We have yet another small three-game slate on tap tonight in the NHL, though the schedule will normalize starting tomorrow night. The Flyers have won five games in a row but are heavy underdogs tonight in Boston, especially with the possibility of Tuukka Rask returning to the lineup. The Bruins will look to bounce back from a 4-3 loss to the Jets, but Winnipeg will look to carry the momentum from that win into tonight’s tilt against the Blue Jackets. If Sergei Bobrovsky gets the nod for Columbus, Winnipeg will be a top target as Bob has been absolutely horrendous of late; however, expect Joonas Korpisalo to be between the pipes for the Jackets. The Rangers and Devils will renew their rivalry with a matchup in Newark as Henrik Lundqvist makes his first start since thriving at the All-Star game. Kevin Hayes looked great in his return to the lineup the other night despite the fact that the Flyers shut out the Blueshirts with a 1-0 victory. The only major injury news is that Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen is out indefinitely with a concussion. Other injuries will be addressed in chat.
PHI @ BOS – 7:00pm EST
NYR @ NJD – 7:00pm EST
CBJ @ WPG – 8:00pm EST
Two of the popular stacks on tonight’s slate are likely going to be the top lines for the Jets and Bruins. Winnipeg’s top line has been inconsistent in recent games but has a favorable matchup against Columbus on home ice. Mark Scheifele ($7,800) has at least a point in eight out of his last 10 games but has still been underperforming during that stretch. He’s an elite option every time the Jets are on the schedule, and he’s averaging 17.1 fantasy points per game, the second-highest rate among centers on tonight’s slate.
The top center in fantasy points per game is Patrice Bergeron ($8,600), who is coming off a great two-goal performance in which he collected 33.6 fantasy points. Bergeron is generally a safe floor play with high upside, though he’s been held off the scoresheet in two previous games against Philly this season. That being said, he has points in three straight going back to before the bye week, and he’s been particularly productive on home ice with 30 points in 19 games (compared to 13 points in 15 road games). He and the Bruins’ top line likely will match up with Claude Giroux and the Flyers’ top line, which finished with Corsi For percentages in the 30’s the other night in New York. In fact, the Flyers were largely outplayed by the Rangers and relied on the stellar play of goaltender Anthony Stolarz to escape with a win after scoring less than two minutes into the game. David Krejci ($5,300) is the Boston center who has been more productive against the Flyers this season, though he’s likely to have a tough matchup against Philadelphia’s second line.
There are plenty of cheaper options, however.
Don’t be surprised to see Mika Zibanejad ($6,700) with high ownership in cash contests once again despite the fact that he had a disappointing output the other night. He and Chris Kreider generated plenty of scoring chances but were unable to get one past Stolarz; however, New Jersey’s goaltending has been mighty inconsistent this season, so the Rangers’ top performers could be popular targets once again. Kevin Hayes ($5,500) skates on the team’s second line and first power-play unit and could be an interesting pivot if you’re looking to avoid the Zibanejad chalk, but NYR 1 is a solid choice.
In addition, Pierre-Luc DuBois ($6,000) centers Columbus’ top line, which continues to excel and is difficult to slow down. DuBois has points in back-to-back games and in six out of his last seven contests. For what it’s worth, Sean Couturier ($6,500) scored a hat trick against the Bruins when these teams met in Philadelphia a few weeks ago; he now has points in seven out of his last eight.
If you’re looking for a low-owned GPP stack, consider New Jersey’s second line, which exploded the other night against Pittsburgh. Centering that line as well as the Devils’ top power-play unit is Travis Zajac ($4,400), who put together a four-point performance against the Penguins. He and Blake Coleman as well as Miles Wood make for a strong and affordable stack on tonight’s slate.
Also consider: Bryan Little ($5,300), Trent Frederic ($3,000)
The wingers on Boston’s top line have had more success against Philadelphia this season than Bergeron has, though both are difficult to accommodate on a slate with a lot of strong wingers. That being said, the fact that the Bruins are the heaviest favorites on the slate and this line is coming off such a strong performance likely means you’ll want to have some exposure to the line (unless you’re playing more of a hybrid or a riskier cash line). The line has been inconsistent on the whole this season, but both Brad Marchand ($8,400) and David Pastrnak ($8,200) remain strong options every time they’re in play. They are averaging 16.1 and 18.7 fantasy points per game this season, respectively, and both players found the scoresheet a few weeks ago against the Flyers.
