We are back with a small three-game slate as we return from the All-Star break. The Flyers and Jets played last night, while the other four teams on the slate have not played in over a week. Boone Jenner will NOT play tonight for Columbus. Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) is also out.
WPG @ BOS – 7:00pm EST
BUF @ CBJ – 7:00pm EST
PHI @ NYR – 7:30pm EST
With only three games on the slate, I figured it might be helpful to do a quick review of how these teams have been performing from an advanced stats perspective, specifically with regards to some basic Corsi stats. For those unfamiliar with the concept of Corsi, it’s a fairly basic stat used to analyze team and player performance. Corsi is simply a measurement of all shots taken, including shots on goal, shots that get blocked by the other team and shots that go wide/miss the net. As far as Corsi For percentage is concerned (abbreviated as CF%), 50 percent is average, so anything above 50 is good.
The table below demonstrates each team’s Corsi For percentage, Corsi For per 60 and Corsi Against per 60 for both the regular season and in the month of January. Each number is followed by NHL rank. For example, the third column shows each team’s Corsi For percentage in January. For the Jets, the “47.27- 24” cell means that the Jets have managed a 47.27 CF% in January, which ranks 24th in the NHL. The fact that that value is lower than the team’s season average of 50.19 is relevant, as is the fact that their CF/60 value has gone down over the last few weeks, and the team’s CA/60 has gone up and is the second worst on the slate. This means that Boston has a favorable matchup tonight from a Corsi perspective, but that doesn’t guarantee Boston a win or a strong fantasy night. However, it’s useful information to evaluate matchups and team trends.
|CF%||CF% Jan||CF/60||CA/60||CF/60 Jan||CA/60 Jan|
|WPG||50.19- 15||47.27- 24||57.44- 12||57.01- 13||53.8- 24||60.03- 8|
|BOS||52.43- 5||52.74- 8||58.41- 8||52.99- 28||59.4- 10||53.24- 24|
|BUF||49.14- 19||53.83- 6||54.5- 22||56.4- 18||61.51- 6||52.77- 25|
|CBJ||49.84- 16||50.18- 14||55.66- 19||56.01- 20||55.57- 18||55.18- 19|
|PHI||50.37- 13||47.66- 21||56.96- 14||56.12- 19||56.77- 13||62.35- 2|
|NYR||45.33- 30||47.02- 25||50.12- 31||60.44- 2||50.92- 27||57.36- 13|
Some of the most elite centers are in play on tonight’s three-game slate, but it’s possible that some mid-range plays could be the best bets in cash contests. For example, Boston’s David Krejci ($5,500) will have a favorable matchup on home ice against the visiting Jets, who will be skating in the second half of a back-to-back after suffering a 3-1 loss in Philadelphia last night. With the Bergeron line almost certainly hard-matching against the Scheifele line, that leaves things open for Krejci and Co. to get on the board. Krejci was on an impressive streak leading up to the All-Star break, finding the scoresheet in five out of six games. Winnipeg’s second line gave up many chances last night, which could mean Boston’s second line will be in a strong spot tonight.
However, Columbus’ top line will be another popular target in cash contests, which means someone like Pierre-Luc DuBois ($5,800) could be an effective option as well. DuBois skates on the team’s top line and top power-play unit, and the Blue Jackets put up five goals against Buffalo this season (even if that was all the way back in October). DuBois had three points in that overtime win, and he has points in five out of his last six games.
That being said, the top chalk play on the slate at the center position is likely to be Mika Zibanejad ($6,800), who was on an absolute tear headed into the All-Star break. Though Zibanejad has zero points in two games against the Flyers this year, he scored five goals and nine points during a five-game point streak leading up to the break, and he is sure to be a popular option in cash contests tonight, even with Kevin Hayes ($5,600) making his long-awaited return to the lineup. Hayes is not a bad pivot if you’re looking for some differentiation, though he hasn’t played in over a month. He’ll skate on the Rangers’ second line and first power-play unit and was one of the more consistent mid-range plays prior to his injury.
