Before we do this write-up, I want to wish all the Scout writers, like myself, who entered in the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers Association) good luck. I entered for NHL writer of the year and Newcomer of the year. I hope to see the #ScoutArmy represented well this year.
On such a momentous day, the NHL has graced us with a large and juicy 12 game slate. There will be chalk, but with over 480 active players to choose from, paylines will be low. I truly believe that cash games are the way to go or Single entry GPP. I would also like to thank everyone that post questions in the forum, as this helps us all become better players. It is time to drop the puck, pull a flying V, and drop a knuckle puck in the net.
Mr. Pucks Profound Three
I was asked if these are three players people should use. What I suggest is building around at least one of my three choices. Let us take a look at my top three.
Nino Niederreiter (MIN) -vs- Colorado - Wing - ($4400 FD / $4900 DK) - Projected Second Line Wing
My favorite thing about tonight is that the Wild are on home ice against a horrible Avalanche team. In 18 games against the Avs, Nino has five goals and five assists. The important thing us that he shoots, and shoots a lot. In his last game against Colorado, he posted a team-high six shots on goal. He seems to step up against the Avs, and he will do that tonight. I see him leading the team with six shots, getting one goal and one assist. All that offense equates to near 30 points on FanDuel and 8on Draftkings.
Vladimir Tarasenko (Stl) @Dallas - Wing - ($8800 FD / $7900 DK) - Projected Second Line Wing
Vlad The Great is catching fire and wants to give us all an early Christmas gift. Already with 38 points (16 goals / 22 assists) this season, Tarasenko is starting to turn into a powerhouse! In his last game against Dallas, Vlad scored the game-winning goal along with taking six shots on goal. In his career against the Stars, he has accumulated nine goals and five assists in 15 games. More importantly, four of his goals are game-winning goals. Not only does he like playing the Stars, but he also single handedly beats them. I look for two goals and seven shots as his ceiling tonight, with one goal and four shots his floor. Cash game glory!
Jonathan Toews (Chi) -vs- Ottawa -Wing- ($6800 FD / $6200 DK) - Projected First Line Center
Toews gets a huge boost in this game. How huge? Glad you asked! With the injury to Artem Anisimov has placed Artemi Panarin with Toews and Kane. Talk about a game changer! Toews has had an up and down season, but with two perennial all-stars on his wings, he will have a monstrous game. In 10 career games against the Sens, Toews has seven goals and five assists, with three of those assists coming on the power play. Another upside to his game is he blocks shot, three in his last game against them. I like him for a Power play goal and two assists. Couple that scoring with four shots on goal and two blocked shots, and you're looking at a huge night. Keep an eye out, though, if Anisimov plays, then Panarin will slide to the second line, with either Hartman most likely moving to top line wing.
Mr. Pucks Sleeper Play of the Night
Timo Meier (SJ) -vs- Calgary - Wing - ($3200 FD / $3000 DK) - Projected Third Line Wing
Meier, 20, was the ninth overall pick in 2015 and has played great in his first professional season. In 17 games with the San Jose Barracuda, Meier has collected nine goals and six assists (15 points). Last year he had an absurd 34 goals and 53 assists (87 points) in just 52 QMJHL games, which showcases his high offensive ability. In his first NHL game, he scored a goal and took three shots, in his second game he had four shots. This Kid has tremendous talent and will be in a top-six role eventually. For now, use him to open up space. But keep an Eye out, with the possibility he could be sent back to the AHL.
Pivot if Meier is sent to AHL
Chris Stewart(Min) -vs- Colorado -Wing-($3300 FD / $3500 DK)
Teams To Target
A few teams to target and build your lineups around.
Chicago Blackhawks - I love the new look top line. If the line holds, they will be the most productive group on the night. Don’t overlook the second line of Hartman-Hinostroza-Hossa. The triple h line could blow up this game. Keith on defense is always a great play, but I like Seabrook more so.
