Thursday Throwdown: Top budget plays for your DFS hockey lineup
With the 11-game slate, there are several games to look at. The Toronto Maple Leafs face the New York Islanders in what is expected to be one of the highest scoring games of the night. At the very least, high event hockey is likely. These two teams are among the top six in pace. Florida and Washington is another game where down the middle defense is suspect. Braden Holtby has allowed four or more goals in four of his last six starts.
Edmonton and Colorado could prove to be surprising once again. Colorado draws penalties well and Edmonton’s penalty kill is dead last. With the Avalanche defense missing two regulars, the Oilers could be viable daily fantasy plays as well. Tampa Bay and Ottawa feature two bad penalty kills and an unrested Ottawa team. New Jersey draws a match-up against Minnesota’s backup goalie and a team that allows 3.57 goals a game on the road. Columbus and Philadelphia also feature two below average penalty kills but Philadelphia has the stronger top ten power play. All prices are from DraftKings.
Top Budget Plays
Pavel Zacha $3300 – The center is a decent play at the least. However, playing against Minnesota and some bad road numbers might boost his ownership a fraction. It is tough to roster a player who had a doughnut. However, this is value because teammate Miles Wood has returned from his suspension. Watch line shifts. Zacha must shoot the puck more to have somewhat of a floor. Maybe Patrik Elias being in town can give him some inspiration.
Tomas Tatar $3600 – This is one of the riskiest tournament plays of the night. No one is saying this will work perfectly but Tatar may get traded tonight or before Monday. He did score in his last game, but his shot output overall is still troublesome. Too many games where he is just does not get quality shots on net. When one sees a lot of 0’s, 1’s, and 2’s, that is ominous. Hopefully, the speed he has shown in flashes lately is seen once again. He has five points in his last six games along with 16 shots.
Justin Braun $3600 –There may be better plays like Patrik Nemeth or Cody Ceci , but Braun could be a nice punt play for a low price. His floor is high (shots and blocked shots combined). Risk always exists with value plays, but Braun has points in his last four contests. Nashville has been less stingy at home and can give up a few goals. They even have been allowing more shots at home per 60 over the previous month. This may be a chance to sneak in a value play. Marc-Edouard Vlasic is equally dangerous for a little more money and carries a five-game point streak.
Antti Raanta $7300 – This is a dangerous GPP play but this is an Arizona team that allows lots of shots on net (more than 34 per 60 overall). His .924 save percentage on the Coyotes is average adjusted to around a .930 anywhere else. The Calgary Flames do produce more pace on the road than at home. Raanta’s .938 save percentage and impressive over .900 penalty kill save percentage have buoyed Arizona. The price is still attractive currently.
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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Vincent Trocheck $6500 – People will run to this as it will be a chalky play that still has to be used in quite a few lineups. The center has a solid matchup against a Washington team struggling down the middle on defense. Washington has been giving up far too many goals and Trocheck has a high shot output floor. He will draw bottom six match-ups and a shaky penalty kill of late. Florida produces high event hockey and will allow it as well. Washington and Florida will have a number of plays.
Taylor Hall $7100 – Minnesota yields nearly 3.57 goals per game on the road and has had some real stinkers in the past against New Jersey. Hall will be high owned along with the rest of the top line. His 19 game point streak has brought him up to 25 goals and 63 points on the season in just 55 contests. Shot output during the streak has exceeded four shots a night. His floor is solid, and Hall has been involved in over a third of New Jersey’s scoring. The only concern is the power play for New Jersey.
Shayne Gostisbehere $5900 – Again this will be a bit of a risk in cash or even GPP’s but Gostisbehere is going up against a poor penalty kill and a Columbus team that can get cratered later in games (see New Jersey contest). Gostisbehere had a nice, late effort against Montreal with a couple points. His booming shot has not found the back of the net since the first of the month. He is a bit due there. John Carlson and Aaron Ekblad are other good plays along with Ryan Pulock.
Frederik Andersen $8100 – There may be better choices, but this has potential to work well. The New York Islanders are one of those teams that can generate lots of shots yet often does not score a ton in Toronto. Andersen comes off a 40 save shutout against Florida and faces another high shot output, high danger chance team. He has five wins in his last six starts, including three 40+ save performances. Even though his price is elevated tonight, his price per point projects well.
The Saturday slate features 10 games on the main slate. It will also feature a hot match-up between the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils. This will also be Patrik Elias retirement night so expect a little higher scoring. One would regardless anyway. Boston and Toronto is another game of rivals that will feature higher daily fantasy ownership. Pittsburgh and Florida will be the third high pace game of the night that could feature an expected goals of well over six.
Winnipeg and Dallas has probably one of the best top six match-ups so they may cancel each other out offensively. It is something to look at, however. Los Angeles will be a very attractive play in late slates and as a late hammer. Watch out for the playing status of Jeff Carter, in case he does suit up.
Chris Wassel has been playing DFS for the past several years and has played Fantasy Hockey for three decades. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. We are targeting the eleven game main slate to give readers more of a range on what to go on. Finally, please note that Thursday’s slate has several options. Thanks for reading and enjoy the slate daily fantasy hockey fans!
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