Welcome to December. There are 10 games on tonight’s slate, with the Panthers, Islanders, Devils and Blues skating in the second half of back-to-back sets. Alex Steen was injured in yesterday’s game and is now considered day-to-day; while Patric Hornqvist took part in yesterday’s morning skate, he likely will be a game-time decision for the Penguins.
DET @ BOS – 7:00pm EST
TBL @ FLA – 7:00pm EST
NYR @ MTL – 7:00pm EST
PHI @ PIT – 7:00pm EST
CBJ @ NYI – 7:00pm EST
TOR @ MIN – 7:00pm EST
WPG @ NJD – 7:00pm EST
STL @ ARI – 8:00pm EST
CHI @ NSH – 8:00pm EST
WPG @ EDM – 10:00pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Last night was another successful night for FTA, as the cash lineup shared in chat came through with a decent night. Surprisingly, Nathan MacKinnon fell flat in a 3-2 overtime loss to St. Louis, managing just three shots for 4.8 fantasy points; however, his 80-plus percent ownership significantly lessened the blow. Linemate Mikko Rantanen did score for Colorado, taking home 17.3 fantasy points with a power-play goal and three shots. Samuel Girard managed three shots and two blocks for eight fantasy points in the low-scoring game. The other center, Jared McCann, was a one-off for salary purposes but came through in a big way with a power-play goal on three shots for 17.3 FP; he and Rantanen ended up with the same fantasy point total, yet their price tags were nearly $5 million apart. Both Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin had strong games, though Wilson was ejected from the game for a hit on New Jersey’s Brett Seney. He scored a goal before the hit, however, coming away with 18.8 fantasy points at a massive 78 percent ownership rate. The final winger was Nick Ritchie, who had scored in back-to-back games and in three out of his last four; however, he didn’t pan out, picking up just 3.2 FP. Rasmus Ristolainen had somewhat of a disappointing night but still a respectable eight FP. Lastly, Curtis McElhinney was great for most of the game but eventually gave up a late tying goal and then lost in overtime; he finished with just 13.6 fantasy points, but it was still a decent return for his $7,500 price tag.
Here are some plays to consider for tonight’s slate:
Mark Scheifele had very high ownership in cash contests the other night and will surely have decent ownership once again tonight after a three-point performance against Chicago. He has earned 35.2 and 30.4 fantasy points in his last two games, respectively, and skates on Winnipeg’s top line and top power-play unit. He is averaging 17.8 fantasy points per game and has a favorable matchup against Cory Schneider and the Devils, who are playing in the second half of a back-to-back set.
Auston Matthews will also have some decent ownership tonight after a great effort in his first game back from injury. He scored two goals and an assist and finished the game with 42.6 fantasy points. Matthews was in the middle of a slump when he got hurt in late October but will face a Wild team that has given up plenty of goals in recent games.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will take on a struggling Flyers team and fifth-string goalie Anthony Stolarz on home ice tonight, which puts Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in strong spots. Crosby has been the hotter of the two, though both tend to play very well against Philadelphia.
Boone Jenner has provided a solid floor in recent games, earning 9.6, 23.2, 12.8, 14.4, 8, 6.4, 24.8, 9.6, 12.8, 11.2, 21.3, 11.2, 12.8 and 8 fantasy points in his last 14 games, respectively; he is a nice pivot off the Blue Jackets’ top line. Other value options are listed below.
Also consider: Connor McDavid ($9,200), Sidney Crosby ($8,900), Evgeni Malkni ($8,600), Brayden Point ($7,700), Pierre-Luc DuBois ($6,000)
Value: Boone Jenner ($4,800), Cody Eakin ($4,700), Nick Bonino ($3,800), Valtteri Filppula ($3,700), Jared McCann ($3,600), Colby Cave ($3,500)
Patrik Laine and Blake Wheeler will be strong options once again as they take on the Devils tonight in Newark. Nikolaj Ehlers should also have some ownership at just $5,400 considering he’s coming off a hat-trick performance and skates on the team’s top line with Mark Scheifele and Wheeler. Laine has 13 goals in his last six games and is averaging 19.5 fantasy points per game as a member of the team’s second line and first power-play unit; Wheeler is averaging 17.4 fantasy points per game with four goals and 32 points in 24 games, including one goal and seven points on his current three-game point streak. Ehlers has five points in his last two games and has earned 45.6, 19.2, 9.6 and 17.3 fantasy points in his last four games, respectively; he skates on the team’s second power-play unit.
