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Fantasy Hockey Mailbag: Thanks For Thanksgiving!

Here is the week that I long for every year and the chance to stuff myself silly with a big huge turkey leg and all the trimmings (maybe a second leg). Either way, the fantasy hockey week bends a bit differently this week. Thursday has just one game. This is what the schedule looks like. 

  • Monday -- 4
  • Tuesday -- 7
  • Wednesday -- 9
  • Thursday -- 1
  • Friday -- 11
  • Saturday -- 12
  • Sunday -- 1

Again note the Thursday and Sunday breaks. The Friday-Saturday back to back will be something to get used to so pay attention and keep an eye out for injuries and illnesses. Are you ready for the questions? Let's get started!

Fantasy Hockey Mailbag

1. What stat is less sustainable.....Ryan Miller's .900 save percentage or Craig Anderson's .935 save percentage?

This is where it gets fun. When Ryan Miller loses, he loses big. His GAA is nearly 7 in his three losses with a save percentage under .800. On the other hand, Craig Anderson has a goals against of 2.91 and a save percentage of .918. Those numbers are among the best for losses where Miller is by far the worst. Miller has had some uneven starts over his last seven games (as of Sunday afternoon). There was a streak of games early in the season where the Vancouver goalie was giving up one or two goals consistently. Vancouver tends to give up not as many shots this year as they did late last year. Overall, Miller has only faced 26 shots a game and yet maybe that is part of the reason why his numbers are the way they are. He was used to facing 35+ shots a night his last year and change in Buffalo. 

Cue in Craig Anderson, who faces a shot load very similar to what Miller had been as a Sabre. He is facing exactly 35 shots and almost 18 scoring chances a contest. That is not very easy but the fast pace does keep the goalie in rhythm. Anderson has also only played 11 games as he platoons with Robin Lehner

Basically, Ryan Miller's numbers will improve while Anderson's may dip a bit but neither will rise or fall to levels that would scream a mean regression or progression. Anderson will still be the better start for GAA, save  %, and saves while Miller should be the better start for wins. 

2. Is there a daily fantasy hockey night you prefer?

There sure is! The weekends are where you will always find me fielding a few lineups on different sites. Saturdays and Sundays are days to play. Yes, most people think the same way but more on Saturday. Sunday is often when you find the more greedy player and that is where you can take advantage. I floated Henrik Lundqvist in several leagues and Frederik Andersen in a couple to excellent results. When one can get over ten points from your goalie, that is usually 25-30% of the way to a cash out. Sunday cash rates start at around 35 points, sometimes higher and sometimes lower. 

Short stake nights usually mean higher chances to win but you do have to know who and when to play. It is not easy and takes a number of missteps especially early in the season. Sunday, early on, is a pretty optimal choice.

3. What do you make of the New York Islanders start?

No one should be shocked by this. They have nice balance, a lot of depth on offense, and just enough team defense to play similar to what the Pittsburgh Penguins used to do with that kind of depth. They will have stretches where things do not quite work together but they are a team very much in the mix for the Metropolitan Division crown. The Islanders have so much balance that they have three players at nearly a point a game along with 68 goals in 20 games which is awfully close to the Penguins 69 goals in 19 games.

Do not expect the offense to cool down too much with some fluctuations in team defense. If anything, the Isles top line may heat up much to the music of Kyle Okposo and John Tavares owners. Even Brock Nelson may score north of 30 goals which is a mild surprise. The Islanders and fantasy hockey fans who own these players will see more sunny days than cloudy ones. 


Thanks again for reading and keep those questions coming. Happy Thanksgiving!