NHL Power Plays 1/5/18

First things first, it is a Friday where a few teams are on the back end of a back to back. Expect a little craziness this evening. It’s just a six game slate this night. Let’s not waste any time.

A bit of news to pass along to the readers – at time of writing, it looks like there is much intrigue to this slate. From Minnesota and Nashville to even Washington and New Jersey, potential exists for a decent scoring night. Does it all pan out? That is the question.

Injuries have had a real, tangible impact. Goalie confirmations for quite a few will come later in the day. The main slate starts at 7:00 pm ET. Anyway, let’s see who may be a little tired.


Teams On The Back End Of A Back To Back

Pittsburgh Penguins
New York Islanders
Vegas Golden Knights
Buffalo Sabres
San Jose Sharks

Let’s get into the centers of attention on this night. There will be more emphasis on values. However, in our picks, there will be more of the usual choices. The goal is to mix more value in this evening.


Matthew Barzal

$5400 on DK

$5500 on FanDuel

$10,700 on FantasyDraft

It is still weird to see Barzal right around DFS average price wise, but his price has backed off some. This may be the fact that he has just one point in his previous four contests. The problem is two offensive teams are playing tonight that have been awful defensively. When the expected goals for is approaching seven, that is scary territory. The Islanders do have a pretty lethal power play when Barzal is on the ice and generate top five scoring chances per 60 in that scenario.

This is a tournament or cash play simply because one is exploiting a good match-up against a bad defense. The same can be said for any Pittsburgh player on the man advantage tonight as well. Barzal is too good to keep down for long plus that Islanders top line will be as chalky as the Penguins power play unit.

Nick Schmaltz

$4900 on DK

$5100 on FanDuel

$9800 on FantasyDraft

The play in theory here is Schmaltz as he does not cost an immense amount and has been playing nearly 20 minutes a night over the past several weeks basically. He sees a lot of power play time. Vegas is on the back end of a back to back on the road but could be vulnerable against a team with a little more dynamic speed than say, Los Angeles.

For DraftKings, a mini stack here is not bad. There are so many options to consider. Remember that Penguins and Islanders game could be a wild one. Even Detroit and Florida could surprise some.

Others To Look At:  Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin (CHALK), Henrik Zetterberg, John Tavares (CHALK), Blake Wheeler (CHALK likely), Erik Haula, Derick Brassard (risky), Dylan Larkin, Vincent Trocheck (under-owned likely) (Many more picks in Slack).

Value Crazy:  Patrik Berglund, Jared McCann (higher risk), Adam Lowry (Dangerous Risk).



Andreas Athanasiou

$4600 on DK

$3900 on FanDuel

$9300 on FantasyDraft

Athanasiou is hot with three points in his last three games. Furthermore, the Panthers allow the third most daily fantasy points to wingers and second overall on the road. This is again a team that is still allowing around 35 shots per 60 and high danger scoring chances in waves. If the winger keeps playing top six minutes, he should have ample opportunities to produce tonight.

The winger can be used as a one-off or part of a mini-stack. The key in our spotlight here is to look at plays that could hit value easier and leave the chalkier picks at the bottom. Projected owners for the winger could be around 5%, however. It just depends on how many gravitate to some of the other match-ups. Athanasiou’s FanDuel price is just so tempting alone.

Alex Tuch (moderate risk)

$3900 on DK

$4200 on FanDuel

$7600 on FantasyDraft

There are plays to take a shot on and Tuch may be one of those guys. He is a rookie winger who has shown ability on the back end of back to backs in creating scoring chances. Lost in a Vegas road overtime win against Los Angeles was just how dominant Tuch was in generating scoring chances and quick rushes up the ice. Vegas moves at a faster pace with him on the ice and yes, they do give up some chances too but for offense and value, that is okay here. He has exceeded value in three of his last four contests.

Yes, there are some value options to take advantage of as well. Florida and Detroit will go under the radar because of assumptions as usual. Game theory says it will be another moderately high to high event game. Ottawa has to break out at some point. Don’t they?

Others To Look At:  Patrick Kane (CHALK), Anders Lee/Josh Bailey (Chalk), Phil Kessel/Jake Guentzel (near chalk), Kevin Labanc (moderate risk, Jonathan Huberdeau, Kyle Connor/Patrik Laine (power play), Mark Stone. With lineup shifts likely, more will be on Slack and social media.


