Pavelski should light the lamp and other great daily fantasy hockey plays for January 2nd.
Top Budget Plays
Jonathan Marchessault $3,300 – We are going to keep rolling on the former New York Rangers prospect until he disappoints us. He just keeps exceeding value and as long as he stays around $3000 on DraftKings, he is more than worth the investment because of how much ice time he keeps getting. As players return, that may lessen a bit but only a bit which still makes the center a worthwhile add when trying to save a little for the more expensive plays.
Conor Sheary $2,800 – Maybe Sheary is not the greatest add but he has still been playing in the top six at even strength and he does like to shoot the puck a good bit. Any time the Penguins play the New York Islanders, one should just throw conventional numbers out the window. Sidney Crosby has seven points in his last seven games and with Sheary riding shotgun part of the way that makes him someone to possibly add.
Jason Demers $3,400 – Though it is a road game for Dallas, New Jersey tends to play worse at home. The Devils might be able to slow down the top pairing a bit but the second defensive pairing might be worth a shot in some GPP tournaments. Now Demers has not exactly lit it up in daily fantasy the past few weeks but it has not been from lack of effort. New Jersey will try to attack the second pairing as well which could lead to more opportunities at the very least.
Jonathan Bernier $6,900 – This is a high risk GPP play but he is cheap and does provide some salary relief especially if Connor Hellebuyck does not start (Winnipeg). Bernier has won two of his last three starts, including shootout win against Pittsburgh. He may not be the most ideal candidate here but he is value. With James Reimer potentially out yet again due to a re-injury. Bernier should have a decent chance of faring well against St. Louis. At the very least, it won’t be a dull pick.
Since we saved some money on the budget plays let’s look at the few of the pricey options that are worth paying up for today.
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Joe Pavelski $7,600 – The San Jose Sharks finally won a game at home on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers and get another potentially winnable game against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Pavelski is on pace for a possible 40-40 season. San Jose’s first line may be a prime target to stack or maybe the first power-play unit perhaps (experts are using those now on occasion). He is also averaging around three shots on goal a night even at home.
Alex Ovechkin $8,800 – Though this will be Sergei Bobrovsky’s likely first start, it is still a great time to at least try Ovechkin in cash games at the very worst. Columbus gives up over three goals at home with or without the Russian goalie. Ovechkin had two goals and 10 shots on goal in the win on Wednesday against Buffalo and could come close to those numbers once more.
Brent Burns $8,100 – Burns has just been on fire in formats that do not involve plus/minus and still very good in ones that do. San Jose coming into Wednesday was connecting on only 15.6% of their power-play chances at home but that changed against Philadelphia. The defenseman has been on the ice for a high percentage of San Jose’s goals and yet they only score 1.76 goals per game per 60 at even strength. His very high floor, penchant for taking some penalties, and tendency to shoot a ton really helps against an undisciplined Winnipeg team.
Ben Bishop $7,500 – This is more of a moderately high risk but Minnesota has a bottom third on the road penalty kill and Bishop has above a .925 save percentage. Yes, his record may not be great at home like it was last year but on a tough night, Bishop is not up against a high octane offense thankfully. The goaltender may not be highly owned on this nine game slate because a lot of DFS players will gravitate toward Braden Holtby or perhaps Martin Jones even. This is a moderate risk among our higher price goaltenders.
Chris Wassel has been playing DFS for the last year and has played Fantasy Hockey for over two decades. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. Please note that this is a modestly large Saturday slate. We are targeting only the nine game evening schedule and will have all the breakdowns on Twitter
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