NHL Daily DFS Fantasy Hockey Plays – 3/3


If you’re a daily fantasy sports player you know there are few things more important than finding good value plays to compliment the higher priced guys. There’s usually no way you’ll finish in the money without a couple of low-salary guys producing above their salary.

Each day I’ll bring you a rundown of some players you may want to use in your daily leagues. They will include a few top plays (high salary – obvious choices), some mid level plays, and a good amount of the most important ones – value plays (likely to outperform their salary).

While I’ll feature different DFS sites as a guide for salaries each day, you’ll find that most sites will have the individual players on a similar salary scale.

I will also include overall goalie rankings for today’s games at the bottom of each post. The rankings are not based on salary, but just as an idea of how I feel each goalie will do compared to the other starters for the night.

Salaries used today are from Draft Kings.

Tonight’s games:

Columbus at Toronto – 7 PM ET
Buffalo at Dallas – 8 PM ET
Calgary at Minnesota – 8 PM ET
Montreal at Los Angeles – 10:30 PM ET


Top Plays

Phil Kessel – TOR ($8,600) – There are few players hotter than Kessel right now. He has four straight two-point games, and has 17 points and 33 SOG in his last nine. He should see plenty of chances tonight.

Jamie Benn – DAL ($6,800) – A good player, at home, against a bad team. That’s usually a recipe for success and this matchup should be no exception. Benn came back with a three point game after the Olympics, but was held off the scoresheet in his last game. However, he has 13 points and 37 SOG in his last 10 games so facing the 29th ranked team in shots against and the 24th ranked team in goals against (and a goalie not named Ryan Miller) should get him back on the scoresheet.

Darcy Kuemper – MIN ($7,500) – Kuemper will make his 15th straight start for the Wild tonight. He has won four straight and has a 1.00 GAA in that span. Even though his numbers are solid overall (2.20 GAA; .924 sv%) he’s a better goalie at home (1.65 GAA; .943 sv%). All of that, combined with the fact that he’s facing one of the worst offensive teams tonight should make for a solid night – at $800 less than Lehtonen.


Mid Level Plays

Marian Gaborik – CBJ ($5,500) – You can hopefully get decent value out of Gaborik tonight as he has yet to get going after returning from injury. He has just one point and three SOG in two games since coming back, but he faces a team that is 26th in goals against and 30th in shots against. On a site like Draft Kings that counts shots on goal (+0.3 pts.) you could do worse.

Christian Ehrhoff – BUF ($5,000) – I will not be using him, but that’s only because I liked a few of the other d-men a little more. At the price, however, you could do much worse at the position. On Draft Kings you don’t get penalized for a minus rating so Ehrhoff holds a little more value than on some other sites. If you plan on using him, make sure to check updates as game-time arrives to make sure he’s not scratched – it’s a possibility that he gets traded.

Andrei Markov – MTL ($5,600) – Markov has five points in his last three games, seven in his last five, and is at a point-per-game over his last 10. That’s about as good as you can get for a d-man. I always try to find some more value with the D spots, but it’s hard to argue against a player putting up the numbers that Markov is at the position.


Value Plays

James Wisniewski – CBJ ($4,300) – Wisniewski has produced .68 points per game this season, yet he still seems to be undervalued on most sites. Perhaps it’s because he seems to miss at least a few games every month, but I still find his price a bit too hard to pass up tonight, for most of the same reasons listed with Gaborik.

Artem Anisimov – CBJ ($4,200) – His numbers aren’t that impressive but in two games since the Olympic break – and two games since the return of Gaborik – Anisimov has put up two goals and three points. Toronto is ranked 28th in the league in average fantasy points against for centers so a nice night at a good price could come tonight.

Valeri Nichushkin – DAL ($4,100) – With his top-line position right now it’s hard to pass up Nichushkin, especially with a matchup like tonight’s. He may pick up a couple of points just be default. ..which is what you want from your low salary options.

Ryan Suter  – MIN ($4,500) – Suter is another defenseman that I feel has been undervalued for most of the season. He’s streaky, but he takes a ton of shots (22 in his last 10 games) and again, on a site like Draft Kings that gives you points for SOG, he’s a nice play at a slight discount, especially with a good matchup.

David Desharnais – MTL ($4,700) – It’s a tough matchup – the Kings are 5th in the league in average points against for centers – but Desharnais has produced eight points over his last six games. You have to fill your rosters with value when using some of the top plays and this is one of the chances you might want to take tonight.

Mikael Granlund – MIN ($4,300) – Mikko Koivu will return tonight but Granlund will stay on the top line, at least to start the game, while Koivu gets back up to speed. Granlund has produced 10 points over his last nine games, and playing with Zach Parise and jason Pominville is a nice way to put up numbers.


My Draft Kings Roster For Tonight

C Artem Anisimov – $4,200
LW Jamie Benn – $6,800
RW Phil Kessel – $8,600
D Ryan Suter – $4,500
D James Wisniewski – $4,300
G Darcy Kuemper – $7,500
UTIL Marian Gaborik – $5,500
UTIL Mikael Granlund – $4,300
UTIL Valeri Nichushkin – $4,100

$200 in salary remaining.


Tonight’s Goalie Rankings

Probable / confirmed starters are linked to the source

  1. Kari Lehtonen
  2. Darcy Kuemper
  3. Jonathan Quick
  4. Sergei Bobrovsky
  5. James Reimer
  6. Peter Budaj
  7. Reto Berra
  8. Jhonas Enroth


Good Luck! As always, if you have any fantasy hockey questions, daily or otherwise, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.


About This Empire Soldier: Carlos is the NHL Rankings and Content Editor for Dynasty Sports Empire. He has been a hockey fan for as long as he can remember, and has been writing about hockey for over five years. He is the owner / writer / editor for SpeakingoftheDevils.com and has also contributed work for various other hockey websites. He has been playing fantasy sports since the days when you had to pull stats from USA Today the morning after games were played.

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