Cheap Players for Daily Fantasy Hockey – March 10

by Michael Clifford on March 10, 2016

Some very cheap, and very expensive, players to use for tonight's slate on DraftKings

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Welcome back for another round of both bargain bin, and top-end, options to use tonight on DraftKings.

As always, there will be three cheap skaters, one for each position, priced at $3000 or less. On the flipside, there will be one skater for each forward position priced at $7000 or more, with the defenceman at $6000 or more.

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Jump in the game tonight on DraftKings by registering for the Forecheck contest. The details of the contest are below, and users can get right to the player selection screen by following this link.

  • It is a $4 entry, $45 000 guaranteed prize pool contest.
  • A maximum of 12 937 entries, a $3000 top prize, and the top 2675 positions pay out.
  • Draft two centres, three wingers, two defencemen, a goalie, and a utility skater.

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Cheap Options

Riley Sheahan (DET-C) – $2900

The Red Wings are home to the Winnipeg Jets tonight, and Sheahan has started to get some power play time of late. That is important, as the Jets are near the bottom of the league when it comes to high-danger chances against while short-handed, and are one of the most penalized teams in the NHL on top of that. Now, he wasn't listed among power play players at this morning's skate, but that situation seems fluid. 

Another problem for Winnipeg is that since Bryan Little’s injury, they are one of the worst teams defensively in the NHL. Part of that has to do with the trade of Andrew Ladd coming about 11 days after the Little injury, but regardless of why, the fact remains that they have been really bad at preventing scoring chances. When that is added to the fact that Ondrej Pavelec is still their goaltender, and an abysmal penalty kill, and all signs point to goals for the Wings tonight.

Sheahan has been skating on the second line with Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. Today, he's moved to the third line, but is still playing with Nyquist. It seems like the lines are in flux, but as long as Sheahan is playing with talented wingers like Nyquist and Teemu Pulkkinen, he deserves consideration in the bargain bin. 

Zack Kassian (EDM-W) – $3000

The lines in Edmonton have been shuffled again, and it seems to be an extremely fortuitous situation for Kassian, as he’s now lined up with Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid.

There is one problem with the game tonight for the Oilers, and that’s the matchup. While Minnesota isn’t a very good team overall, they’re kind of like New Jersey West. They are pretty good defensively, as they are just outside the top-5 for fewest scoring chances allowed since coach John Torchetti took over, but aren’t very good offensively. Slow, grinding games aren’t the Oilers’ forté (though not much is, really), but with Kassian on that line, he’s hard to ignore tonight.

Mark Pysyk (BUF-D) – $2500

To be up front about it, there are no cheap defence options that I’m looking at tonight. With solid expensive options like Brent Burns, Torey Krug, and P.K. Subban, and decent mid-range options like Aaron Ekblad, Andrei Markov, and Mike Green, this seems to be a night where paying up a bit on the blue line is recommended.

With that said, Pysyk is getting second unit power play time for the Sabres with Zach Bogosian. That is about as much as can be asked for with regards to bargain bin defencemen. The Habs’ penalty kill has been pretty bad for a couple months now, so hopefully that second unit can come through for the Sabres tonight.

Expensive Options

Patrice Bergeron (BOS-C) – $7300

It’s been a weird career arc, offensively, for Bergeron. After scoring 31 goals in his second season, he went seven seasons without posting more than 22 in any one of them. His last three years have seen totals of 30, 23, and 28 in 66 games so far this year. The fact that he’s taking nearly 3.5 shots per game this year helps build a floor here, which is nice.

Part of Bergeron’s production is that shot rate, and part of it is also the fact that he’s averaging over 19:50 per game, which is his highest mark since 2006-2007. These are all factors that help build a floor for a player, one of the most important aspects of daily fantasy.

The matchup tonight is a good one. Sure, the Hurricanes have been a pretty good defensive team this year as a whole, but in their games since the trade deadline, they’ve been very poor. Using samples this small is always dangerous, but the deadline did see Eric Staal go out the door, and Justin Faulk still hasn’t returned. The fact that they’ve been worse since that point shouldn’t be a surprise. I think Boston has a big night tonight, and Bergeron is at the top of the list.

Max Pacioretty (MTL-W) – $7000

Speaking of tiny samples, that’s all we have to work with this year when it comes to Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk playing together. With that said, in over 81 minutes worth of time together at five-on-five this year – which is about six games worth, give or take – the Habs have generated over 66.5 shots per 60 minutes with those two on the ice together. It helps Galchenyuk more than it helps Pacioretty, but it’s nonetheless an improvement for them both over other line mates (aside from Brendan Gallagher).

After a mid-season slump for Pacioretty that saw him put up just 12 points in 25 games, he now has 13 points in his last 17 games, and is taking over three shots a game. Also, with all the injuries, Pacioretty’s ice time is now over 19 minutes a game again for the Habs, which just helps his value.

With Ryan O’Reilly out for the Sabres, it’s been pretty much a top line of Kane-Eichel-Reinhart for the Sabres. While Eichel is most definitely having a very good offensive rookie season, defensively, he’s struggling a bit. In fact, of all regular Buffalo forwards, he’s been on the ice for the most high-danger scoring chances per minute at five-on-five. This is a good matchup for the Habs top line to keep rolling, Pacioretty included. 

Brent Burns (SJS-D) – $8200

The New Jersey Devils are typically a team that grind games down. They play low-event, low-pace hockey, as they’ve seemingly done for about 20 years now. For that reason, it’s always a bit dangerous to use players against them, particularly the high-priced ones like Burns tonight.

Of course, the big news here is that the Devils will be without star goaltender Cory Schneider for a little while yet. In his place, Keith Kinkaid gets the duties in net, and his overall save percentage over the last two seasons (34 games), is under .910. That’s well below league average. The disparity between he and Schneider is well over a half goal per game this year, which is a huge gap.

With shots and blocked shots alone, Burns’ floor is a shade over three DK points per game. That recoups over half his cost – using $1400 of salary per point – and that’s enormous for a defenceman that is over $8000. Just adding an assist to his floor gets him fairly close to value, and that seems like an inevitability against a bad Devils team missing their goaltender. Burns is expensive, but he looks to be worth it tonight.

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Don’t forget to jump into the Forecheck contest tonight on DraftKings! Just follow this link to the player selection screen.

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

 

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