Taylor Hall and the Devils will square off against the trio of Winnipeg wingers. He has been much better at home this season and will take on Laurent Brossoit, who gave up four goals on just 27 shots in his last appearance. Hall is averaging 17.2 fantasy points per game this season and has points in back-to-back games. He has earned 25.6, 12.8, 12.8, 26.4 and 28 fantasy points in his last five games, respectively.
Mitch Marner has put together three straight multi-point performances and offers exposure to both John Tavares and Auston Matthews for the Leafs. He skates on the team’s top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 17.8 fantasy points per game, picking up eight assists in his last three games. He’s generally a stronger option on home ice but has found a way to be productive on the road this year.
Columbus’ top-line trio of Pierre-Luc DuBois (center), Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin has been productive in recent games and should have low ownership considering the number of elite options on tonight’s slate. That could make them a strong GPP stack option. DuBois has two goals and five points in his last two games, Panarin has goals in back-to-back games and four total points in his last two, while Atkinson has points in nine straight games, recording 10 goals and 15 points in that stretch. DuBois and Atkinson skate on the top power-play unit, while Panarin plays the point on the second.
Max Pacioretty and Alex Tuch skate on Vegas’ second line and have been red-hot in recent games. Pacioretty enters tonight’s game against the Oilers with points in seven straight, a streak that started in Edmonton on Nov. 18. Pacioretty has managed four multi-point games in that time and has collected a total of eight goals and 11 points. He and Tuch skate on the team’s top power-play unit. Tuch is averaging 15.7 fantasy points per game and has points in five straight, scoring three goals and eight points in that stretch.
Jonathan Huberdeau has points in four straight games, tallying one goal and nine points in that time; he is averaging 14.2 fantasy points per game and skates on Florida’s second line and first power-play unit. He registered two assists and a shot for 18.6 fantasy points when these teams met in Tampa Bay Nov. 21.
A few strong value options in cash contests could be Kasperi Kapanen and Alex Chiasson. Kapanen skates with Auston Matthews at even strength; he doesn’t make a great one-off, but if you’re looking for some exposure to Matthews and can’t afford his $7,500 price tag (or Marner’s $7,800), Kapanen might make some sense. Chiasson skates on the Oilers’ top line and top power-play unit with Connor McDavid (who has great career numbers against Vegas) and Leon Draisaitl. Chiasson has points in three out of his last four games and scored a power-play goal when these teams last met.
In general, Nashville has a favorable matchup on home ice against Cam Ward and the Blackhawks, so many of the Predators’ wingers are strong choices tonight as well. Nashville gets offense from its top three lines and both power-play units, making it tough to zero in on a top play. Filip Forsberg is always a good choice but hasn’t been overly productive in recent games.
Also consider: Nikita Kucherov ($8,800), David Pastrnak ($8,300), Phil Kessel ($8,100), Claude Giroux ($7,700), Filip Forsberg ($7,600), Evgenii Dadonov ($6,900), Jake Guentzel ($6,900), Mike Hoffman ($6,600), Chris Kreider ($6,500), Zach Parise ($6,500), Patric Hornqvist ($6,200)–GTD, Kyle Connor ($5,600), Travis Konecny ($5,400)
Value: Tanner Pearson ($4,500), Josh Anderson ($4,400), Alex Killorn ($4,200), Kevin Fiala ($4,200), Dominik Simon ($4,000), Andrew Shaw ($3,900), Mathieu Joseph ($3,600), Jesper Bratt ($3,600)
Roman Josi is averaging 14.8 fantasy points per game this season and has a strong matchup at home against the Chicago Blackhawks, who give up a ton of points to opposing defensemen and who have been giving up 4, 5 or 6 goals most nights. Josi skates on Nashville’s second power-play unit but has earned 14.4, 22.4, 27.7, 6.4, 4.8, 14.4, 25, 19.2, 11.2, 14.4, 26.9, 14.4, 28, 15.2 and 19.2 fantasy points in his last 15 games, respectively.
