One question that I get asked more often than others is how I approach DFS Hockey. When it comes to hockey, the first thing I look at is how many games are going to be played that night. I like a slate with at least five games. I just like to have choices. That usually means I will only play on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights. That’s just a personal preference, as those are the days in which the most games are played. I almost never play on Sunday, way too busy with football. Here are basic strategic tips that I use.
1. Always pay for a top goalie. It’s sort of like DFS Baseball where you pay for the top starting pitcher; same with goaltender. I’m not saying pay for the best goalie, just don’t be cheap at this position.
2. Pick on teams that are playing the second half of back-to-back games. They will be tired and not as fresh as teams that didn’t play the night before.
3. Always look to pick against a team that is starting a backup goaltender. This is not an automatic as some teams (St. Louis, Detroit, Montreal) have good backups and won’t lose much with them in net.
4. Look for cheap players that still get power play time. There are players who are considered power play specialists but don’t get a ton of ice time for even strength play. Power play time equals a greater chance at scoring, combine that with a low price and you may have something here. Personally, I usually choose at least one defenseman this way.
5. Make sure you know what statistics are awarded points on the site you’re playing on. If hits and plus/minus are a category, then you may need to pay a little bit more for defensemen than you would like.
6. Look for forwards who are in the middle of a streak. Goal scorers are a lot like home run hitters, once they score/hit one or two, there could be a bunch more coming.
7. Always check the opposing goaltender, no reason to tempt fate and hope your scorers can put one past a Henrik Lundqvist or Pekka Rinne. There are always average goaltenders and defenses that you would rather bet against.
8. Don’t be lazy, make sure you do your homework and that the goaltender you are starting for your DFS team is actually starting for their NHL team. Don’t assume anything.
These are just a few of the basics for DFS Hockey. Good luck. Now for news and notes around the NHL.
The NHL, Edmonton Oilers and Fantasy owners were dealt a blow last night when rookie phenom Connor McDavid broke his collarbone after crashing into the boards. McDavid will undergo surgery and likely won’t return to the lineup until the calendar year changes. He had five goals and seven assists in 13 games, and his loss will be felt not only by his owners, but also owners of Nail Yakupov who had played very well on his line. The good news for Edmonton is that Jordan Eberle is skating and should rejoin the team within the next 7-10 days.
Those of you who are waiting for the return of Pavel Datsyuk
may only have to do without him for another week or two. Datsyuk is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery and the Red Wings are not rushing him back. The question still remains though, who will he play with upon his activation. Dylan Larkin, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader are still playing well together, which would seem to mean that Datsyuk could just take the place of Riley Sheahan on the second line with Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. Not that this will matter all that much, it will be just a matter of time until Datsyuk and Zetterberg are united once again.
Carey Price is out for at least a week with a lower body injury. The Canadiens are being secretive about the injury, no shock as most NHL teams are, but it would seem that if the injury truly were serious, one that would keep him out weeks or months, we would know about it. Mike Condon will start in his place and Fantasy owners shouldn’t shy away from him.
Anze Kopitar was also injured last night. He suffered what is presumed to be a concussion late in the Kings win over St. Louis. As of right now there is no timetable for his return.
John Tavares has now missed the Islanders past three game with what is being called an illness. That’s a pretty long time to be without your best scorer, and the Isles have suffered during that time with an inability to put the puck in the net. Well, Tavares was finally able to skate with the team Tuesday, and if he doesn’t suffer a setback in practice Wednesday, he should be able to suit up and play Thursday in Montreal.
Although coach Ken Hitchcock has yet to announce anything, it does look like Jake Allen has won the starting job for the Blues. He has started the last four games for St. louis and has only given up five goals in that span. He won the second star of the week for his play and may finally be realizing his potential. The problem for Fantasy owners is that Brian Elliott is still there and a stinker or two from Allen could see him placed back in the mix.
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