With the new fantasy hockey section of The Hockey Writers launching, I will periodically cover the fantasy impact Detroit Red Wings players can have in upcoming games. These posts will cover Red Wings players’ values in DraftKings (the officially daily fantasy website of the NHL) and season-long fantasy hockey. Enjoy and feel free to comment with how this can be made better.
Wednesday vs. Edmonton
For tonight’s matchup with the Edmonton Oilers, there are a few Red Wings that may be worth picking up in daily fantasy hockey. Petr Mrazek gets the nod and has historically performed well against Edmonton. He could put up similar, if not better numbers, than Tuukka Rask and Semyon Varlamov, while costing a few hundred dollars less.
As the second-highest valued forward, Henrik Zetterberg figures to be involved in the scoring against an Edmonton team that has allowed 2.7 goals against per game. Dylan Larkin provides value at $3900 and has a five-game scoring streak on the line. Teemu Pulkkinen is a high-risk, high-reward pick at $3000. He has three goals through five games and puts the puck on net at every opportunity. Tomas Tatar, Mike Green, and Niklas Kronwall could factor as well, but there are better options in other games.
Late-game only leagues figure to be a good opportunity for Zetterberg, Larkin, Kronwall, and Gustav Nyquist as the only other game features Carolina facing off against the Avalanche (who can seriously score). As for season-long fantasy hockey, all of the above players should be owned in leagues consisting of 10 or more teams, along with Justin Abdelkader.
Friday vs. Calgary
Friday night’s game against Calgary has the potential to be a solid fantasy hockey night for the Red Wings. The Flames have allowed 3.8 goals per game, third-worst in the NHL. Jimmy Howard will start for the Red Wings, but does not look to be a smart play with Carey Price and Braden Holtby also playing.
Zetterberg, Nyquist, and Green look to be good plays, though pricing, which will be announced later in the week, could factor in. Kronwall and Tatar do not have the best career statistics against Calgary and should be avoided. Darren Helm and Pulkkinen, again, are boom-or-bust picks. Helm’s work on the penalty kill is key—only if he can score or assist on a shorthanded goal.
For the late-night lineups, Zetterberg, Larkin, Nyquist, Abdelkader, Helm, Green, and Pulkkinen could be solid plays. Edmonton and Washington face-off in Edmonton and the Hurricanes visit the Kings in the other games. The Red Wings-Flames matchup figures to be the highest scoring.
Saturday vs. Vancouver
Already with a sample size of two games, the Red Wings do not perform well on the second night of back-to-back games. Mrazek starts for Detroit and could put up similar numbers as his win against Carolina. He could also take the loss if the Red Wings continue to not show up. Since there are 12 games on the schedule for Saturday, he is the only decent play for the Red Wings. And that should be carefully considered with Martin Jones and Henrik Lundqvist starting against weaker teams with a similar price point.
Though past performance is not always an indicator of future results, the Red Wings’ recent history in back-to-back games suggests that it would be wise to look elsewhere when building your lineup. Zetterberg and Larkin are fringe players, but there is likely more value with other players.
Tony Wolak is based in the Washington D.C. area and covers the Detroit Red Wings for THW. As a former junior and college hockey player, Tony has a unique perspective on Red Wings topics.