Tonight is the first massive slate of the season, with 28 NHL teams in action (not including the COL-NJD afternoon game). While it’s difficult to choose players on a small slate, it also can be tough choosing the right combination when so many teams and so many players are in play. That being said, today’s lineup features a handful of mid-range and value options that may come through with big games. The big-name stars like Patrick Kane and Steven Stamkos will be divvied up among participants, but today’s post (with one exception: Connor McDavid) focuses on some of the less obvious options worth consideration.
Today’s lineup is for FanDuel’s Main Slate, which includes all evening games. For those of you using the All Day slate, Jonathan Bernier is set to face Cory Schneider in the Avs-Devils 2:00pm EST clash.
NOTE: With only one game on tomorrow’s slate, the next lineup will be posted Oct. 9.
Summary of last night’s results
Last night’s lineup cashed easily. The best performance of the night was the shutout by Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets; the Russian netminder made 29 saves and earned 43.2 fantasy points on the night. As disappointing as Henrik Lundqvist’s performance the other night was, at least his effort has been sandwiched between two shutouts (Bob’s and Cam Talbot’s on night one). The Blue Jackets dealt the Islanders a 5-0 blow, with Artemi Panarin grabbing three assists (one on the power play) in his Jackets debut. He earned 26.1 fantasy points, while linemate Alexander Wennberg came away with 21.3 from two assists (one on the power play) and three shots. If you went with Cam Atkinson instead, he rewarded you with a goal and three shots for 16.8 fantasy points. Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy had a disappointing night, but that’s not too surprising given the 5-0 loss; he registered just one shot and one block. David Savard, on the other hand, came through in the peripheral stat department with three shots and five blocks, good for 12.8 fantasy points.
For the Lightning, both Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn found the scoresheet, with Kucherov scoring his first of the season and earning 18.4 fantasy points. Killorn, on the other hand, picked up a power play assist, two shots and a block, which translated into 13.3 fantasy points. Aleksander Barkov was unable to contribute much. He wasn’t a total waste, as his four shots and three blocks were worth 11.2 fantasy points; however, he was put in the lineup for his offensive ability, which did not come through last night against Tampa Bay.
Check out FTA’s FanDuel NHL Strategy Guide for tips on building winning lineups.
Minnesota @ Carolina – 7:00pm EST
Buffalo @ NY Islanders – 7:00pm EST
Detroit @ Ottawa – 7:00pm EST
Nashville @ Pittsburgh – 7:00pm EST
NY Rangers @ Toronto – 7:00pm EST
Montreal @ Washington – 7:00pm EST
Tampa Bay @ Florida – 7:00pm EST
Dallas @ St. Louis – 8:00pm EST
Columbus @ Chicago – 8:30pm EST
Vegas @ Arizona – 9:00pm EST
Winnipeg @ Calgary – 10:00pm EST
Edmonton @ Vancouver – 10:00pm EST
Philadelphia @ Anaheim – 10:00pm EST
Los Angeles @ San Jose – 10:30pm EST
MIN: vs. CAR: Scott Darling (LIKELY)
BUF: vs. NYI: Jaroslav Halak (confirmed)
DET: Jimmy Howard (LIKELY) vs. OTT: Craig Anderson (confirmed)
NSH: vs. PIT:
NYR: vs. TOR:
MTL: Carey Price (confirmed) vs. WSH:
TBL: vs. FLA:
DAL: vs. STL:
CBJ: vs. CHI:
VGK: vs. ARI: Antti Raanta (LIKELY)
WPG: vs. CGY:
EDM: vs. VAN:
PHI: vs. ANA:
LAK: vs. SJS:
FanDuel DFS NHL 10/7/17 Lineup
Connor McDavid ($9,200)
Though he’s the most expensive skater available (and the third most expensive player overall), it’s generally a good idea to choose at least one star player for your lineup. Today, that’s McDavid. His all-around performance in the Oilers’ 3-0 win against Calgary on opening night was noticeable. He had at least 4-5 prime scoring chances and looked about as “ready” for the season as anyone has looked in a long time. That’s not to say with any certainty that he’ll have another game quite as strong tonight against Vancouver, but the Oilers will rely on his offense. The rest of the team doesn’t quite look engaged as of yet, so it could be on McDavid and Leon Draisaitl ($7,400) once again. It’s not a bad thing to have the game on their shoulders, but for now it makes McDavid an even more appealing choice. He skates on the first line and first power play unit and finished the other night with three goals, seven shots and 47.2 fantasy points.
