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After a huge 12-game slate last night, there are just three games on tap tonight in the NHL.
BUF @ WSH – 7:00pm EST
OTT @ NJD – 7:00pm EST
CHI @ COL – 9:00pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Unfortunately, the winning streak came to an end last night. Logan Couture and his linemates came up relatively empty (Couture earned 8 fantasy points, Timo Meier picked up 9.6 and Tomas Hertl earned just 4.8), Sebastian Aho was a disappointment and the collective output of the lineup was unable to overcome the Toronto chalk. There were some strong plays, however, including Bryan Rust, who continued his improbable hot streak with two goals, four shots and a block for 32 FP. Cam Atkinson also lit the lamp and recorded six shots for 21.6 FP. Brandon Pirri finished his first NHL game of the season with a power-play goal and five shots for 20.5 FP, and David Pastrnak put together a three-point performance, coming away with 32.2 FP in Boston’s 3-1 win (David Krejci scored a goal and finished with 13.6 FP). Alexander Radulov chipped in an assist, three shots and a block for 14.4 FP, while Andrei Svechnikov scored for Carolina, finishing the contest with 15.2 FP. On the back end, Seth Jones came away with 16 FP thanks to an assist, two shots and three blocks, while Jake Gardiner put up a surprising goose egg despite the fact that the Maple Leafs scored six goals. Ryan Pulock extended his point streak with an assist and two blocks for 11.2 FP. In net, Sergei Bobrovsky and Marc-Andre Fleury picked up wins (earning 31.2 FP and 19.2 FP, respectively), while Petr Mrazek suffered a 4-1 loss to the Red Wings; however, Mrazek was the chalk goalie of the night, which would have helped lessen the effects of his off night if you played him.
Nathan MacKinnon ($8,800) continues to be a strong cash play, and he and the Avs will take on a Blackhawks team that played a hard-fought game against the Stars last night. MacKinnon enters tonight’s game with points in seven straight games, scoring two goals and 12 points in that time. He is averaging 22.7 fantasy points per game this season and skates on the Avs’ high-flying top line and top power-play unit.
Jack Eichel ($7,900) has also been red-hot of late, and he scored two goals when these teams met in Washington last week. That bodes well for tonight’s contest, which is in D.C. once again. Eichel skates on the Sabres’ top line and top power play, another unit that has been extremely hot in recent games. Eichel is averaging 20.1 fantasy points per game and has nine goals and 14 points during his current seven-game point streak.
The only challenge with playing MacKinnon and Eichel is that they are the two most expensive options on the slate. Some alternative options are listed below; Nico Hischier ($5,300) has a decent matchup at home against the visiting Senators, and Matt Duchene ($6,500) is due back for the Sens on the other side of that matchup.
Also consider: Evgeny Kuznetsov ($7,300), Jonathan Toews ($7,000), Matt Duchene ($6,500), Nico Hischier ($5,300), J.T. Compher ($4,600), Artem Anisimov ($4,300), Carl Soderberg ($4,300), Travis Boyd ($3,000)
The linemates of MacKinnon and Eichel are also top plays on tonight’s slate, and both lines should be popular cash plays. For the Avs, that includes Mikko Rantanen ($8,500) and Gabriel Landeskog ($7,300). Rantanen leads the NHL in scoring with 58 points in 35 games this season. He is averaging 20.6 fantasy points per game and has points in 15 out of his last 16 games after seeing his 14-game point streak halted against the Islanders. Landeskog has goals in three straight games and points in eight out of his last nine games, collecting eight goals and 14 points in that stretch; he is averaging 18.7 fantasy points per game.
