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 anyone looking to get an extra body into your lineup or for daily players (daily players can click here for my daily plays).
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.
- Andrew Shaw - C – CHI - Owned: 31% Yahoo!; 69% ESPN – 30% increase.
If I told you there was a player available on the high-powered Blackhawks offense who already has 10 goals, 10 assists, seven of his points on the PP, 89 hits, 139 faceoff wins, and 64 shots in 34 games, the first name that would come to mind probably wouldn’t be Shaw, but those are what his numbers look like. Shaw is already just three points shy of his career high, set in 37 games in ’11-’12, and the extra numbers add to his value in larger leagues that count those categories. Keep an eye on him, and don’t be afraid to scoop him up now if you need an injury replacement in smaller leagues.
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP : at NSH. Career vs opponent: 1 goal, 7 points in 11 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.
- Teddy Purcell – RW – TBL - Owned: 48% Yahoo!; 52% ESPN.
Purcell had a few great seasons in Tampa with 17 goals and 51 points in ’10-’11 and 24 goals and 65 points the following season. He was also solid in last year’s shortened season, but his shot percentage the last two seasons were a bit higher than his career norms. This season, they are more in line with his career, and he seems to be struggling to put up points. Of course, the loss of Steven Stamkos hurts everyone in the Tampa lineup, but Purcell was one of the guys you hoped would step up. He’s still just 28 and his recent success gives you hope that he can break out, but he’s averaging just over 16 minutes and he has a total of one point – an assist – in his last eight games. Those in shallow leagues might want to find an alternative.
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP : at NYI. Career vs opponent: 0 goals, 8 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.
- Christian Ehrhoff - D – BUF – Owned: 39% Yahoo!, 55% ESPN – 9% increase.
Another d-man that has had a few good games recently, but the bigger picture just doesn’t look like it’s worthy of a FA pickup. Ehrhoff has had three 40+ point seasons, one in which he scored 50 points. Those came with San Jose and Vancouver, however, and Buffalo just isn’t a place where you’re going to rack up a ton of points. He does have five points (of his 10 points on the season) in his last seven games, but considering the team he’s on, and the fact that he’s not going to give you much in any other category, he’s best left for someone else.
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP : vs WPG. Career vs opponent: 0 goals, 2 points in 11 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!
- Joffrey Lupul - W – TOR – Owned: 87% Yahoo!; 99% ESPN – 10% increase.
Lupul is yet another player that got hurt and then was dropped by people in shallower (and some deeper) leagues. You have to know that if you pick up Lupul, he’s likely to miss a few games for you. However, when he’s healthy, he’s going to get you close to a point per game. He gets a good amount of ice time, gets time on the PP, and takes a ton of shots (78 in 26 games). If you have IR spots in your league, or you have a deep bench, he’s worth a roster spot. He’s worth a spot in just about every league right now while he’s healthy.
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP : vs FLA. Career vs opponent: 5 goals, 11 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.
Confirmed starters are in bold.
- Martin Jones vs EDM
- Roberto Luongo at MIN
- Ben Bishop at NYI
- Josh Harding vs VAN
- Antti Ranta at NSH
- Jonas Hiller at DET
- Ondrej Pavelec at BUF
- J.S. Giguere at DAL
- Tuukka Rask vs CGY
- Ryan Miller vs WPG
- Carey Price vs PHX
- James Reimer vs FLA
- Braden Holtby at PHI
- Jonas Gustavsson vs ANA
- Jaroslav Halak vs SJS
- Mike Smith at MTL
- Steve Mason vs WAS
- Antti Niemi at STL
- Ilya Bryzgalov at LAK
- Scott Clemmensen at TOR
- Reto Berra at BOS
- Evgeni Nabokov vs TBL
- Kari Lehtonen vs COL
- Carter Hutton vs CHI
Updated throughout the day with any significant fantasy news.
- Jakob Silfverberg will play tonight.
- Lee Stempniak will be a healthy scratch for the Flames tonight.