NHL Fantasy Up, Down, Left, Right, Start is not only a nod to the old Nintendo cheat codes, but also a (hopefully) helpful post to help you make some roster decisions with your fantasy hockey team(s). It will have information for both daily players and season-long players.
As always, based on roster sizes, number of teams, scoring categories, whether your league is a redraft, keeper or daily league, and various other factors, you should ultimately make your own call on these suggestions. These are simply here to make some daily decisions easier, and help you keep an eye on guys that might be on other owner’s radar.
Only players with a game today will be included in each post…helpful for daily players or anyone looking to get an extra body into your lineup.
There will also be a notes section at the bottom of this post with any notable fantasy news for tonight’s games updated throughout the day.
As always, feel free to ask me any fantasy related questions you might have by leaving a comment, or reaching out to me on Twitter.
Today’s NHL Games:
A player that is owned in around 1/3rd or less of public online leagues, but should be on your radar. Keep an eye on these guys going forward. Not necessarily a daily play yet, but don’t be afraid to scoop him up if he has a few more good games.
- Dave Bolland - C – TOR – Owned: 35% Yahoo!; 85% ESPN – 68% increase.
Bolland has seen his ownership increase by 68% in ESPN leagues after his last three games which has seen him score three goals on 10 SOG. That brings his season totals up to six goals and 10 points in 13 games. He does have a 19 goal, 47 point season to his credit in ’08-’09 with Chicago, but has never put up more than 37 points in any other season – and he had just 14 in 35 games last season. He’s almost at last season’s total already in just 13 games, so it looks like the new opportunity in Toronto has been good to him. He’s averaging 2 SOG per game – which is a half a shot/game better than his career norm was in Chicago – and he’s averaging almost 17 minutes per game on the ice. He’s someone that should be watched in shallower leagues.
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP : at CGY. Career vs opponent: 6 goals, 10 points in 13 games.
A player that is likely owned in most leagues, but is likely to fall. Players here are likely to fall into the “sell-high” category. Could still be a daily play, but proceed with caution if you have better options.
- Brad Marchand - LW – BOS – Owned: 60% Yahoo!, 68% ESPN.
Marchand has become one of those extremely frustrating guys to own this season – too good to drop, but not good enough right now to start. His season so far has been terrible with just one goal and three points in 10 games. The most troubling part of his game is that he’s seeing less ice time – he has been on the ice for more than 15 minutes just once in his last five games, and only four times this season – and he’s not shooting the puck with just two SOG in his last five games and 14 SOG total. He’s a “sell high” candidate if you can convince someone that he’s going to turn it around. ..and he just might, but in shallow leagues, he’s basically just taking up a roster spot with little to no value right now.
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP : at PIT. Career vs opponent: 3 goals, 5 points in 12 games.
A player who’s ownership has likely risen in the last few days, but should ideally be left for someone else. Decent short-term pickups if needed for tonight’s games, but don’t expect much over a full season.
- Kris Russell – D – CGY – Owned: 2% Yahoo!; 15% ESPN – 14% increase.
Russell saw his ownership increase after his last game where he scored a goal and added an assist in 27+ minutes of ice time, and he’s already on his was to a career year if he continues his current pace – but I’m not sold yet. His best year came back in ’10-’11 with Columbus when he put up 23 points in 73 games. Those aren’t exactly eye-popping numbers, and I can’t see a dramatic jump happening this season in Calgary. He may be a nice short-term addition while Giordano is out, but there are other options that are likely available that could give you similar numbers at the very least.
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP : vs TOR. Career vs opponent: 0 goals, 1 point in 4 games.
A player who’s ownership has likely risen in the last few days, and if he’s still available, you’d do well to pick him up right now and start him tonight!
- Michael Cammalleri – C/LW – CGY - Owned: 44% Yahoo!; 70% ESPN – 41% increase.
If you can live with the likelihood that Cammalleri is going to miss some games for you (he already missed the first three weeks of the season with a hand injury), then he’ll certainly give you good numbers when he plays. Anyone that reads these posts knows I like guys that fire the puck on net, and Cammalleri does that at a rate of 2.88 SOG/game over his career. When you shoot the puck, chances are it goes in, or you’ll get on the scoresheet somehow. He’s already proving that with three goals, five points, and 10 SOG in four games since returning. Right around .75 points-per-game, his career norm, should be expected.
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP : vs TOR. Career vs opponent: 4 goals, 10 points in 15 games.
This will be a list of confirmed starting goalies for today’s games, with my ranking for each.
Check back throughout the day for an updated list of confirmed starters and updated rankings.
Rankings are based on a number of factors including strength of opponent, recent play, likelihood to put up good numbers (35 saves with 3 goals against is sometimes better than 17 saves with 1 goal against), win probability, and other factors.
Take your league scoring into consideration when choosing between two closely rated goalies.
^ = probable – likely to start based on factors such as morning skate, etc., but not confirmed yet.
** = not confirmed – a good chance at starting, but no indications yet as to who will be in net.
- Antti Niemi at LAK
- Roberto Luongo vs DET
- Marc-Andre Fleury vs BOS
- Tuukka Rask at PIT
- Jonathan Bernier at CGY
- Jimmy Howard at VAN
- Jonathan Quick vs SJS
- Karri Ramo vs TOR
Updated throughout the day with any significant fantasy news.
- Brandon Sutter missed yesterday’s practice for “maintenance” reasons and might be dealing with a hand/wrist injury. Monitor his status for tonight’s game.
- Johan Franzen will miss another game for the Red Wings tonight.
- The Sharks will have Martin Havlat back tonight.