Brayden Point ($4,000)
Brayden Point scored a goal and two assists (one on the power play) and added two shots and a block for a strong 32.8-point performance against the Panthers last night. He’s a very strong value option at only $4,000, especially in part two of the battle of Florida. He centers the team’s third line and sees time on the second power play unit. Point outperformed Steven Stamkos ($8,400), Nikita Kucherov ($7,900), Ondrej Palat ($5,500) and Victor Hedman ($6,400) last night.
My Next Pick
Nick Schmaltz ($4,800): Nick Schmaltz and the Chicago Blackhawks came roaring into the 2017-2018 season with a 10-1 win over Pittsburgh the other night. Schmaltz, who skates on the team’s second power play unit, played a big role in the effort, scoring two goals and an assist and finishing the night with 38.4 fantasy points. He got hurt in the third period but is supposed to be ready for tonight’s game (make sure to double check that he’ll be in the lineup closer to puck drop). He plays on the team’s second line with Patrick Kane ($8,600), who was fantastic the other night. Schmaltz should be a popular play in cash contests, as should Kane.
Also consider: Auston Matthews ($7,900), Jack Eichel ($7,300), Sean Monahan ($6,800), Aleksander Barkov ($6,700), Nazem Kadri ($6,100), Rickard Rakell ($6,100), Mika Zibanejad ($6,000), Jonathan Drouin ($5,700), Brayden Schenn ($5,600), Alexander Wennberg ($5,500), Bryan Little ($5,500), Tyler Bozak ($5,400), Paul Stastny ($4,700)
VALUE Options: Cody Eakin ($3,600)
Brandon Saad ($6,300)
Brandon Saad came flying out of the gate the other night, netting a hat trick, five shots and a block, good enough for 45.6 fantasy points in his Chicago “debut”. He plays on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Rickard Panik ($4,900) and quickly will have a chance to face Columbus, the team that traded him back to Chicago this summer. The Blackhawks crowd will be raucous after the 10-1 start to the season, and Saad could easily have another killer game. Playing on the top power play unit gives him yet another opportunity to deliver.
Evander Kane ($5,400)
Evander Kane is playing on a line with Jack Eichel ($7,300) and Jason Pominville ($4,900),
a line that had some very effective shifts in the first game of the season (a 3-2 shootout loss to Montreal). The reason Kane is of particular interest is because he recorded 11 shots on goal. Yes, eleven. He finished the night with an assist and 11 shots, good for 25.6 fantasy points. If someone can earn that many fantasy points from peripheral stats, it could be worth the risk even over other players who found the back of the net. Pominville, who scored two goals and finished the night with 29.3 fantasy points, is worth a look as well.
Clayton Keller ($4,000)
Clayton Keller played in just the fourth NHL game of his career the other night, but he proved why he is skating on the team’s top line in his first full NHL campaign. He scored a goal on six shots and added a block to finish the night with 23.2 fantasy points. Linemate Max Domi ($5,000) had an even stronger night, scoring a goal and an assist and generating four shots on goal for 26.9 fantasy points, but the extra $1,000 on his price tag makes Keller a safer bet. IF newly-acquired goaltender Malcolm Subban makes his season debut for the Golden Knights in the second half of a back-to-back, consider using both players. Subban sports a 5.82 career goals-against average and .727 save percentage, making him an easy target.
Artemi Panarin ($7,100)
Artemi Panarin recorded three assists last night in his debut with the Blue Jackets, finishing the night with 26.1 fantasy points. Like Saad, Panarin will have the chance to face the team that traded him over the summer in just the second game of the season. Skating on the top line and top power play unit, Panarin should have plenty of chances to beat former teammate Corey Crawford and show Chicago what they’re missing. Regardless of the final score of tonight’s game, Saad and Panarin have gotten off to excellent starts this season and are worth strong consideration in tonight’s match-up.
My Next Pick
Nikita Kucherov ($7,900): Nikita Kucherov scored a goal in his first game of the year, finishing the night with 18.4 fantasy points. Look for him to have another strong game tonight.
