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There are just three games on tonight’s Main Slate, with the St. Louis Blues skating in the second half of a back-to-back after picking up a 2-1 shootout win against the Bruins yesterday afternoon.
NOTE: Today’s recommendations are subject to change depending on goalie confirmations, line changes, news updates, etc. Updated plays will be discussed in chat. Also, I may end up going with some chalk regardless of what I’ve written about those players throughout today’s article.
CGY @ OTT – 7:00pm EST
STL @ MIN – 7:00pm EST
WPG @ ARI – 9:00pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: All three FanDuel lineups posted in chat last night were able to cash. As I said in chat, I played the one with John Tavares/Robin Lehner, though the Auston Matthews one was meant to be a safer overall cash line, and the alternate cashed as well. Fortunately, fading the Flyers-Penguins game worked out even though the game wasn’t canceled and both teams combined for seven goals. As mentioned in chat and in yesterday’s post, Sidney Crosby generally plays very well against the Flyers, and he didn’t disappoint last night. Crosby scored a goal and an assist for 23.7 fantasy points. However, Max Domi was more than $3,000 cheaper and still put up 17.6 FP with an assist, five shots and a block at just four percent ownership, so I was fine with the trade-off. Tavares’ line scored several goals for the Maple Leafs, though he only factored into one of Toronto’s power-play goals, finishing the night with 17.6 FP. However, Matthews had a strong night and was the chalkier play; he picked up 31.7 FP with a goal and an assist as well as five shots and two blocks. Andreas Johnsson was chalky as well, but he came through as a value option on both sites, scoring a goal on three shots for 16.8 FP. Tomas Tatar put up the same numbers in Montreal’s 6-3 loss. Brendan Gallagher managed just 4.8 FP against the Tavares line, though that’s why I was targeting Domi’s line. The Oilers and Ducks scored a combined three goals, though fortunately both Leon Draisaitl and Sam Gagner came away with a point. Draisaitl did not score a goal, however, which was disappointing, as Anaheim’s Kevin Boyle gave up two or fewer goals for the fourth straight game. Draisaitl tallied an assist, three shots and a block for 14.4 FP, while Gagner scored a goal and earned 15.2 FP, which was excellent value for his $3,000 price tag. Anders Lee saw his three-game goal streak come to an end but still managed 8 FP with three shots and two blocks. Unfortunately, Brock Boeser had a poor game, earning just 1.6 FP with one shot on goal (Troy Stecher earned 4.8 FP with two shots and a block, though as I wrote in yesterday’s post and in chat, I preferred the Islanders duo on the back end for last night’s slate). Though the Canucks skaters didn’t come through, that was a good thing for Robin Lehner, who recorded a 36-save shutout and earned 48.8 FP with the win. Mikko Koskinen also came away victorious, giving up one goal on 34 shots and finishing the game with 34.4 FP. Ryan Pulock scored a goal and added two shots and six blocks for 24.8 FP, while Devon Toews tallied an assist and a block for 9.6 FP. For the alternate lineup, Michael Del Zotto tallied an assist and three shots for 12.8 FP.
As for the rest of yesterday’s post, the featured player (Aleksander Barkov) came through with a goal and an assist (both on the power play) for 6 DK FP, while Carl Soderberg tallied two assists, two shots and three blocks for 6.5 DK FP. Kyle Turris, who was the DraftKings punt play, managed just one block for 0.5 DK FP. The other highlighted FanDuel center, Brock Nelson, picked up an assist and a shot for 9.6 FD FP. The top winger recommendation was Justin Williams, who did not have a strong game. Carolina’s power play scored but Williams was not involved; he finished the afternoon with just three shots for 1.5 DK FP. Though I discussed Johnsson/Gagner above, their DK FP totals were 4.5 and 4, respectively. For the All-Day FanDuel recommendations, Alex Ovechkin scored a goal on eight shots for 24.8 FD FP, while Jesper Bratt managed two shots and two blocks for 6.4 FD FP in a 4-2 loss to the Rangers. On the back end, Roman Josi had a surprisingly poor afternoon in a surprising 5-0 win for the Avalanche; even with Philipp Grubauer in net, Nashville was held off the scoresheet, and Josi didn’t come through with his usually automatic floor. He tallied just two shots for 1 DK FP. Toews managed an assist and a shot for 2.5 DK FP (Pulock picked up 7 DK FP).
It’s highly likely that most of the ownership on tonight’s slate will be centered around Sean Monahan ($7,500) and Mark Scheifele ($7,300), though neither player has been particularly productive or reliable of late. That’s why I’m more tempted to lean towards Ryan O’Reilly ($7,000), though he’s not as strong a play as he was when these teams played last week. That’s mainly because Devan Dubnyk has picked up his game considerably over his last two starts. He has had some awful performances this season, but when he’s hot he is difficult to beat. Though the Blues are coming off an exhausting and hard-fought battle against the Bruins, O’Reilly has been so good lately that he might have a safer floor than some of the other elite options, though he’s risky nevertheless.
There aren’t that many options to begin with, and since the Flames are taking on the Senators, it’s hard to imagine CGY 1 ownership won’t be through the roof tonight. Even so, Mikael Backlund ($5,500) has been more consistent and reliable in recent games. Backlund has points in four straight games, scoring two goals and six points on 15 shots in that span. He does not get time on the power play, though, which does certainly take away from his value.
On the other side of the Jets game, Derek Stepan ($5,400) has been productive of late and could take advantage of a favorable matchup against a struggling WPG 1 line. Stepan has assists in back-to-back games and in three out of his last four games, collecting three assists, 15 shots and six blocks in that stretch. He skates on Arizona’s second line and first power-play unit, though again he could be a risky cash play because of ownership and because Laurent Brossoit could have a strong game for Winnipeg.
