Cheap Players for Daily Fantasy Hockey – March 17

by Michael Clifford on March 17, 2016

Some top-end, and bottom-end, options for tonight's DraftKings NHL slate. 

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Welcome back for another week of bargain bin, and top-end, options for tonight’s slate on DraftKings.

Last week was a bit of a rough week. Riley Sheahan managed exactly zero points, while Mark Pysyk had just one. Zack Kassian fared a bit better, though with just an assist, he was pretty much just an even value play. For the expensive options, Patrice Bergeron had just 3.5, which was about 1.5 short of value, while Brent Burns was nearly a complete bust with just one DK point. Max Pacioretty managed the best night with six DraftKings points. So while it wasn’t a complete bust all around, things could have gone better.

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Be sure to get in the game tonight on DraftKings! Just click this link to go to the player selection screen for the $3 Sniper contest. Details below. 

  • $20 000 guaranteed prize pool, $3 entry. 
  • Total of 7666 entries maximum, top 1540 positions pay out, with a $2000 top prize. 
  • Select two centres, three wingers, two defencemen, a goalie, and a utility skater. 

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As always, there will be three cheap options, one for each skater position, priced at $3000 or less. There will be one expensive forward for each position at $7000 or more, and the pricey defenceman at $6000 or more.

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Cheap Players

Zach Hyman (TOR-C) – $3000

It’s been a good start to his career, from both a production and a daily fantasy angle. With 19 shots on goal and seven blocked shots in nine games, Hyman’s floor so far has been about 1.5 DK points. That’s important, because that recoups nearly two-thirds of his price for today, and that’s pretty high (many players are around 50-percent recoup with their floor). He has also played at least 14 minutes in every game since his call-up.

The key to facing the Florida Panthers, Toronto’s opponent tonight, is avoiding Aaron Ekblad, as he is on the ice for the fewest high-danger scoring chances against per minute of all Florida defencemen. The team is pretty good at grinding down the game overall, but getting away from Ekblad, as Hyman and his line should, improves chances of scoring. With his floor, in a home game, Hyman seems like a relatively safe bet tonight.

Anthony Mantha (DET-W) – $2500

The long-awaited call finally came for Mantha, as he joined Detroit in their last game (a loss to Philadelphia). Despite the Red Wings looking pretty bad in that game, Mantha played the vast majority of that game on Pavel Datsyuk’s line, had 14:45 in total ice time, and four shots on goal. All things considered, a nice debut.

Mantha had 21 goals in 56 AHL games this year, and has long been considered a goal scorer with all the tools to be a solid goal scorer at the NHL level. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.

Detroit is going into Columbus tonight, and despite improved results, Columbus hasn’t been very good defensively of late: since the calendar turned to 2016, only Colorado has given up more high-danger scoring chances per minute of five-on-five play. That is exceptionally bad. With Mantha being given top-six minutes, power play time, and at a minimum price, he warrants significant consideration for a bargain bin winger.

David Warsofsky (NJD-D) – $2500

I will be up front and say that none of the bargain bin defencemen are appealing tonight. There are few defencemen in that price range getting any sort of significant role, which is a big factor in why there’s a New Jersey Devils defenceman listed here.

The nice thing about Warsofsky is that he’s getting power play time. While it happens to be power play time for arguably the worst offensive team in the NHL, it’s power play time nonetheless. It’s worth noting that the power play time comes against the team giving up the seventh-most high-danger scoring chances while short-handed.

With few options in this price range worthy of consideration, and Warsofsky at least getting power play time against a poor penalty kill, he is the only player I would consider in this price range at that position.

Expensive Players

Steven Stamkos (TBL-C) – $7200

It has really been a slide for the Stars of late. The defensive woes were bound to catch up with them eventually, but it’s been getting worse. From October through the end of December, the Stars were giving up 11.9 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes, while from January 1st through today, that has risen to 12.5. With the Jamie BennTyler Seguin duo broken up, there’s no one line that could really shut down an opposing top line. Add in all the defensive injuries for the Stars, and Stamkos starts to look appealing tonight. 

Stamkos has been slotted on a line with Nikita Kucherov. Kind of quietly, Kucherov is a player that has really been an engine for the top-six in Tampa Bay over the last two years. To a man, every Tampa Bay player that has received at least 200 minutes of ice time with Kucherov over the last two years has been on the ice for more shot attempts, and Stamkos is included.

Dallas is suffering defensively while Stamkos is now skating alongside one of the most under-appreciated offensive talents in the NHL. I am not a fan of his relatively low floor – Stamkos takes under three shots a game – but he seems to be fairly likely to get on the score sheet tonight.

Filip Forsberg (NSH-W) – $6600

I know Forsberg is just $6600, but for tonight’s slate, there is just one forward at $7000 or more, so I dropped my threshold to $6500. Going with the only winger priced at least $7000 seems like cheating.

It seems like Forsberg has cooled off, and he has to a degree, but he still has six points in seven games for the month of March, averaging three shots a game. For a cool down period, that’s still pretty good.

This may come as a surprise to some, but on the season, the New York Islanders, as a team, have given up as many high-danger chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five this year as Montreal, Arizona, and Winnipeg. That is not very good company to be in.

Tonight seems like a good night to go with Forsberg. With his relative cooling off, more people will be off of him than they should be. For a high-priced winger, Forsberg checks all the right boxes tonight.

Brent Burns (SJS-D) – $8400

He didn’t do very well for us last week, but Burns is so hard to get away from. The season he is having his literally historic – it’s one of the best offensive seasons for a defenceman in the last 20 years – and the floor is about three DK points per game. That is half his value, and an extremely high floor to work with.

It is a very limited sample, but in two games this year against Arizona, Burns has two assists and 12 shots on goal. That shouldn’t be very shocking against this Coyotes team.

Though the Coyotes were technically in playoff contention for a while, going back to the 1st of February, they are allowing the fifth-most high-danger scoring chances per minute in the NHL (only Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, and Edmonton have allowed more). This should be a good night offensively for the Sharks. With Burns’ floor, and a great matchup, there isn’t much reason to get away from Burns unless there is a refusal to pay that much for a defenceman.

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Don't forget to get into the $3-entry Sniper contest tonight on DraftKings!

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