Stone Cold Crazy Value:


Colin Miller (Contrarian Value Play)

$3500 on DraftKings

$4300 on FanDuel

$6700 on FantasyDraft

It is a game that should be interesting. Vegas has deceptive speed and did look a bit sluggish at times against St. Louis but Miller did create several chances last night. The defenseman can occasionally block shots which increases his floor (especially in a back to back scenario). There are lots of good choices on a night like this. However, a contrarian value play (especially on DraftKings), may not be a bad option. Miller will be well less than 5% owned.

For Miller, the points per dollar is just exceeding value so much at this juncture. Again, his ability to block shots and provide offense is too much of a bonus to pass up. The defenseman has generated the second highest chances among Vegas defensemen in his last six contests.

On FanDuel, there are quite a few higher priced options and the same on the other platforms. However, this is an easy price to take which will allow one to spend up everywhere else. That is not the only “value” option, however. There is risk here as some teams could dud. The prices across the board are optimal on this slate for a near punt play (on DraftKings). There is lot of value to choose from. Consider how many mistakes both teams make, and their points allowed to defensemen. There is plenty to choose from in what could be a chalk/contrarian type of night.

Others To Look At:  Kris Letang (Chalk), Erik Karlsson (near chalk), Nick Leddy, Justin Schultz, Josh Morrissey (rising ownership), Rasmus Ristolainen, Mike Green (high risk), Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Burns.  (More on Slack to come).

Stone Cold Crazy Value:  Jordan Oesterle, Cody Ceci, Michael Matheson (floor play possibly).



Note the FantasyDraft prices for goaltending. Speaking of strategy…


FantasyDraft Strategy

For those that haven’t made their way to FantasyDraft.com, it’s a daily fantasy site that does things a touch different than DraftKings and FanDuel. Their biggest wrinkles are the double utility position which allows for more line stacking creativity, the one defenseman slot, and team goaltending.

Team goaltending is so nice simply because it is the one position where if you screw up, that’s okay. It does not matter if the backup or starter goes because at least points can still be accrued. Usually, the last choice is goaltending, even on FantasyDraft.

Scoring is right here. This is what it looks like.

On this particular slate, I wouldn’t worry about goaltending until the end. There are enough teams in good positions where setting the rest of your lineup construction is far more important.

The Detroit/Florida and even Vegas/Chicago games could be targeted heavily err maybe should. With the expectation of a high shot, goal, and chance count, a select few are going to try this. On FantasyDraft, it is less risky because of those two utility spots and one defenseman slot. That hurts less if something goes wrong. Options are good. Right?

Watch for injuries and player news. See who plays and who gets shifted around because of it. Looking for the lower scoring match-ups is essential for picking goaltending. Chasing the win is not as important as chasing saves and a quality start (two goals allowed or less).

Power play stacks could be on the spotlight on FantasyDraft. Pittsburgh and Winnipeg could be good options. New York, Pittsburgh, and Winnipeg in all situations is another good idea. There are some risks that one can go on FantasyDraft because of the double utility format like yes, a double center stack.

Detroit is also one of the interesting targets tonight. Their risk is extremely high, but potential exists. Vegas will be a decent pick with increased production and low expectations. However, do not forget the following lines. There will be a lot more on Slack during the day and tonight.

Lines Du Jour?

NYI1 (NYI 2 can be used to save money)
DET PP 1 (Add Athanasiou as needed)
CHI  2
WPG 1 (watch lineups this could trend upward)

Good luck tonight. There will be more information to come on Slack and Twitter. Again, the emphasis is to watch out for all sorts of chances and please note. Watch for beat writers. Get a second confirmation or even third for some situations. The key on this slate will be to ride the wave and try not to get burned. Also, all goalie confirmations and plays will be on Slack and social media later this afternoon.

Finally, we included some price discrepancies in our spotlight picks on Friday. Please note the usual DraftKings “venue pricing” for goalies. That is very important. Social media will be vital this evening more than usual because of the high volume of injuries and line shift news. Thanks for playing and good luck!

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