Winnipeg Jets - The Jets head into Vancouver to take on a lethargic Canucks team. That alone should be enough to roster a player or two. I love Scheifele and Laine in this spot, as well as Wheeler. I think this is a 3 to 1 win with a high amount of shots on net. Byfuglien (aka Big Buff) is a must have in most formats. I also like Trouba in this game as I think he gets an assist and three blocked shots.
Minnesota Wild - The Wild have such a juicy matchup tonight. So much so, that it is highly possible they are the chalk play of the night. The line of Niederreiter-Koivu-Granlund will provide 75% off the offense, and I love Niederreiter and either linemate as a mini stack in cash or gpp. Praise-Staal-Coyle is also worth a look but can be pricey. If you want to go contrarian, consider a Zucker-Pominville stack. Suter on defense is a great play as is his lower priced defensive partner Spurgeon.
St. Louis Blues - As I mentioned above, the Blues are a scary team with Vlad heating up. I will have a good amount of usage of his line. I think a Stastny-Yakupov stack could be sneaky too. Parayko is my favorite defensive play from the Blues, and to save money you can drop down to Gunnerson who has hit or exceeded value in five of his last six games.
Anaheim Ducks - The Ducks have a very productive line, that you will see more info on below. The line of Silfverberg-Kesler-Cogliano is a stout offensive juggernaut if you look at their last ten games. Also with the Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry line reunited, they too are worth a look. Fowler has been a huge player defensively this season as has his linemate Vatanen. This team will be somewhat contrarian because they are facing Carey Price. But remember, Price has given up 14 goals in his last six games. He is coming down to earth. Don't let him scare you off the Ducks.
Also Consider - Pittsburgh top two lines, New Jersey top line, San Jose top line, Columbus top line, Boston top two lines.
**As always check before puck drop to see starting goalies, as things change**
I will list a few goalies and if you want them in cash, gpp, or both.
Murray - Cash/GPP - Highest win% in NHL at 85.7% with at least 10
Hellebuyck - GPP - At a 52% winning percentage he is a GPP play only. He has won his last two with a 2.00 GAA and a .948 save percentage.
Bobrovsky - Cash/GPP - 3rd highest winning % at 73.1% and most wins at 19.
Dubnyk - Cash/GPP
Johnson - GPP only.
Allen - GPP
Schneider - GPP
Saros - GPP ONLY! Sleeper Alert!
Mr. Pucks High Risk/ High Reward GPP Lineup
This is a risky lineup, which if it hits, has a high return. I would only suggest you use this in any GPP that you enter multiple lineups in. I do not suggest it be your main lineup. This IS NOT my main lineup. I do not make any claims that this lineup will hit.
***Lineups may change based on final lines before puck drop. Will update on forums if anything changes***
C - Toews
C - Koivu
W - Niederreiter
W - Panarian
W - Gagner
W - Tarasenko
D - Boychuk
D - Parayko
G - Saros
$100 salary remaining
C - Lehtera
C - Toews
W - Tarasenko
W - Fabbri
W - Panarian
D - Seabrook
D - Seidenberg
G - Hellebuyck
U - Meier
$100 remaining salary.
Mr. Pucks Production Cheatsheet
In the last ten games, one California-based team has had a highly productive line.
The Line Combo of Silfverberg-Kesler-Cogliano, has combined for seven goals and seven assists, with a near 10% shooting percentage. Consider that when building lineups.
All we do is….
Lose, lose, lose, no matter what, cause when we on the ice, we can't stop a puck…
When John Moore and Kyle Quincey of the New Jersey Devils are on the ice together, they don't do so well. The are the NHL's worst defensive pairing in the last ten games. Combined they have allowed 11 goals and 132 shots on net. Think about that, one goal a game and 13 shots allowed per game average. Consider that if you want to use a standalone player from Nashville.
Good luck to everyone and remember my twitter handle has changed to @MrPucks77.