These fantasy hockey picks will lead your lineup into the money tonight!
Happy New Year everyone. With 8 games on the slate and just a single team being favored by more than -150 we should get some close exciting games to bring in the new year. Hopefully things will go a bit better than they did on Wednesday for me as I paid the hefty salary for Stamkos and he had no part in his team’s 5 goals.
(None of these are confirmed yet, but I anticipate these guys will get the start)
Carey Price ($24,050) - While he is the most expensive goalie on the night it may be well worth it to pay up. Price has not allowed more than two goals in a game since December 6th where he allowed 3. Montreal is not scoring much right now either but they should be able to produce more than one goal and to make Price a very safe option for cash games.
Semyon Varlamov ($16,200) - By far the biggest favorite of the night but he is still scary to roster. EDM has just 2 wins in their last 23 games, so Varlamov should pick up the 3 points from winning with ease. Allowing nearly 3 goals per game (2.94) is not appealing when looking to roster him but its more of a targeting Edmonton play. I would not be shocked to see Varlamov pick up a shutout or let in 3 goals in a win.
Others: Darcy Kuemper, Cam Ward (GPP)
Max Talbot ($5,000) - At the minimum price and skating with MacKinnon and Duchene on Colorado’s top line and power play unit he provides great value. EDM is really struggling right now and can’t stop anyone from scoring. Patrick Roy is brutal when it comes to fantasy though. No forward seems to play close to 20 minutes a game and this is the only concern when rostering Colorado players.
Eric Staal ($11,200) - Stall comes into tonight’s game with a 3 game point streak and is starting to display the talent we all know he has. He is projected to be skating with with brother Jordan, wich should only help him tonight as they will have much better chemistry than the ever changing skating lines Carolina generally do. The Fylers defense has been the weak spot of their team all season long and Staal should be able to take advantage.
Others: Nick Bjustad, Mikko Koivu
Chris Kunitz ($10,550) - It is not clear whether Kunitz will be skating with Crosby or not but I am fine with it either way. He was on the ice with Crosby for about half of the game last time but still on the top power play unit. If he is not with Crosby on even strength, then the defense will be focused on getting their top defensemen against Sid the Kid and things should open up for Kunitz.
Zach Parise ($15,050) - Who doesn’t love a work horse? If there was a stat such as usage rate like the NBA, Parise would be near the top of the league year in and year out. This makes him one of the safest plays night after night and a great option for cash games. With Minnesota at home they should be able to get Parise on the ice when Dion Phaneauf is on the bench which is a huge advantage in this game.
Others: Ondrej Palat, Josh Bailey
Nikita Kucherov ($9,300) - This kid continues to impress the hockey world with his great play. He racked up another 3 points in Wednesdays 5-1 dismantling of the Sabres. The price is just not catching up to the production and without the big name recognition he often goes overlooked.
Bryan Rust ($5,000) - He was on Pittsburgh’s top line all game long with Crosby while Malkin and Kunitz rotated as the 3rd man. At minimum price he is very hard to not roster tonight as the defense men will certainly have their hands full with Crosby and Malkin/Kunitz. This gave Rust plenty of room to operate and he contributed 6 shots on goal last game. I will take that production any night at minimum price and that is even without finding the score sheet.
Others: Brendan Gallagher, Jiri Hudler
Justin Faulk ($9,800) - The very talented young defenseman is really starting to put his body on the line and blocking a lot of shots. This stat is overlooked by many while building a fantasy roster but I will take advantage. Add in the fact that the Flyers have the worst penalty kill in the league and we have ourselves a play. Faulk is getting the most power play time for defensemen on his team and should see plenty of that tonight.
T.J Brodie ($10,650) - Take everything said about Faulk and apply it here. The Islanders are the second worst team in the league at killing penalties and Brodie has blocked 20 shots in his last 4 games. That alone is enough to roster him but the fact that he has 25 points as a defenseman already this season makes me really want to fit him in my roster.
Others: Aaron Ekblad, Christian Ehrhoff