Cheap Players for Daily Fantasy Hockey – March 31

by Michael Clifford on March 31, 2016

Some bargain bin, and top shelf, players to use for tonight's 10-game slate on DraftKings

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

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Be sure to jump into the action on DraftKings tonight! Just follow this link to get to the player selection screen of tonight’s $3 entry Sniper contest. Details below.

  • $25 000 guaranteed prize pool, $3 entry
  • Total of 9583 total entries, with the top 1920 scores paying out, and 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 one cheap skater per position priced at $3000 or less. There will be one skater for each forward position priced $7000 or more, with the expensive defenceman at $6000 or more.

Cheap Options

Brian Boyle (TBL-C) – $2700

This is what the hockey season has come to. Brian Boyle is a viable bargain option on a 10-game slate. Oh the humanity.

That is a bit tongue-in-cheek. It’s not like Boyle is a Colton Orr. He had a 20-goal season once, has double-digit goals in four of his last five 82-game seasons, and generally isn’t that bad. He does have 11 goals and 17 points this year despite playing under 13 minutes a game as well.

More to the point, the reason Boyle is a viable option for tonight is that the Habs are in town. P.K. Subban is traveling with the team, but after having nearly a couple weeks off, there may be a bit of rust here if he plays at all. Most importantly, Boyle is playing on the power play, and had over two and a half minutes of power play time last game (fifth on the team). He also is playing a lot more lately, having exceeded his seasonal time on ice in each of the previous five games, and over 35 minutes combined in his previous two. Montreal’s penalty kill has been abysmal since the trade deadline, ranked 29th in scoring chances allowed.

Connor Brown (TOR-W) – $3000

It worries me that Brown had a monster game the last time the Leafs played, as he posted three assists in Florida. It may drive up his ownership rate, and it seems to be chasing points. With that said, the Leafs typically are not very highly owned anyway (for obvious reasons), and this is a good matchup.

Toronto goes into Buffalo tonight, and Evander Kane is still considered day-to-day, though at this point, I’m sure they’re not rushing anyone back into the lineup. Last game, that forced coach Dan Bylsma to stack the top line with Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly, and Sam Reinhart. Needless to say, there isn’t much depth beyond that – Brian Gionta and Marcus Foligno were part of Buffalo’s second line. All this is to say that it’s fairly certain Brown’s line (with Tyler Bozak) won’t see much of the O’Reilly line, and thus, has good in-game matchups.

Buffalo’s penalty kill has improved somewhat as the season’s gone on, and they don’t really take a lot of penalties. Brown is getting power play time, though, and that always adds value. With his matchup tonight, there is a lot to like at $3000.

**UPDATE: It appears as though Brown has been loaned back to the AHL. In his stead, I would be fine using Kasperi Kapanen. He was called up today as part of emergency recalls, and looks to be skating on the Bozak line. 

Mike Reilly (MIN-D) – $2900

The Wild are hot, and while they’re probably going to lock up the final playoff spot in the West, that’s still not a certainty for them. At least this team is still motivated to play for something.

Speaking of good matchups, Minnesota is at home to the Senators tonight after the Sens played last night. Most teams don’t fare well on the second game of a back-to-back, let alone on the road. The Sens this year have, by my count, gone 2-9 in the second game of a back-to-back, being outscored 36-20 in those games. The Wild should be highly owned tonight, considering the matchup and Ottawa’s situation, but Reilly should not be.

Playing the power play with Matt Dumba is a big reason for Reilly being included here. He is on the second unit, which is Mikael Granlund’s unit. It’s a lesser-used unit, but it’s power play time nonetheless. Considering Ottawa’s situation and Reilly’s lineup positioning, an easy assist doesn’t seem unlikely here.

Expensive Options

John Tavares (NYI-C) – $7500

The Columbus Blue Jackets are in town, and though I suppose they’ve been better over the last couple of months, they couldn’t have possibly been worse than they were in the first half of the season.

This is game five between the two teams this year, and the Islanders have won the previous four, scoring 14 goals in those games. They also have a plus-9 shot differential in those games, so they’re not getting completely lucky. The New York Highliners have just been the better team on aggregate.

Tavares’ struggles haven’t been limited to other teams, here. In four games against the Jackets, he has three points and just 10 shots on goal. That doesn’t really inspire a lot of confidence for a floor here, but the Jackets are not really playing good hockey: in 12 games this month, they have given the opposition at least three power plays in 11 of them, and the Jackets have a middling penalty kill. Given the history this year, and the uncertainty with other top options, Tavares deserves consideration tonight.

Joe Pavelski (SJS-W) – $7500

It seems like DK has finally moved the few players left that were listed at the wrong position, as Pavelski had been listed as a centre for most of this season. Now that he’s finally on the wing, it helps stacking the Sharks a bit easier, and more importantly, the secondary stack to go along with them.

The Sharks should definitely see some high ownership rates tonight. Vancouver is in town tonight, and seeing as they’re making a push for last in the league, it’s pretty obvious this is a great matchup for the Sharks. That was apparent earlier this week, as the Sharks were on a back-to-back on the road, and managed to leave Vancouver with a 4-1 win. Pavelski had a goal and an assist in the game, bringing his total to four points in four games against Vancouver this year. In fact, Pavelski is now just off a point-per-game pace, with 75 in 77 overall this year.

Per the War On Ice game logs, recently, the Sharks have not been using the Thornton top line against the other team’s top lines as often as they had earlier this year. That means avoiding the Sedin matchup, and the rest of the roster is very young, and that should mean good things for San Jose’s top line. Pavelski is in a great matchup tonight, both overall and in-game.

John Klingberg (DAL-D) – $6300

In the five games without Tyler Seguin, the Stars have scored 19 goals, winning four of five, averaging about 30 shots a game, and drawing 16 power plays. The percentages are a bit high, but the Stars aren’t really missing a beat, and small sample percentage spikes are not uncommon.

Klingberg has slowed down after a scorching hot start, posting as many points (27) in his last 47 games as he did in his first 24. With that said, 27 points in 47 games still works out to a 47 point pace in 82 games, so his slow down would still equal a pretty solid season. One thing that helps mitigate the drop in points is the uptick in shots: in those first 24 games, he posted 47 shots, or just under two per game. Since then, he’s posted 2.3 shots per game. Since January 1st, that number is 2.6 shots per game. With a blocked shot, his floor is approach two DK points per game, which is solid enough.

Arizona coming to town is the big reason for recommending Klingberg. Dallas has averaged 38.5 shots per game against Arizona this year, and Klingberg has 12 shots himself in those two games. Not that two games is a reliable sample, but the Stars piling on the shots should lead to Klingberg doing the same himself. Managing an assist on top of his floor gets him close to value tonight.

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Don’t forget to join the $3 Sniper contest tonight!

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