We have a more manageable five-game slate on tap tonight in the NHL that locks early at 6:00pm EST. The Blue Jackets, Lightning, Islanders and Coyotes are skating in the second half of back-to-back sets.
NYR @ CBJ – 6:00pm EST
ANA @ WPG – 6:00pm EST
FLA @ VAN – 7:00pm EST
TBL @ NYI – 7:00pm EST
ARI @ CGY – 9:30pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Erik Karlsson had a miserable game and was definitely the wrong San Jose defenseman to play last night. However, three out of four cash lineups posted in chat were able to cash (the fourth cashed with Connor McDavid, who was my my top recommended center on the slate, but it would have missed the cash line by 2.9 fantasy points with Nathan MacKinnon), and many highlighted/discussed plays had strong nights. McDavid had a relatively quiet night but still scored a goal and walked away with 15.2 fantasy points, while Tomas Hertl (and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, for that matter) tallied an assist and 11.2 FP. Brayden Point scored a goal and earned 20 FP. For some reason, very few people played Jake Guentzel one night after he scored a hat trick. He may not have scored another hat trick, but he still managed two goals and 36.1 FP. Another player with surprisingly low ownership was Conor Garland, who once again came through with a massive value performance, scoring two goals and coming away with 33 FP for just $3,400. Brandon Pirri was a disappointment, though he became a much weaker play once it was announced he would be skating on Vegas’ top line. The second line picked up several points in Vegas’ come-from-behind win, including Alex Tuch, who scored a goal and an assist on seven shots for 31.2 FP. David Pastrnak continued his dominance against the Maple Leafs with a goal and 20 FP, while Alex Ovechkin tallied an assist and 11.2 FP. He had to leave the game with a cut to his hand, so it’s unclear if that affected his play for the rest of the contest. Other than Hertl, San Jose’s third line had an ineffective night, as did Tanner Pearson, who managed just 4.8 FP in his return to Los Angeles. Jordan Binnington had another great game, holding Dallas to one goal and winning his third straight start as a rookie; that meant that Alexander Radulov was kept off the board, though he didn’t make any of my final lineups. On the back end, most of the value options had quiet nights, with Alec Martinez and Marcus Pettersson earning 4.8 FP apiece. However, Erik Johnson had another floor performance with four shots and a block for 8 FP, and Mikhail Sergachev extended his point streak to three games with 11.2 FP. In net, Martin Jones secured a 4-1 win against the Senators, coming away with 29.6 FP. In the end, Devan Dubnyk only made one of my lineup suggestions because of his career numbers against Detroit and because of Jimmy Howard’s career numbers against Minnesota; those numbers turned out to be relevant as Howard and the Wings walked away with a 5-2 win.
TOP PLAY: Brayden Point ($8,000)
There isn’t necessarily a top center play on tonight’s slate because there are several elite options capable of putting up big numbers. That being said, the most consistent over the last few games has been Brayden Point, who has five goals and seven points in his last three games and eight goals and 20 points in his last 12 games, recording at least a point in 11 of those 12 contests. Point skates on Tampa Bay’s second line and first power-play unit and is averaging 18.5 fantasy points per game this season.
Also consider: Sean Monahan ($8,000), Mark Scheifele ($7,600), Mathew Barzal ($6,700), Pierre-Luc DuBois ($6,000)
VALUE PLAY: Alex Galchenyuk ($5,500)
Alex Galchenyuk has points in three straight games, recording one goal and six points in that stretch. He was moved to Arizona’s second line and is now skating with Vinnie Hinostroza and Richard Panik at even strength; he remains on the Coyotes’ top power-play unit.
Also consider: Brock Nelson ($5,500), Mikael Backlund ($5,300), Bryan Little ($4,700), Adam Gaudette ($3,100)
TOP PLAY: Kyle Connor ($4,900)
Obviously there are many strong elite wingers on tonight’s slate, including two of the hottest scorers in the NHL in Nikita Kucherov and Johnny Gaudreau. But for FanDuel cash contests, Kyle Connor could be the highest-owned player on the slate. He had 75 percent ownership the other night and could see similar numbers tonight, especially since he has one more strong performance under his belt. Obviously chalk doesn’t always dictate lineup construction, but considering his price tag, he makes for a sensible cash play. Connor skates on Winnipeg’s top line and top power-play unit and has points in four straight games, collecting three goals and six points in that stretch. Connor is coming off one of his best performances of the season in which he scored a goal and two assists for 32.8 fantasy points, and it’s possible he could put up comparable numbers against a reeling Ducks team that has lost nine games in a row. The good thing about this play is that even if Connor doesn’t come through, he’ll have the ownership to offset the negative affects and you’ll only be down $4,900.
