around than he was before his demotion at the end of October. In fact, he’s playing nearly 15 minutes a night, after playing under 10 minutes a night going into December.

Second, with the increased ice time, and new spot in the top-six, Arvidsson is shooting a lot. In eight December games, Arvidsson has managed 22 shots on goal. In DraftKings terms, Arvidsson is recouping about two-thirds of his price through shots alone on an average night. That is a very nice floor.

The matchup isn’t great tonight with Nashville going into St. Louis, but Arvidsson’s line should be the one that avoids the Stastny/Tarasenko matchup. With his floor, and the new-found power play time he’s getting as well, Arvidsson is a fine option for salary relief tonight.  

*One other cheap winger to look for is Dainius Zubrus. With the injuries hitting the Sharks, Zubrus has been fast-tracked to the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. I don’t trust him to stay there – which is why I mentioned Arvidsson instead – but it’s worth noting for now.

Stefan Elliott (ARI-D) – $2900

The Arizona power play has undergone a few changes recently. For our purpose, the important change has been on the blue line, where Oliver Ekman-Larsson is now running the top power play unit by himself. This means that Michael Stone has moved to the second unit, and Elliott has joined him on the blue line.

Tonight is a decent matchup for the Arizona power play as well. Not only is Columubus a mid-range penalty kill by scoring chances allowed, but they also give up about 3.4 power plays a game, higher than the league average of 3.2. Considering the Coyotes are one of the best teams at drawing power plays – about 3.6 per game – and it seems a reasonable bet that they get a power play goal tonight.

Elliott, through shots and blocked shots, has a similar floor to Arvidsson, at about 1.5 DraftKings points. That would similarly recoup about two-thirds of his cost. With the power play time he’s being given now, and the matchup their in, and Elliott is one of the best bargain-priced defenemen to use tonight.

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Again, don’t forget to check out the $3 entry Sniper contest on DraftKings tonight! Roughly the top 20-percent pays out, and it can be entered through this link.  

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Expensive Options

Tyler Seguin (DAL-C) – $8800

The two top teams in total scoring chances per 60 minutes (both for and against) square off tonight in Dallas with Calgary in town. Needless to say, this game should be played at a break-neck pace nearly from start to finish. That should give us a fair amount of goals to work with, particularly from the Dallas side.

What makes me lean Seguin over some other expensive options, besides the high likelihood of scoring chances, is the Calgary penalty kill. The Flames are last in the NHL in the league in PK percentage, and are last in the league in scoring chances allowed while short-handed. Though they don’t give up a lot of power play opportunities, when they do, the Flames are awful at killing them.

This seems like a good night for Seguin to post multiple points. The five-on-five matchup points to a lot of chances, and the penalty kill of the opposition is very poor. He likely needs multiple points to reach value tonight, but if there were a matchup that would indicate he will, this is certainly it.

Patrick Kane (CHI-W) – $8700

When Chicago and Edmonton face each other, there is almost always an abundance of goals: in the five games between these two teams going back to last year, the Oilers and Blackhawks have averaged six goals a game, and only one of those featured fewer than six total. It shouldn’t be a huge surprise, given the amount of talent on both teams, but it’s a good sign regardless.

Kane had his points streak broken last game, and that might almost be a good thing. At times in that Colorado game, it seemed like the ‘Hawks were forcing the puck to Kane to help get him a point. With that concern gone, the team can just go back to a normal game.

There is a bevy of expensive wing options tonight that could prove fruitful like Taylor Hall, Jamie Benn, and Zach Parise. Any of them are fine, but for tonight, given the matchup, I am fine with going to back to the Kane well.

Brent Burns (SJS-D) – $7700

Burns has just one point (an assist) in his last four games, and thus, he’s burned quite a few people recently. That would make me assume his ownership will be lower than it probably should be tonight, given the Sharks are in Toronto.

On the season, the Leafs are tied with Arizona for the fifth-worst adjusted shots allowed rate at even strength. The only teams worse are Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Edmonton. That would seem to indicate that the Sharks should get their fair share of shots, and by association, Burns should as well. Again, Burns has an extremely high floor (3-3.5 points), which makes his price tag a bit easier to stomach.

With his floor, Burns would seem to only need an assist to reach his value tonight. Given there aren’t many good expensive defence options tonight – P.K. Subban with Los Angeles in town, or Roman Josi in St. Louis – it seems like it’s Burns or no one.

*Some stats from Hockey Reference and War On Ice. Line combinations from Dobber’s Frozen Pool.