With only twelve days until Christmas, we try to bring you some Christmas tidings on “The Playbook”. There are lots of games to choose from so pickings are certainly not slim. We will focus on the late games since there are only two early tilts. However, on my Twitter account, we will offer a few suggestions before those 1 pm ET face-offs. Let’s get to work.
This is a slate that has a features some intrigue. Let’s discuss!
Sergei Bobrovsky ($8,600) – It is fun to think that Columbus is back but they really might just be at last. They are winning games and have Brandon Dubinsky back. The Blue Jackets are still giving up shots in bunches at times but that may be enough to tip the scales in starting him, at least in GPP formats. Pittsburgh will get their shots despite their injuries and no Sidney Crosby and Columbus will get their chances despite their maladies. It should be a good test!
Jhonas Enroth ($8,500) – We may be pushing this going with a Buffalo goalie but again, if a goalie faces a ton of shots then this might be worth the gamble. The netminder is 7-3 with a 2.25 GAA and .936 save percentage over his last ten starts. Yes he is still facing at least 30 shots a game but the outrageous numbers are not always as prevalent. A weary Florida team comes into town which could help your fantasy bottom line if you choose wisely.
Others to consider: Jonathan Bernier ($8,100), Kari Lehtonen ($6,400). — we thought about goalies like Fleury and Luongo but honestly there is a little hesitation there.
Tyler Seguin ($9,300) – Though Dallas and their defense is always a question mark, they face a New Jersey team that is probably a good bit worse off than they are. This makes Seguin a pretty solid start given the Devils often have a tough time against prolific top lines with dynamic speed. Could a multiple goal game be in the talented pivot’s future? That answer is a good bit more likely on Saturday night. Look for fellow players on his line like Jamie Benn as you usually would.
Tyler Bozak ($5,000) – When you look at Bozak, he just screams not a first line center and yet the center continues to produce like one with 25 points in 28 games. His goals and assists are pretty even and defensive ability along with possession can be rather lacking but again it is about production, production, production. Just when you think he is invisible is when the shifty Toronto forward pops in an assist or goal to save your night.
Boone Jenner ($5,000) – Jenner has proven worthy of being a top six player in Columbus and a pretty solid DFS play on most nights. He has four goals in five games and looks comfortable with the increased responsibilities. Anytime the Blue Jackets play the Penguins, you can expect fireworks and there should be some offense in this tilt. Considering how big this center plays, he could make life for Marc-Andre Fleury and company very tough.
Others I like: Evgeni Malkin ($8,900), John Tavares ($6,600), Jori Lehtera ($4,000).
Value: Vernon Fiddler ($2,500), Scott Gomez ($2,500).
Alex Ovechkin ($9,100) – The Russian has only seven points in his last ten games (six goals though). However, when he plays Tampa Bay, something good always seems to happen. As long as he is shooting away, Ovechkin will come close to value. There are worse options but if you have the money, Ovechkin may just be worth your investment.
Rick Nash ($7,800) – He has a goal scorer’s mentality and this year Rick Nash is just potting them like it’s easy. 28 points in 26 games is not surprising but 18 goals is a mild surprise. The winger could add to this total against a Vancouver team that can be inconsistent and vulnerable to lines with a top sniper. Saving several hundred dollars because of the rest will help your bottom line also.
Vladimir Tarasenko ($6,500) – Tarasenko must keep being played considering his production and low price tag. What is scary is that the winger has seen his power play production dip mightily despite chances. IF anything he is a bit due on special teams and that should frighten opposing goalies. A 31 point player probably should garner a lot of ownership at this price. Yet, you still play him anyway!
Ryan Callahan ($4,900) – We are going to sneak this play in because of the values and nods down below this space. Most people do not realize that despite some of his issues, Callahan has 23 points in 25 games. His high end role makes him even more valuable playing with that Steven Stamkos guy. He is also even more of an asset when finding openings in the ice like he does. The key for Ryan Callahan against Washington will be exposing those holes and cashing in.
Others I like: Filip Forsberg ($6,100), Marian Hossa ($5,700), Patrick Sharp ($5,400).
Value: Nikolai Kulemin ($2,900), Brett Connolly ($2,500), Dennis Everberg ($2,500).
Alex Pietrangelo ($6,400) – If you paired Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban on Friday night then congratulations. There will be a temptation to play Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk together in your DFS pools. If you have the money to do so then go ahead but it is likely to be a bit more risky. Colorado is shaky on defense and their team defense is buoyed a bit by their slightly improved goaltending but the chances are still many. Just start Pietrangelo anyway and enjoy the value.
Brent Burns ($5,800) – His defense can be a considerable adventure but his propensity for points makes him a wookie good play! Burns provides better value than most of your top line defensemen on the board because +/- is not a worry and he shoots near three times on net a game. He has better power play potential than his actual results though nine points on the man advantage is not too shabby. He will have his hands full but so will Nashville.
Roman Josi ($5,300) – It was a bit ugly early on but Josi has turned it around along with running mate Shea Weber. Both defensemen have nine points in their last 11 games and even in San Jose, Nashville players still have to be considered pretty good plays (the usual suspects anyway). Do not be chicken here and if you want to save a few hundred then Josi could be your guy.
Others I like: John Carlson ($6,400), Keith Yandle ($6,000), Victor Hedman ($5,300).
Value: Damon Severson ($3,000), Ian Cole ($2,600), Jakub Kindl ($2,500).
Thanks for reading guys and hopefully the picks help you out. If you have any questions, fire them away at me on twitter @ChrisWasselTHW and i’ll do my best to answer them. We will also have a few adds and subtractions as well.
Good luck today!