James van Riemsdyk ($5,800): JVR played a great game the other night, scoring a goal and two assists and recording six shots and two blocks for 41.8 fantasy points. He and linemates Tyler Bozak ($5,400) and Mitch Marner ($6,600) had a very strong night and look to follow up that effort as the Leafs host the Rangers tonight in Toronto’s home opener.
Also consider: Patrick Kane ($8,600), Alex Ovechkin ($8,200), Patrik Laine ($7,500), Leon Draisaitl ($7,400), Johnny Gaudreau ($7,100), Mitch Marner ($6,600), William Nylander ($6,300), Cam Atkinson ($6,200), Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,000), Patrick Marleau ($5,700), Nikolaj Ehlers ($5,200), Mark Stone ($5,100), Anders Lee ($5,000), Max Domi ($5,000), Jason Pominville ($4,900), Anthony Mantha ($4,800)
VALUE Options: Ryan Hartman ($4,400), Alex Killorn ($4,300), Kevin Labanc ($4,100), Evgenii Dadonov ($4,100), Oliver Bjorkstrand ($4,100), Jakub Vrana ($4,000), Vladimir Sobotka ($3,700)
Alex Pietrangelo ($5,600)
Alex Pietrangelo had a very strong game in the Blues’ season opener against Pittsburgh, scoring twice, including the overtime game-winner. He also recorded eight shots and four blocks, giving him a grand total of 43.2 fantasy points on the night. That’s exceptional production, especially from a defenseman priced so reasonably. The Blues captain skates on the team’s first power play unit. He will face a Dallas team in the second half of a back-to-back in the Blues’ home opener, setting the stage for another strong night.
Oscar Klefbom ($5,100)
Oscar Klefbom failed to find the scoresheet in the Oilers’ home opener against Calgary but managed a very convincing fantasy night nonetheless. He recorded nine shots on goal and one block, good for 16 points. Calgary netminder Mike Smith had an extraordinary game, which at least somewhat explains Klefbom’s inability to break through. That being said, the shot volume is a promising stat, and the fact that he quarterbacks the team’s top power play unit makes him a solid mid-range option on the back end.
My Next Pick
John Klingberg ($5,500): John Klingberg had a solid game last night with an assist, three shots and three blocks, good for 18.1 fantasy points. He quarterbacks one of the most lethal power plays in the game and is still priced very reasonably. Play him while you can still afford him.
Kris Russell ($3,600): Kris Russell is an excellent value pick at only $3,600. He may not score many points, but his peripheral coverage makes him a very safe bet. He managed three shots and seven blocks the other night, giving him 16 fantasy points. That’s great value, especially at that price. David Savard ($3,800) provided similar value, finishing last night’s season opener with 12.8 fantasy points with three shots and five blocks.
Also consider: Brent Burns ($7,300), Victor Hedman ($6,400), Kevin Shattenkirk ($5,900), Shea Weber ($5,900), Dustin Byfuglien ($5,600), Rasmus Ristolainen ($5,500), Zach Werenski ($5,200), Mike Green ($5,100), Seth Jones ($4,800), Brent Seabrook ($4,700), Jacob Trouba ($4,500)
VALUE Options: Alex Goligoski ($4,100), Brandon Montour ($3,900), David Savard ($3,800), Michael Del Zotto ($3,500)
Cam Talbot ($8,300)
Somehow, Cam Talbot is still just $8,300. He’s the best value play tonight and has one of the best match-ups on top of it. The Oilers face the Vancouver Canucks in the Canucks’ season opener. Talbot went 3-0 against Vancouver last season, surrendering a total of four goals. This is a better Vancouver team than it was last year, but the odds are heavily in Edmonton’s favor. Talbot earned a shutout in his first start of the year, making 27 saves and earning 41.6 fantasy points.
Also consider: Corey Crawford ($8,700), John Gibson ($8,500), Frederik Andersen ($8,300)
VALUE Options: IF Malcolm Subban starts for Vegas, consider Antti Raanta ($7,800)
FanDuel DFS NHL 10/7/17 Lineup
- C: Connor McDavid ($9,200)
- C: Brayden Point ($4,000)
- W: Brandon Saad ($6,300)
- W: Evander Kane ($5,400)
- W: Clayton Keller ($4,000)
- W: Artemi Panarin ($7,100)
- D: Alex Pietrangelo ($5,600)
- D: Oscar Klefbom ($5,100)
- G: Cam Talbot ($8,300)
Photo credit: Dilip Vishwanat-Getty Images