With only a few days until Christmas, we try to bring you some Christmas tidings on “The Playbook”. There are a half dozen games to choose from so pickings are certainly slim. Let’s get to work.
This is a slate that features some challenges because yesterday was a mixed bag. Let’s discuss!
Roberto Luongo ($8,000) – We rode Pickard and Raanta to glory yesterday as the dollars poured in. As for Luongo, he is right around five daily points a night on DraftKings and should sees lots of rubber fired his way from the sticks of Penguins players. Some have noticed a slight tendency that Luongo drops his glove too much and cannot flash it quick enough at times. Maybe the warmer air in South Florida will help the goalie strike gold for you one more time.
Others to consider: Jonathan Quick ($8,200). — keep an eye out there as starting goalies will not be confirmed until later today.
Anze Kopitar ($7,300) – This all started with Martin Brodeur having flashbacks from 2012 and it hasn’t stopped since. Los Angeles and Kopitar have another favorable match-up against Calgary tonight (losers of 7 straight). It is starting to get to the level of “That 70’s Line” or even Philly’s Claude Giroux line. Eight points in the last two games will turn some people’s heads as finally we are seeing the first line center everyone expected at the start of the season. We also recommend Jeff Carter at a mere $6,800.
Ryan Johansen ($5,200) – Playing this may be a good idea just because Nashville plays Columbus. The Predators and Blue Jackets have some pretty wild games including a few where 10+ goals were combined for between the two of them. My only concern is that Columbus players are still dropping like flies. The latest of course is Boone Jenner and that is going to leave a slight mark. However, one still has to play Johansen simply because of the “Foligno Factor”.
Others I like: Evgeni Malkin ($8,800), Nicklas Backstrom ($8,000), Nick Bjugstad ($4,400).
Value: Markus Granlund ($2,900), Aleksander Barkov ($2,600).
Filip Forsberg ($7,100) – Hey this guy has been impressive for his ability not to endure any long scoring slumps. Forsberg is just on such a roll right now (31 points in 31 games). It does not phase him as to who his linemates are. He just continues to find ways to produce. There is some concern with the status of James Neal but you could put a cardboard cutout with Forsberg and they might even produce a point. It has just been that kind of year for the center.
Nick Foligno ($6,900) – With a point a game pace or damn close to it, Foligno has become one of the big surprises this season but the numbers were kind of always there if he ever got a chance to play a more prominent role. Him and Ryan Johansen formed almost instant chemistry early in the season and the rest was history. Nashville is a pretty good match-up for Columbus in theory so Foligno and his rugged style should serve him well.
Others I like: Alex Ovechkin ($9,100), Marian Gaborik ($6,700).
Value: Tobias Rieder ($2,900), Tom Wilson ($2,500).
John Carlson ($5,600) – Some will ask when does this run of Carlson’s end. We just say to keep on riding it until it goes south. His 24 points, +12. 78 shots, and 55 blocks makes him a versatile candidate almost every night out on DraftKings. The goals will come eventually as he only has four on the season. His 11 points in his last ten games have turned some heads and that confidence is just contagious. This is the Carlson many expected right in training camp.
Sami Vatanen ($5,600) – His defense can be interesting but this season, it has improved. He does only have one power play in his last ten but his even strength points have been a nice surprise. Against a San Jose team that can give up some opportunities, the key will be the opening ten minutes because Anaheim must dominate early. Point shots must hit the net and the power play which has looked out of sorts due to the injuries. That being said, this power play quarterback just needs to get the job done in a big spot.
Others I like: Mark Giordano ($6,100), Jake Muzzin ($4,900), Aaron Ekblad ($3,700).
Value: Kevin Connauton ($2,800), Derick Pouilot ($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!