There are just three games on tonight’s slate, though there are plenty of elite options from which to choose. The only team skating in the second half of a back-to-back is the Devils.
CHI @ TOR – 7:00pm EST
NJD @ EDM – 9:30pm EST
NYR @ VAN – 10:00pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Last night’s line did not cash. Calgary’s top unit exploded in the third period, which pushed the line well below the cash line. After 20 games of mediocre-at-best play, Johnny Gaudreau erupted for six points and 70+ fantasy points, and his linemates followed suit. I was not high on Calgary because of how poorly that line has played for weeks; plus, MacKenzie Blackwood has been stellar for the Devils despite not getting wins. He held the Bruins to one goal in Boston the other day; however, the stars aligned for the Flames as the third period started with a lucky bounce and a penalty shot. They piled it on later in the frame in a 9-4 win.
The biggest disappointment of the night was Alexander Radulov, who managed just 3.2 FP after scoring four goals in his previous two games. Everyone else in the line picked up a point, and Carey Price earned 24 FP with a 3-1 win against Detroit (David Rittich was the chalk goalie but had a rough night, though it wasn’t an issue since his team gave him nine goals of support). Tyler Seguin recorded a power-play assist and 14.9 FP, while Ryan O’Reilly picked up a power-play assist, five shots and a block for 18.1 FP. If you used the Sidney Crosby line, he scored two goals for 30.9 FP. Though Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron had strong games, Danton Heinen was held to just one assist, but his 9.6 FP contribution was a decent return on his $4,300 price tag. Timo Meier recorded an assist on Joe Pavelski’s game-winning goal with under four seconds left in the third period, giving him 12.8 FP on the night. Matthew Tkachuk scored a goal for the Flames, coming away with 21.6 FP, while Tomas Tatar tallied two assists and a shot for 17.6 FP. Brendan Gallagher grabbed an assist and four shots for 14.4 FP, while Jared McCann scored a goal and an assist and earned 28 FP. On the back end, Shea Weber chipped in an assist, six shots and three blocks for 22.4 FP, which was solid value for his $5,600 price tag, while Tyler Myers picked up an assist on four shots for 14.4 FP.
As for other main players highlighted in the post, Tomas Hertl recorded an assist, three shots and a block for 14.4 FP, while David Krejci managed just one shot in a 7-4 loss to Columbus. Mark Giordano tallied two assists for 16 FP, and Ben Bishop recorded a 35-save shutout for 48 FP.
Top Play — Connor McDavid ($9,200)
Connor McDavid will be very chalky tonight, but he will definitely be in my lines given the strength of his matchup as well as his recent play. He enters tonight’s game with points in nine straight, scoring three goals and 16 points in that stretch. He has produced five consecutive multi-point efforts and is averaging 20.1 fantasy points per game this season. McDavid skates on Edmonton’s first line and first power-play unit and tallied two assists and two shots in a game against the Devils earlier this season. The Devils have struggled on the road all year, especially in recent games; since Feb. 1, New Jersey has managed a Corsi For percentage of 40.35 on the road, which is the worst in the league, and the Devils are surrendering 66.09 Corsi Against per 60 on the road, which ranks 28th overall. With Cory Schneider (who has given up 3, 4 and 5 goals in his last three road starts, respectively) set to man the crease tonight, that’s definitely a matchup I’m eager to exploit.
Value Play — Blake Coleman ($4,200)
Blake Coleman had a strong game last night in Calgary and will have a chance to be productive once again tonight despite skating in his second game in two nights. The Oilers gave up a lot of prime scoring chances the other night against the Rangers, including from right around the crease, as you can see in the heat map below (the blue circle near the crease indicates that the Rangers had a lot of high-danger scoring chances from in tight). This should benefit Coleman, who generally provides a safe floor through shot volume alone; plus, he could capitalize on one of these high-percentage chances. In its most recent game against the Rangers, Edmonton only surrendered two goals at even strength, but there were a lot of close calls, especially in the third period. While New Jersey does not have the depth or talent that the Rangers’ roster has (at this time), the Devils will be eager to bounce back from an ugly 9-4 loss, and Edmonton isn’t keeping opposing teams to the perimeter. Coleman has found the scoresheet in back-to-back games and in three out of his last four games, scoring two goals and four points in that time. He has hit value in five out of his last six games, averaging 13.8 fantasy points per game in that span. He skates on New Jersey’s first line and first power-play unit.
