We have a massive 12-game slate on tap tonight in the NHL, with the Capitals and Flyers skating in the second half of back-to-backs. The big news ahead of today’s slate is that David Pastrnak will be out for at least two weeks.
NYI @ BUF – 7:00pm EST
DAL @ FLA – 7:00pm EST
WSH @ CBJ – 7:00pm EST
CHI @ BOS – 7:00pm EST
CGY @ TBL – 7:30pm EST
CAR @ OTT – 7:30pm EST
DET @ NSH – 8:00pm EST
NJD @ STL – 8:00pm EST
PHI @ MIN – 8:00pm EST
NYR @ WPG – 8:00pm EST
TOR @ COL – 9:00pm EST
ARI @ VGK – 10:00pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: The lines posted in chat went 2/3 last night, but the Main cash line fell short unless you made some of the suggested tweaks (so maybe 3/4 is more accurate). The Main falling short was in large part due to the quiet night from Sean Couturier, who managed just 6.4 fantasy points. There were some questionable calls in the game that could have led to more FP, but he had an off night. Sidney Crosby and his low ownership made up for that since he scored a goal and two assists for 36.4 FP. Linemate Jake Guentzel scored a goal and earned 23.2 FP, and Bryan Rust managed 12.8 FP, but Phil Kessel did not record a shot and picked up one assist for just 8 FP. Value defenseman Marcus Pettersson had a relatively decent night for his price tag but managed just 6.4 FP, which was less than expected given his promotion to the top power-play unit. The other value defenseman used in the lines was Troy Stecher, who had a lot of shot attempts but wasn’t able to get his shots through/on net. He did pick up an assist, however, earning 8 FP. Evander Kane was my cash lock for the slate, and while he had an assist taken away from him, he still came away with 32 FP with two goals on five shots. Kevin Labanc scored a goal for 13.6 FP, and Jakub Vrana manged a goal and 18.4 FP. I played Evgeny Kuznetsov in my cash lineup (as noted in the pinned post), and he exploded for four points and 45.3 FP. Alex Ovechkin was in the alternate line, and he managed 41.3 FP with a power-play goal and two assists on eight shots. Washington had a big game, but the same was true of San Jose, who scored seven goals against rookie Michael DiPietro in his NHL debut. Tomas Hertl and Elias Pettersson both picked up points in that game, earning 26.4 FP and 16 FP, respectively. Josh Leivo had a few good chances but was unable to capitalize, picking up just 1.6 FP, which was definitely a disappointment. Other value wingers recommended in the post/chat included Joonas Donskoi (12.8 FP) and Nick Bjugstad (20 FP); value center Adrian Kempe tallied an assist and three shots for 12.8 FP. Martin Jones didn’t face a lot of shots but still came away with a 7-2 win and 24 FP; Matt Murray earned 48 FP in a 4-1 win against the Flyers, and Pheonix Copley earned 19.2 FP in a high-scoring game against the Kings. The GPP lineup was a stack of PIT 1 and SJS 2, which performed well, finishing the night with a 182, while the alternate managed a 168.1. The altered main lineup had the best finish with 190.5 FP (pictured below). The DK GPP line I posted in chat finished with a 49.5. The three featured players from yesterday’s post (Kane, Hertl, Burns) combined for 77.6 FP.
Elite Play — Evgeny Kuznetsov ($7,600)
Evgeny Kuznetsov has been on a roll, and he broke through with a four-point performance last night against Los Angeles, scoring two goals and two assists and earning 45.3 fantasy points. Kuznetsov now has goals in three straight games and points in four straight as well as in seven out of his last eight games, scoring seven goals and 15 points in that stretch. He skates on Washington’s top line and top power-play unit and has three points in three games against Columbus this season. The risk with Kuznetsov tonight is that his recent scoring uptick has taken place primarily on home ice. However, the hope is that the new-look top line will continue to roll tonight on the road against Sergei Bobrovsky. He is particularly affordable on DraftKings at just $6,200.
Patrice Bergeron ($8,500) and John Tavares ($8,300) are top plays as well tonight (especially Bergeron), though Ryan O’Reilly ($6,700) is also a strong play at an affordable price tag. St. Louis has been on quite a roll and will host a Devils team that has struggled mightily on the road this season. O’Reilly has points in nine out of his last 11 games, scoring four goals and 13 points in that stretch. He hasn’t been putting up huge fantasy point totals but has been productive, and he’s priced well in a favorable matchup.
Sebastian Aho ($7,300) could have decent ownership even on a 12-game slate with Carolina taking on the Senators, but Anders Nilsson has been much better of late, making Aho less of a sure bet. Mika Zibanejad ($7,500) remains one of my favorite cash plays even though he and the Rangers will be on the road in Winnipeg. Zibanejad has been very reliable of late, finding the scoresheet in five out of his last six games and in 10 out of his last 12.
Eric Staal ($6,000) will take on a Flyers team coming off a disappointing 4-1 loss to the Penguins. Staal often has success against Philadelphia; he tallied two assists in a game against the Flyers earlier this season.
Value Play — Dylan Strome ($5,600)
Dylan Strome has been red-hot for the Blackhawks, and while he has a difficult matchup against Tuukka Rask, he is affordable and offers exposure to Chicago’s top offensive players (plus, he’ll have an easier matchup with David Pastrnak on the sidelines). Strome has points in four straight games and in six out of his last seven games, recording four goals and 14 points in that span. He skates on the Hawks’ second line and first power-play unit and has averaged 21.5 fantasy points over his last seven games.
Also consider: Steven Stamkos ($8,200), Auston Matthews ($7,700), Mark Scheifele ($7,500), Dylan Larkin ($7,200), Matt Duchene ($7,100), Sean Couturier ($7,000), Kevin Hayes ($5,100), Nazem Kadri ($4,700)
Elite Plays — Vladimir Tarasenko ($8,300), Alex DeBrincat ($7,200)
The Blues’ matchup tonight against New Jersey seems too good to resist as the Devils are giving up the second-highest Corsi Against per 60 on the road (62.54). Vladimir Tarasenko is coming off a hat-trick performance but had already been playing very well of late for the surging Blues, who have won six games in a row, are undefeated in February and who have gone 12-4-1 since Jan. 1. Tararsenko enters tonight’s game with points in eight straight games, collecting seven goals and 12 points in that stretch. He skates on the team’s top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 14.6 fantasy points per game this season; however, he has averaged 22.8 fantasy points per game throughout his point streak.
Alex DeBrincat, like Dylan Strome, has a more favorable matchup against the Bruins now that David Pastrnak is out of the lineup. Tuukka Rask is still a very difficult opponent, but this line has been rolling, and if you’re playing on DraftKings then you can include Dominik Kahun for just $3,900. DeBrincat has points in eight straight and in 12 out of his last 13 games, collecting 10 goals and 20 points in that stretch. He has back-to-back multi-point efforts, recording five points in his last two games, and has averaged 22.5 fantasy points per game during his eight-game point streak. He skates on the Blackhawks’ second line and first power-play unit.
That being said, players like Patrick Kane ($9,300), Alex Ovechkin ($8,800), Nikita Kucherov ($8,600) and Artemi Panarin ($7,800) are of interest as well. There are a ton of elite plays on tonight’s slate, but Tarasenko’s matchup makes him stand out, as does his absurd DraftKings price of just $6,700. Kucherov is also insanely underpriced on DraftKings at $6,900.
Value Play — Danton Heinen ($3,700)
Danton Heinen has played a few games with the Bruins’ top line and has had moderate success. However, his price tag makes him a favorable option given his exposure to Boston’s top players. He has two goals and three points in his last three games but was held off the scoresheet in his most recent game despite registering four shots. Heinen should be able to return value tonight against a Blackhawks team that gives up nearly 33 shots against per 60 on the road, and there’s definitely some upside given his linemates.
I also continue to like Frank Vatrano ($4,500), who is now skating on Florida’s second line and second power-play unit.
Also consider: Brad Marchand ($8,400), Viktor Arvidsson ($7,400), Cam Atkinson ($7,300), Mark Stone ($6,800), Zach Parise ($6,700), Mats Zuccarello ($6,100), Kyle Connor ($5,700), Josh Anderson ($5,000), Dominik Kahun ($4,700)*, Tom Wilson ($4,600), Alex Tuch ($4,500), Jakub Vrana ($4,500), Brett Connolly ($3,900), Brady Tkachuk ($3,700), J.T. Miller ($3,600), Conor Garland ($3,600)
*Much better play on DraftKings
Elite Play — Roman Josi ($6,900)
Roman Josi has points in four straight games and is one of the more consistent floor defensemen in DFS. He has two goals and seven points in his last four games, earning 29.6, 19.2, 14.4 and 36.5 fantasy points, respectively. Josi is averaging 15.2 fantasy points per game this season and averages more than 5 shots/blocks per game. He skates on Nashville’s first power-play unit.
Value Play — Ryan Pulock ($4,500)
Ryan Pulock has points in three straight games and in four out of his last five games, recording two goals and seven points as well as 16 shots and four blocks in that span. He skates on the Islanders’ second power-play unit and has a favorable matchup tonight against the Sabres. He scored a goal on four shots and added three blocks for 23.2 fantasy points when he and the Islanders squared off against the Sabres in Buffalo on Dec. 31.
Other value plays of particular interest to me on tonight’s slate are Andy Greene ($3,700) and Colin Miller ($3,600). Greene provides a solid floor through peripheral stat coverage, and Miller has points in back-to-back games. Tyler Myers ($4,000) has also been particularly effective of late.
Also consider: Torey Krug ($6,300), Jacob Trouba ($5,800), Dustin Byfuglien ($5,400), Jared Spurgeon ($5,400), Thomas Chabot ($5,300), Alex Pietrangelo ($4,900), Dougie Hamilton ($4,800), Erik Johnson ($4,700), Jordan Oesterle ($4,300), Jakob Chychrun ($3,600), Brad Hunt ($3,500)
Elite Play — Robin Lehner ($8,600)
Update: Playing Binnington in cash. He’s my top recommendation tonight.
Robin Lehner will head to Buffalo to take on his former team for the second time this season. He stopped 39 of 40 shots in the Dec. 31 matchup, coming away with 39.2 fantasy points, though the Islanders’ play has improved significantly since then. Lehner is 13-2-1 in his last 16 appearances, though he’s had a little less luck in more recent games. That being said, the Islanders are favorites in tonight’s matchup, which is projected to be a low-scoring game.
Value Play — Jordan Binnington ($7,800)
However, it might be worthwhile to save a little money by playing Blues netminder Jordan Binnington, who has been on a roll of late. Binnington has won five games in a row and is 9-1-1 this season. The Blues have won six games in a row and have a very favorable home matchup against the Devils, who have struggled on the road all season. Binnington is averaging 20.6 fantasy points per game.
NOTE: Goalie recommendations may change throughout the day depending on confirmations, line changes, news updates, etc.
Also consider: Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,600), Connor Hellebuyck ($8,500), Anders Nilsson ($8,100)–GPP
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
Featured image credit: Bill Greenblatt-UPI