Also consider: Eric Staal ($5,600), Bryan Little ($4,700)
Vladimir Tarasenko ($8,700) is getting to be quite expensive, though he arguably has one of the highest ceilings on the slate. The Blues continue to win, and he played well when these teams squared off in Minnesota just a week ago, scoring a goal and two assists for 35.4 fantasy points. Tarasenko skates on St. Louis’ first line and first power-play unit and has nine goals and 15 points in his last 10 games. He is averaging 15.5 fantasy points per game this season.
But it’ll be important to have at least a piece of Calgary tonight, and since Johnny Gaudreau ($8,100) has been so inconsistent, I’d prefer to go with Elias Lindholm ($7,100) tonight, especially since he offers a savings of $1,000. Lindholm posted a goose egg the other night against the Ducks, but he still has four goals and 12 points in his last 10 games and skates on the Flames’ top power-play unit. The Senators held the Blue Jackets to just two goals the other night, so it’s certainly possible this will be a low-scoring game despite the projected goal total being over six. Another option from Calgary is Matthew Tkachuk ($5,000), who has seen a massive price reduction in recent weeks because of his drop in production. However, he’ll be playing against his brother, Brady, tonight, and he skates on Calgary’s top line and top power-play unit, so he should have his chances to find the scoresheet.
Though Kyle Connor ($5,600) tends to be the safer play, I liked the way Nikolaj Ehlers ($5,200) played the other night in his first game since Jan. 4. He scored a goal in the first minute of the game and should have an easier matchup at even strength tonight with Connor and WPG 1 likely taking on the Stepan line. Now that Patrik Laine has broken his 15-game goalless drought, it’s possible WPG 2 could get something going tonight. Arizona has one of the best penalty kills in the NHL, though the one thing about Connor is that he offers exposure to Winnipeg’s top power-play unit.
Another similarly-priced option is Jaden Schwartz ($5,000), who has moved up to the Blues’ top line and top power-play unit in the absence of Brayden Schenn, who is now on injured reserve. Schwartz did not pick up a point in yesterday’s low-scoring game against Boston, though he registered five shots for eight fantasy points. He has earned 8, 12.8, 28.5, 3.2, 15.2, 9.6, 13.6 and 11.2 fantasy points in his last eight games, respectively.
Perhaps my favorite winger on the slate, however, is Ryan Donato ($3,000), and the main reason for that is his price tag. However, he’s also been productive since coming over to Minnesota in a trade. He has three assists and seven shots in two games with the Wild, and he skates on the team’s second power-play unit. Donato and the Wild will have a tough matchup against a hot Blues team, though it’s likely Jake Allen will get the nod, and he’s certainly beatable. Plus, Donato won’t have to go up against the O’Reilly line, which is another advantage. At worst, his price tag makes him a free play on a tricky three-game slate, so he’s a lock for me tonight on FanDuel. However, Jordan Greenway ($3,200) and Luke Kunin ($3,300) are other punt plays on the Wild worth considering, as both have been productive in recent games.
Also consider: Zach Parise ($6,600), Patrik Laine ($6,300), Mikael Granlund ($6,100), Alex Galchenyuk ($5,700), Brady Tkachuk ($4,500), Brandon Tanev ($3,900), Robert Thomas ($3,600), Michael Frolik ($3,600), Conor Garland ($3,400)
Mark Giordano ($6,300) has not been overly consistent of late, but he has a favorable matchup against a Senators team that is missing most of its starpower and that has been shut out in back-to-back games. Though Craig Anderson only gave up two goals to the Blue Jackets the other night, Calgary is in a heated playoff race with the Sharks, so every point counts. T.J. Brodie ($4,400) had a better game the other night, recording a goal and an assist for 26.4 fantasy points, though Giordano is an elite defenseman for a reason and not only provides a safe floor but also a high ceiling.
There are a bunch of strong mid-range options, which are listed below, as well as value plays. One of my favorite value plays is Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun ($3,800). Chychrun has points in back-to-back games and skates on the Coyotes’ top power-play unit.
Ben Chiarot ($3,500) is also a great value play tonight. He has earned 14.4, 12.8, 11.2, 9.6, 9.6, 6.4, 6.4, 12.8, 6.4 and 19.2 fantasy points in his last 10 games, respectively, clearly offering a solid floor through peripheral stat coverage and the occasional point. That being said, somehow Jacob Trouba ($5,100) remains incredibly inexpensive; he skates on Winnipeg’s top power-play unit.
Another strong floor play is Alex Goligoski ($4,000), who has earned 11.2, 8, 8, 11.2, 8, 8 and 32.2 fantasy points in his last seven games, respectively. He skates on Arizona’s second power-play unit.
Also consider: Alex Pietrangelo ($5,800), Jordan Oesterle ($4,000), Tyler Myers ($3,900), Rasmus Andersson ($3,500), Brad Hunt ($3,500)
I would be stunned if Mike Smith ($7,900) is not the chalk goalie of the night, especially on FanDuel given his price tag. The Senators have not scored a goal since taking Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel out of the lineup (Duchene and Dzingel have since been traded to Columbus), and they are set to face a Flames team with a lot of firepower. The Flames are massive -265 favorites tonight, so expect Smith to be extremely chalky and a smart cash play given his projected ownership, price tag and matchup.
Additional options will be discussed in chat closer to lock.
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
Featured image credit: Gerry Thomas-Getty