That being said, Cam Atkinson ($7,400) is typically a much more popular option in FanDuel cash contests, and he generally comes through with a solid floor thanks to his propensity to get pucks on net. He has a higher goals-per-game rate on the road this season, but playing in Winnipeg can be tough. However, Atkinson is always a threat for a multiple-point night and should be relatively safe given the ownership and floor.
Another mid-range play coming off a strong performance who could also have solid ownership in cash contests is Kyle Connor ($6,200), who scored two goals in Boston the other night. He hasn’t put together two straight strong performances since a mini four-game point streak earlier this month, but he has a very favorable matchup against the Blue Jackets, and his role on the team’s top line and top power-play unit makes him a strong points-per-dollar play on tonight’s slate.
Though he didn’t convert, Chris Kreider ($6,300) was excellent the other night against the Flyers. He had multiple point-blank opportunities but was robbed on several occasions. He could be a strong play, especially if Mats Zuccarello ($5,800) is able to return to the lineup.
Getting back to the NJD 2 stack, both Blake Coleman ($4,500) and Miles Wood ($3,800) are underpriced (on FanDuel) and make for solid value plays on tonight’s slate. Coleman failed to find the scoresheet in the two games leading up to the bye week, but he bounced back with a goal and an assist the other night in Pittsburgh and had been on quite a tear before that, finding the scoresheet in five straight games with five goals and seven points in that stretch. The one downside with Coleman is that he does not see time on the power play, though his peripheral stat coverage has made him a reliable floor play in recent weeks. Wood has been even more consistent of late, notching a point in five straight games. His ceiling isn’t nearly as high as Coleman’s, but he’s been consistent, is $700 cheaper and sees time on the second power-play unit.
Another value consideration for tonight is Peter Cehlarik ($3,400), who skates on Boston’s second line and second power-play unit. Cehlarik has now gone two games without a point after recording points in each of his first two games of the season. That being said, his first game of the season was the game against Philadelphia a few weeks ago, and he potted two goals and 28.8 fantasy points in that effort. It may have been beginner’s luck, but he’s cheap enough to be worth the punt and still gets top-six minutes and power-play action.
Also consider: Blake Wheeler ($7,800), Artemi Panarin ($7,700), Chris Kreider ($6,300), Mats Zuccarello ($5,800)–if he plays, Travis Konecny ($4,700), Oskar Lindblom ($3,900)*
*Points in three out of his last four, including two against BOS on 1/16
The Winnipeg Jets make life difficult in DFS NHL considering it’s always a mystery as to who will play on the team’s top power-play unit. That mystery remains in effect for tonight’s matchup against Columbus. In the Jets’ most recent game, Josh Morrissey ($4,500) had the honor of skating on the top unit, though Jacob Trouba ($5,100) still made his appearances. Over the team’s most recent three games, Morrissey has had a tiny edge, but it could go either way (regardless of what the lines look like at morning skate). Therefore, consider both for cash contests on tonight’s slate. Morrissey is coming off a strong game in which he scored a power-play goal (imagine that!), earning 18.9 fantasy points in the process. That doesn’t mean Trouba didn’t have a solid game as well, though; while he didn’t find the scoresheet, Trouba recorded three shots and six blocks for 14.4 fantasy points.
For more affordable value options (though Morrissey is quite inexpensive), consider Rangers rearguards Tony DeAnngelo ($3,500) and Neal Pionk ($3,500) once again. Surprisingly, Will Butcher ($4,000) has points in back-to-back games, and he’s even recorded three shots in three out of his last five games, though that’s a rarity for him. Update: If Mats Zuccarello plays, he’ll take DeAngelo’s spot on PP1, while Pionk will play the point on the second unit. Kevin Shattenkirk is the other defenseman on PP1 (or at least he was yesterday during practice).
Additional options are listed below.
Also consider: Seth Jones ($5,700), Zach Werenski ($5,300), Damon Severson ($4,200), Radko Gudas ($3,900), Andy Greene ($3,800), Robert Hagg ($3,600)
Goalies will be discussed in chat later today once confirmations have been announced. For now, the only confirmed goalies are Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers and Keith Kinkaid for the Devils. Either goalie could give up five goals or hold the other team to one goal, so that’s not a great matchup for goaltending (in cash). Winnipeg or Boston might be the way to go for cash, but various factors will affect the final decision.
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
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