FanDuel DFS NHL – Friday 1/4/19


There are seven games on tonight’s DFS NHL schedule, with the Hurricanes and Capitals skating in the second half of a back-to-back. The Predators and Blue Jackets play tomorrow as well.

TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE
WPG @ PIT – 7:00pm EST
CBJ @ CAR – 7:30pm EST
NSH @ DET – 7:30pm EST
WSH @ DAL – 8:00pm EST
NYR @ COL – 9:00pm EST
NJD @ ARI – 9:00pm EST
VGK @ ANA – 10:00pm EST


Center

Sidney Crosby ($9,100) has put together five consecutive multi-point efforts, scoring three goals and 14 points over his last five games. That’s pretty impressive production, especially considering the firepower elsewhere on Pittsburgh’s roster. Crosby and the Pens will host a tough Jets team, though Connor Hellebuyck has been giving up 2-4 goals in most games, which leaves the door open for Crosby. Crosby is averaging just 18.5 fantasy points per game this season but has earned 24.8, 26.9, 33.3, 23.4 and 32 fantasy points in his last five games, respectively. He scored a goal on three shots for 18.4 fantasy points when these teams met in Winnipeg earlier this season.

Nathan MacKinnon ($8,700) continues to be a stud in DFS. He has points in five straight games and in 12 out of his last 13, tallying five goals and 17 points in that stretch. His production has taken a slight dip in recent games, but he’s still one of the more reliable fantasy performers. He’s averaging 22.1 fantasy points per game and scored a goal when these teams met earlier this season. MacKinnon skates on Colorado’s first line and first power-play unit and has recorded 5, 4, 7, 7 and 2 shots in his last five games, respectively, collecting three goals and five points along the way. Even though he’s been held to just one point in each of his last five contests, he’s always a threat for a breakout performance and generally provides a very stable floor with at least an assist and 4-5 shots.Though the Avalanche played around with the top line in recent games, putting Matt Nieto and Tyson Jost in Gabriel Landeskog’s place, it appears as though Landeskog is back where he belongs, so Colorado’s top line should be a force to be reckoned with once again.

Dylan Larkin ($6,600) saw his 14-game point streak come to an end the other day against Calgary, but the former first-round pick still managed four shots on goal and remains a solid bet in cash contests. He skates on Detroit’s first line and first power-play unit and is averaging 16.4 fantasy points per game. Though he’ll have a tough test against the visiting Predators, he has found a way to find the scoresheet in 17 out of his last 20 games, which is no fluke.

Pierre-Luc DuBois ($6,400) is coming off a massive four-point performance against the Senators in which he scored two goals and two assists for 44.8 fantasy points. That level of production is unlikely for tonight, but he remains part of one of the hottest lines in the league. In fact, Columbus’ top line has scored 12 goals and has given up three goals over the last 10 games, giving it a plus-9 differential, which is the best in the NHL in that time frame. While Carolina has been stingy, especially on home ice, DuBois remains an interesting mid-range option, even if he might be better suited for GPP formats.

While Mika Zibanejad ($6,300) and Kevin Hayes ($5,600) are in the midst of brief dry spells, Colorado’s goaltending has been lacking, which makes either a sensible play. Ryan Johansen ($6,100) has points in back-to-back games (one goal, four points), Cody Eakin ($4,200) has points in three straight games (one goal, three points) and Brian Boyle ($4,100) has goals in back-to-back games. Mark Scheifele ($7,900) is a candidate for a bounce-back game since he’s gone three games without a point, though there are safer options in cash contests. Many will turn to Tyler Seguin ($7,800), who has recorded eight shots in each of his last two games, earning 40.5 and 22.9 fantasy points, respectively.


Winger

Artemi Panarin ($8,100) has actually been hotter than Cam Atkinson ($7,500) of late, though Atkinson is generally a safer cash play. Either way, like with DuBois, Panarin and Atkinson skate on one of the more productive lines in the league and both are capable of putting up multi-point games. Panarin has points in five straight (three goals, nine points), while Atkinson has points in five out of his last six games and has earned at least 8 fantasy points in 10 straight contests. Both skate on the Blue Jackets’ top power-play unit.