While Matt Dumba is still an appealing option, he had a horrendous performance the other night and was a major letdown, especially for $5,900, which makes him less of an option tonight. However, if you’re looking for players with low ownership and high upside, Dumba could fit the bill.
Shea Weber made his long-awaited return to the Canadiens lineup and had a strong game the other night against Carolina, recording an assist, three shots and two blocks for 16 fantasy points. He and the Canadiens came up against a red-hot Curtis McElhinney the other night but will get Rangers backup Alexandar Georgiev tonight since Henrik Lundqvist has terrible historic numbers in Montreal.
Oscar Klefbom has really stepped up in recent games, rewarding fantasy owners with 30.6, 28 and 37.3 fantasy points in his last three games, respectively. He didn’t find the scoresheet against Vegas in mid-November but still managed two shots and five blocks for 11.2 fantasy points. He is in the midst of a hot streak at the moment, however, which could carry over into tonight’s game, especially since Marc-Andre Fleury fell back down to earth the other night against Vancouver, giving up three goals. Klefbom skates on Edmonton’s top power-play unit and is a strong option once again tonight, especially for $4,900.
Also consider: Keith Yandle ($5,500), Seth Jones ($5,300), Aaron Ekblad ($5,000), Jacob Trouba ($4,800), Mike Green ($4,700), Josh Morrissey ($4,000), Alex Goligoski ($3,800), Scott Mayfield ($3,700), David Savard ($3,600), Cameron Schilling ($3,500), Joel Edmundson ($3,500)
FanDuel still does not have Adin Hill even coming off a 3-0 shutout against the Nashville Predators, so he is not in play in FanDuel contests.
Frederik Andersen has been strong in recent games but still has a difficult matchup against the Wild. The Maple Leafs are favored for the win, and Devan Dubnyk’s shaky play could allow for Toronto to give Andersen the goal support he needs, but that’s a lot of money to spend on a goalie in a debatable position tonight. Many will continue to turn to Pekka Rinne, but he hasn’t been worth the money on many nights this season, and while he definitely has a very strong chance of picking up a win against Chicago, the Blackhawks put up five goals the other night. He’ll still likely have ownership in cash contests given the strong probability he’ll pick up a win, and he does have a high ceiling. Marc-Andre Fleury is on an absolute roll with wins in six straight, but Mikko Koskinen and the Oilers might be a tough matchup for the red-hot Golden Knights. Louis Domingue has a good chance at a win against a Panthers team skating in the second half of a back-to-back, but his price tag does not fit his recent output, and that is projected to be a very high-scoring game, which makes him a difficult choice at $8,600. One player who has seemingly turned his season around is Tuukka Rask, who gets the nod once again tonight for Boston. Rask will take on a Red Wings team that bested him in Detroit Nov. 21, but he’s still been strong over his last few games, earning 30.4 and 28.8 fantasy points in his last two, respectively. Casey DeSmith and Laurent Brossit are cheaper options projected to get wins tonight, but both could yield multiple goals in what are projected to be high-scoring matchups. Carey Price has a favorable matchup against the visiting Rangers, but he did give up five goals to the Blueshirts when he was recently in New York. That being said, the Canadiens fare much better against the Rangers in Montreal, so he could be a decent play.
I will narrow down the options in chat later today, as several goalie confirmations have yet to be announced.
Join me in the FTA+ NHL discord chat to further discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
Featured image credit: Kevin King-Winnipeg SunFantasy Hockey