There are just three games on tonight’s slate. Update: Evgeni Malkin is a GTD for tonight’s game against the Flyers. I will post a News/Notes update in chat closer to lock.
PIT @ PHI – 7:00pm EST
LAK @ WSH – 7:00pm EST
SJS @ VAN – 10:00pm EST
YESTERDAY’S RESULTS: All four cash lines posted in chat were able to cash, and the recommended hybrid stacks performed very well. The Blackhawks had a huge hand in that, as did Boston’s top line and various other players. Patrice Bergeron had a somewhat quiet night, as did most of the centers (other than Dylan Strome), recording 16 fantasy points with an assist, two shots and three blocks, while Brad Marchand scored a goal and an assist on two shots for 23.2 FP. Danton Heinen didn’t have another huge game like he did on Saturday, but he managed a reasonable 6.4 FP with four shots, which was a solid return on his $3,400 price tag. That wasn’t true for Zach Hyman, who managed just 4.8 FP as Alexandar Georgiev made 55 saves and held the Maple Leafs to just one goal. The other value wingers used in the lines hit value, though, with Jason Pominville recording 8 FP and Frank Vatrano picking up 16.8 FP thanks to a goal and three shots. Other centers used in the lines/stacks include Mika Zibanejad (18.4 FP), Sebastian Aho (13.3 FP), Dylan Larkin (12.8 FP), Jonathan Toews (29.6 FP) and Dylan Strome (29.6 FP). Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane, the featured players in yesterday’s post, had very strong games. DeBrincat tallied three assists and two shots for 27.2 FP, while Kane scored a goal and an assist on five shots and added a block for 29.6 FP. Mats Zuccarello tallied two assists on three shots for 20.8 FP. On the back end, three of the four defensemen used most frequently had strong outings, though Erik Johnson had an uncharacteristically poor game, recording just two shots for 3.2 FP. Fortunately, the other defensemen made up for it. Ryan Pulock collected a power-play assist, three shots and one block for 14.9 FP, Jacob Trouba managed an assist, one shot and four blocks for 16 FP and Torey Krug picked up an assist, four shots and four blocks for 20.8 FP. In net, Thomas Greiss gave up one goal on 27 shots, coming away with a 2-1 win and 28.8 FP. Louis Domingue and Blackhawks netminder Cam Ward also earned wins, while Petr Mrazek suffered a 3-2 loss to the Devils.
Elite play — Sean Couturier ($7,000)
Sean Couturier skates on the Flyers’ top line and second power-play unit but has been the team’s most consistent scorer in recent games. He will have his hands full taking on Sidney Crosby and the Penguins’ top line, but that’s a job Couturier has been tasked with for years. Couturier enters tonight’s game with goals in four straight and points in six straight, scoring four goals and nine points in that stretch. He has points in 12 out of his last 13 games, scoring eight goals and 19 points and averaging more than 20 fantasy points per game in that time.
On the other side of that matchup, Sidney Crosby ($8,500) is an intriguing play, though he hasn’t been safe in cash contests of late. Crosby is generally involved offensively when it comes to playing the Flyers, though, which is what makes him stand out on tonight’s small slate. In fact, he scored two goals and nine points in four games against Philadelphia last season. Crosby and the Penguins have been liabilities in cash of late, especially on FanDuel where their prices are elevated, but the matchup is favorable regardless of how the Flyers have been playing. I will probably stick to Crosby and Jake Guentzel in cash, but it’s worth noting that Crosby has 94 points in 64 career games against the Flyers.
If you want to focus on other games, there are other strong plays at affordable price tags, including Elias Pettersson ($6,700) and Tomas Hertl ($6,300), both of whom enters tonight’s contests on point streaks. Evgeny Kuznetsov ($7,600) has been productive of late as well. Update: Evgeni Malkin ($8,100) is a GTD for tonight’s game.
Value play — Adrian Kempe ($4,200)
If you’re looking for value at the center position, Adrian Kempe has been outstanding in recent games, and he’s a particularly effective value option on DraftKings where he is just $2,800. Kempe skates on Los Angeles’ third line and second power-play unit and has points in four straight games, collecting four goals and six points on 12 shots in that span. He has earned 11.7, 16.8, 18.4 and 36.8 fantasy points in his last four games, respectively. It’s possible he will keep up the hot streak as the Kings take on a Capitals team that has been struggling beyond belief of late.
Also consider: Evgeni Malkin ($8,100), Anze Kopitar ($6,400), Nicklas Backstrom ($6,100), Jared McCann ($3,600), Nic Dowd ($3,200)–if he’s playing
Elite play — Evander Kane ($7,700)
Evander Kane should have high ownership on tonight’s small slate as he is a strong cash option once again. He has three goals and five points in his last two games, earning 26.9 and 45.3 fantasy points, respectively. Though he went two games without a point before that, he still managed to register 13 shots on goal in that time. The Sharks winger has recorded 32 shots on goal in his last five games, which comes out to an average of 6.4 per game. That’s not a sustainable pace, but that’s always been a big part of Kane’s game, which gives him a very reliable floor. However, he has not earned a point against the Canucks since the 2013-14 season. That’s not overly relevant for this matchup since he and his linemates have been red-hot of late, but it’s certainly an interesting stat to note.
