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There are seven games on tonight’s slate, with the Maple Leafs, Lightning, Canucks and Oilers skating in the second half of back-to-back sets. However, the game of note on the slate is John Tavares’ return to New York. Tavares will surely be met with a sea of boo’s in what should be an emotional and competitive game between two teams fighting for playoff positioning.
TOR @ NYI – 7:00pm EST
PHI @ CBJ – 7:00pm EST
EDM @ OTT – 7:30pm EST
TBL @ BOS – 7:30pm EST
VAN @ ARI – 9:00pm EST
FLA @ VGK – 10:00pm EST
DAL @ LAK – 10:30pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Last night’s line was somewhat of a bubble lineup, cashing in some contests but falling short in a few others (by a very slim margin). There were some great plays and a few that definitely didn’t pan out. One of those was Mikael Backlund, who had a favorable matchup but had his weakest performance in quite some time, registering just three shots for 4.8 FP. Auston Matthews also had a disappointing performance once again with an assist and 14.4 FP. Despite the less favorable matchup, Tavares was the better play at center, and the Steven Stamkos version of the lineup would have cashed (I worried about fading Matthews due to chalk and because I expected Toronto to score a lot, he just wasn’t the one that did the scoring). Patrick Kane also had a relatively disappointing night, earning just 20 FP with a goal on five shots as he didn’t score until overtime; the 20 FP did not justify his $9,400 price tag. Fortunately, Nikita Kucherov came through with three assists and 29.3 FP in a tight 4-3 overtime win against the Rangers. Andreas Johnsson was one of two very strong value plays in the line; he scored two goals and came away with 30.9 FP. The other was defenseman Alex Biega, who picked up two assists, one shot and two blocks for 20.8 FP, which was incredible value for his $3,500 price tag. Unfortunately, Sam Gagner was not a part of either of Edmonton’s goals; J.T. Miller, the other value option recommended in yesterday’s post, turned out to be the better play. Sami Vatanen also had a quiet night with just 4.8 FP, though his min. price tag made that an acceptable return. In net, David Rittich didn’t face many shots and therefore didn’t earn many fantasy points despite coming away with the win. He earned 23.2 FP with 19 saves, though he was the chalky goalie on the slate as expected. The three other recommended goalies all came away with wins, with Semyon Varlamov having the best night of the bunch with 28 FP. Other plays recommended in yesterday’s post/in chat include Carl Soderberg (9.6 FP), Nathan MacKinnon (21.6 FP), Leon Draisaitl (16.8 FP), Matthew Tkachuk (13.3 FP), Miller (17.3 FP), Erik Gustafsson (19.7 FP), Tyson Barrie (3.2 FP), Mark Giordano (15.2 FP), Tony DeAngelo (14.4 FP), Brady Skjei (1.6 FP), Neal Pionk (9.6 FP), Mikhail Sergachev (3.2 FP) and Ryan Graves (8 FP). My core players combined for 85 FP.
Connor McDavid ($8,800) had a quiet night last night in Toronto but has a very favorable matchup tonight against a depleted Senators roster. He should definitely see some ownership as people will continue to target Ottawa down the stretch, though he hasn’t lived up to his price tag for most of the season. I generally prefer Leon Draisaitl and will definitely be targeting him on DraftKings tonight at just $6,900, though he’s a winger on FanDuel.
However, the narrative doesn’t get much better than John Tavares ($7,800) returning to Nassau Coliseum to face his former team in New York for the first time since leaving via free agency. Tavares has been labeled a traitor by many Isles fans, so his welcome should be quite something. Though the Islanders have played very well defensively, Tavares will be incredibly motivated to perform well, and he has been consistently productive in recent games. In fact, he picked up a goal and an assist on seven shots for 32.2 fantasy points last night against the Oilers, extending his point streak to four games. That being said, he was held to just five shots for eight fantasy points when these teams squared off in Toronto at the end of December. It’s hard to say whether JT will find the scoresheet, but he’s certainly an intriguing option.
