The week begins anew and I am ready for more daily picks here on “The Playbook”. There are three games to choose from so pickings may be somewhat slim.
This is a slate that has a features some ugly and some good. Let’s discuss!
Henrik Lundqvist ($8,300) – It feels like Lundqvist has not started in a week. You would be very correct. The first couple months have been a struggle for the all world goalie but this is almost the norm. A .905 save percentage probably was not in the plan along with a 9-7-3 record and up and down point totals. This is a home clash against Pittsburgh that again is a needed one for New York to right the ship. Lundqvist is well rested with no excuses.
Others to consider: Martin Brodeur ($7,000), Anton Khudobin ($6,500). — we thought about goalies like Fleury and Luongo but honestly there is a little hesitation there.
Derek Stepan ($5,800) – There may have been better choices but Stepan had an awful outing on Saturday against the Red Wings and looks to redeem himself in a huge game for the New York Rangers. He has ten points in his last ten games overall even though some are concerned about his shot, no one should really mind much if he gets you four or five daily fantasy points. Pittsburgh had problems containing his passing lanes at times last season.
Jori Lehtera ($3,700) – It seems the Lehtera bandwagon has seen quite a few fall off. Despite this, the pivot has 22 points in 26 games. The other concern is the lack of goal scoring….none in over ten games. Even the power play points have dropped dramatically (one in the last ten). However, it won’t take much now for Lehtera to equal his value and since he still mostly plays with Vladimir Tarasenko, that does not hurt. Florida has the tendency to sometimes flop on the road defensively and this should benefit Lehtera.
Others I like: Evgeni Malkin ($9,000), Eric Staal ($7,300).
Value: Nick Spaling ($2,700), Scott Gomez ($2,500).
Jeff Skinner ($6,800) – The winger is still shooting on Petr Mrazek as we speak to no avail but those ten shots are a harbinger of good things to come as the severely injured New Jersey team limps into town. If Skinner keeps on firing shots, there is no reason why he either finds the back of the net or helps someone else do so. This may even happen multiple times. If Eric Staal and Skinner find their way on the power play long enough, that may be even more of a benefit to daily players on this short of a slate.
Jaden Schwartz ($5,000) – He has struggled a bit of late but with two points in his last two games, maybe Schwartz is getting back some of that early season form. Lines that have breakouts like this often go through these back and forth periods after the initial blazing hot starts. While that start is a memory, at least Schwartz has a pretty favorable opponent in Florida. Yes, Roberto Luongo can be stingy on the road but a team with the depth of St. Louis offers match-up problems like few can.
Others I like: Rick Nash ($8,200), Blake Comeau ($3,100).
Value: Steve Downie ($2,600), Tuomo Ruutu ($2,500).
Alex Pietrangelo ($7,000) – The defenseman has been a little off on the defensive side of his game at key times this year but he racks up plenty of blocked shots (71) and shots on goal (84). That almost makes up for his measly two goals on the year. If the goals come up even a little or even a few more assists, then he is worth the pick every night. Right now, he is a must play Monday given the mere three games.
Aaron Ekblad ($4,900) – This is more a get greedy type of pick but hey Ekblad had three assists the other night against Buffalo. He has been quite the surprise for the Florida Panthers and his 17 points puts him in the running for the Calder Trophy. His shots per game are gradually inching up each ten game increment which is also encouraging. Facing St. Louis should be interesting test as their 5 on 5 penchant for suppressing shots and chances could prove to be cumbersome.
Others I like: Kevin Shattenkirk ($6,700), Justin Faulk ($5,300).
Value: Marc Staal ($2,600), Jon Merrill ($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!