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Welcome back. We have a massive 13-game slate on tap for tonight after the mini holiday break, so everyone has had at least a few days of rest between games. Columbus is the only team that will also play tomorrow night, but expect Sergei Bobrovsky to get the start against John Tortorella’s former team.
CBJ @ NYR – 7:00pm EST
NJD @ BOS – 7:00pm EST
CAR @ WSH – 7:00pm EST
DET @ PIT – 7:00pm EST
PHI @ TBL – 7:30pm EST
BUF @ STL – 8:00pm EST
CGY @ WPG – 8:00pm EST
DAL @ NSH – 8:00pm EST
MIN @ CHI – 8:30pm EST
VAN @ EDM – 9:00pm EST
COL @ VGK – 10:00pm EST
ANA @ SJS – 10:30pm EST
ARI @ LAK – 10:30pm EST
SUNDAY NIGHT’S RESULTS: All three centers found the scoresheet Sunday night, with John Tavares leading the way with a goal and an assist on four shots for 26.4 fantasy points. Kevin Hayes tallied an assist and two shots for 11.2 FP, while Dylan Larkin managed 16 FP thanks to an assist and five shots. Mitch Marner was a massive letdown on the night; he had been on quite a roll but registered just three shots on goal. Fortunately, his ownership made it less of an issue, but it was still a disappointing performance. However, Morgan Rielly made up for that with yet another strong game; the 24-year-old scored a goal and an assist and came away with 23.2 FP. The other highlighted winger was Brandon Pirri, who recorded a power-play assist, one shot and three blocks for 14.9 FP. Unfortunately, Vegas has since sent him back down to the AHL, so he’s no longer an option moving forward. Some of the other wingers recommended in chat include Alex Iafallo (16.8 FP), Andreas Johnsson (9.6 FP), Chris Kreider (20 FP), Alex DeBrincat (18.9 FP), Timo Meier (6.4 FP) and Tomas Hertl (36.8 FP). On the back end, Erik Gustafsson’s hot streak came to an end as he managed just 3.2 FP, while Brent Burns picked up 9.6 FP with five shots and a block. Ryan Pulock also earned 9.6 FP but recorded four shots and two blocks. In net, Henrik Lundqvist came up short in a 3-2 loss due to the strong play of Flyers netminder Michal Neuvirth, but King Henrik still picked up 15.2 FP. As expected, Garret Sparks was the chalk goalie and ended up giving up a lot of goals, but he earned the win and 16.8 FP.
Top Plays: Patrice Bergeron ($7,900), Sebastian Aho ($6,400)
Patrice Bergeron re-joined the Bruins lineup two games ago after missing an extended period of time. He certainly made his presence felt in his first game back, recording four points and 45.8 fantasy points. That’s the kind of performance Bergeron is capable of, and his matchup tonight at home against the visiting Devils is a favorable one as Boston’s top line is more than capable of exploiting New Jersey’s inconsistencies on the road. Bergeron also plays on the team’s top power-play unit; he has 30 points in 21 games and is averaging 20.8 fantasy points per game.
However, perhaps my favorite center on the slate is Carolina’s Sebastian Aho, and that’s purely because of his matchup. Aho always plays well against the Capitals (15 points in nine career games against Washington), generally scoring at least a goal against his division rival. He exploded for four points when these teams met in Carolina Dec. 14, and while tonight’s game is in the nation’s capital, he’s still in a good spot to be more than worth his $6,400 price tag. Aho skates on the Hurricanes’ first line and first power-play unit and is averaging 16.4 fantasy points per game this season.
There are plenty of other strong options on tonight’s slate, however, many of which are listed below.
Also consider: Nathan MacKinnon ($8,600), Steven Stamkos ($8,300), Mark Scheifele ($8,300), Jack Eichel ($8,000), Brayden Point ($7,600), Dylan Larkin ($6,600), Kevin Hayes ($5,800), Bo Horvat ($5,700), Ryan O’Reilly ($5,700)*, Paul Stastny ($5,600), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($5,300), Oscar Lindberg ($3,600)
*Revenge game (first game against former team since offseason trade)
Top Elite Plays: Nikita Kucherov ($8,800), David Pastrnak ($8,500)/Brad Marchand ($8,100)
Nikita Kucherov is coming off a five-point performance that extended his point streak to eight games; he has collected four goals and 15 points in that stretch. He has points in 18 out of his last 19 games, which includes two assists and 21.8 fantasy points against the Flyers in mid-November. Kucherov skates on Tampa Bay’s second line and first power-play unit, offering exposure to most of the Lightning’s top players. He is averaging 19.3 fantasy points per game this season and has nine points in just his last three games.
David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand were recently reunited with Patrice Bergeron when he returned to the lineup after missing more than a month of action. Both wingers are capable of putting up big numbers, and the trio should be in a good spot tonight against the visiting Devils. Pastrnak is averaging more points per game (19.7) than Marchand (15.6), though Marchand has been the hotter of the two in recent games. He enters tonight’s game with points in four straight (two goals, six assists). Both play on Boston’s top line and top power-play unit and have high upside.
Another solid option is Alex Ovechkin ($9,000), who scored a hat trick against Carolina the last time these teams met. He’ll likely face a better netminder tonight, but he’s still a strong choice, as is Cam Atkinson ($7,400), who has goals in three straight games and is averaging 18.7 fantasy points per game this season.
Also consider: Alex Ovechkin ($9,000), Johnny Gaudreau ($8,100), Artemi Panarin ($7,800), Blake Wheeler ($7,700), Cam Atkinson ($7,400), Jake Guentzel ($7,200), Gabriel Landeskog ($7,100)
Top Mid-Range Play: Bryan Rust ($5,700)
Bryan Rust was one player not looking forward to the holiday break; that’s because he had been on the hottest streak of his career, which any change in momentum could disrupt. However, it’s also more than possible that he’ll be just as hot tonight and moving forward. He has become a bit expensive considering he’s playing above his talent level, but there’s no denying he’s been a productive play in recent games. Rust has points in five straight games and in six out of his last seven games, scoring eight goals and 11 points in that stretch. He skates on Pittsburgh’s top line and second power-play unit.
There are a bunch of other strong plays at this price point, including Tomas Hertl ($5,600) as well as Timo Meier ($5,400), who has seen a price decrease of $600. That’s because he hasn’t been great in his last few games, but he’s shown a very high ceiling this year and still has 34 points in 35 games. Hertl had a few off nights but then scored two goals on seven shots for 36.8 fantasy points in the Sharks’ most recent game, so he has a high ceiling as well.
Sam Reinhart ($6,200) has seen yet another price increase but remains a strong option on a nightly basis. He, Jeff Skinner and Jack Eichel have been a formidable line for a while now, and Reinhart’s consistency makes the extra cost worthwhile if you’re looking for a reliable play. He’ll be on the road in St. Louis with a very determined Ryan O’Reilly on the other side of the matchup, but Reinhart has nine points in his last five games and points in 12 out of his last 13 games.
Alex DeBrincat ($6,000) has goals in three straight and in four out of his last five games, while Teuvo Teravainen ($5,500) managed three points in a recent game against the Capitals and is coming off a four-point performance against the Bruins.
Also consider: Sam Reinhart ($6,200), Alex DeBrincat ($6,000), Tyler Johnson ($5,900), Max Pacioretty ($5,800), Tomas Hertl ($5,600), Teuvo Teravainen ($5,500), Timo Meier ($5,400), Reilly Smith ($5,400), Alex Tuch ($5,000)
Top Value Plays: Alex Iafallo ($4,600), Jesse Puljujarvi ($3,600)
Alex Iafallo is quietly on an impressive seven-game point streak and four-game goal streak during which time he has collected four goals and nine points. He skates on Los Angeles’ first line and first power-play unit and has earned 16.8, 31.7, 15.2, 26.9, 11.2, 16 and 9.6 fantasy points in his last seven games, respectively.
Jesse Puljujarvi ($3,600) is skating on Edmonton’s top line with Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. While he may not possess the same firepower as someone like Alex Chiasson, he’s still in a good spot with exposure to McDavid for just $3,600, though he sees very limited time on the team’s power play.
Also consider: Nick Schmaltz ($4,800), Alex Killorn ($4,700), Ondrej Kase ($4,400), Andrei Svechnikov ($4,100), Richard Panik ($3,500), Conor Garland ($3,300)–only if he gets recalled, Anthony Duclair ($3,200)
Top Plays: Rasmus Ristolainen ($5,500), Alex Edler ($4,700), Darnell Nurse ($4,400)
Rasmus Ristolainen continues to be one of the most reliable DFS defensemen. He currently has points in three consecutive games and has earned at least eight fantasy points in 17 straight games. Ristolainen skates on Buffalo’s top power-play unit.
Alex Edler is coming off a very disappointing performance but generally offers a solid floor through peripheral stat coverage. He has earned 1.6, 30.9, 11.2, 28.5, 1.6, 13.3, 12.8, 4.8, 17.3, 8, 8, 20 and 20.8 fantasy points in his last 13 games, respectively. He skates on Vancouver’s top power-play unit and is averaging 13.2 fantasy points per game; Edler scored a goal and an assist for 28.5 fantasy points when these teams squared off in Vancouver Dec. 16.
On the other side of that matchup is the affordable value play in Darnell Nurse, who continues to be a very popular cash option. Nurse skates on the Oilers’ first power-play unit and has earned 19.7, 3.2, 11.2, 22.4, 23.2, 34.9, 8, 28 and 12.8 fantasy points in his last nine games, respectively. He tallied an assist and two shots for 11.2 fantasy points when the Oilers were in Vancouver a few weeks ago.
Also consider: Brent Burns ($7,100), Torey Krug ($6,100), Seth Jones ($5,800), Jake Muzzin ($4,500), Erik Gustafsson ($4,300), Olli Maatta ($4,200), Brian Dumoulin ($4,100), Michal Kempny ($3,900), Chris Tanev ($3,700), Jakob Chychrun ($3,500), Filip Hronek ($3,500), Lawrence Pilut ($3,500)
Top Plays: Andrei Vasilevskiy ($9,100), Jaroslav Halak ($8,200)
Andrei Vasilevskiy has a favorable matchup at home against the visiting Flyers. While Philadelphia has played better in recent games since the coaching change and managed to score five goals against Tampa Bay in a dramatic comeback effort in November, Vasilevskiy wasn’t in net at the time. He provides the Lightning with solid goaltending and has won back-to-back games and three out of his last four games since returning from an injury that kept him out of the lineup for more than a month. Vasilevskiy is averaging 24.1 fantasy points per game this season.
A more affordable choice is Jaroslav Halak, though it will obviously depend on which goaltender Boston decides to start. Halak has won each of his last three starts, giving up a combined three goals in that stretch. He is averaging 22.1 fantasy points per game this season, and Boston will certainly be favored at home against the Devils in tonight’s matchup.
Goalie recommendations will be updated/discussed in chat closer to lock.
Also consider: Sergei Bobrovsky ($8,700), Matt Murray ($8,500), Connor Hellebuyck ($8,300), Mikko Koskinen ($8,300)
Join me in the FTA+ discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
Featured image credit: Jamie Kellner-Canes Country-SB Nation