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February 8, 2013 | 11:58am ET

All The Tools You Need to Win $5K
By Tab Bamford, TheFourthPeriod.com

This weekend, our friends at DraftKings.com are hosting the biggest single-day fantasy hockey event ever. Their $25k Light the Lamp Classic, which takes place on Saturday, will pay out to the top 50 finishers; first place will take home $5,000.

DraftKings.com runs a new type of fantasy contest where you only draft a team when you want to play. Simply sign up, draft, and enter into a number of different contests on the site. As with regular fantasy, the better your players perform in real life the more points they will earn for you.

With that in mind, here are a few players to consider when putting together a winning roster for this incredible event. (You can send my cut to the main TFP offices when you cash out.)

All salary figures are from DraftKings and are subject to slight change tomorrow when you draft, as the salaries will adjust based on performance in Friday's games.

Centers

Big Money Play: John Tavares, New York Islanders

Tavares and the Islanders host the Sabres on Saturday, which is a good opportunity for the Isles' centre to be worth his $7,500 salary. Buffalo has the worst team goals against average in the NHL and are 2-4-0 on the road.

Value Play: Damien Brunner, Detroit Red Wings

With a cap number of only $2,000, Brunner has big-play potential and has a point in seven of his last eight games (five goals, two assists).

Sleeper I: Sam Gagner, Edmonton Oilers

Gagner (3.6) is averaging more fantasy points than David Krejci, Saku Koivu and Ryan Getzlaf but has a modest $4,300 cap number. A trip to Detroit, who are only 3-2-0 at home, could provide a good opportunity for him to have a strong performance.

Sleeper II: Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators

Turris has an assist in five of his last six games and plays a Winnipeg team that is near the bottom of the league in team goals against average. With a cap number of $3,900 he could be a smart pick.

Right Wing

Big Money Play: Alex Semin, Carolina Hurricanes

Semin has six points (two goals, four assists) in his last six games, and both of those goals have come with a man advantage. The Canes are at Philly, one of the most penalized teams in the league who also happen to be struggling on PK (76.1 percent). At $5,100 his salary isn't enormous, but his production could be.

Value Play: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

The rookie du jour in the NHL is averaging 3.8 fantasy points to date; only four right wings that are in action on Saturday have a higher average. In spite of his tremendous start, Tarasenko has a modest $2,500 salary. St. Louis hosts the red-hot Anaheim Ducks, which could lead to an up-tempo game that could present opportunities for a big night for Tarasenko.

Sleeper: Martin Erat, Nashville Predators

The Preds travel to Minnesota to face a struggling Wild team that is 2-5-1 in their last eight games. His $4,900 salary makes him an intriguing play against a desperate team.

Left Wing

Big Money Play: Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild

Thomas Vanek and Patrick Marleau are the sexy names at this position -- and they're the only two left wing-eligible players averaging more fantasy points than Parise (4.8) -- but everything I said making a case to consider Erat should only bolster the case for Parise. Minnesota's struggling, and Parise's a gamer. At $6,200 he'll battle to put the puck in the net all night.

Value Play: Rene Bourque, Montreal Canadiens

With a salary of $3,700 Bourque is an interesting play in the heated Leafs-Habs rivalry game this weekend. He's averaging 2.7 fantasy points per game -- the same number as Ilya Kovalchuk and Bobby Ryan -- and is coming off a two-assist performance at Buffalo on Thursday night.

Sleeper: Milan Michalek, Ottawa Senators

After posting a point in each of the Sens' first six games, Michalek ($5,000) has only one point -- an assist -- in his last five games. The Jets set up as a good opportunity for him to get back in the scoring column, and the Sens need him to step up; Ottawa is 1-2-1 and have only scored seven goals in their last four games.

Defense

Big Money Play I: Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues

The Blues have lost three in a row, but Pietrangelo has six points (two goals, four assists) in his last six games. He's scored in consecutive games, both powerplay goals, and will be facing one of the worst penalty killing teams in the league. At $5,500 he's a smart buy.

Big Money Play II: Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks

Edler's salary is the same as Pietrangelo -- $5,500 -- and his fantasy point average (4.0) is just behind the Blues' blue liner (4.1). The Canucks are hot, winners of four straight, and Edler has points in four of his last five games.

Value Play: Adam Pardy, Buffalo Sabres

Pardy is averaging more fantasy points -- 3.8 -- than reigning Norris Trophy-winner Erik Karlsson and has a salary of only $2,300. A trip to the Islanders could provide ample opportunity for Pardy to continue an impressive start.

Sleeper: Kevin Klein, Nashville Predators

If Erat is an intriguing play, Klein's downright fascinating. After registering only two points in his first eight games, Klein has three (one goal, two assists) in his last two games. With a salary of $3,900 his hot streak could be worth a gamble.

Goaltenders

Big Money Play I: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

After posting a .928 save percentage against the Leafs last year, Price lost the season opener against Toronto this year 2-1. He'll get a chance to exact some revenge this weekend against a rival. With a $7,700 salary, he's worth the money.

Big Money Play II: Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

The former TFP cover boy has been dominant of late, allowing three goals in his last four starts. As I've mentioned a couple times already, he'll face a struggling Minnesota team. At $8,800 he's expensive, but has been earning every penny since the calendar turned to February.

Value Play: Viktor Fasth, Anaheim Ducks

If you haven't heard, Fasth is the hottest netminder in the NHL right now. His salary is only $3,100 in spite of an incredible 4-0-0 start with a 0.98 goals against average (yes, that starts with a zero) and a .962 save percentage. He'll be tested by a good St. Louis offense, but he's on fire.

Make sure you head over to DraftKings.com to register your team in time for this weekend's big payout. They're offering an industry-leading 100 percent deposit bonus (up to $600), and you can follow every game with their new gamecenter.

Good luck, and happy drafting!

 Tab Bamford is a Columnist for The Fourth Period Magazine. Be sure to follow him on Twitter.
 

 
 
 
 

 

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