Also consider: Nikita Kucherov ($9,300), Johnny Gaudreau ($8,900), Blake Wheeler ($8,100), Artemi Panarin ($7,700), Elias Lindholm ($7,100), Matthew Tkachuk ($6,800), Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,600), Mike Hoffman ($6,400), Anders Lee ($6,400), Evgenii Dadonov ($5,600)
VALUE PLAYS: Michael Frolik ($3,900), Conor Garland ($3,400)
Michael Frolik has gotten off to a great start since returning to the Flames’ second line, recording goals in back-to-back games and registering four points, four shots and one block in that span. He has four goals and eight points in his last seven games but does not see time on the power play, though Calgary’s second unit is a bizarre collection of bottom-six forwards anyway. However, he should see plenty of ice time in a shut-down role for Calgary, and he’ll have his looks offensively.
My favorite value play on the night, however, is Conor Garland, who scored another two goals last night, earning 33 fantasy points on the night. The first of his two goals went into the net off his face, but he came back into the game and eventually potted the game-winning goal. Garland skates on Arizona’s third line and first power-play unit; he has six goals in his last four games as well as eight goals and 10 points in his last 10 games.
One player flying under the radar is Brandon Tanev, who has points in four straight games (two goals, two assists) and points in five out of his last six.
Also consider: Jakob Silfverberg ($4,900), J.T. Miller ($4,400), Ondrej Kase ($4,400), Brandon Tanev ($3,600), Mathieu Perreault ($3,400)
TOP PLAY: Mark Giordano ($6,400)
Mark Giordano has points in three straight games and in six out of his last seven games, collecting one goal and eight points in that time. He skates on Calgary’s first power-play unit and has averaged 16.5 fantasy points per game. He should continue to see high ownership, and he continues to be a solid cash option.
Also consider: Seth Jones ($5,800)
VALUE PLAY: Alex Edler ($4,400)
Alex Edler is pointless in three straight games but generally provides a solid floor through peripheral stat coverage. He is averaging 13.7 fantasy points per game this season and is averaging just over five shots+blocks per game. Edler skates on Vancouver’s top power-play unit.
Also consider: Josh Morrissey ($4,700), Ryan Pulock ($4,400), Mikhail Sergachev ($3,800), Jakob Chychrun ($3,600), Devon Toews ($3,500)
TOP PLAY: Andrei Vasilevskiy ($9,500)
Andrei Vasilevskiy bears a hefty price tag but comes in with strong odds to pick up a win. Both of these teams played yesterday, which means it’s likely the Islanders will have Thomas Greiss in net. Greiss has given up 10 goals in his last three games and could certainly yield several against a hot Tampa offense. That makes Vasilevskiy a favorite for the win even if he gives up a few in the process. He may not have high ownership because of his price tag, however, so keep that in mind.
Also consider: Sergei Bobrovsky ($8,500), Connor Hellebuyck ($8,400)
VALUE PLAY: Mike Smith ($7,400)
Beware: The last time I played Mike Smith was against the Flyers, a game in which he gave up four goals on 14 shots and got pulled, finishing the night with -8 fantasy points and thus spoiling what was otherwise a winning lineup. He has since lost the starter’s role to David Rittich, who has been significantly better. However, Smith gets the nod tonight presumably because the Flames are hosting Smith’s former team. But considering the fact that Smith can leave you in the red, it’s understandable to be a little reluctant to go back to him. He’ll be plenty motivated against his former team, and he’s already defeated them once this year after stopping 28 of 29 shots when these teams met in Arizona earlier this season. However, Arizona’s offense has been clicking in recent games, which could pose a threat. That being said, the ‘Yotes played last night, and Smith should get some goal support as long as the team in front of him plays better than it did the other night against Florida. Even so, Smith is a risky play, especially for cash contests, but there isn’t much value in net on tonight’s small slate.
Also consider: John Gibson ($7,800)–GPP (Ducks have lost nine straight)
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
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