Aleksander Barkov ($7,700) has points in six straight games, scoring seven goals and 13 points in that stretch. He skates on Florida’s first line and first power-play unit and scored a goal and an assist for 28 fantasy points when these teams met in Florida at the beginning of the month. Barkov is averaging 15.8 fantasy points per game this season but has earned 18.4, 11.7, 24.2, 27.4, 37.6 and 55.7 fantasy points in his last six games, respectively.
Derek Stepan ($5,700) is a cheaper option who enters tonight’s game against Vancouver with points in four straight games and in five out of his last six, recording two goals and six points as well as 24 shots and six blocks in that span. He skates on Arizona’s second line and first power-play unit.
Also consider: Patrice Bergeron ($8,100), Brayden Point ($7,800), Tyler Seguin ($7,600), Sean Couturier ($7,300), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6,200), Bo Horvat ($5,900), David Krejci ($5,800), Paul Stastny ($5,300), Boone Jenner ($4,700), Christian Dvorak ($3,100)
Leon Draisaitl ($8,300) scored another goal last night, finishing a 6-2 loss to Toronto with 17.3 fantasy points. He has points in eight straight games and in 11 out of his last 12 games, collecting 12 goals and 16 points in that span. Draisaitl skates on Edmonton’s second line and first power-play unit and is averaging 17.4 fantasy points per game this season. He has a favorable matchup against the Senators.
Cam Atkinson ($7,300) has goals in three straight games and has had success against the Philadelphia Flyers this season (and in the past). The Flyers have gotten solid goaltending in recent games but are still susceptible to giving up high-danger chances and goals. Atkinson has four goals and five points in three games against the Flyers this season and is playing on one of the more talented lines in the NHL with Matt Duchene and Artemi Panarin. He also skates on the team’s top power-play unit and is averaging 17.3 fantasy points per game.
If you are looking for a value/punt play, consider Josh Archibald ($3,000), who has points in four straight games as a member of Arizona’s second line with Derek Stepan and Lawson Crouse. Archibald could come up empty but is a min. priced option on a slate with a lot of elite plays. Though he doesn’t get time on either of the Coyotes’ power-play units, at the very least he will allow you to spend up elsewhere in the lineup, and he did tally an assist against the Canucks a few games ago.
Also consider: Nikita Kucherov ($9,300), Brad Marchand ($8,300), Jake Voracek ($6,300), Max Pacioretty ($6,300), Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,300), Anders Lee ($6,100), Jake DeBrusk ($5,900), Alex Galchenyuk ($5,600), Josh Anderson ($5,100), Oskar Lindblom ($4,700), Marcus Johansson ($4,600), Brady Tkachuk ($4,500), Frank Vatrano ($4,400), Andreas Johnsson ($4,300), Oliver Bjorkstrand ($4,200), Sam Gagner ($3,300), Jamie McGinn ($3,000)
Darnell Nurse ($5,200) skates on Edmonton’s top power-play unit and is coming off a performance last night in which he earned 19.7 fantasy points with two assists and two shots. He and the Oilers have a favorable matchup against the Senators, and his price tag has gone down in recent games to a more manageable $5,200. Nurse is averaging just 11.3 fantasy points per game this season but is capable of racking up the fantasy points via the power play and his peripheral stat coverage.
Though I continue to like Jakob Chychrun ($3,900), it’s hard not to go back to Alex Biega ($3,500), who tallied two assists and 20.8 fantasy points last night. He hit value with two shots and three blocks for eight fantasy points when these teams met last week, and he has earned at least eight fantasy points in six out of his last seven games.
Also consider: Torey Krug ($6,300), Victor Hedman ($5,800), Seth Jones ($5,300), Thomas Chabot ($5,200), Zach Werenski ($5,100), Ryan Pulock ($4,600), Nate Schmidt ($4,600), Charlie McAvoy ($4,400), Travis Sanheim ($4,300), Oscar Klefbom ($4,300), Alex Goligoski ($4,200), Devon Toews ($3,600)
At first glance I like Jack Campbell ($7,800) as a value option since he’s had success against his former team this season, as well as Darcy Kuemper ($7,800) since he has won five games in a row. However, he won’t face many shots, which lowers his ceiling. We will have to discuss goalies in chat once additional options have been confirmed.
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
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