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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.

As always with this FanDuel bargain bin column, one skater priced under $4,000 will be listed at each position. At the end, there will be one or two goalies that will also be on the cheaper end.

For the skaters, the players are either in a good situation and havenít been correctly priced yet, have a good game or two on the schedule coming up, or other reasons exist. For the goalies, they either tend to be backups or goalies on less strong teams that have a good matchup coming.

With regards to the skaters: these are not players to rely on for production, but rather salary relief to help fit in more reliable pillars to a lineup. Hockey is still a pretty random game; Brandon Sutter was on this list last week and had a three-point night against one of the best teams in the NHL (St. Louis) and was pointless against one of the worst (Edmonton). These things happen.

With that, here are the players to use for this week.

Centre

Mattias Janmark (Dallas) - $3,100


Janmark may not be a name familiar to many hockey fans, but maybe he should be. The 22-year old had 66 points (31 goals) in his last 100 games in the Swedish Elite League before finally coming back to North America for his first NHL season, where he has four points in five games so far.

Most of the fanfare will come from the top guns in Dallas: names like Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and John Klingberg. Janmark is averaging over 14:30 a game so far this year, and is now playing on the second power play unit. Yes, the top unit will still hog the market share of minutes, but getting some power play minutes is preferable to none.

This week, Dallas goes into Philadelphia and then has home games against the Penguins and Panthers. I would probably avoid the matchup against Pittsburgh, but I have no issues using Janmark against Philadelphia or Florida. His matchups against the bottom half of those two rosters are favorable.

Right Wing

Dustin Brown (Los Angeles) - $3,800


There is understandably a bit of angst when it comes to this Los Angeles team. After missing the playoffs last year, even with great underlying numbers, the team started slow out of the gate again this year. Before digging out the pitchforks though, let this season breathe a little. The Kings are still a solid team throughout the roster.

Itís important to note the lineup has changed a bit, with Milan Lucic finding his way to the second line and Dustin Brown being planted on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik. While being moved up, Brownís ice time has gone up over a minute and a half. This also includes playing on the top power play unit with those same linemates.

Brown isnít the player he was four or five years ago, but with nearly 19 minutes a game on (in my opinion) one of the best teams in the NHL, he canít be ignored at this price. The Kings have three games in four days later this week: one in San Jose, one at home to Carolina, and one in Edmonton. While Carolina would be the most obvious game to use him, San Jose is without Logan Couture and (possibly) Paul Martin. I donít really mind using Brown in any game this week.

Left Wing

Dylan Larkin (Detroit) - $3,500


At this point, itís kind of unbelievable Larkinís price hasnít increased. The rookie is playing on the top line in Detroit, on the power play, has at least one point in every game this year (six total), and has played over 38 minutes combined the last two games. Detroit doesnít play until Wednesday so maybe his most previous price-point rises, but it hasnít to this point.

The 15th overall pick from 2014 is playing alongside Henrik Zetterberg, and thatís always a good spot for production. Whatís more is in their most recent home game against Carolina, Detroit coach Jeff Blashill didnít chase matchups by forcing his line out when possible against the Eric Staal line. He also didnít do that on the road against Montreal and the Max Pacioretty line.

The importance of not chasing the matchups is that Detroit has three road games this week in Western Canada against Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. If the Zetterberg line isnít consistently facing the top line in Calgary or Vancouver, itís good news for their chance at five-on-five production (and goals against). I donít have a problem using Larkin for any of the three games.

Defence

Marek Zidlicky (NY Islanders) - $3,800


Featured in this column a week ago, thereís no reason to go away from Marek Zidlicky now. His price has only gone up $200 in that span, though he did have a point last Monday (on the power play).

That power play point is the focus here. Zidlicky is the lone defenceman on the four-forward top power play unit for the NY Islanders. That power play features John Tavares, Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, and Kyle Okposo.

The Islanders have a game this week at home against the Boston Bruins. Using stats this early is unreliable, but the Bruins have been pretty bad at five-on-five in secondary matchups (where Zidlicky is playing). They also have given up 18 total power plays in five games. I really like Zidlicky on Friday night as a cheap defenceman. For his price and situation, heís the only Islanders defenceman I would target.

Goalie(s)

Chad Johnson (Buffalo) - $7,400


From Wednesday to Saturday, the Sabres have three home games in four nights, and two of the opponents are Toronto and New Jersey. Along with Buffalo, they should be among the worst teams in the NHL. I like using Johnson in a tournament for either of those games. Heís risky to use in cash games because of the team he plays on, but for those that run out two or three different lineups, heís not a secondary option.

Jhonas Enroth (Los Angeles) - $7,400

As I mentioned in the section on Dustin Brown, the Kings have great underlying numbers in this very young season. With the three games in four nights, I assume Enroth is getting one of those games. If itís the home date versus Carolina, Iím all for using him in cash games. If itís one of the others, he would be a tournament-only option.

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.