Also consider: John Tavares ($8,200), Auston Matthews ($7,900), Jonathan Toews ($7,700), Elias Pettersson ($6,600), Bo Horvat ($5,500), Nazem Kadri ($5,100), Artem Anisimov ($4,900)
Top Play — Leon Draisaitl ($8,600)
It should come as no surprise to see Leon Draisaitl as a featured option in this article considering I’ve been highlighting him for most of the year. He has been more consistent and a better points/$ play than McDavid for most of the season, though his price tag has finally caught up to this production. That being said, Draisaitl is a solid cash play regardless of whether he’s on McDavid’s line or not. He has points in 14 straight games, scoring 10 goals and 23 points for an average of 22.4 fantasy points per game in that span. He scored a goal and an assist in a game against the Devils earlier this season. He already has a career-high 42 goals and 89 points this season, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Value Play — Brendan Perlini ($3,600)
Though completing the EDM 1 stack may be the way to go tomorrow night, Brendan Perlini is another option who could be a somewhat under-the-radar play considering he doesn’t skate with Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews. He scored a hat trick the other night, so it’s not like he’s a sneaky play, though no one should expect him to score a hat trick tonight. A big part of that monster performance was the narrative of playing against his former team; plus, it took place within the context of a 7-1 blowout win. Having said that, Perlini has been skating with Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat for four games now, and he has four goals and 15 shots in his last three games. He’s been alternating between huge games and goose-egg performances, so following that pattern would indicate he is due for a bad night. However, he’s a punt play (unless you’re stacking that line in a tournament), so you can’t expect much from him anyway. If he could record 4-5 shots, he’d hit value on that alone. If you look a bit further, though, that line as a whole has performed very well in recent games. In 39:04 of 5-on-5 ice time, the trio has managed a 79.86 Corsi For per 60 and a 41.47 Corsi Against per 60, good for a Corsi For percentage of 65.82. The line’s Goals For per 60 is 4.61, and its High-Danger CF% of 72.22 is quite impressive. Toronto is not a pushover team defensively, but this line should avoid the Tavares line and could therefore have a decent night. Again, if Perlini simply generates a few shots, he’ll hit value and will be worth the $3,600 price tag. He won’t have much ownership in cash contests, though, so someone like Dominik Kahun ($4,400) or Andreas Johnsson ($4,400) might be a safer play.
Also consider: Patrick Kane ($9,100), Mitch Marner ($8,100), Alex DeBrincat ($7,300), Brock Boeser ($7,100), Zack Kassian ($4,500), Andreas Johnsson ($4,400), Dominik Kahun ($4,400), Brendan Lemieux ($3,900), Alex Chiasson ($3,800), Sam Gagner ($3,500), Dylan Sikura ($3,100)
Top Play — Morgan Rielly ($6,400)
Morgan Rielly and the Toronto Maple Leafs will look to bounce back from a disappointing 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning the other night. Tonight’s opponent is difficult to predict, though; for most of the year, Chicago has been bleeding goals left, right and center, though Corey Crawford has won three straight and has surrendered a combined two goals in his last two starts. However, assuming Toronto shows up (which is not a guarantee, unfortunately), there’s one thing working in the Maple Leafs’ favor, which relates to Rielly’s value. That factor is the Blackhawks’ road penalty kill and the Maple Leafs’ home power play. Since Feb. 1, Chicago has a league-worst road penalty kill of just 62.5 percent effectiveness; in the same time frame, Toronto has managed the best power play in the NHL, operating at 30 percent. Since Rielly quarterbacks the Leafs’ top power-play unit, he appears to be in a good spot tonight. Also, Chicago has been giving up fantasy points to opposing d-men all year. Prior to Monday’s loss, Rielly had points in four straight games, registering three goals and four points as well as 13 shots and nine blocks, good for an average of just under 20 fantasy points per game.
Value Play — Alex Edler ($4,700)
Alex Edler is one of the most reliable floor plays in DFS NHL, and he has a favorable matchup tonight against the Rangers. The Rangers have been one of the worst road teams all year, especially since the calendar changed to 2019. In fact, since Jan. 1, the Rangers have a league-worst 64.23 Corsi Against per 60 and the second-worst Corsi For percentage at 44.4. But Edler should offer a safe floor regardless of the advanced stats and pretty much regardless of what transpires in the game. Since re-joining the lineup five games ago, Edler has recorded two goals, 15 shots and 21 blocks, good for an average of 16.3 fantasy points per game as well as an average of 7.2 shots+blocks per game, which comes out to 11.2 fantasy points on its own. The fact that he plays on the Canucks’ top power-play unit doesn’t hurt his chances of adding a point to the mix; the same is true of his ice time since he has averaged 25 minutes per game over his last five games and 27 minutes per game over his last three.
Also consider: Erik Gustafsson ($6,000), Darnell Nurse ($5,600), Jake Muzzin ($5,000), Oscar Klefbom ($4,500)–DTD, Kris Russell ($3,900), Ron Hainsey ($3,900), Andy Greene ($3,800), Connor Murphy ($3,800), Alex Biega ($3,700), Adam Larsson ($3,700), Nikita Zaitsev ($3,700), Quinn Hughes ($3,500)–if he plays
Goalies will be evaluated and discussed in chat once additional starters have been confirmed.
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and core plays.
Featured image credit: Codie McLachlan-Getty Images