When setting up my lineups in DFS hockey, the first position I look at is goaltending. There are two reasons I do this. One, I want to start the goaltender that in my mind has the best chance of winning his game. I want those guaranteed points for a win. It is for this reason that I’m not afraid to spend up for a goalie, especially when there aren’t too many games on that day’s slate. I tend not to play goaltenders on teams playing in the second half of back to back nights but will stack against a goaltender who is. The second reason I look at goaltending first is I’m looking for the weak goaltender or weak team. When I find those goalies, that will be the team that I want to start players against.
That team for the immediate future will be the Vegas Golden Knights. They may have a record of 8-3 but they are currently down to goaltender number four on the depth chart. Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t on the current road trip and still doesn’t have a timetable for a return from his concussion. Malcolm Subban isn’t expected to return until late November at the earliest with a lower body injury. On Monday, the Knights lost Oscar Dansk, also to a lower body injury. He was placed on IR, which means he is out for at least a week, although he could miss longer than that. That leaves the team with Max Legace starting in goal. Legace is not a top prospect but rather just what Vegas has left to throw in goal. If you’re not looking to stack against the Golden Knights during this crippling stretch of injuries to their netminders, then you’re doing it wrong.
The Ducks are another team you can think about stacking against. There is nothing wrong with their goaltending now that Ryan Miller has returned from IR to back up John Gibson, but this team has problems up the middle. Ryan Getzlaf was placed on IR after taking a puck to the face. He’s not expected to be out much longer than the minimum seven days but with Ryan Kesler also out of the lineup, the Ducks are now down their Top 2 centers and will be forced to shuffle lines in order to make adjustments. This is usually not a good thing.
The Canadiens are a mess as a team/organization right now but there is little that Fantasy owners can do if they own Carey Price. You can’t trade him. Well, you can, but you would be selling extremely low and are unlikely to receive anything more than 75 cents on the dollar. You could try and package him in a bigger deal, but the same problem remains. You’re likely going to have to hold onto him and hope that he returns to form sooner rather than later.
John Tavares is smoking hot and has scored nine goals in his last five games. This pending unrestricted free agent’s price tag just keeps getting higher and higher. There is however nothing new to report about whether he or the team are getting any closer to a contract extension. The longer this goes into the season, the more and more likely it is that the Islanders will have to trade him before the deadline on Feb 29.
Here are a few possible waiver wire pickups for you. Their ownership percentages are from CBSSports.com.
Matthew Barzal, New York Islanders (32%): This young kid can play and could be a star in the making. He doesn’t play on the same line with Tavares but does play on the top power play unit with him.
Marcus Johansson, New Jersey Devils (48%): He is sort of forgotten because he went from the high scoring Capitals to the afterthought Devils in an offseason trade. Well, the Devils are playing well and in first place in the Metropolitan Division and a 25-plus goal season for Johansson could be in the making.
Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings (43%): Yes, the Wings are a bad team, but someone has to score goals for them. Nyquist scored 28 goals in 2013-14 and 27 in 14-15. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he will reach those heights again.
Sonny Milano, Columbus Blue Jackets (33%): That’s now five goals in 11 games for the 21-year-old. That also puts him on pace for a 30-plus goal season.