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FanDuel NHL: Value Plays for the Week

Michael Clifford

Michael Clifford writes about fantasy hockey for RotoWire. He was a FSWA finalist in 2015 and 2013 for Hockey Writer of the Year. Former SportsNet hockey columnist, where he churned out four articles a week.

The NHL has returned from the All-Star break, and itís been an injury landslide already. Among the injured coming out of the break:

-Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh) has been put on the injured reserve. Also, Sidney Crosby is out for at least Tuesday night.
-Kyle Okposo (New York Islanders) will be out six-to-eight weeks, and that has resulted in Mikhail Grabovski moving on the top line with John Tavares.
-Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus) will be out at least a month, and Anton Forsberg has been called up.
-Dion Phaneuf (Toronto) has been listed as week-to-week.
-Chris Kreider (New York Rangers) missed the first team practice with an illness.

There are others that can be considered day-to-day like Kris Letang and David Perron, both of whom practiced yesterday. On top of that, thereís a huge snowstorm hitting the Northeast, so thereís game postponements to worry about. Itís going to be a scurrying Tuesday in the NHL.

As always, the following value picks are all under $4,000, save for the goaltender.


Mark Arcobello, Pittsburgh ($3,100)

As mentioned above, the Penguins are dealing with a number of injuries. In the teamís first practice after the break, it was Arcobello who skated on the top line with Patric Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz.

Arcobello has been a bit of a suitcase this year, making his way from Edmonton, to Nashville, and now to Pittsburgh. Despite the appearance that heís expendable, Arcobello has been fairly productive in his brief career. Last year, Arcobello averaged 1.84 points per 60 minutes of five-on-five play. That mark was better than teammate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and better than the New York Rangersí Derek Stepan. Heís dropped off this year Ė 1.10 points per 60 minutes Ė but he hasnít had a stable season to build off anyway.

The Penguins have Winnipeg tonight, and thatís not an ideal matchup. With Arcobelloís line mates, though, combined with his price, there is a lot of upside in a tournament.

Right Wing

David Jones, Calgary ($3,900)

Calgary has at least two premium matchups this week as they are home to Buffalo on Tuesday, and Edmonton on Saturday. Edmontonís underlying numbers are better this year, but they have outshot the Flames by just an average of two per game in three meetings this year. Calgary has scored 13 goals in those three meetings. Buffalo isÖwell, Buffalo.

One drawback with Jones is that he doesnít get power-play time, and typically that is a hindrance. The plus/minus factor of FanDuel scoring though means that it wonít take much for Jones to reach value. By my numbers Ėabout $1,700 per FanDuel fantasy point is a decent target Ė simply an even strength assist would get Jones to surpass value by about 30 percent.

The Monahan line that Jones plays on doesnít get buried in zone starts, so that helps make two already plus-matchups even better. Jones if fine to use in both cash games and tournaments for cap relief on both Tuesday and Saturday.

Left Wing

Marcus Johansson, Washington ($3,700)

Itís been a breakout year for Johansson, whose 13 goals are just one shy of his previous career high. Whatís even more important for our analysis here is that 12 of his 27 points have come on the power play, where he skates on the top unit with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.

Another important aspect of the Johansson recommendation is that he is shooting more than he normally has in the past. For his career coming into this year, Johansson averaged 1.29 shots per game; that number is up to 1.83 in 2014-15. Itís still not a very good mark for fantasy purposes, but itís certainly a lot better than what had been his norm.

The best use of Johansson this week is Tuesday nightís game against Columbus. Not only are the Jackets missing goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, but they are tied for 19th in penalty-kill percentage, and are 20th in fewest shot attempts allowed per 60 minutes while shorthanded. Heís fine for both cash games and tournaments on Tuesday night.


Andrei Markov, Montreal ($3,700)

Kind of like Johansson, Markov has been a power-play specialist this year; of his 26 points, Markov has registered 14 of them with the man advantage. As I mentioned, itís better to score even strength goals for fantasy points, but at least FanDuel still gives a half-point bonus for a power-play point.

Markov has a pretty low price point for a defenseman with seven points in his last five games (all assists). Even though he isnít shooting much Ė he has just nine shots on goal in his last 10 games Ė an assist of any kind gets Markov to value (assuming no negatives).

Montreal plays four games this week, and three of them are against pretty poor penalty-killing teams. Dallas (Tuesday), Washington (Saturday), and Arizona (Sunday) are all in the bottom-third of the NHL in terms of both percentage and shot attempts allowed per 60 minutes. Those are all home games as well. Markov is fine for both cash games and tournaments. I will say, though, Markovís plus/minus against Dallas worries me, so avoiding Markov in cash games on Tuesday isnít a bad idea.


Justin Peters, Washington ($6,500)

The nature of large tournaments is such that itís important to use some players that will not be widely-owned, and some players with a wide range of outcomes. Justin Peters fits the bill in that regard.

DFSers have to understand that Peters is not a good NHL goalie. From 2009 through 2014, Peters was ranked 58th out of 65 goalies in five-on-five save percentage. His mark was worse than Martin Brodeur, which should help give his performance some context.

With Petersí price, a win alone would get him to nearly 80-percent value. It wonít take much more to exceed value from there. Washington has back-to-back games twice this week, starting with at Columbus/vs. Pittsburgh on Tuesday/Wednesday, and then at Montreal/vs. St. Louis on the weekend. Any game Peters starts is a decent spot for a tournament. Heís a goalie that carries a lot of downside, but his price and likely low ownership rates make him appealing in large GPPs.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.