The Christmas Break is over as we try to bring you some post Christmas tidings on “The Playbook”. There are lots of games to choose from so pickings are certainly not slim. Let’s get to work.
Note: There are a whopping 13 games and all tonight.
This is a slate that has a features some intrigue. Let’s discuss!
Henrik Lundqvist ($9,200) – We may be pushing this since Lundqvist has now won six straight and eight of ten but despite the high cost, the Rangers come out of Christmas break playing a team they have handled very well in the New Jersey Devils. The Devils will have a new coach but a very dysfunctional and injured squad. They may show some pride but if New York does its job then Lundqvist should be able to provide some quality daily points.
Ben Bishop ($6,700) – The beauty of the matrix and how values go down even with injuries is always good for the player when he can catch one. Bishop is no exception here. At $6,700, he provides a points per dollar above the mean at this price point. Before his value goes up, a game against Carolina should help him get some rubber and more importantly the W. The W is the bottom line along with the saves. There are questionable games galore so tread carefully.
Others to consider: Jhonas Enroth ($7,400), Niklas Svedberg ($7,200). — those last three games on the schedule could be weird goaltending wise and the Enroth play is considered a last resort. Also, Bobrovsky will be out for Columbus due to illness.
Claude Giroux ($8,700) – This is where goal scoring could be higher than usual in some games and Philly-Nashville could be no exception. Giroux and Jakub Voracek have wreaked havoc in the league pretty much since November 1st. Just when you think they are going to get held off the score sheet, there they magically appear. People should really play the pivot every time they can and yes even against Nashville. The Predators were looking a bit vulnerable before the break and may have thought about it a bit much.
Joe Pavelski ($7,600) – San Jose and Los Angeles is hell bent on being one of those games that you talk about for a few days after. Los Angeles has a potent forward line and Pavelski is the model of efficiency in these meetings usually. With 16 goals in 35 games, the Shark pivot is on his way to another 35-40 goal season. All he needs is a hot streak to inch closer to a goal every other game pace and that could start in Los Angeles, win or lose.
Derrick Brassard ($4,600) – Before the chaos in New Jersey, the Rangers were a pretty safe stack against New Jersey, given that New Jersey often loses meekly to the Rangers at MSG while giving up enough goals to keep DFS players happy. With 27 points in 30 games, Brassard keeps making improvements offensively and has been a key part in the Rangers streak. He even has ten points on the power play which could be boosted against a New Jersey team trying to hard to impress their new coach.
Others I like: Evgeni Malkin ($8,700), John Tavares ($6,200), Tyler Johnson ($5,900).
Value: Markus Granlund ($2,600), Travis Zajac ($2,500).
Jakub Voracek ($8,800) – If you went a bit cheap on center then you may take a chance on two high priced wings before going even cheaper in net with say Ben Bishop. With 14 points in his last ten games, Voracek is a must play no matter the opponent because even Nashville’s defense has come back to Earth and yes so has Pekka Rinne a little bit. Philadelphia has to keep scoring because they have Ray Emery and Rob Zepp as their goalie duo till next week when Steve Mason could come back. You know the drill!
Rick Nash ($8,100) – He has a goal scorer’s mentality and this year Rick Nash is just potting them like it’s easy. Also, his linemate, Derrick Brassard is rolling along and that never hurts. Again, this is must play territory as Nash has been a major thorn in the Devils side since the Stadium Series and even before that. When it comes to the power play, that is the one real edge the winger has on New Jersey, he just finds a way to get open. Nash will manufacture daily points somehow.
Filip Forsberg ($5,900) – We may even be apt to recommend Mike Ribeiro and James Neal here only because it is Philadelphia. This has potential to be a track meet as the top lines could both light it up to a point. He is right around a point a game and shows little signs of stopping. Get your popcorn ready Philly as a new Forsberg is ready to roll against your team. Can you stop him and his line? It figures to be full of offensive fireworks down in “The Music City”.
Nick Foligno ($5,700) – We are throwing this one in just because Foligno is the gritty player with hands that Milan Lucic wishes he could now be. Sure it is a dig but the truth hurts. With Ryan Johansen on his flank, the winger has been driving opponents crazy with his penchant for cleaning up the trash as well as making some pretty sweet moves of his own. The time and confidence are on his side. His price tag makes you reasonably happy.
Others I like: Wayne Simmonds ($5,200), Nikita Kucherov ($5,100), Marian Hossa($4,700).
Value: Alex Killorn ($2,900), Tobias Rieder ($2,800), David Jones ($2,800).
Kris Letang ($6,100) – Again this is about point per dollar and Letang’s PPD is pretty darn solid. The funny thing is Letang is much more of a goal scorer at even strength (7 G) than on the power play (1 G, 10 A). When you look at who he has to pass to on the power play normally, that rings very true but considering the mumps and injuries, Letang’s options are lessened. Yet, the defenseman keeps on finding ways to average a point a game in his last dozen games.
Alex Pietrangelo ($6,100) – His defense can be a considerable adventure but his propensity for points lately makes him a pretty good play and against a Dallas team that is bad defensively….consider it a bonus. Since there are no worries about +/- in Draftkings, then why worry. Besides, Pietrangelo is due for a good match-up anyway. Dallas’ opposition rank is dead last against defenseman. There is little more I need to say here so get him in the lineup.
John Carlson ($5,400) – The kid who skated with me as I went through the ranks fared a little better than I did. Needless to say, the Colonia, NJ native has had a good offensive season on defense for Washington. His booming shot and passing skills have improved though yes his turnovers can be plenty at times. He has four to five point potential tonight and maybe more. I would find a place for him in your lineup.
Others I like: Ryan McDonagh ($5,100), Sami Vatanen ($4,800), Mark Streit ($4,200).
Value: Thomas Hickey ($2,900), Anton Stralman ($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!