NHL Power Plays – 12/09/16

It is a six-game slate on Friday night for FantasyDraft. There are four teams – St. Louis, New Jersey, Edmonton, and New York – that are playing on a back-to-back.

*Note: All prices are for FantasyDraft.

Center

Sam Gagner (CBJ) – $8,900

There are 14 centres averaging at least 12 FantasyDraft points per game this season, 13 not including the injured Mika Zibanejad. Of those centres, Gagner is the only one under $11,400. He is being priced with players that have put up three or four fewer points per game, and that’s good value.

There are 150 forwards in the NHL with at least 50 power-play minutes this year, and Gagner ranks ninth in shots per minute. Shooting that much on the power play is bound to be good for production. He is shooting more per game overall (2.52) than he ever has, and is priced very reasonably. He is more of a tournament option given his lack of ice time, but at his price, he’s hard to avoid.

Robby Fabbri (STL) – $9,200

It was a slow start for the second-year winger (though he’s listed as a center) as he didn’t score his first goal of the year until November. He has six goals and 11 points in the 14 games since ending his drought, and is now playing consistently in the top-six forward mix for the Blues.

Fabbri doesn’t shoot much, averaging a little over two per game in the last month, and the Blues are on the road in a back-to-back situation. That makes him more of a tournament option than one for cash games. With that said, St. Louis is playing against backup goalie Keith Kinkaid for the Devils, and New Jersey is on a back-to-back of their own.

Winger

Nino Niederreiter (MIN) – $9,600

The Swiss winger joined the top line in Minnesota with Eric Staal and Charlie Coyle, and per Corsica Hockey, that line is generating roughly the same amount of shots as the Matthews-Nylander line in Toronto, the Carter-Toffoli line in Los Angeles, and the Seguin-Benn line in Dallas. In other words, they have been elite at generating shot attempts when on the ice together.

For DFSers that don’t want to pay up for the other top line options as they’re both over $12,000, Niederreiter is the way to exposure. He is also very underrated, as he scored at about the same rate at five-on-five over the previous two seasons as Blake Wheeler, Johnny Gaudreau, and Cam Atkinson. He is on pace for his third straight 20-goal season, and is playing 16 minutes a game with regularity. He doesn’t play the power play with his line mates, but he is still on the second unit.

Anthony Mantha (DET) – $10,300

Though he took a bit more time to develop than some may have thought it might take, Mantha has been a huge shot in the arm offensively for the Red Wings this year. In his first 12 games with the team, the 22-year-old has four goals, and is averaging 2.75 shots per game. Mantha is also on the top line alongside Henrik Zetterberg, and the top power-play unit as well.

Columbus is in town tonight to face Detroit, and though Columbus has been a dynamic offensive team this year, they still leave something to be desired defensively. In fact, they give up the eighth-most scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five, per Natural Stattrick, which puts them in the same company as Toronto and Dallas. Detroit isn’t a very good offensive team, but Mantha has been a very good offensive player.

Artemi Panarin (CHI) – $14,600

Despite not being on the same point pace that he put up last year, Panarin is shooting more per game (2.71) than he did in 2015-16 (2.34). That helps for cash games, though Panarin is more suited for tournaments.

Since November 23rd, a span of seven games, Chicago’s opponent tonight, the New York Rangers, have given up at least 60 adjusted shot attempts per 60 minutes at five-on-five in six of those contests, per Corsica Hockey. For a reference, the five teams this year to do average at least that rate on the season are the Islanders, Coyotes, Senators, Stars, and Leafs. The injuries are starting to affect the Rangers at both ends of the ice, and considering they’re on a back-to-back, that’s good news for Chicago’s top line.

Defense

Duncan Keith (CHI) – $11,000

One of the issues with grabbing either of the top Blackhawks defensemen this year, Keith or Brent Seabrook, is that with them playing together on the power play, it was mostly a guess as to which would produce. Tonight, however, Seabrook will not be in the lineup for the Blackhawks, and that would put most of the offensive pressure on Keith.

The former Norris Trophy winner was never much of a goal scorer from the blue line, but he did average over two shots per game throughout the previous three seasons, and shot an even five percent. So far this year, Keith is again averaging over two shots per game, but does not have a goal yet. Shooting percentages can vary wildly from year to year, but shooting zero percent is something that cannot last much longer.

Keith is a solid cash game option tonight. He should play over 26 minutes with Seabrook out of the lineup, averages over two shots and a blocked shot per game, and will get the heavy lifting on the power play. For those that don’t want to pay a premium for a defenseman tonight, this is the direction to go.

Ryan Suter (MIN) – $11,200

It is being done somewhat quietly, but Ryan Suter is averaging a career-high in points per game (0.64) for an 82-game season. That works out to a 53-point pace, which is a mark only eight defensemen hit in the NHL last year. The all-star defenseman is also averaging over two shots on goal per game for just the second time in his career.

The main reason for using Suter tonight is having Edmonton in town, and they are on a back-to-back on the road. The Oilers are giving up the eighth-most shot attempts while on the penalty kill, and Minnesota’s power-play ice time leader on the blue line is Suter.

Team Goalie

Columbus Blue Jackets – $16,200

This is being done with the assumption that Sergei Bobrovsky starts in net for the Blue Jackets tonight.

On the year, Bobrovsky is sporting a sparkling .930 save percentage at all strengths. That may seem a bit high, but it’s easy to overlook the fact that in his first three season in Columbus, Bobrovsky managed a .923 save percentage, and that was a mark surpassed by only two regular goaltenders in that span: Carey Price (.925) and Cory Schneider (.924). He is a top goaltender, and this season has been a nice rebound for him.

The upside with using Bobrovsky on Friday night is that Columbus has given up the twelfth-most shot attempts per 60 minutes on the season. Hopefully Bobrovsky sees a fair amount of rubber tonight, because a top goalie facing a lot of shots is a recipe for DFS success.