Many will be on Alex Ovechkin ($8,700) and the Washington Capitals as they host the lowly Kings. However, the Capitals have been pretty “lowly” themselves lately, so it’s difficult to predict how they will come out. The Kings have been giving up plenty of goals, so this could be a high-scoring matchup. Since the Capitals’ power play has been a disaster, however, that makes Ovechkin a somewhat risky play. Even so, his ownership should make up for it if you want to take the plunge and play the chalk. He’s the best goal-scorer in the game, so he’s always a threat for a big night.
Another option is Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel ($7,200), who skates on the team’s top line and second power-play unit. He scored two goals and six points in four games against the Flyers last season, and he and Crosby could be a dynamic duo tonight in Philly. Of course, the Penguins forwards could also do what they’ve been doing lately and put up 4.8 fantasy points instead of 20-30, but it’s tough to gauge how this matchup will go down. Guentzel has a lot of talent, has had success against the Flyers and offers exposure to the top line and second power-play unit, making him a reasonable option. If Evgeni Malkin does not play, he’ll likely be back on the top power-play unit. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Guentzel has assists in back-to-back games and is averaging 14.7 fantasy points per game. Even so, he’s a much better play on DraftKings given the price difference.
Don’t forget about Brock Boeser ($6,800), who has points in seven out of his last eight games and who is always a candidate for a strong fantasy performance.
Value plays — Nick Bjugstad ($4,300), Kevin Labanc ($4,000), Josh Leivo ($3,600)
Nick Bjugstad is listed as day-to-day but is expected to play tonight in Philadelphia. If he does, he’ll be skating on the team’s second line with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel (assuming Malkin plays). He’ll also center the team’s second power-play unit, where he’ll be skating with Jake Guentzel and Kessel. That puts him in a very nice spot tonight given his price tag, so he’s definitely worth considering as a value play.
Another value option on the table tonight, however, is Kevin Labanc, who could be particularly popular since he’s coming off a hat-trick performance in which he earned 42.9 fantasy points. However, Labanc has been productive throughout the season, just not consistently. That’s why he has been shuffled around the lineup, though he’s currently skating with Joe Thornton and Marcus Sorensen. A huge factor working in his favor is that he skates on the team’s top power-play unit with Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Brent Burns. He has six points in his last four games and should be good for at least a few shots with potential for an assist.
I often worry about pushing my luck by playing some of these value players night after night, but even if Josh Leivo doesn’t continue his impressive play, he’s worth throwing in a cash line given his price tag. He is currently skating on Vancouver’s top line with Bo Horvat, though he has taken shifts with Elias Pettersson and Boeser. Leivo skates on the Canucks’ top power-play unit and has goals in back-to-back games, scoring two goals and four points on five shots for 13.6 and 34.9 fantasy points in his last two games, respectively. He has hit value in six out of his last eight games.
Also consider: Jake Voracek ($7,500), Timo Meier ($5,300), Travis Konecny ($5,200), Ilya Kovalchuk ($5,000), Tom Wilson ($4,800), Bryan Rust ($4,600), Jakub Vrana ($4,500), Oskar Lindblom ($4,100), Brendan Leipsic ($3,400), Andre Burakovsky ($3,200)
Elite play — Brent Burns ($7,800)
Brent Burns is coming off a very underwhelming performance against the Flames in which he earned just 14.4 fantasy points despite costing a pretty penny ($7,800). However, he is often a slate-breaker with his offensive upside, and he usually hits value through peripheral stat coverage alone. He could have high ownership on tonight’s small slate given the limited options, though it’s also a night in which you can punt on the back end and spend up elsewhere. Burns is never a bad play, it’s just a matter of whether he is worth the price.
Value plays — Marcus Pettersson ($4,000), Troy Stecher ($3,700)
Marcus Pettersson has been moved to Pittsburgh’s top power-play unit, making him an excellent value option on tonight’s small slate. He will skate with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist and Kris Letang, and using him will allow you to spend up at center and on the wing. Pettersson should be a chalky option in tonight’s cash contests, but he has been recommended in these posts a lot over the last few months given the value he has brought via peripheral stat coverage. If he gets a few shots and blocks he will be worth it; if he gets a power-play assist, he’ll smash value.
Another cheap defenseman supposedly skating on a top power-play unit (has yet to be confirmed) is Vancouver’s Troy Stecher, who would join Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Josh Leivo on the Canucks’ top unit. He was unable to find the scoresheet the other night against Calgary, recording just one shot and three blocks, but offers exposure to Vancouver’s most talented players and is very affordable. You can also consider Ben Hutton ($3,800), who has hit value more consistently in recent games but who could now be on the second power-play unit with Alex Edler on injured reserve. It’s unclear which defenseman will skate with the top unit, but both are affordable options.
Also consider: Kris Letang ($7,200), John Carlson ($6,500), Travis Sanheim ($4,300), Olli Maatta ($3,800), Michal Kempny ($3,700), Alec Martinez ($3,500)
Goalie options will be discussed in chat once confirmations have been made. Carter Hart ($8,800) could be a popular option, though he’s expensive and very risky going up against the Penguins. Martin Jones ($8,600) may be in play for cash given the Sharks’ recent play. Also expect Washington’s netminder to have some ownership since most view the Kings as an incompetent team, which isn’t exactly accurate, especially considering how the Capitals have been playing. That being said, the Capitals are favored in what is projected to be a low-scoring game.
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
Featured image credit: Scott Dinn-NHLI via Getty Images