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Monday 25th Jul 2016

Well, let me introduce myself. I'm your new DFS NHL Hockey Writer.

Whew...so glad that's out of the way now.

Saturday, my 45th Birthday, the NHL agreed to have a buttload of games in my honor. So, I can overdose with my league pass, Key Lime pie and tasty slate of games to chose from.  Five of the eleven games have playoff bound teams going head to head, and the players I love the most are consequently some of the hottest players in the league right now. Figure out a way to muscle these players into your Saturday lineups and expect a payoff. 

Center/Wing

Jason Spezza - Dallas ($6200): Spezza is on fire over his past ten games while potting ten goals and one assist, and I expect the assists to pick up now that Tyler Seguin is sidelined for the next 3-4 weeks. He will no doubt fill in for Seguin as center on the top line with Jamie Benn and anchor that deadly Stars Power Play that is currently fourth in the NHL. With a 22.5% Power Play conversion rate, do not expect Spezza to let off the gas at all versus the Islanders, who own the league's second-best PK with a 84.4 shutdown rate.

Mark Stone - Ottawa ($5700): Stone is the leading scorer since the All-Star break and is currently riding a seven-game point streak with points in nine of his last ten games. What this means is play him, no matter if the oppenent has Bobby Orr, Nicklas Lidstrom, Denny Potvin and Scott Stevens lined up as the opposing blue liners. He has three goals and ten assists in his last ten games and the Sens are hosting the barely treading water Montreal Canadians to boot! The Habs are 4-5-1 in their last ten games and 14-19-3 on the road. They have never fully recovered from the loss of the great Carey Price. 

Vladimir Tarasenko - St. Louis ($7400): The NHL's number one star last week is still riding the wave and piling up the points for one of the most difficult teams to try and figure out. The Blues are stacked to the roof with talent yet they are also one of the most streaky teams in the league. St. Louis is 6-4-0 in their last ten games, on a two-game losing streak and are on the road in Vancouver, a team that is riding a two-game losing streak. Tarasenko has five goals and seven assists in his last ten games and is averaging 12 PPG this season, good for 16th in the league.

Defense

Kevin Shattenkirk - St. Louis ($6700): All the Blues team data drops down here to Shatt who also has hot stick over the last week. Three goals and four helpers over his last seven games,  Shatt anchors the NHL's 6th best PP- 21.8% and six of his 13 goals this season have came on the Blues top notch Power Play.  He will be at the top end of costs for defensemen in DFS but is a solid bet to score you some needed points.

Goalie

Roberto Luongo - Florida ($8200): Louie Louie has won three of his last four games and Florida has been really playing lights out hockey of late and for them it all starts with their top player Luongo.  Maybe not so much this season as in seasons past with the development of Huberdeau, Barkov, Ekblad, and Trocheck but still the huge key for the Panthers.  Jagr also along with all the forwardsabove can be used in DFS Saturday as well, they are all hot tamales of late. Luongo has on the average over the past four games stopped 26 shots and averaged 6.37 points per DFS games. 

Well, what fun to be in Manhattan for Tout Wars while simultaneously tracking Arnold Palmer and his tourney this weekend. Of course there were the icon golfers of my youth: Jack Nicklaus, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Sam Snead, Gary Player, and the great Palmer. In fact, the first good putter I ever purchased was a mallet head Palmer signature that cost a pretty penny ($25) in 1968.

Do remember to keep fantasy open and regulated and fair for all by writing your local lawmakers and tell them of your love of playing and desire to keep on playing. Visit the FSTA site for more information (and thanks).

This week, it is a trip to Bay Hill, and don't forget to check out our deal with Draftkings where you get a lot of good baseball stuff from us along with some from Draftkings. Hit the link below for details.

So, our selections this week are:

Henrik Stenson ($11.100): Stenson has tied or better a half dozen times of late, and rumor has it he loves Bay Hill. He is four-for-four making the cut. 

Adam Scott ($10,200): Scott holds the course record at Bay Hill, and is seven-for-seven making the cut this season.

Charles Howell III ($8,000): Howell made the cut last week and is 11-for-12 making cuts.

Jamie Lovemark ($7,300): Lovemark finished 37th at Valspar and has made eight cuts out of twelve tries.

Mark Hubbard ($6,100): Taking another chance on Hubbard, second week in a row. Has also made eight cuts.

Davis Love III ($5,800): Six-for-six making the cut, so another low-end crapshoot.

Please let me know your thoughts/suggestions/ideas/commiserations @lawrmichaels.

I am sorry to have missed last week's tourney, but fantasy baseball and LABR brought me to Phoenix last Wednesday, and due to state laws that restrict DFS in that state, I couldn't enter my card. I will say that a week off has put my growing, yet still questionable skills at this game back to square two.

Arizona, in particular, has some snarky laws around allowing for DFS, so if you are reading this, please write to your local lawmakers and tell them of your love of playing and desire to keep on playing. Visit the FSTA site for more information (and thanks).

So, this week is the Valspar Open in Palm Harbor, Florida. And remember to check out our deal with Draftkings where you get a lot of good baseball stuff along with some from Draftkings. Hit the link below for details.