If he is able to play, one of the more interesting options on tonight’s slate is Jamie Benn ($7,200), who is currently listed as day-to-day. However, he seems to always score against the Capitals, and given the controversy that has been swirling around Dallas, he should be especially motivated tonight. Benn has goals in back-to-back games after taking criticism from the CEO of the Stars, though he lasted just five minutes the other day against the Devils before sustaining an injury. He is having a rough season but usually maintains at least a point-per-game pace against the Capitals. He’s done that in each of the last six years and in seven out of the last eight years (the Stars didn’t play the Capitals in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season).

Since Benn may not play, however, Alexander Radulov ($6,600) could be an interesting pivot; he tallied three assists against New Jersey and has five points in his last three games.

But a very solid option is Viktor Arvidsson ($6,700), who seems to have picked up right where he left off before missing time with an injury. The Swedish forward has goals in back-to-back games, netting three goals and four points on nine shots in his last two games. He has earned 33.6, 25.3, 3.2 and 9.6 fantasy points in four games since returning to the lineup in late December, and he skates on the Predators’ first line and first power-play unit. Arvidsson is averaging 15.6 fantasy points per game and has a favorable matchup against the Red Wings.

Brandon Pirri ($4,500) continues to dominate for the Golden Knights. His price tag has seen a significant raise, but he’s still underpriced given the value he offers. Pirri, who skates on the team’s second line and second power-play unit, has points in six out seven games this season, scoring six goals and nine points in that stretch. He is averaging 19.3 fantasy points per game and is showing no signs of slowing down. Plus, he has scored a goal and an assist in each of his last two games. Tonight’s matchup against John Gibson and the Ducks will be tough, but his $4,500 price tag and propensity for finding the scoresheet make him a solid value play once again.

Another similarly-priced value option is Andreas Athanasiou ($4,600), who has goals in back-to-back games. Kevin Fiala ($4,400) also has points in three straight games, tallying one goal and five points in that time. But someone very much under the radar is Tyler Pitlick ($3,700), who very quietly has points in four straight games (three goals, one assist). Pitlick has been skating on the Stars’ third line but does not see time on the man advantage.

While Ondrej Kase ($4,300) is generally one of the top favorite value options, he’s been bumped from the top line and top power-play unit, which limits his value. He’s still someone I will play in at least one line, but a cheaper pivot could be Nick Ritchie ($3,700), who has one goal and five points in his last three games. Ritchie skates with Kase and Adam Henrique on Anaheim’s second line, though he plays on the top power-play unit.

As usual, Mikko Rantanen ($7,800) and Gabriel Landeskog ($6,700) are solid choices.


Defense

Kris Letang ($6,900) has points in five straight games and in eight out of his last nine games, recording two goals and 11 points in that stretch. He skates on Pittsburgh’s top power-play unit and is averaging 16.4 fantasy points per game. However, there are cheaper options.

One such option is Zach Werenski ($5,400), who has been on a roll for the Blue Jackets. Werenski has points in five straight, scoring four goals and six points in that stretch. He skates on Columbus’ first power-play unit and has earned 33.6, 14.4, 18.4, 11.2 and 15.2 fantasy points in his last five games, respectively.

Josh Morrissey ($4,400) offers exposure to Winnipeg’s top power-play unit, and Michal Kempny ($4,000) has been very productive in recent games, scoring a goal and two assists in his last two games. Plus, Jakob Chychrun ($3,600) remains a great option even if his production has slipped a little in recent games.


Goalie

Matt Murray ($8,800) has won six games in a row since returning from injury in mid-December. He has picked up wins against Los Angeles, Washington, Carolina, Detroit, St. Louis and the Rangers. While most of those matchups do not feature difficult opponents, Murray has looked solid in net, giving up a combined nine goals in those six starts. He is averaging 18.9 fantasy points per game this season but has earned 26.4, 32, 25.6, 51.2, 32.8 and 30.4 fantasy points in his last six games, respectively.



Featured image via Nathan MacKinnon on Twitter (@Mackinnon9)

Fantasy Hockey

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