Daily Fantasy Hockey Tips August 23, 2014  |  Neil Parker

Artemi Panarin was daily fantasy hockey gold due to his price, opportunity, and production


Here are five daily fantasy hockey tips.

Although, most any strategy can work if you select the right players. These are some solid guidelines to help maximize your potential to score fantasy points. Remember the best lineups don’t win beauty contests, they post oodles of fake points.


Daily Fantasy Hockey Tips


Know your contest and its settings

You need to approach your lineups according to the contest you’re entering and the site you’re playing on. If counting stats such as hits and blocked shots are included, you may find additional value in particular defensemen, for example. If you’re playing in a 5000 team guaranteed prize pool contest where only the top 500 teams get paid, you may want to consider more high-risk, high-reward players than you would in a 50/50 contest.

Pay attention to details. It is how you win and lose after all.


Matchups matter

Know the susceptible teams each night. A road team playing on the wrong end of back-to-back games should be a favorable matchup to a home team on three days rest, who are also in the midst of a nine-game homestand. Teams who struggle killing penalties are prime matchups to exploit. Teams that give up plenty of shots, or consistently lose the Corsi battle should be picked on. Look at injury reports. Target teams with depleted bluelines, who are relying on their third-string goaltender, or have just lost their best offensive player.

Take the time to look for weaknesses to exploit. It will give you an edge on the competition.


Start with your goalie

Starting the right goalie will rarely win your contest. However, the wrong one will always lose it. There are all kinds of approaches to selecting your goaltender. You can target an upset candidate, or a tendy who will likely face a lot of rubber, to save cap room. The alternative is selecting a high-end option you expect to allow very few goals, get the win and potentially shutout the opponent. Regardless of your strategy, begin with your goaltender. You can build your team around your goaltender, but you want to avoid narrowing your goaltender selection to a price range.

Force your hand with a final forward or defenseman. Their floor is much higher.


Cheap first line forwards

Be on the look out for players moving up their team’s depth chart, specifically to the top line or top power play unit. These players can come in many forms. Early in the season, look for offseason additions who might get a boost in value and be underpriced. Rookies can also present excellent early season value, Artemi Panarin’s price and start last season serve as a perfect example. Patrick Laine might fit this year. This is all about ice time, opportunity and cap hit.

Think about a garbage time all-star quarterback/wide receiver combo. Get double the points, for half the price.


Power play quarterbacks

Don’t be afraid to spend on a star defenseman, especially when the schedule is thin. Finding defenseman capable of producing twice their salary will win a lot of 50/50 contests. A power play quarterback is significantly more valuable than a third line center when there are only a few games on the docket. On nights with more games scheduled, you should target cheaper defensemen with exploitable power play matchups. Defensemen who get plenty of minutes with the man advantage have a higher floor.

Defense is highly volatile. If you have any doubt about spending up, don’t do it.


Focus on beating the salary cap. It is your biggest enemy.

Have any Daily Fantasy Hockey Tips to share?

8 Responses

  1. Jason G. says:

    Hey Neil,

    I played about twice a week last season, and mostly on DraftKings. They have their strength of defense vs. a position next to each player, but I am wondering if there is a more accurate site that has sortable strength/weakness vs. positions? Good info in here as well, Thanks!

    • Neil Parker says:

      I think you’ll begin to see more content available for matchups.

      Hockey is unique, though. Line matching is an important factor, which cannot be characterized by a single strength of defense ranking. For example, the Montreal Canadiens are a lot weaker defensively when Lars Eller is on the ice than Tomas Plekanec. You cannot completely project when and who Montreal will try to match Plekanec and Eller against. Obviously, it is also difficult to match lines when you’re the visiting team. Furthermore, not all coaches play the line matching game.

      I would not put any stock in a blanket ranking for an entire team against a particular position.

      However, that completely changes when teams are shorthanded or on the power play. In these cases there is a much clearer indication of who will be on the ice and the strength of a team’s power play and penalty kill. I have created the Power Play Point Potential Rankings for that very reason. Targeting players on good power plays who face weak penalty kills is a proven winning strategy.

      Keep an eye out for the rankings after the first few weeks of the season.

      Thanks for writing Jason, hopefully this helped,


  2. Jeff Collins says:

    The more I’ve gotten into DFS NHL the less clarity I have in building LUs. I know every day is different but curious if any strategies have been “tested”. 1 in particular I’m interested in is for sites with flex position(s). Seems like 95% of LUs use a forward to fill these slots, I’m curious if it makes more sense to use a D in these slots. Specifically D with high TOI? The more TOI, more chance to score fake points. Maybe this is better suited for sites that don’t use +/- also?

    Speaking of scoring systems, do any of the sites use hits? I know StarStreet use to, thought it was a good way to award grit instead of PIMs, which don’t really help in real hockey.

    Thanks for any insight and all the great article on DFS.

  3. Mikey P. says:

    Hey this is the first time reader of “Fake Hockey”, but i READ Fake Baseball daily and it is one of the many sites i use to start my DFS day..Thee only question i have is..How CRUCIAL is “Stacking” in the Fake Hockey Game?. My main strategy is stacking at least one Center, a LW/RW or defenseman, from a certain team (Especially Favored team) but i believe this is the most used strategy most guys use in DFS. I know its always about finding a guy or guys who hit value or Exceed their value, whatever that may be? My best example is M. Hoffman/ M. Stone of Ottawa last season they produced for me on a regular basis, but man this is hard….I guess i kinda know what i’m doing, but just finding that winning COMBO on a regular basis is really just a coin flip….A Fun coin flip, but also frustrating!! So really i do not know what im asking, but i just felt like posting lol I sort of guess in the end its all about having fun n NOT Going overboard with your bankroll…Sure wish they had more Quint’s on fanduel hockey as they do in baseball (Fanduel)…Can anyone else recommend a good site for hockey as i’ve ONLY Played Fanduel for everything? I’m registered in Draftkings, Yahoo, cbs Sportsline, and like 2 others i think fantasy aces n draft day? But NEVER spent money in those? Lil Help haha

    • Neil Parker says:

      Stacking is a solid strategy, and you should be looking for favorable matchups to exploit. An emphasis on power-play stacks is advised, too. Draft Kings, Fantasy Aces and FantasyScore are solid sites to play, and all offer unique settings and scoring.

  4. […] yourself that was the end. But then you started to feel it again, the itch. So you pulled up The Fake Hockey in your browser, learned the basics, and swore that it would never go any further than […]

  5. Ross says:

    Hi Neil,

    Are you still working on this site. I’m learning NHL DFS, consistently cashing but not hitting it yet. I would love to chat with an expert. Perhaps you can e-mail me.

    RossLGoldstein@gmail.com. Thanks.

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