I've had a few weeks now to get settled in to hockey life on Daily Joust. I've found that putting together a quality lineup can be quite a challenge on a nightly basis, as the salaries closely line up with true value. You really have to dig deep and dissect the options to come up with some value picks. I've done just that. Here are some of the best players to target in terms of maximum return on your dollar.
CENTER (45k to 204k range)
Evgeni Malkin (PIT) - 121k
Of course, it's critical to monitor his injury status from game to game, but if you know he's in the lineup, you can't beat the price. Malkin will delivery a point-per-game all season long and will pad your fantasy stats with plenty of shots on goal.
Ryan Kesler (VAN) - 130k
Kesler offers the complete package when it comes to fantasy value. He sputtered a little, following his initial return from injury, but it looks like he's starting to find his form lately. His salary will only go up from here.
Steven Stamkos (TB) - 167k
Yes, he's approaching the higher end of the salary structure, but I still view him as being undervalued at this point. He hasn't given us everything he has to offer yet. Once he gets clicking, this youngster can rack up the points. Buy low.
- Cody Hodgson (VAN) - 58k -- future star for the Canucks can provide enough for a bargain price
- Anthony Stewart (CAR) - 46k -- if you're really struggling to make cap, Stewart at least has a chance to score
LEFT WING (45k to 202k)
Henrik Zetterberg (DET) - 79k
It's been a tough start for the superstar in Detroit, but make no mistake, he will recover. There's nobody even near his talent level under 80k. I'm taking him until his stock price rebounds.
Alex Burrows (VAN) - 87k
Burrows is the classic underrated winger. While things haven't gone to plan thus far in Vancouver, you can bet it's just a matter of time before they get turned around. Include Burrows in that narrative. He'll get close to 30 goals this season. I like the price at 87k.
James Neal (PIT) - 128k
Challenging for the league lead in goal scoring through the first month hasn't been enough to see his salary reach the elite. Take him. Your opponent will, I guarantee.
- David Booth (VAN) - 45k -- Booth just arrived on the scene, so give him some grace time to start clicking. He's a former 30 goal scorer, and can be again. No better option at the entry level price.
RIGHT WING (45k to 183k)
Tomas Fleischmann (FLA) - 96k
Fleischmann just continues to overachieve. Or maybe we're just setting the bar too low. Over the past year, he's paced near a point a game for 3 different NHL teams, yet he continues to get very little press or respect in the fantasy world. He's earning top line minutes with the Panthers now, and is red hot. Don't expect him to linger under 100k for long.
Claude Giroux (PHI) - 127k
You could price this guy at 180 and I'd still say buy. 127k is silly for the man who just may win the scoring title this season. Think I'm nuts? Watch him play.
Jeff Skinner (CAR) - 110k
Skinner has surpassed Staal as the weapon of choice in Carolina. Few can match his speed and skill up front. He's still flying under the radar, based his geography, but it's just a matter of time before he gets noticed. 110 is a deal.
No via bargain bin players on the right wing that I'd consider playing now.
Joe Corvo (BOS) - 60k
Corvo's best days are probably behind him, but at 60k, it's hard to find better value.
Kevin Bieksa (VAN) - 88k
Bieksa got off to a nasty start, but has started to right the ship on the Vancouver blue line. He registered two points against the Caps over the weekend and has shots in all but 1 game so far this year. Just a matter of time before that cannon finds the cage.
James Wisniewski (COB) - 75k
I guess the suspension reigned in his IPO on daily joust. Don't forget, he was top 10 last season among defensemen. Despite the missing games, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him land there again this season.
Ryan Suter (NAS) - 75k
Suter will be better than the 6 game pointless streak would leave you to believe. He has 3 assists in his last 2 games and should keep that rolling. He plays nearly half the game for the Preds each night.
- Jakub Kindl (DET) - 45k -- if you're desperate...
- Anton Babchuk (CGY) - 47k -- inconsistent, but capable of scoring goals in bunches
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