Cheap Players For Daily Fantasy Hockey – January 21

by Michael Clifford on January 21, 2016

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

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Welcome back for another round of daily fantasy values on DraftKings here at Dobber Hockey. As is the case on most Thursdays, there will be both cheap and expensive players provided for use tonight on the daily fantasy site.

Last week was mostly a good week, though as is natural, there were a couple misses. Our three cheap players did well, providing 6.5 DK points – though most of those came from Andre Burakovsky – while Shea Weber had a pretty stellar night with 6 DK points on his own. Alex Ovechkin and Joe Pavelski were misses, combining for just 5.5 DK points, so hopefully the top shelf players come through this week.

As always, there will be a cheap skater at each position priced at $3000 or less. There will also be a centre and winger priced $7000 or more, with a defenceman at $6000 or more. Mind you, it’s not necessarily recommended to use all six players. The cheap players are there to help fit in an upper-tier player, not three and three.

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Be sure to jump into the $3 entry Sniper contest on DraftKings tonight! Just click through this link to get right to the player selection screen. Details below:

  • $3 entry, $37 500 prize pool, with a $2500 top prize.
  • There is a maximum of 14 300 entries, 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

Shawn Matthias (TOR-C) – $2700

As is often the case, a good value play comes from a player that is given a more prominent role, and whose price hasn’t adjusted yet. This is exactly the case for Matthias, who was given a top-six role in Toronto’s most recent game, and as a result, played nearly 20 minutes and landed five shots on goal.

Matthias has never been much of a scorer in his career, even in the minutes given. With that said, over the last few years, he has been a reasonable shooter in the minutes given; over the last two and a half seasons, Matthias takes as many shots per minute of ice time at five-on-five as Joe Pavelski. That was evident by Matthias’ five shots in that first game playing with Tyler Bozak and P.A. Parenteau. It’s worth noting he was on the power play as well.

Shot volume alone could get Matthias to value tonight. Though Carolina does a decent job of limiting shots, the Bozak line should avoid the top competition from the Hurricanes. Matthias looks to have a nice floor tonight, which makes him appealing for cash games.

Kevin Fiala (NSH-W) – $2500

Until his situation changes, Fiala is pretty much an automatic, supersonic, hypnotic, funky-fresh option. The 1-2 step to finding value is looking for talented players in a good lineup position (check), and in a good matchup (check).

In the three games since being called up to the Predators, Fiala has managed eight shots on goal and two blocked shots on top of that. Just the peripherals alone get him pushing up against value at $2700, and the point production beyond that gives him upside.

For those that have been missing out, Fiala has been playing on Nashville’s top line with Ryan Johansen and James Neal (and, anecdotally, has not looked out of place at all). For the time being, Fiala is not being given heavy power play minutes, but he is getting some. That is important when playing Winnipeg, as they are bad at staying out of the box, and killing penalties.  

Damon Severson (NJD-D) – $2900

I mean, take your pick of New Jersey defencemen. The only one above $3000 is Adam Larsson. Just look at the selection screen on DraftKings; there is a $4000 gap between Erik Karlsson and the next-most expensive defenceman in that game.

Severson has been one of the more utilized New Jersey defenceman on the power play over the last couple of games. Though the Devils’ PP has been mostly inept, it’s worth noting that there are some significant injuries Ottawa is going through: Marc Methot will not play, and Kyle Turris is a game-time decision. The team is already in the bottom-10 of the league in high-danger scoring chances allowed per minute while short-handed, not having Methot probably won’t help in this regard.

I think tonight is a good night to spend a bit more on d-men, but it’s hard to ignore a bad, and injured, Ottawa team tonight. Severson is in a good situation to produce if that power play can come around.

Expensive Players

Patrice Bergeron (BOS-C) – $7500

This one is just too easy. The Canucks have given up 97 shots in the last two games, and both of those games were largely without Henrik Sedin. Vancouver isn’t a good team, but at the least, they had a top line that could somewhat limit the opposition. With Henrik out of the lineup, this doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. It’s worth noting that when Daniel is playing without Henrik, the Canucks give up about 25-percent more shot attempts at five-on-five. That’s bad.

Of course, Ryan Miller has played extremely well in net for the Canucks in those two games, and that could muddle things here. But without Henrik in the lineup, Daniel is not nearly as effective, and that’s about all the Canucks had to hang their hat on. I can’t imagine the Bergeron line not running all over the Canucks tonight.

Johnny Gaudreau (CGY-W) – $7000

I hate to pick on Columbus, but not really. Did anyone watch the skill players from Washington the other night? They didn’t rack up the shots because they were busy treating the Blue Jackets like the Washington Generals. That would seem to bode well for the duo of Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.

Gaudreau is playing over 20 minutes with regularity, and that helps build in a floor with his shots. Typically, when he plays under 20 minutes, it’s because Calgary has the game in hand. So Gaudreau has a nice floor because of the amount of minutes played, and if he’s lacking minutes, it’s because Calgary has a few goals. That would indicate that Gaudreau has a decent chance at point production.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI-D) – $6100

On the season, Ekman-Larsson’s shots on goal plus blocked shots total 177 in 45 games. Just between those two DraftKings categories, Ekman-Larsson has a floor of about half his value at nearly two points per game (for reference, I use $1500 per DraftKings point, so two points would be $3000 in value). Floor is key when using players of any price level, but it becomes important when spending this much on a defenceman to avoid the duds.

It is worth noting that the Sharks are among the worst teams in the NHL at giving up high-danger scoring chances while short-handed. They’re not quite Calgary or Winnipeg, but they’re most certainly like Minnesota and Edmonton. The Sharks don’t take a lot of penalties, but (somewhat surprisingly), the Coyotes draw the most power plays per game in the NHL. This has led to Ekman-Larsson leading the NHL in power play ice time per game, and it’s over five minutes a contest. There are other decent options among the expensive d-men like Brent Burns and Kris Letang, but it’ll be hard to get away from the young Coyotes rearguard tonight.

Again, don’t forget to join the Sniper tournament tonight. It’s just $3 to enter, and this link will take you right to the player selection screen.

*Stats from Hockey Reference, Hockey Analysis, and War On Ice. Line combinations from Dobber’s Frozen Pool