After Phaneuf’s lackluster debut last night, my thoughts turned to defensemen. A vital part of being a successful DFS hockey player is being able to assemble a strong cash game or double up team. I typically start with a goaltender to build my foundation, but tonight, I went all-in on a guy I know can put points on the board, unlike Phaneuf last night.
Still, finding value in the match-ups will make or break you from being a successful player or just run of the mill player. I’ll always try to give you some insight into the how and why of my lineup choices. Find a system that works for you and find sites that can give you the best info without complicating things. Keeping it simple with your stats and system, not over-thinking things, and trusting yourself are keys to being a successful DFS player.
G: B. Holtby, Washington – $8,500
Holtby finds himself against a sub par Wild team that is very inconsistent. Leading the NHL with 34 wins, Holtby backs it up with a 2.1 goals against average and 0.927 save percentage. The Capitals are a dominant team that plays defense as well as scores goals. He likely gets the win tonight holding the Wild under 2 goals while getting a healthy amount of shots and surpassing his 5.4 Fantasy Points per game (FPPG) average
D: B. Burns, San Jose – $8,100
Burns is a monster on defense and his free-skating style and offensive mentality makes him lethal player against teams that allow him room. Averaging 215 shots on goal and 26 minutes of ice time, he’s up against a Calgary team in the bottom 5 of all NHL allowing goals. I’m betting Burns will be on the scoreboard tonight.
D: T. Barrie, Colorado – $5,600
Tyson Barrie averages 23 minutes of ice a game and plays on both the first power play and first pair of defense. Against an Ottawa team allowing a ton of goals, Barrie has a nice matchup and is a good value play. A total of 23 points on the year, his 110 shots show he’s probably got more production coming.
W: W. Simmonds, Flyers – $6,600
Simmonds is streaking right now and I am gonna jump on board. Playing at home against a Buffalo team that is struggling, The Flyers’ power play will see alot of time tonight in South Philly and Simmonds will use his height and strength to post up in fron of the net and have his way. Thirty five points on the year, he likes to shoot the puck and averages 17 minutes on ice.
W: B. Marchand, Boston – $6,500
Marchand is a tornado of energy and the guy you love on your team but hate to play against. With 25 goals, Marchand is a player who produces no matter who he plays with. At 161 shots this year and almost 20 minutes of ice time a game, Marchand faces a Jets team who can’t stop taking penalties. Boston is top 10 in goals scored and a top five power play, so look for Marchand to tally a few points as Boston walks over Winnipeg.
W: N. MacKinnon, Colorado – $6,600
Averaging 4.4 FPPG, Mackinnon matches up against the Senators tonight. With almost 20 goals this year, it seems Mackinnon shoots the puck in his sleep, tallying a total of 185 shots on goal already. A threat on the power play, Colorado will find their winning ways again and put up goals in Ottawa tonight.
C: J. Pavelski, San Jose – $7,900
Pavelski has an argument for the title of number one U.S. born player. The captain of San Jose, Pavelski squares off against Calgary at home tonight with a healthy 28 goals and 151 shot total on the season. The Sharks’ power play has been on fire lately and will likely continue their scoring ways at home tonight against Calgary who ranks almost last in goals allowed.
C: C. McDavid, Edmonton – $6,500
This kid shows you why he was a number one overall pick on a nightly basis. Against Toronto who just lost their captain and top pair defenseman, on a team that is already in the bottom 5 of worst NHL teams allowing goals, McDavid will have his way at home tonight. This game has shoot out written all over it. You must have exposure to this game and with a nice price and high ceiling, McDavid is a prime play.
Utility: A. Ovechkin, Washington – $8,700
Ovechkin leads the league in shots with 251 and leads his team with 31 goals. Tonight in Minnesota, Ovi will see plenty of ice as he averages over 20 minutes. The Capitals are always a team you want exposure to; if you can’t afford Ovi, then Burakovsky or Williams is a strong value play to produce points and see a ton of ice and power play time.