Eichel skates with Jeff Skinner ($7,500) and Sam Reinhart ($6,100), both of whom have seen their price tags go up. Skinner is an expensive option but has points in seven straight games heading into tonight’s game, scoring five goals and nine points in that stretch; he is averaging 16.9 fantasy points per game and managed an assist and three shots for 13.3 fantasy points last week against the Capitals. Reinhart, on the other hand, is averaging 13 fantasy points per game, but that’s because he spent a good chunk of the season as a middle-six forward rather than skating with Eichel and Skinner on the top line. Reinhart tallied two assists and one shot for 18.1 fantasy points against Washington last week, and he has points in 11 straight games entering tonight’s matchup. Reinhart has collected five goals and 18 points on his current 11-game point streak, which includes seven assists in his last three games.
Another top winger option tonight is Alex Ovechkin ($9,000), who saw his 14-game point streak come to an end the other night against the Penguins. Ovechkin scored a goal and recorded eight shots against Buffalo last week, coming away with 24.8 fantasy points. He is averaging 21.4 fantasy points per game and had goals in six straight prior to Wednesday’s contest against Pittsburgh, a stretch that included back-to-back hat tricks.
You will definitely need some value to accommodate some of these high-priced options, especially since it’s such a small slate. Many of those value plays will have to be discussed in chat since it’s hard to choose quality value options until line combinations have been confirmed. That being said, Brendan Perlini ($3,000) is one to consider. He scored a goal in Dallas last night, giving him goals in two out of his last three games. Also, Mikkel Boedker ($4,200) is set to skate on Ottawa’s top line with Chris Tierney and Matt Duchene; Boedker has recorded two goals and four points during his current three-game point streak.
Also consider: Patrick Kane ($8,200), Mark Stone ($6,800), Kyle Palmieri ($6,300), Alex DeBrincat ($5,500), Tom Wilson ($5,300), Brady Tkachuk ($4,700), Jakub Vrana ($4,200), Blake Coleman ($4,100), Dylan Sikura ($3,000)
The usual suspects are certainly options tonight, but the two Rasmus’s — Rasmus Ristolainen ($5,300) and Rasmus Dahlin ($4,600) — are more affordable than options like John Carlson, Thomas Chabot and Tyson Barrie, and both have been productive in recent games. Ristolainen has been extremely reliable, earning 18.4, 8, 18.1, 14.4, 28.2, 14.4, 25.6, 11.2, 8, 14.4, 18.4, 13.3, 9.6, 9.6 and 19.2 fantasy points in his last 15 games, respectively. He managed an assist, four shots and two blocks for 18.1 fantasy points against Washington. Dahlin had the biggest game of his NHL career last week against the Caps, scoring a goal and two assists and coming away with 33.8 fantasy points. He has been less consistent this season but is starting to heat up. Both defensemen skate on the Sabres’ top power-play unit.
However, it will be difficult to include one or both in your lineup, as you may need some true value options to accommodate the high-priced forwards. In that case, a slightly cheaper option is Erik Gustafsson ($4,400), who has quietly put together a five-game point streak. Gustafsson skates on Chicago’s top power-play unit and has three goals and six points as well as 10 shots and nine blocks during that streak. A few even cheaper options are Michal Kempny ($3,800), who has cooled off over his last few games after putting together a strong stretch of value performances, as well as Zach Bogosian ($3,500), who recorded one shot and five blocks for 9.6 fantasy points when these teams squared off last week.
Also consider: John Carlson ($6,600), Thomas Chabot ($5,700), Tyson Barrie ($5,400)
As is true at every other position, it will be difficult to afford a pricey goaltender on tonight’s slate, assuming you don’t go completely contrarian. Craig Anderson ($8,000) has won back-to-back games, and while the Senators are on the road in New Jersey, the Devils haven’t exactly been an offensive powerhouse; plus, the Sens could get a spark from the return of Matt Duchene. However, Philipp Grubauer ($7,600) likely will be the chalk play in net, and he’s certainly more affordable than other options. He’s coming off a 2-1 win against Montreal and will face a Blackhawks team that played (and won) last night in Dallas. He’s my cash goalie for tonight.
Join me in the FTA+ discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
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