Today may mark the beginning of the 2014-15 NBA season, but it’s the NHL that delivers a fantasy friendly twelve game schedule.
Carey Price – Montreal Canadians – After struggling out of the gates a bit to start this season, Price has certainly turned things around lately. He’s won each of his last four starts and has stood on his head in the last two games. While the Calgary Flames may be improved, they’re still far from an intimidating offensive team and Price posted a 1.52 GAA against them in their two meetings last season. He got the night off last night, so he should be well rested and ready to keep things rolling.
Others: Tuukka Rask, Ben Bishop, Jonathon Bernier, Ryan Miller
Logan Couture – San Jose Sharks – Few players in the NHL have been as hot as Logan Couture lately as he’s posted four goals and five assists over the last six games. He centers the team’s second scoring line and also sees a healthy dose of playing time on the Shark’s very dangerous #1 power-play unit. After scoring 14 of his 23 goals last season on the road, he’s quickly racked up seven points in seven road games to start this season. He also tallied a goal, three assists and a +3 in four meetings against the Avalanche last season.
Jeff Carter – Los Angeles Kings – The “That 70’s Line” has simply been dominant to start this season, and it all runs through Jeff Carter. He’s scored a pair of goals and added five assists over the last three games and has a date tonight against a Philly team who he spent his first six NHL seasons with. He racked up 17 of his 27 goals on the road last season and is still a bargain at $6,700.
Others: Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Tyler Bozak, Henrik Sedin
Value: Travis Zajac, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Turris, Artem Anisimov, Mike Richards, Nazem Kadri, Andrew Shaw
Radim Vrbata – Vancouver Canucks – With the winless Carolina Hurricanes coming to Vancoucer tonight, you’ll likely want some exposure to the Canucks. Vrbata’s offensive abilities have never been in doubt, and it looks like he’ll sail past his career high of 62 points playing alongside the Sedin twins on the Canuck’s top scoring line. He’s recorded at least one point in seven of the team’s eight games this season and has already amassed 35 shots on goal.
Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs – Picking on the Buffalo Sabres will likely be a common occurrence this season in daily fantasy hockey. Phil Kessel won’t come cheap ($7,500), but is the most dangerous offensive weapon on Toronto. He lit the lamp three times against Buffalo last season and is locked in to big minutes on both the top scoring line as well as the #1 power-play unit. Coach Carlyle looks like he’ll be shaking things up and moving Lupul and Kadri onto Kessel’s line and I expect Buffalo to have all kinds of trouble against that speed.
Others: Tyler Toffoli, Daniel Sedin, Patric Hornqvist, Max Pacioretty, Corey Perry, Patrick Kane
Value: Jonathon Drouin, Jaromir Jagr, Cory Conacher, Brad Marchand, Joffrey Lupul, Tanner Pearson, Devante Smith-Pelly, Linden Vay
Anton Stralman – Tampa Bay Lightning – When Victor Hedman was injured, the door opened for Stralman to take on a bigger role on the blue-line for Tampa and he certainly hasn’t disappointed. In five games since Hedman was lost, Stralman is averaging over 23 minutes of ice-time per game and has racked up one goal, three assists and is a +6. He’s logging big minutes on the point of their lethal #1 power-play unit and is an absolute steal at $3,500.
Alexander Edler – Vancouver Canucks – Edler has established himself as the work horse defenseman on the Canucks, as he’s averaging nearly 23 minutes of ice-time per game. The Hurricanes are allowing over four goals per game thus far this season and Edler offers some cheap exposure to the Canucks #1 power-play unit. With the Canucks looking improved, I expect Edler to bounce back from two subpar years and return to the 40-50 point range this season and this is the perfect matchup to deploy him onto your roster.
Others: Duncan Keith, Torey Krug, Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, P.K. Subban, Nick Leddy
Value: Lubomir Visnovsky, Damon Severson, Cody Franson, Morgan Rielly, Hampus Lindholm, Andrei Markov, Dan Hamhuis