Each day I will be providing my recommended player picks for your FanDuel daily fantasy hockey lineups.
My FanDuel NHL Plays will be broken down by player positions, and will include picks for cash games (50/50s/double-ups/head-to-head) and GPPs (guaranteed prize pool tournaments).
Are you new to Daily Fantasy Hockey? Check out these strategies documents first for tips and recommendations to craft your winning FanDuel hockey lineups:
Following a busy Saturday that was filled with ten games featuring twenty teams, Sunday brings us a slate of six games. With twelve teams in action, you should also note that three of those teams are playing on back-to-back nights (Bruins, Flyers and Avalanche). If you are trying to choose between two players that you have projected to hit the same point target on a short slate, selecting the player who is not skating on back-to-back nights may be the better selection, but in hockey, I weight this contextual factor less than other sports. While there are two slates on FanDuel today with the first set locking at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, the primary slate locks at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.
Andrew Hammond, Ottawa Senators, $5,700 – The must-play goalie tonight is only $5,700, despite the fact that he has yet to lose a game this season. Sure, Hammond was horrible in the AHL and you may expect regression to kick in at some point, but that “some point” will not happen on home ice against the Calgary Flames. The Flames have ripped off three straight, tough, road wins, but they come into Ottawa to face a Senators team that is playing equally well with wins in seven of their last eight games. Calgary may very well put two pucks past Hammond tonight, but at his near minimum price salary, take the risk on him, as he should see plenty of shots as indicated by the average number of shots per game the Senators have given up over the past two weeks. In examining Hammond’s game log, he is averaging better than a thousand dollars in cap space per fantasy point, which is astounding on FD for any netminder. Hammond is very likely to grab a win, and because a win is so important on FanDuel, Hammond is a core cash game play.
Writer’s Note: If Hammond does not get the start, pivot over to one of the cash game goalies listed below or use Craig Anderson in your GPP lineups.
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks, $7,000 – Your cash game lineups should start with rostering Toews as well as one of his linemates, Kris Versteeg or Marian Hossa. Of course, if you are stacking a line in your GPP lineups, grab this whole line (or swap in Andrew Shaw, who plays with Toews on the power play, for Versteeg to differentiate yourself further). As a lineup construction tip, in cash games you should only grab two skaters from a line just in case the line does not hit, but in a GPP you can stack the whole line to go for upside should the trio score early and often. As just the fourth-most expensive center on today’s slate, Toews comes into the game in Chicago having scored goals in four of his last six games. Over that span, he has registered a total of five goals and two assists. In a game with a Vegas moneyline of -150 in favor of the Blackhawks, look for Chicago to put up three goals with the Toews line figuring in at least two of those goals. At just $7,000, roster Toews now before his price jumps again into the $8K range.
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes, $7,000 – Any time a team takes on the Edmonton Oilers, you must take notice of that offense and attack the team that is giving up the fourth-most goals per game (3.23 GA/GP). Staal plays with the Hurricanes’ first line (with Victor Rask and Elias Lindholm) while the team in on even strength, and also skates with Andrej Nestrasil and Lindholm on the team’s first power-play unit. That power-play line will be firing on all cylinders against an Oilers team that has given up at a shorthanded goal on 21% of their opponents’ power-play opportunities. Staal has just one goal in his last seven games, but he has been averaging over 3.45 shots per game over his last ten games and he should shoot the puck a minimum of four times against the Oilers who give up the tenth most shots per game (29.8 SA/GP). Look for the Hurricanes’ top power-play unit, led by Staal, to record at least one power-play goal.
Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks, $6,600 – With at least one point in two straight games and with five points in his last five games, Hossa is the top right wing play this afternoon. At just $6,600, you are hoping for at least one goal or two assists on top of a handful of shots. You will receive that today from the first line and first power-play unit right winger, who skates with Kris Versteeg and Jonathan Toews during even strength time and with Shaw and Toews on the NHL’s league average best power-play unit that will take on a league average penalty kill unit. The play with Hossa (and Toews, above) has to do with the fact that the Hawks are skating on home ice where Coach Joel Quenneville will likely use the advantage to have the Toews/Hossa line out against the weaker Rangers’ lines in order to free up space for the duo to create scoring chances. With the Rangers and the Blackhawks both in the top four in average shots per game, this should be a high-event and fast-paced game, but look for the Hawks’ top line to put two pucks in the net.
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators, $6,800 – The Senators’ top defenseman may be the most expensive D-man on the slate, but this is for good reason. With at least one point in four straight games (2 Gs, 3 As), Karlsson is one of the hottest blueliners in the NHL right now. In a game that Vegas expects to hit the over of 5.0 goals, this should be a high-event hockey game with both teams shooting 32+ times on net. Karlsson, who is averaging 3.25 S/GP over his last four games (and 3.58 S/GP on the season), should surpass his average shots per game and will continue his point streak against the Flames. Calgary is often vulnerable to opposing offensive defensemen who lead their team’s offensive attack like Karlsson.
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes, $4,500 – With three Vegas lines currently off at of the time of writing of this article, the Carolina Hurricanes are the largest favorites on the day for the first time all season. Sitting at -185 moneyline favorites on home ice against the visiting Edmonton Oilers, who have lost three in a row and average just 1.33 G/GP during that losing streak, the Canes have lost two in a row themselves. But Carolina has actually been playing better hockey over the last two weeks with wins against the Islanders, Capitals and Flyers. As the team leader in total points and assists, Faulk will lead the NHL’s 13th-best power play against a bottom five penalty kill unit in the Oilers, who have given up points to opposing defenseman in six of their last eight games. Look for Faulk to be involved in the Hurricanes’ offensive attack this afternoon, and although rostering any Hurricane puts you at risk to earn a minus, that risk is low tonight against the Oilers who simply cannot score, as noted by their 47 shots their last game out with just one goal.