So, our selections this week are:

Jordan Speith ($12,800): Screw trying to strategize around a collection of decent average players, as I would assemble a dull everyday productive baseball lineup. Speith is simply the best player on the course this weekend, so that is where I am going. 

Charl Schwartzel ($10,200): Another high end selection, Schwartzel is 4-for-4 in tourneys and well, I am hoping that paired with Speith, the duo can come through.

Gary Woodland ($8,400): A moderate gamble, Woodland has none-the-less made the cut in all seven tournaments this season. 

Si Woo Kim ($6,700): Kim made the cut at Pebble Beach, his last entry, and is 9-for-12 playing the whole weekend.

Mark Hubbard ($5,700): Live with the high priced spread, potentially die via the low end. Hubbard is 11-for-12. Hope, hope, hope (is that what we invoke in lieu of certainty?).

Ricky Barnes ($5,700): Barnes tied for 26th last week at the Northern Trust and has eight good finishes, so ideally the hot hand does it!

Please let me know your thoughts/suggestions/ideas/commiserations @lawrmichaels.

Hello to everyone who has been following me throughout the NBA season! I have recently been working at a breakneck speed at my day job and as such have been unable to offer much insight into the goings on in the NBA. However, I have kept up my DFS play and have enjoyed a very nice week, up until last night with the questionable, then playing, then not playing Lance Stephenson, whose Grizzlies got absolutely demolished last night. The NBA had one of those weird evenings on Monday with Cleveland losing to the Jazz, who were without their leading scorer, and a bevy of blowouts. Right now, there are too many teams dealing with massive injury problems, and the playoff picture is becoming very muddled. However, with the multitude of injuries, there are plenty of cheap players to pick up in DFS. So without further ado, let us look at the slate on Tuesday and try and pick a winning team.

Can'€™t Miss

Rajon Rondo ($7800) The Kings starting point guard is under $8000 and is playing the Lakers, a team notoriously bad at defending opposing PGs. I love the matchup and expect Rondo to produce over 40 fantasy points.

LaMarcus Aldridge ($7400) Aldridge is a guy I like to go to a lot. Kawhi Leonard ($8500) has been a bit up and down all season considering his elite price point, but the former Blazer forward seemingly is always overlooked. I love the matchup against the Clippers, who run plenty of small ball lineups. Aldridge should also rack up the boards to go along with a good points total on the evening.

High Risk

Mario Hezonja ($4000) Denver is coming off a tough loss to the Heat on Monday night, and I feel as if the team will be lacking their usual energy level. With that being said, Hezonja produces when given over 20 minutes of court time, and the Magic second unit should see plenty of action. At a mere $4000, Hezonja is a great chalky pick.

Carl Landry ($3700) Philly is very beaten up in the injury department right now, and Landry is getting a bunch of minutes. With an easy matchup and a cheap price, Landry is worth a look to save money for more expensive options.

Fillers

Darren Collison ($5200) I like Collison for similar reasons as Rondo. The matchup is there, and for a player who usually comes off the bench, the minutes have been there recently. The past three games have seen the Kings guard go over 25 fantasy points, and that kind of production is too good to pass up at that price.

Greg Monroe ($6100) The Raptors will likely be without Jonas Valanciunas, giving the Bucks' best center the chance to really break out. Since being relegated to a bench role, Monroe has been hit or miss, but at $6100, this is definitely a great opportunity to bet on a big game.

Best of luck in your leagues, and happy balling!

Wednesday night is ESPN game night and always features some great matchups. The Clippers and Thunder face off in a rematch of a game that featured a massive OKC collapse. This is clearly the game of the night and should provide plenty of fireworks, but let’s take a look at the entire slate of NBA contests.

Can’t Miss

Russell Westbrook ($10800): Russ scored 51.5 fantasy points the last time the Thunder faced the Clippers, and Westbrook is definitely one to hold grudges. This is a game where I would send up on the OKC guard.

Dwight Howard ($8000): The Sixers have been terrible against centers, especially recently, and that plays right into Dwight’s hands. Look for the big man to assert dominance on the boards and add some points in a big fantasy night.

High Risk

Mirza Teletovic ($4900): Teletovic has been getting the minutes for the Suns, and he's rewarded owners on a couple of occasions. The Knicks aren’t a great defensive team and that should allow Mirza to hit the 30 fantasy point mark.

J.R. Smith ($4700): J.R. is really hit and miss and somebody who I really don’t like to rely on. However, the matchup with the Kings is sure to feature plenty of points and that will only help the sharpshooter.

Fillers

Serge Ibaka ($5900): Ibaka broke the 30 fantasy point barrier the last time these teams faced each other. The Clippers play a ton of small ball, which will leave a lot of boards to be had for the Spaniard. I love Ibaka as a cheaper option this evening.

Reggie Jackson ($6700): Jackson is a bit higher priced, but in terms of point guards, the Detroit man is moderately priced. If you are looking to save at the PG position, look to Jackson, who has a fluffy matchup against the Mavs.

Enjoy the nationally televised NBA games and happy balling!

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