Daily Fantasy Hockey Value Plays – December 3

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Nov 29, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) passes off the puck during the third period against the St. Louis Blues at SAP Center at San Jose. Sharks won 6-3. Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 29, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) passes off the puck during the third period against the St. Louis Blues at SAP Center at San Jose. Sharks won 6-3. Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

I generally do not pick two players playing against each other in the same game for a daily fantasy hockey lineup. The same applies for a goalie and a player from opposite teams. You might see two players among the “value picks” from opposite teams, but that doesn’t mean you should take them both. No matter the value, you’re also likely cannibalizing points, so any gains made below a certain price point – the point where production and cost intersect – can be lost if production declines overall as well.

There are many things that determine value: The player’s history (both short and long-term), the price, recent production, opponent, line matching at even-strength, power play time and injuries are just some of the factors to consider. The “Top Value” doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest player, either.

Finally, as far as goalie’s go, it’s the one position I’ll pay through the nose for if I really like the match-up. The same applies for back-ups with good match-ups. In a given night, with a full slate of games, I won’t have more than three different goalies across all my lineups, usually two. I’ll name the goalies I like specifically in the match-ups they appear in.

Here is today’s slate of games (and DraftDay values). Reminder: check Left Wing Lock for up-to-the-minute information on starting goalies.

Games are color-coded as follows:

Green means load up. Yellow means grab a couple of players. Red means value plays only.

San Jose Sharks at Toronto Maple Leafs

San Jose comes into the game having gone 8-1 in their last nine games, taking 30 or more shots in eight of those nine contests. Several players are on hot streaks too: Joe Thornton has points in 12 of his last 13 games, Patrick Marleau has 11 points in his last 10 games and Logan Couture has six points in his last five games. Even goalie Antti Niemi has calmed down a bit after a bad start to the month of November, allowing just 10 goals against in his last five games. Finally, the Sharks are 5-0-1 against the Eastern Conference so far this year (3-0 on the road).

The Maple Leafs have been the exact opposite of the Sharks lately, going 1-3-2 in their last six games and have scored more than two goals just three times in their last 13 games, and two of those three games were the Islanders and Sabres. Compounding the problem is that their penalty kill, which was supposed to be a strength this year, has fallen to 25th in the NHL after allowing goals on seven of their last 15 chances shorthanded. The Leafs are 5-4-1 against the West this year, but that’s a bit misleading as they’re 3-0 against two of the worst teams in the NHL in Edmonton and Calgary. Without Nazem Kadri (personal reasons) and Cody Franson as a game-time decision, this could get ugly.

Top RW Value

Top LW Value

Top C Value

Top D Value

Bargain Bin

Joe Pavelski

(SJS)

$12,000

Tomas Hertl

(SJS)

$9800

Joe Thornton

(SJS)

$9950

Justin Braun

(SJS)

$7150

Martin Havlat

(SJS)

$7000

Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders

Each team in this matchup has won a game against each other this year and the total goals for/against are 7-7. This is after the very close (though high-scoring) playoff round last year. For whatever reason, the Islanders give the Penguins fits.

Pittsburgh has had no trouble scoring lately, putting away 34 goals in their last 10 games, with 13 in their last three. The big turnaround has been in possession, as the Penguins have allowed fewer than 30 shots in 11 of their last 15 games. Scoring goals on the power play has been fairly common, too, as the Pens are operating at a ridiculous 45-percent clip over their last six games. With a rookie goalie in net for the Islanders in Anders Nilsson, there could be a lot of goals.

But the goals go both ways. The Islanders are most definitely on a slide, having gone 4-10-1 in the month of November. It’s all about goals against though, as they scored at least two goals in 11 of those 14 games. They have also put at least 30 shots on net in four of their last five games. It’s all about goaltending and goals against, though, as the Isles are allowing the second-most goals against per game in the NHL, and went a pathetic 64.3-percent on the penalty kill last month.

Top RW Value

Top LW Value

Top C Value

Top D Value

Bargain Bin

James Neal

(PIT)

$15,750

Jussi Jokinen

(PIT)

$9150

Frans Nielsen

(NYI)

$7650

Andrew MacDonald

(NYI)

$8200

 

Brandon Sutter

(PIT)

$6300

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals

These two teams met back once in October and while I don’t put a ton of stock into a game two months ago, it’s worth noting Carolina’s penalty kill went 5 for 5 against Washington.

Carolina’s power play has been silent recently, having gone 0-for-10, and sits at 27th in the NHL. If you’re going to take players of Carolina, you don’t necessarily need to target the power play: Eric Staal’s line was matched against Washington’s then-third line in their only meeting, and Alex Ovechkin is a minus-4 this year at five on five overall.

Washington’s wild card in every game is Braden Holtby. The young netminder is fourth among NHL goalies (min. 20 starts) in even-strength save percentage at .931 and has been slightly better at home than on the road. In all, this isn’t a great game to pick anyone that isn’t cheap.

Top RW Value

Top LW Value

Top C Value

Top D Value

Bargain Bin

Jeff Skinner

(CAR)

$8850

Marcus Johansson

(WSH)

$7800

Nathan Gerbe

(CAR)

$5750

Justin Faulk

(CAR)

$8500

Elias Lindholm

(CAR)

$5550

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Michael Clifford was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and is a graduate of the Unviersity of New Brunswick. He writes about fantasy hockey and baseball for XNSports and FantasyTrade411.com. He can be reached on Twitter @SlimCliffy for any fantasy hockey questions.
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