Do you have the cash to pay for this man every night he plays?
It has been a busy past few months since the end of the “2012”- 2013 NHL season – we have all been through a full fantasy baseball season and have started out the 2013 fantasy football season. And for those of you bold enough, you have also started out your 2013 college football fantasy season. On top of all of this, you have already prepared for and drafted your 2013-2014 fantasy hockey team. Yes, there will be a full NHL season, which means more days that daily fantasy sports grinders have to roll out an NHL lineup.
As readers to this site know, the daily fantasy lineups that were posted here last year cashed on about 83% of nights using the low dollar 50/50s as a marker. Hours of work goes into setting daily fantasy hockey lineups. This season, however, will be different in that all daily fantasy hockey lineups will be posted in our members’ only section. What happened last year was that when I posted a lineup on FanDuel, I would see my lineup played by upwards of 120 people across all different games. If the lineup finished towards the back-end of the 50/50, you may have cashed in, but you had to split that with 15 other grinders. That is not fun, but then again, you were getting free advice from me. I very much appreciate the thanks and accolades, but I also like earning money. With that, if you want free lineups for this season, please make sure you ping me on Twitter (@TheTonyM
), my colleague (@SlimCliffy
) or the founder, Trader X (@FantasyTrade411
) and we will get you set up with a membership. This year, I will also be posting lineups on at least four or five different daily gaming sites.
Please note that my daily posts will be significantly shortly this year as I will not be including the primer topics that I will cover in this piece. In each article, I will include a link to this piece as a reference. I will also likely update this piece over the course of the hockey season.
What is Daily Gaming?
In case you had not noticed, “daily gaming” has made giant strides in the fantasy sports world over the past three years. Daily games in fantasy hockey allow you the opportunity to pick a new team of your favorite players each night. Depending on the type of game you play, you could earn thousands of dollars in any given contest. The best part about this is that, in the majority of U.S. states, it is all legal so you do not have to go around talking about how you risked “jelly beans”.
Once you have
registered for an account at your favorite gaming site and have deposited, say, $10 using PayPal (and I know that you have spent $10 on worse habits such as buying a case, yes, a case of Milwaukee’s Best Ice), all you need to do is choose a $1, $2 or $535 matchup in the draft lobby, pick your roster while staying under the site’s given salary cap, and then sit back and enjoy watching your stats compile all night! I promise that it is a great and fun way to enjoy the NHL action on any given night and a simple way to win some quick cash if you know what you are doing (or if you follow my advice).
Daily Fantasy Hockey
Playing daily fantasy hockey during the playoffs is a very tricky task. If you want to win on any particular night, you really must hit on the goaltender on a winning team and you have to have at least three goal scorers. On FanDuel and DraftKings, you can win with depth players (who are often the ones who put the puck in the net with helpers from your stars) that have a high +/- rating for the night, who shoot the puck a ton or are troublemakers (as most sites reward players with points for penalty minutes (PIMs) and for “live” statistics such as hits and blocked shots).
Now that we have covered the basics, I will post a lineup that I will use each night in a $109 game and a handful of 50/50 games to ensure some payout, which has been my strategy over the past two and a half weeks. More often than not, I have finished inside the top half in these 50/50 games and while the payout is small, it somewhat hedges your cash in your head-to-head matchup if you happen to face a shark in any given day. Just to be clear, I play in 50 player 50/50 games as it is much easier, in my opinion, to finish in the top 25 than it is to finish in the top 50% of a smaller 50/50 game. That said, I do roll out the cash for the larger payout 50/50s if I feel great about my squad.
The first thing I do on any given day is that I jot down some notes about the Vegas lines be it the money lines, over/unders and where the money is going. Some of the information I will write out is accessible to the public, but my information with respect to sharp money is sort of my own secret recipe to success. If I do not cover a game that you are interested in, please feel free to reach out to me.
The next thing I do is to take note of the lines that players are likely to play on that night. I use DailyFaceoff or LeftWingLock as my sources. Pay particular attention to the players who are likely to be on the first power play lines of teams with the best power play units. My good friend Neil Parker (@naparker77
) provides great coverage on this topic over at TheFakeHockey.com
Next, I take a look at which goaltenders are set to start that night. This is really no different than ensuring than daily fantasy baseball in which you have to ensure that your players are actually in their team’s starting lineup.
Now that you have all of your data written down or scribed in some form, take a look at, for example, FanDuel, and note of players’ salaries. Personally, I always start out selecting my goalie. I will take the cheapest goalie on the team that is likely (according to Vegas) to get a “W”. From there, I add a couple of core superstars and then add in the remaining puzzle pieces. At points during the season, you will almost feel obligated to play, for example, Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin every night because you know that even though they come with a high price tag, you do not want to be the one daily fantasy player without them in the lineup. This situation happened during this baseball season when it was almost impossible to not play Miguel Cabrera or Chris Davis.
The hardest part about setting a daily fantasy hockey lineup is finding the bargain bin players. To do so, pay careful attention to a team’s lines and note whether a value player (in other words, a player with a cheap price tag) is playing with the first line or second line. It is a bonus if this value player is expected to see power play time.
As I set my lineups well before the games are played in any given night, please make sure you check my Twitter timeline close to the first puck drop
to see if I have made any swaps. Again, and I cannot stress this enough, as always, the one item that I have not yet nailed down as of this posting is which netminder I want in my lineup. This is the one item that I may change prior to the lock and I do my best to make the change at least 15 minutes before the first puck drops.
Access to Daily Gaming Sites
If you have not signed up for the daily gaming sites on which I will base my lineups each day, feel free to sign up that day using the links provided. No matter how well you are doing in your 2013-2013 fantasy hockey season, it is never too late to head over to a daily gaming site, draft a new team for any night’s NHL action and enjoy watching the games!
A 24-year fantasy sports veteran and a California and New York licensed corporate attorney by day, I am the managing editor/senior writer/general counsel of FantasyTrade411.com. I am also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and am also contributor to RotoGrinders.com, FantasyPros.com
, TheFakeHockey.com and FantasyFeud.com. Please feel free to contact me at any time on twitter @TheTonyM with your fantasy sports questions. Be sure to listen to my podcast “Sports Counseling with the Doc and Slim” with my radio partner, Michael Clifford (aka @SlimCliffy) on the Fantasy Trade 411 Radio Network.