Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks: December 3, 2016

by Chris Wassel on December 3, 2016

Facing a wide-open Stars squad, Nathan MacKinnon could be in for a big night.

Top Budget Plays

Centers

William Karlsson $3400 – This center is never going to generate a ton of shots and chances but is taking advantage of them lately. He has five points in his last ten games and draws one of the worst bottom sixes in the league in Arizona. The depth defensemen give up tons of shots and Columbus has been crushing it from a shots and chances for perspective.

Wingers

Jakub Vrana $3000 – There is just a theme here that the risks must get higher. Vrana qualifies because he barely played ten minutes in his debut. However, he did have four shots in that limited time and may see a modest bump up if Washington’s scoring woes continue. His speed and hands are NHL caliber and they need a little different edge to their power play as it has gone stale.

Defensemen

Jordie Benn $3500 – Early on, taking risks in moderation is paramount in DFS hockey. This is absolutely nuts, but Benn is just good enough to come close to value. On Saturday, there is not a lot of good punt play choices, so it is just time to go with what might work. His floor is decent enough at least to not be a total loss. Among cheaper defensemen, that is the best which can be hoped for under the circumstances. If Benn gets a point, then scream to the mountaintops in joy!

Goalie

Mike Smith $7100 – This is still a dangerous GPP play because of how great Columbus can be at crushing the opposition when it comes to offensive shots attempts and chances. Smith faced 33 shots against Los Angeles but did have a shaky third period. That may create just enough concern to keep people away from him. He will have low ownership anyway, so if one really wants to take a chance to bring down a GPP, Smith may be one of those contrarian goalies.     

Since we saved some money on the budget plays let’s look at the few of the pricey options that are worth paying up for today.

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Centers

Nathan MacKinnon $6800 – Dallas and Colorado usually turns into some crazy kind of offensive game. MacKinnon has struggled a tiny bit of late, but taking out the Columbus game leaves a much different picture. He has to hit the net early and often. Few teams do that better than Dallas, who allows the second most fantasy points per game to the pivot position. He may not be in that highest tier, but MacKinnon could perform at or close to that level Saturday night.

Wingers

Tyler Seguin $8000 – Though we may be buying a little higher than usual here, Seguin finally scored his first goal in nine games against Pittsburgh. It has been some tough sledding in that sense. Also, his shots per game and chance volume came down a good bit compared to the early portion of the season. Seguin could get back to that pace and quickly with a nice game against a Colorado team that gives up goals at home like it’s candy (three a game).   

Defenseman

Kris Letang $7000 – So this might be a trap, but Detroit is just a tire fire defensively on the road, giving up nearly three goals a game and they bleed chances (high danger chances) to boot. The Pittsburgh defenseman is starting to up his production. His floor has been very good of late and draws a good matchup. The Red Wings could be a team ripe for the taking especially on special teams where Letang really excels. It would not take much for the defenseman to hit or exceed value on Saturday.         

Goalie

Matt Murray $8200 – The choices out there may appear to be better, but it is hard to go away from a goalie who keeps getting good match-ups. Detroit has again been not so good on the road and their record is not something to scare. Pittsburgh had a great second half of the game against Dallas and that may be enough to carry over. If Murray does not start for some reason, then Fleury may still be worth a shot anyway. Do not worry about the dollars and roll either one in cash lineups. GPP will be more of a risk with a couple better options out there at lower prices.

Chris Wassel has been playing DFS for the past couple years and has played Fantasy Hockey for over two decades. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. Please note that this is a mega Saturday slate. We are targeting the eight-game evening slate to give readers more of a range on what to go on. Finally, please note that Saturday’s slate has several options and smaller late options. Thanks for reading and enjoy the big slate daily fantasy hockey fans!