Cheap Players for Daily Fantasy Hockey – January 7

by Michael Clifford on January 7, 2016

Some baragin options, and top-end options to use tonight on DraftKings.


Welcome back to all the DraftKings players to the first bargain/top-end column of 2016. A new year seemingly brings all new kinds of possibilities, and hopefully this year we can win some money together over on DraftKings.

As usual, there will be one skater per position for the bargain segment, and each would be priced $3000 or less. For the expensive skaters, each forward will be at least $7000 while the defenceman will be at least $6000.


Don’t forget to jump into the DraftKings $40K Sniper contest tonight! This $40K guaranteed contest runs most slates (with varying guaranteed money), and can be entered simply clicking through this link. Details below.

  • $40 000 guaranteed prize pool, $3 entry to get in.
  • Up to 15 300 total entrants.
  • First prize is $3000, with the top 3236 positions paying out.
  • Salary cap-style game, with two centres, three wingers, two defenceman, a goalie, and a utility player needing to be selected.


Cheap Players

Mattias Janmark (DAL-C) – $3000

The Dallas Stars are in the midst of a little skid, having lost three straight, and five of their previous seven. In response, coach Lindy Ruff has done a little blending with the lines, splitting up Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. This has moved Janmark alongside Seguin, with Patrick Sharp on the other side. Needless to say, this is a pretty fortuitous position for Janmark.

It has been a decent season for the 23-year old rookie, with 15 points in 42 games so far, playing just over 14 minutes a game with minimal power play time. All told, not bad.

Most importantly, obviously, is playing alongside Seguin. One of the best, and most proven, scorers in the NHL has been split up from Benn, which is probably bad for overall production. It does mean good things for Janmark, though.

This isn’t about chemistry, or a bunch of solid advanced numbers. This is simply about a situation greatly improving for a player. Janmark is probably the top bargain option for tonight.

Andre Burakovsky (WSH-W) – $2800

Another player with a greatly improved situation of late is Andre Burakovsky. He has been playing the last few games on the same line as Evgeny Kuznetsov. Anyone that has watched Kuznetsov play this year knows how good of a situation that can be.

One important reason for using Burakovsky, is, of course, the increased ice time that comes with playing Kuznetsov. He has averaged under 12 minutes a game for the season, but has played nearly 16 minutes a game over the previous two contests on aggregate. To go along with that, Burakovsky has managed four shots in those two games, which is a lot better than he does otherwise. Small samples, I know, but we can only work with that we have.

Burakovsky isn’t on the power play, which doesn’t help his value. This is kind of like Janmark – the reason for using him is an improved situation, not a bevy of advanced stats. Those are typically the best kind of bargain options, anyway.

Christian Ehrhoff (LAK-D) – $2900

Let us be clear here: the Kings typically use one power play unit fairly heavily. Regardless of the makeup of that line – and currently it’s probably going to be Anze Kopitar, Tyler Toffoli, and a third person (Jeff Carter maybe) – it is used heavily, along with Drew Doughty and a second defenceman. The Kings do use a second power play line that, of late, has included Christian Ehrhoff.  

It has been a rough season for Ehrhoff, who is essentially playing on a “show me” contract in order to get another one. He has only been playing about 15-16 minutes a game all season, and that hasn’t led to much for point production. Over the last five games, though, Ehrhoff has been averaging 1.7 DK points per game, and that’s without registering a single point. At his price, that isn’t too bad.

Los Angeles gets a home game tonight against a Leafs team playing their second in as many nights. With Ehrhoff on the power play now, and getting his share of shots and blocked shots of late, there may not be a better bargain defenceman this evening.

Expensive Players

Joe Pavelski (SJS-C) – $7600

The Detroit Red Wings have been a mid-tier team defensive for a good chunk of the season. The difference for them, though, is that they aren’t particularly good on the road. They are a mid-tier team overall, but once they get on the road, they drop to the bottom-third of the NHL (in the Edmonton neighbourhood, for reference).  

More than anything, though, is that the Sharks haven’t had a solid second line since Logan Couture returned. Naturally, after missing that much time, it’s going to take some games for him to get his legs under him. With that said, San Jose will have to lean on its first line, as it has over the last couple of games, as Pavelski’s ice time has actually gone up over the last two contests.

I will be honest and say I don’t really like the top-end centre options tonight. Seguin being split up from Jamie Benn isn’t ideal, John Tavares playing the Capitals is a tough matchup, and then there’s Pavelski. With Detroit’s struggle on defence on the road, though, and with San Jose’s having to rely heavily on the top line right now, he is the best option.

Zach Parise (MIN-W) – $7700

Parise had himself quite the game his last time out, posting a hat trick. Parise is up to 14 goals in 30 games, averaging over three shots a game. Roughly the same pace as last year.

We will have to see what the availability is for Mikko Koivu tonight, as he left the last game early and did not return from taking a hard hit into the boards. That is still up in the air, and Parise was slated to play with Koivu. His coach said that is something that will be determined later today, so keep an eye on Twitter to see what the updates are. Even if it’s Mikael Granlund as Parise’s centre, it doesn’t change a whole lot.

Regardless, Parise should play a lot of minutes; four out of five games since the Christmas break have seen Parise crack the 20-minute mark, and he has five points in that span.

While the Philadelphia Flyers have been a better defensive team than some may think, Parise’s minutes put him immediately in the conversation for a solid expensive wing option. With Alex Ovechkin on the road and Jamie Benn being split up from Seguin, the choice is pretty clear tonight.

Mark Giordano (CGY-D) – $6200

Not sure how many might realize this, but since the start of December, Giordano has been a point-per-game player with 15 points in 15 games. He was due for a turnaround after a very slow start, and that turnaround is in full swing right now. Over that span, Giordano has had a floor of about 2.5 DraftKings points per game with his blocked shots, and shots on goal.

Calgary is at home to Arizona tonight, and the Coyotes are a bottom-5 team for allowing scoring chances on the road. To compound the problem for the Coyotes, Calgary plays one of the quickest paces in the NHL when they are at home. Only Dallas is way out ahead of them. That should mean lots of chances against the Coyotes, and lots of opportunities for Giordano to rack up points.

Considering the matchup, and Giordano’s recent performance, it’ll be hard to get away from him tonight.


Don’t forget to join the $40 000 guaranteed Sniper contest tonight on DraftKings!


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