The week begins again and I am ready for more daily picks here on “The Playbook”. There are just two games to choose from on this day. Let’s go!
This is a slate that has a features some ugly and some good. Let’s discuss!
Roberto Luongo ($8,600) – It is not easy at all on this short of a slate with fairly even match-ups. Everything kind of points to Florida as this being a show me game. Are they a playoff possibility or are they massive overachievers? Luongo will have a lot to say about this as these are normally the games that Toronto gets up for. Phil Kessel’s line is a huge threat and Toronto’s bottom six has to be watched. The key will be can Florida stem the tide early. If they can, Luongo may be able to put up some pretty good numbers and possibly get that all important W.
Others to consider: Frederik Andersen ($8,200). — if only Ryan Miller were more consistent….but do watch in case Ilya Bryzgalov gets the nod. Check the beats later in the afternoon.
Ryan Kesler ($7,900) – It is that type of evening where going against the Ryan Getzlaf train may sound nuts but we will give it a go. He has six goals in his last ten games and has played like a man possessed on the power play. Also, Kesler is playing his former team again and he will be eager to stick it to them one more time. We do recommend *Ryan Getzlaf ($8.800) as well. Both are averaging around five daily fantasy points a contest over the last 12 games.
Nick Bjugstad ($4,300) – This is the one player that could truly be a first line caliber player in the NHL sooner rather than later. His value is rather low today on a light slate which makes him a easy find as you are searching around. Bjugstad also sees a ton of time on the power play and the extra points for him will come when he starts executing some of those juicy chances he generates. The pivot needs to shoot more as his shot is very deceptive. He has a Joe Sakic like wrister when his shot selection is good.
*Others I like: Tyler Bozak ($5,800), Vincent Trocheck ($3,500).
Value: Peter Holland ($3,000), Brad Richardson ($2,900).
Phil Kessel ($8,500) – The minutes have been back to normal for awhile now and Kessel has to be played no matter the schedule. If you really want to take a risky gamble then try and package James Van Riemsdyk ($8,200) as well. The key will be how Toronto comes out early. Florida often struggles in the first period at home and especially with their penalty kill. Toronto needs to capitalize on any early opportunities that come their way and that goes especially for Kessel.
Jimmy Hayes ($3,200) – Okay Wassel you have gone mad! However, Hayes has 15 points in 24 games and what is more scary is the unfinished chances that he has missed on. The power forward still has some strength to gain and when the 6 foot 6 forward does, then look out. He does have to again shoot more which is a common theme among the upper echelon Florida forwards but this may be an evening to grab Hayes and see what he can do for you.
Others I like: Daniel Sedin ($7,500), Radim Vrbata ($7,200).
Value: Daniel Winnik ($2,600), Tomas Kopecky ($2,500).
Sami Vatanen ($4,600) – The options on defense are rather slim today but hey, that means value is somewhere. Vatanen has been evening out his 5 on 5 points of late and has struggled a bit offensively of late but has 27 blocked shots and 18 shots on net in his last ten games. He is almost due for a better performance this evening against Vancouver. Anaheim wants to keep a score a bit down against Vancouver and the defenseman has improved that part of his game so he should hit his points per game target.
Aaron Ekblad ($3,600) – Hey his drop in value makes him worth a pick-up. Ekblad was over $4,000 for a bit but has slid back as the Panthers power play has also. Three power play points is not enough. This team has to start performing better but that may not come for awhile on the man advantage if everyone is trying to play simple all the time. Take the training wheels off and let them make mistakes and play. Safe is death and when you have a player like Ekblad, a coach has to let him just play.
Others I like: Cody Franson ($4,000), Cam Fowler ($3,800).
Value: Roman Polak ($2,600), Yannick Weber ($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!