Also consider: Patrice Bergeron ($8,400), Mark Scheifele ($7,900), Jack Eichel ($7,300), Bryan Little ($5,400), Nolan Patrick ($4,800)
Columbus’ top line will be a chalky option on tonight’s slate, making Cam Atkinson ($7,400) and Artemi Panarin ($7,900) strong plays on tonight’s small slate. Buffalo hasn’t gotten strong goaltending for quite some time, and the Blue Jackets’ top line has been consistent all year. Atkinson is a solid floor play as his shot volume always seems to come through, though both he and Panarin have a very good chance of finding the scoresheet tonight.
Chris Kreider ($6,500) is another option worth considering, especially since he often plays well against the Flyers. Kreider skates on the Rangers’ first line and first power-play unit and scored a goal on five shots for 20 fantasy points the last time these teams met. Kreider had five points in four games leading up to the break and will look to continue his strong play. He is averaging 13.5 fantasy points per game this season and will go head to head against the Flyers’ top line, which has given up plenty of chances in recent games.
On the other side of that matchup, it’s worth noting that James van Riemsdyk ($6,000) has a goal in five out of his last six games, scoring a total of seven goals and nine points in that stretch. He grew up as a Rangers fan and skates on the Flyers’ top line and top power-play unit. He and Travis Konecny ($4,400) played extremely well against Winnipeg last night, and both skate on the top line with Claude Giroux. Konecny has a goal and an assist in back-to-back games and is a very affordable value play if you’re looking for some Philly exposure.
For a true value option, consider Peter Cehlarik ($3,600), who has points in two out of three games this season. He will be back on the Bruins’ second line with David Krejci, and he also saw time on the team’s second power-play unit. Cehlarik is averaging 13.9 fantasy points per game with three points and five shots in three games with the Bruins this season. Also, Evan Rodrigues ($3,400) has goals in three straight games and points in five out of his last six games.
Also consider: Brad Marchand ($8,300), David Pastrnak ($8,100), Jeff Skinner ($7,200), Sam Reinhart ($6,200), Wayne Simmonds ($4,900), Filip Chytil ($4,200), Jimmy Vesey ($3,600)
Zach Werenski ($5,400) is a top cash option on tonight’s slate given his matchup and role on the Blue Jackets’ top power-play unit. Seth Jones ($5,700) did not participate in yesterday’s practice but is expected to suit up for tonight’s contest against the visiting Sabres. Werenski offers better correlation with Columbus’ top line, though both defensemen have been strong cash plays this season. Jones provides a safer floor through peripheral stat coverage, and neither is particularly expensive on tonight’s slate. Just make sure to confirm before lock that Jones is playing.
Rasmus Dahlin ($4,800) will be on the other side of the matchup, but he was particularly effective leading up to the break. Dahlin earned at least eight fantasy points in six straight games, recording one goal and six assists as well as 19 shots and eight blocks in that stretch. It looks as though he may be on the team’s second power-play unit based on the line combinations from the Sabres’ morning skate, but he remains a solid choice with a strong floor, especially against a shaky Sergei Bobrovsky in net.
Also consider: Jacob Trouba ($4,800), Travis Sanheim ($3,900), Robert Hagg ($3,700), Tony DeAngelo ($3,500), Neal Pionk ($3,500)–if he plays
Though the Flyers have won four games in a row, Alexandar Georgiev ($7,400) and the New York Rangers are favored in tonight’s contest, and his price tag makes him an appealing option (albeit risky). However, it’s possible some will turn to Sergei Bobrovsky ($8,300) in a home matchup against Carter Hutton and the Sabres. Bobrovsky has been abysmal of late but played much better in his most recent start; he has a lot to prove leading up to the trade deadline, but he’s a risky option considering how poorly he has played.
Note: Philadelphia’s Anthony Stolarz is not available on FanDuel.
Goalies will be discussed further in chat closer to lock.
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
Featured image credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports