FanDuel DFS NHL – Thursday 2/14/19


After last night’s quiet two-game slate, tonight’s slate presents 11 matchups, many of which are particularly appealing for cash contests.

TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE
NYI @ CBJ – 7:00pm EST
CGY @ FLA – 7:00pm EST
OTT @ DET – 7:30pm EST
DAL @ TBL – 7:30pm EST
COL @ WPG – 8:00pm EST
MTL @ NSH – 8:00pm EST
NJD @ CHI – 8:30pm EST
STL @ ARI – 9:00pm EST
TOR @ VGK – 10:00pm EST
WSH @ SJS – 10:30pm EST
VAN @ LAK – 10:30pm EST

TUESDAY NIGHT’S RESULTS: Tuesday night’s line was able to cash, though it was a close finish as there were a few duds in the lineup. Specifically, Evgeny Kuznetsov and the Washington Capitals simply didn’t show up for their game against the Blue Jackets. Kuznetsov came within an inch of picking up an assist in the final minute of regulation, but the Capitals put forth a miserable effort, which halted their momentum from the previous night. That being said, Patrice Bergeron, whom I mentioned was the safer play and who was in one of the alternate lines, picked up two assists and 21.3 fantasy points. Ryan O’Reilly came through with a goal and an assist on two shots for 23.2 FP, though it was still somewhat disappointing considering the Blues scored eight goals against the struggling Devils. The same was true of Vladimir Tarsenko, who still came through with 20.8 FP but was somewhat of a letdown given the expected ceiling and the matchup. St. Louis has been firing on all cylinders, though, and the other night was a prime example as the team got offense from throughout the lineup. Another player that kept up his hot streak was Alex DeBrincat, who had shockingly low ownership given his recent performance and the injury news about David Pastrnak. DeBrincat extended his point streak with a goal and 18.4 FP (Dylan Strome picked up a helper on the play and hit value once again). But the true value in the lineup was Danton Heinen, who recorded 33.3 FP with a goal and two assists on three shots. Though his ownership was high, it was still a massive contribution, especially for his $3,700 price tag. J.T. Miller also had a strong value performance with a power-play assist, four shots and a block for 16.5 FP. Defenseman Ryan Pulock had a terrible night, though, earning just 1.6 FP in the Islanders’ 3-1 loss to Buffalo. Unfortunately, I made a last-minute switch regarding the other defenseman slot, taking out Jared Spurgeon and plugging in Dustin Byfuglien, who earned just 8 FP. I also had Alex Pietrangelo in mind but hesitated at having four players from the same team in a cash line (though that was obviously a mistake). Lastly, Jordan Binnington came through with a win as expected, earning 16 FP with 20 saves; though it was an underwhelming performance, he was chosen because of the likelihood he’d pick up a win as well as the projected ownership given his FanDuel price tag.


Center

Top play — Mark Scheifele ($7,600)

Mark Scheifele has three goals and five points as well as nine shots and one block in just his last two games, earning 41.6 and 26.4 fantasy points, respectively. He centers Winnipeg’s top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 17 fantasy points per game this season. While he hasn’t been overly consistent of late, Scheifele seems to be heating up, which is exactly what the Jets need as the final quarter of the season approaches. Scheifele has been substantially better on home ice than on the road this year, scoring 43 points in 30 home games compared to his 25 points collected in 27 road contests. He and the Jets will be on home ice tonight as they welcome the Avalanche for the third time this season; both of the previous meetings went well for Scheifele, who scored a goal and two assists in both games, more recently coming away with 40.1 fantasy points in the Jan. 8 matchup.

Tomas Hertl ($6,400) is another strong play on tonight’s slate, and he should have some ownership notwithstanding the massive slate. Hertl skates on the Sharks’ second line and top power-play unit and has scored at least a goal and an assist in three straight games, collecting a total of four goals and seven points as well as seven shots and five blocks in that stretch. He is averaging 15.4 fantasy points per game this season and scored a hat trick and an assist on seven shots for 57.8 fantasy points when these teams met in Washington a few weeks ago. Hertl is affordable and offers exposure to most of San Jose’s top players. Plus, the Sharks have a favorable matchup against a Capitals team that can’t seem to do much to help goaltender Braden Holtby, who continues to be bombarded by high-quality scoring chances.

Chicago centers Jonathan Toews ($7,500) and Dylan Strome ($5,800) are in play once again tonight. The Devils have had a lot of trouble on the road this season (as explored further below in the “Winger” section), making tonight a strong spot for the Blackhawks forwards. Both players have been on a roll of late and skate on the top power-play unit. Toews, who skates on the team’s top line between Patrick Kane and Drake Caggiula, saw his seven-game point streak come to an end the other night in Boston, though he still has seven goals and 14 points in his last eight games. Strome has points in five straight and in seven out of his last eight, scoring four goals and 15 points in that span.

Dylan Larkin ($7,200) remains one of my favorite cash plays on a nightly basis, and he has a favorable matchup tonight against the visiting Senators. Though Anders Nilsson has been a very difficult opponent in his time with the Senators, he did give up four goals the other night against the Hurricanes and may not be able to keep Larkin off the scoresheet. Larkin skates on Detroit’s first line and first power-play unit and is averaging 16.6 fantasy points per game this season. He has six goals and 12 points in his last 10 games and is one of the safer floor plays in DFS NHL.

Ryan Johansen ($6,300) is definitely flying under the radar, as the Predators pivot has points in five straight games and in seven out of his last eight games, recording three goals and 10 points in that stretch. He skates on Nashville’s top line and top power-play unit and has earned 21.3, 19.2, 15.2, 24.8 and 10.1 fantasy points in his last five games, respectively. He’s not a safe cash play going up against Carey Price, but he and his linemates could definitely be an interesting GPP play.

Value Play — Adrian Kempe ($4,200)

Once again, Adrian Kempe stands out as a strong value option considering his inexpensive price tag and recent performance. Kempe now has points in five straight games, putting up four goals and seven points as well as 15 shots in that time. Though his fantasy point totals haven’t been overly impressive, he has been reliable.

Also consider: Auston Matthews ($8,000), Evgeny Kuznetsov ($7,700), Elias Pettersson ($7,100), Ryan O’Reilly ($6,800), Nico Hischier ($5,700), Nazem Kadri ($5,100), Tyler Bozak ($4,400)


Winger

Top play — Patrick Kane ($9,100), Alex DeBrincat ($7,100)

Patrick Kane ($9,100) is the most expensive skater on the slate, but he has an incredibly favorable matchup at home against the Devils, who gave up eight goals in St. Louis the other night. New Jersey has struggled on the road all season, giving up the second-highest Corsi Against per 60 (62.7) and maintaining a Corsi For percentage of just 46.09. They’ve also managed a 3.34 Goals Against Per 60. All of these numbers are worse since Jan. 1, and the Devils have given up 37 goals against in nine road games in 2019. All of these factors set the stage for a favorable matchup for Chicago, which is a big part of why both Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat ($7,100) are appealing targets on tonight’s slate. But it also has to do with the players themselves. Kane has points in 15 straight games and in 22 out of his last 23 games, collecting a total of 18 goals and 45 points in that span. He skates on Chicago’s first line and first power-play unit and is averaging 21.1 fantasy points per game. DeBrincat, on the other hand, skates on the second line but also plays on the top power-play unit. He has points in nine straight and in 13 out of his last 14 games, scoring 11 goals and 21 points in that time. DeBrincat gives you an extra $2,000 with which to work, and he still offers exposure to Kane via the man advantage. Kane’s hefty price tag makes it tough, especially since he’s had a few quiet games of late despite finding the scoresheet; but an assist and 15 fantasy points is not the target output for someone that expensive, which is what makes DeBrincat a solid compromise (though you can always play both).

Another top option on tonight’s slate is the red-hot Evander Kane ($7,800), who has goals in three straight games, potting six goals and eight points in his last three games for 32, 26.9 and 45.3 fantasy points, respectively. Kane skates on the Sharks’ second line and second power-play unit but makes the most of his ice time and always provides a solid floor through shot volume. The main downside is that he is not on the Sharks’ top power-play unit, but that hasn’t slowed him down one bit this season. In fact, Kane has 10 goals and 15 points in his last 10 games, which includes the two goals he scored when these teams met in Washington Jan. 22, a game in which he registered seven shots on goal and came away with 36.8 fantasy points. That was a wild 7-6 contest between two teams with plenty of offensive firepower (and inconsistent defense/goaltending); though tonight’s game is projected to be high-scoring, there’s no guarantee things will be that out of hand again. However, Kane has been a reliable option, has a safe floor and a very high ceiling and should see legitimate ownership in cash contests despite the massive slate.

One player who hasn’t been hitting value for a while now but who could explode tonight is Blake Wheeler ($7,600). Wheeler has just eight points in his last 10 games, which by his standards is very low. That being said, his numbers against Colorado this season are difficult to ignore. These teams have met twice already this season, and Wheeler has scored a combined nine points in those two games; he scored a goal and four assists in the Nov. 9 meeting (in Winnipeg) and followed that up with a four-point performance (one goal, three assists) Jan. 8 (also in Winnipeg). The Avs are in Winnipeg once again tonight, so that’s definitely a matchup worth watching.

One player that is definitely back on track after a quiet stretch is Nikita Kucherov ($8,800), though he’s not one of my primary targets in cash contests tonight. That’s partly because Anton Khudobin has played well in the crease for Dallas, and also because this game could end up being a tight one. There’s always a possibility Kucherov will have another explosive performance, but I’m going to target the more favorable matchups and leave him out of my cash lines for tonight. His price tag has gone back up on DraftKings, so he’s no longer a DK lock for me like he was the other night; however, he and the Bolts have a high ceiling in GPP formats.

Value plays

Andrew Shaw ($4,600) has played just one game in 2019, but he made it count as he scored a goal and an assist on three shots for 25.3 fantasy points against Toronto. Tonight’s matchup could be more challenging as the Habs are on the road in Nashville, but Shaw has proven to be a worthwhile value play all season. He skates on Montreal’s second line and second power-play unit.

That being said, there are some more affordable value plays on tonight’s slate, including San Jose’s Kevin Labanc ($4,200), who has goals in back-to-back games (including a hat trick) as well as five goals and seven points in his last five games. Labanc skates on the Sharks’ “third” line with Joe Thornton and Marcus Sorensen but also plays on the top power-play unit, offering exposure to the Sharks’ top players and also getting plenty of ice time on the man advantage. That being said, there are times when Labanc gets limited ice time at even strength, though he’s managed an average of 15:30 in his last two games.

Someone who is bound to get more ice time is Tampa Bay’s J.T. Miller ($3,900), who is skating on Tampa Bay’s second line and first power-play unit. Miller has points in three straight games, scoring a goal and four points in that stretch.

If you’re looking for even cheaper options, one under-the-radar play is St. Louis’ Robert Thomas ($3,700), who very quietly has points in three straight games (four assists). He skates on the Blues’ third line but is a member of the top power-play unit. On the other side of that matchup, Conor Garland ($3,400) plays a similar role for the Coyotes and has seen a price drop that makes him stand out tonight as well. Garland and the Coyotes will host a hot Blues team, but Garland’s shot volume and role on the top power-play unit make him a strong option from a points/$ perspective.

Also consider: Alex Ovechkin ($8,700)*, Vladimir Tarasenko ($8,300), Joe Pavelski ($7,500), Alex Galchenyuk ($5,700), Kyle Connor ($5,400), Timo Meier ($5,300), Frank Vatrano ($4,500), Josh Leivo ($3,700)

*Scored 3G, 1A in Jan. 22 matchup against the Sharks (in Washington)


Defense

Top play — Brent Burns ($7,700)

Brent Burns remains a strong cash option, especially if Erik Karlsson remains out of the lineup. He’s not overly affordable on FanDuel but has been one of the most consistent DFS options for a while now. Burns skates on San Jose’s top power-play unit and is averaging 18.2 fantasy points per game this season. He has two goals and 11 points as well as 34 shots and 16 blocks in his last seven games, averaging 25.8 fantasy points per game in that stretch. Burns recorded two assists, six shots and five blocks for 33.6 fantasy points when these teams met in Washington Jan. 22.

Value play — Alex Pietrangelo ($4,900)

Alex Pietrangelo is another player that stands out on tonight’s slate, especially given his reasonable price tag. The Blues are one of the hottest teams in the league, and Pietrangelo has been red-hot in recent games. In fact, he has three goals and four points in just his last two games, earning 40 and 25.3 fantasy points, respectively. He skates on St. Louis’ first power-play unit.

Also consider: Mark Giordano ($6,200), Shea Weber ($5,600), Jacob Trouba ($5,600), Erik Gustafsson ($5,400), Dustin Byfuglien ($5,300), Thomas Chabot ($5,100), Colton Parayko ($4,600), Jordan Oesterle ($4,400), Troy Stecher ($3,900), Oscar Fantenberg ($3,700)*, Andy Greene ($3,700), Jakob Chychrun ($3,600), Alec Martinez ($3,600), Colin Miller ($3,600)

*Goals in back-to-back games


Goalie

Goalies will be discussed in chat once further confirmations have been made.




Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.

Featured image credit: Paul Beaty-AP

Fantasy Hockey

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