I wish DraftKings and FanDuel would let us roster all the best players. No salary cap. Under those circumstances, I would simply not roster the top skaters in the player pool. And most nights, I’d be better for it.
Hockey, much like that frozen rubber cylinder that bounces erratically across the ice, is mostly unpredictable. Sometimes players call the puck a ‘grenade.’ On any given night, an expensive stud goalie can give up three goals on five shots or a bottom-six line can account for all the scoring.
If we average the total goals scored on a given night, the mean will fall somewhere between five and six, but where those goals come from is difficult to predict. It’s amusing that most over/unders are 5.5. Basically, Vegas isn’t telling us a d*mn thing, so what’s a guaranteed prize pool player to do? Find a value play or two, stack lines and players with some correlation, and roster a goalie in a favorable spot. But where do we begin?
Finding The Next Great One
“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
— Wayne Gretzky
— Michael Scott
You want to roster skaters who shoot the puck. Caveat emptor: Not all players are Wayne Gretzky. Most miss a lot of the shots they take. One way to identify the shooters from the scorers is to peruse our Team Lines tool.
Below is Anaheim’s third-line center, Antoine Vermette:
The guy simply doesn’t score. Don’t roster him.
You: “But he centers the second power play (PP) line?”
Me: “I don’t care. Still don’t roster him.”
Whether he scores 0.5 or 3.5 DK points, he won’t win you anything but heartache. His line mate Nick Ritchie is preferable:
At least he’s capable of scoring. But, honestly, I wouldn’t roster him either.
A guy doesn’t need to make 100 percent of his shots to be rosterable, but if he’s missing close to 100 percent that’s not good.
Trends: Your Tool to Success
So who the hell do we roster? Snipers! — mid-priced snipers with quality line mates with the potential to earn us goals and glory. They’re actually not all that hard to identify via our Trend tool:
Look for skaters who match this trend, and then build around them.
For instance, Evander Kane, who also plays on the second PP line, frequently matches for this trend. Roster him.
Here’s Buffalo’s newly formed second line:
Marcus Foligno got flushed to the bottom six, and Sam Reinhart got a well-deserved promotion. All three skaters in this line are capable producers at their respective salaries. Reinhart and Jack Eichel also skate on the first PP line. Given that Buffalo has one of the top power plays and that its second line isn’t likely to have high ownership in most slates, this correlated core of players offers a solid roster foundation.
Additionally, when Buffalo is facing a team with a weak penalty kill, adding a couple more skaters from the first PP line could make for a GPP-winning lineup.
One Final Score
As I mentioned in the first section, some nights the puck just doesn’t bounce your way — but if you take the time to learn how to utilize the Tools that FantasyLabs offers you will find yourself well ahead of the competition and on your way to constructing unique, sound, and winning lineups.
I hope your next shot’s a game winner.