Jiri Hudler had a breakout game last night, scoring a goal and an assist and earning 21.6 fantasy points. He should be a safe bet while Jamie Benn remains sidelined with an injury. Yesterday’s lineup as a whole struggled as the Canadiens were held to just one goal (a controversial one at that). Tonight’s slate of games is a little more substantial, with 14 teams in action. Today’s lineup features David Backes of the Boston Bruins. Tonight will be an emotional one for Backes, who will return to St. Louis for the first time since signing with Boston as a free agent this summer.
Backes scored against Blues earlier this season
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Philadelphia @ Buffalo – 7:00pm EST
Columbus @ Carolina – 7:00pm EST
Boston @ St. Louis – 8:00pm EST
Vancouver @ Nashville – 8:00pm EST
Detroit @ Chicago – 8:30pm EST
San Jose @ Edmonton – 9:00pm EST
Dallas @ Anaheim – 10:00pm EST
PHI: Steve Mason (confirmed) vs. BUF: Anders Nilsson (confirmed)
CBJ: Anton Forsberg (confirmed) vs. CAR: Cam Ward (LIKELY)
BOS: Tuukka Rask (LIKELY) vs. STL: Jake Allen (confirmed)
VAN: Ryan Miller (confirmed) vs. NSH: Pekka Rinne (confirmed)
DET: Petr Mrazek (LIKELY) vs. CHI: Corey Crawford (confirmed)
SJS: Martin Jones (confirmed) vs. EDM: Cam Talbot (confirmed)
DAL: Antti Niemi (confirmed) vs. ANA: John Gibson (confirmed)
1/10 NHL Lineup
Ryan O’Reilly ($6,200)
Ryan O’Reilly has picked up points in each of his two games since returning to Buffalo’s lineup. He has one goal and three assists in his past two games, averaging 24.1 fantasy points per game. O’Reilly centers Buffalo’s second line and plays on the team’s top power-play unit.
Bo Horvat ($5,200)
Bo Horvat has points in seven straight games, including three goals and eight points. He plays on Vancouver’s third line and second power-play unit. He has averaged 15.2 fantasy points per game over his past seven contests.
My Next Pick
Connor McDavid ($8,700): Connor McDavid has points in three straight games, tallying five assists in that span. He plays on Edmonton’s top line and top power-play unit and leads the league in points (48) and assists (34).
Also Consider: Tyler Seguin ($8,600), Jack Eichel ($7,300), Alexander Wennberg ($6,500), Jordan Staal ($5,300), Paul Stastny ($5,100), Teuvo Teravainen ($5,000), Mike Fisher ($4,900)
Vladimir Tarasenko ($8,800)
Vladimir Tarasenko has 43 points in 40 games this season. Tank has goals in three straight games, scoring four goals (including two power-play goals) in that stretch. He tallied an assist against Boston earlier this season and has averaged 4.3 shots on goal per game over his last three contests. Tarasenko plays on St. Louis’ second line and top power-play unit.
Artemi Panarin ($7,800)
Artemi Panarin has 41 points in 43 games this season. He has goals in two straight games and points in three out of his past four contests. He has seven goals and 18 points in his past 14 games. Panarin plays on Chicago’s second line and first power-play unit.
Anthony Mantha ($5,800)
Anthony Mantha is excelling in his first real stint in the NHL. He has three points in his past two games and 12 points in his past nine games. Mantha, who skates on Detroit’s top line and top power-play unit, has points in eight out of his past nine games. He has averaged 19.6 fantasy points over his last nine contests.
David Backes ($5,600)
David Backes will return to St. Louis for the first time tonight after playing there for 10 years and serving as Blues captain for five seasons. He scored a goal and earned 22.1 fantasy points against the Blues in Boston earlier this season and will be especially eager to strike tonight in what will be a very meaningful match-up. Backes plays on Boston’s second line and second power-play unit.
My Next Pick
Joe Pavelski ($8,000): Joe Pavelski has 37 points in 40 games and is averaging 15.9 fantasy points per game this season. He plays on San Jose’s top line and top power-play unit. He has goals in two straight games, scoring three goals in that span, and had a big game against the Oilers on Dec. 23. Specifically, he recorded a goal and an assist and finished with 28.5 fantasy points.
Jiri Hudler ($4,000): Jiri Hudler had a two-point effort last night playing on the Stars’ top line with Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza. He scored a goal and an assist and earned 21.6 fantasy points. There’s no guarantee he’ll repeat that effort, but he could be a low-risk, high-reward option again tonight against the Ducks.
Also Consider: Patrick Kane ($8,900), Nick Foligno ($6,800), Jason Spezza ($6,600), Leon Draisaitl ($6,600), Patrick Marleau ($6,000), Alex Steen ($6,000), Patrick Maroon ($5,900), Thomas Vanek ($5,600), Sebastian Aho ($5,600), Marcus Foligno ($4,000), Ryan Hartman ($3,900), Joel Ward ($3,800)
Michal Kempny ($3,500)
Michal Kempny remains a solid value option on defense, especially at only $3,500. He doesn’t have a point in each of his past two games but had points in three straight before that. Given the high prices of forwards in tonight’s contests, cheap value options on D are a necessity, and Kempny fills that role. He has averaged 12.5 fantasy points per game over his past five contests.
Kevan Miller ($3,400)
Kevan Miller has points in three straight games, recording an assist in each of his past three contests. He is a solid value option at only $3,400. He has averaged 12.8 fantasy points per game over his last three games.
My Next Pick
Brent Burns ($8,200): Brent Burns has two assists in each of his past two games. He has 39 points in 40 games this season and is averaging 18.8 fantasy points. Clearly, Burns isn’t the most affordable defenseman. However, if you can afford him, he’s as solid as it gets. He recorded two assists and earned 24.5 fantasy points against the Oilers on Dec. 23.
Also Consider: Duncan Keith ($6,500), John Klingberg ($5,800), Jaccob Slavin ($4,400), Niklas Hjalmarsson ($3,800), Joel Edmundson ($3,800)
Jake Allen ($8,600)
Jake Allen has been inconsistent this season but has strong numbers at home, going 12-3-2 with a .920 save percentage and a 2.13 goals-against average compared to his 5-7-1 record on the road with a .886 save percentage and 3.29 goals-against average. He defeated the Bruins earlier this season by a final score of 4-2, making 39 saves in the winning effort.
My Next Pick
Ryan Miller ($8,300): Ryan Miller has won five games in a row, averaging 30 fantasy points per game on his current winning streak. He has a tough match-up tonight against the Predators but has been red-hot in recent games.
Anders Nilsson ($8,000) and Cam Ward ($8,400) worth serious consideration considering they will be facing Steve Mason and Anton Forsberg, respectively.
Also Consider: Corey Crawford ($8,900)
- C1: Ryan O’Reilly ($6,200)
- C2: Bo Horvat ($5,200)
- W1: Vladimir Tarasenko ($8,800)
- W2: Artemi Panarin ($7,800)
- W3: Anthony Mantha ($5,800)
- W4: David Backes ($5,600)
- D1: Michal Kempny ($3,500)
- D2: Kevan Miller ($3,400)
- G1: Jake Allen ($8,600)
Photo Credit: Elise Amendola-AP Photo