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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.

Players given new opportunities are the source of daily fantasy hockey value. Whether it be a trade, a call-up, or being re-shuffled to a new line, it can take a week, or longer, for the daily sites to catch up with the new situation. That lag is where daily players can take advantage of depressed prices, and value is to be had.

Most of the guys listed are players being given a new opportunity, and at the end is a goalie to stream.

Center

Jordan Schroeder ($3,400)

It wasnít long ago that Schroeder was thought to be a cornerstone of the Canucksí post-Sedin future. What a difference a few years can make. Schroeder wasnít re-signed by Vancouver, and he was picked up by the Wild.

Minnesota has fairly stout top-three forward lines, and Schroeder has joined the third line alongside Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter. The samples are still far too small for a definitive statement to be made, but going into Monday nightís action, the Wild controlled over 62 percent of the five-on-five shot attempts with Schroeder and Niederreiter on the ice. That number is over 54 percent with Schroeder and Coyle together. In other words, they have been able to control the play when they are on the ice together. Thatís important on FanDuel, as there are plus/minus considerations.

Minnesota has games in Calgary, in Edmonton, and at home against Dallas this week. I have no problem using Schroeder as GPP cap relief in any of those games, and as a cash game option against Dallas.

Right Wing

Dmitrij Jaskin ($3,300)

For those who read this column frequently, Jaskin might be a name thatís recognized. He was offered as a value play earlier this season, and heís currently playing on the third line in St. Louis, alongside Paul Stastny and Patrik Berglund. There were hints that Jori Lehtera might move down to center the third line, but thatís a wait-and-see thing.

So far this year, that third line has quietly destroyed the competition. The Blues control 58 percent of shot attempts with Stastny/Jaskin on the ice together, generating nearly a shot attempt per minute of ice time. In fact, they generate about as many shot attempts per minute as Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and more than the Sedin twins.

Where Jaskin gets a boost is that he has been playing as the fourth forward on the second power-play unit alongside the Tarasenko line. Needless to say, thatís a great spot. St. Louis gets an injured, defensively-challenged, and poor penalty-killing team in Dallas on Tuesday. Jaskin is a solid option for both cash games and GPPs against Dallas.

Left Wing

Brett Connolly ($3,600)

One problem with the Lightning this year is that other than the Palat-Johnson-Kucherov line, the other three forward lines have been pretty fluid. That includes in-game changes too, so it can be frustrating from a daily fantasy angle.

Lately, Connolly has been playing on the third line with Valtteri Filppula. In general, Filppula is very good at creating offense, and doing so in a third-line role means he does it against weaker in-game competition. This bodes very well for the Lightning plus/minus, which is always a concern on FanDuel. More than that though, like Jaskin, Connolly has joined the second power-play unit alongside Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson. Needless to say, thatís a pretty good line to be playing with on the man advantage.

Tampa Bay has three more games this week, all on the road. At first glance, a visit to Anaheim may not seem to be a good thing. The Ducks, though (at time of writing), have given up the third-most power-play opportunities in the NHL, and their penalty kill efficiency ranks in the middle of the league. Also, there are visits to Colorado and Arizona, both teams that should make for favorable five-on-five matchups for Connolly. Arizona also has one of the worst penalty kills in the NHL, and is fifth in power-play opportunities allowed. Iíd rather use Connolly in GPPs, just because I donít like relying on players on the road for cash games, but he is a very good tournament play for cap relief.

Defense

Cody Franson ($3,400)

Itís a return to familiarity for Franson. The Nashville defenseman was traded back to the Predators over the weekend by the Maple Leafs, bolstering what was already a pretty stout defensive corps.

The pricing on Franson is absurd. He is tied for 18th in defenseman scoring with 32 points, joined by names like Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith and Aaron Ekblad. Those defensemen are priced nowhere near Franson. In fact, Franson is $1,200 cheaper than Ekblad, and the difference on the season has been 0.3 FanDuel points per game in favor of Ekblad. Not to mention the small fact that Franson was just traded from a lottery team to a Stanley Cup contender.

Where Franson slots in isnít certain yet. He wonít replace any defenseman on the top power-play pairing, and Seth Jones had been running the second unit by himself. There should be more news after the Tuesday's game against San Jose. Itíll be important, too: Nashvilleís three games this week, after San Jose, are against the Islanders, Flyers and Sabres. Those are the three worst teams in the NHL by penalty-kill efficiency. If Franson does indeed get second-unit power-play duties, heís a plug-n-play option for all three games.

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskii ($5,000)

Vasilevskii played Monday night, but as is obvious by his price, heís a tournament play any game he is in net. The Lightning do have back-to-back games over the weekend against the Coyotes and Avalanche. Either of those games is a good matchup for Vasilevskii, and at his price, he's an auto-play.

Just not to cheat and go with the min-priced goalie Ė and his price may change anyway Ė I also like Carter Hutton this weekend for Nashville. As I mentioned, the Predators have a cupcake weekend, and Huttonís price of $7,200 is more than reasonable for a GPP goalie.

Good luck this week!

*Some stats courtesy of Hockey Analysis, Hockey Reference, and War On Ice.

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.