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 dozen games tonight.


This is a slate that has a features plenty of intrigue. Let’s discuss!

Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,800) – We cannot really fault Fleury at all for giving up three goals on Saturday against Washington as Pittsburgh scored nothing. This will be a very tough game to gauge as New Jersey has made it apparent they are playing out the string even though the players blindly believe they can still make the playoffs. The risk is the Devils do not always put a lot of rubber on net but sometimes they do. It is like playing poker. You never know. This game does reek of being rather low scoring.

Ben Bishop ($7,200) – 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 $7,200, he still provides a points per dollar above the mean at this price point. Before his value goes up even more, a game against Toronto (who just played Florida) 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: Craig Anderson ($7,700), Martin Brodeur ($6,700), Cam Ward ($6,700). — there are lots of risks and do watch how Jonathan Bernier progresses with the flu before making picks.


Tyler Seguin ($9,300) – The Rangers come to Dallas with an eight game winning streak but beware the Seguin. This is a kind of night where the center could feast on a team that does have speed but their team defense can be burned by a blazer. We all know how fast the pivot can skate and how much faster he can shoot. This could very well be a six plus point night for the Dallas forward as the first game of these road trips can yield some ugly results and that is good for Seguin owners.

Claude Giroux ($8,700) – This is where you just have to keep starting Giroux until he cools off a few games. The Giroux-Voracek duo keeps producing at almost 1.5 points each per game. When you look at the two of them, as long as they keep firing pucks on net at a high volume, all they really need to do is get a goal or assist to come close to their totals. When the duo gets two points even, that is even better. This has been the Flyers bright spot so keep rolling this duo if you can afford their price tag.

Tyler Johnson ($6,400) – There are so many center candidates as it is always the deepest position in fantasy. We give Johnson another shot as Tampa faces a tired Toronto team on Monday. He is too good not to pass up at this juncture. His point a game pace is often lost on some given that Steven Stamkos plays on Tampa (also recommended if you want to spend). With a large Monday slate, players are going to find choices and options they may not be used to having. Please take note of that.

Pavel Datsyuk ($5,700) – Yes Datsyuk has struggled a bit but he still has 26 points in 25 games (13 G 13 A). However, Detroit will play a Boston team that is struggling as much as Detroit has lately. Something has to give here. Anytime you have the chance to take the wizard at a low price point, you take it! DO not hesitate here and this will give you flexibility to go after a big center or wing if you so desire. Please act accordingly or look at one of our other possibilities.

Others I like: Evgeni Malkin ($8,700), John Tavares ($7,800), Eric Staal ($5,400).

Value: Jay Beagle ($2,900), John Mitchell ($2,500).


Rick Nash ($8,500) – 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 gets a Dallas team that will usually give up a few goals even when they win. The winger was held to only three shots against New Jersey as Derek Stepan took on the goal scoring load Saturday (hat trick). Nash will manufacture daily points somehow.

Jakub Voracek ($8,000) – If you read above, we take Voracek even in a road tilt much like Giroux. Why not right? When you are around a 15 point clip in your last ten games, the hat must be tipped in your direction. On the season, he has 46 points in 35 games. You have to play him even on the road. When you look at Philadelphia, their power play and first line duo is pretty damn good most of the time but if they do not score…..ah crap!

Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,100) – We have to admit that Tarasenko was not expected at first to keep scoring like this. Though his shots per game have come down a little bit, the point production has not too much. His seven goals in the last ten games have come on only 27 shots via 12 scoring chances. Colorado gives up lots of shots and definitely has some match-up issues covering Tarasenko with their “zone defense”. He has to be started if you can afford him.

Kyle Okposo ($6,300) – We are throwing this one in just because Okposo rides shotgun with John Tavares and when Tavares is mad, the Isles duo will get you points. Yes they blew a 3-0 lead and lost in a shootout but the New York team has to strap on in and face Washington who is definitely rolling. Okposo’s shooting percentage is below 7% and that should not continue much longer. Kind of like Marian Hossa a week ago, the goals should start to come soon enough.

Others I like: James Neal ($5,500), Nikita Kucherov ($5,300), Jiri Hudler ($4,900). — Hudler could be a great sneaky play.

Value: Steve Bernier ($2,700), Tobias Rieder ($2,700), Bryan Rust ($2,700).


John Carlson ($6,000) – With the Kris Letang injury and his status up in the air (you start Letang if he can go), Carlson moves up to our first chair. Defensive values have slid a bit but Carlson’s price point has steadily risen for the most part this season. He is a big defender who blocks his fair share of shots and gets his own shots on the net. He looked great against Crosby and Pittsburgh. Expect him to be able to excel against an Islanders team that is not having an easy time of it right now (no Halak).

Alex Pietrangelo ($5,800) – Defense is kind of the position tonight that has more value than the center or even wings….to a point! Pietrangelo against a Colorado team that gives up goals and chances galore is appetizing. Consider that Martin Brodeur is starting for St. Louis and the Blues realize they may have to score more than three goals even. He is too good not to at least have in your lineup. Get him in there as soon as possible and ride the wave.

Justin Faulk  ($5,200) – Again this is about point per dollar and with the return of Jiri Tlusty and Jordan Staal, that should only help a guy like Faulk. Let’s face it. It has been a disaster at times defensively for a guy not used to playing sometimes 30 minutes a night. If he plays back to a more manageable 23-25 minutes a night, that may help. Also having an almost full complement benefits Faulk on the man advantage where maybe he can pick up a few extra points. He is right at DK average per player dollars so pick him up.

Others I like:  T.J. Brodie ($4,500), Mark Streit ($4,300), Jared Spurgeon ($4,100),.

Value: Roman Polak ($2,800), Anton Stralman ($2,600).

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!