There’s an eight-game NHL slate on tap tonight with three late games, three early games and a couple more sandwiched in between. The biggest favorite on the slate is Tampa Bay, which hosts the Rangers tonight. Most of the other matchups involve close spreads with games like Anaheim vs. San Jose and Minnesota vs. Arizona being near pick ’ems. The game of the night looks to be a Western Conference showdown as the Oilers take on the Avalanche at home.
Top Line Stacks
FLA vs. WPG
Alex Barkov ($6,700) – Evgenii Dadonov ($6,000) – Jonathan Huberdaeu ($7,000)
The Panthers’ forwards have a superb matchup tonight vs. the Jets, who come in with the third worst penalty kill in the league. While targeting second- and third-liners for value here isn’t a terrible idea, going with the high-priced first-liners given the Jets’ special teams and defensive woes is a much higher upside play. The Panthers come into this game with the seventh best power play in the league and a first line that eats up a ton of Florida’s man-advantage minutes. The trio of Barkov, Dadonov and Huberdeau all average well over three minutes of PP time per night and come in having scored 18 points as a line in its past four games. It’s not the cheapest line, but considering it should see up to 20 minutes of ice together against one of the poorer defensive teams in the league, this is a great spot to pay up for the Panthers’ trio.
DET at LA
Dylan Larkin ($6,300) – Anthony Mantha ($6,300) – Tyler Bertuzzi ($5,500)
The Red Wings have had a tough start to the season, but luckily for them, so have their opponents tongiht. The Kings come into this game with the worst GAA average at 3.61 and the second worst penalty kill (it should be noted Detroit’s PK is actually worse). Despite their poor start, the Red Wings’ first line has remained a solid fantasy target and has accounted for the fifth most goals of any line in hockey this season. The trio comes in playing well too, having scored 12 points over its past four games and on this big slate are much more affordable than many of the other superstar-laden lines that will leave you with little salary left over. Against an equally weak opponent, the Red Wings’ big guns are solid targets tonight.
Superstar to Target
Steven Stamkos ($7,300), TB vs. NYR– Stamkos has been in a bit of a slump lately, going five games without a goal. He still has been active on the scoresheet, recording four assists over that timeframe, but comes in just two goals shy of 400 on his career and searching for a breakout kind of game. That event looks like it could come tonight as the Lightning take on the Rangers, who have allowed the second most shots against per game in the league this season and feature a middling penalty kill ranked just 18th in the league. Averaging more than three SOG per game and going up against a team that allows a ton of shots every night, Stamkos looks to be in a great spot here to go after both the SOG bonus and goals No. 399 and 400. He’s a solid anchor play tonight, regardless.
Value on Offense
Robby Fabbri ($3,800), DET at LA- Fabbri has been on fire since joining the Red Wings, going for two goals and four points in his first three games as a Wing. The former first-round draft pick has been playing on Detroit’s second line but is seeing first-line power play minutes, giving him a major boost from a fantasy perspective. I mentioned how terrible LA is defensively, and if you’d rather not pay up for the entire Wings first line, Fabbri is a great cheap way to get some exposure to their offense tonight.
Alex Killorn ($3,900), TB vs. NYR– Killorn comes into tonight’s game with eight points in his first 15 games. While he’s not a prolific goal-scorer, his value lies in both his consistent minutes and the fact he still gets plenty of power play exposure, averaging more than 1:20 on the power play coming in. Killorn also is shooting more lately, averaging two SOG per game over his past 10 starts and faces the Rangers who, as mentioned above, give up the second most SOG per game. He’s a solid value target tonight in a game where multiple Lightning forwards could go off.
Sergei Bobrovsky ($8,000), FLA vs. WPG– Bobrovsky comes into tonight as a -160 favorite against a Jets team that averages more than 33 SOG per game. The former Blue Jacket has been hit-or-miss for fantasy over his past 10 starts, recording six wins but also three games with negative DKFP totals. The good news is Bobrovsky has been great at bouncing back after bad performances and should be in line here for 30+ saves against a high-volume opponent. It should be noted his backup, Sam Montembeault ($8,100), played well in relief of Bobrovsky in his most recent appearance and also would be a nice target here if he happens to get the start.
Martin Jones ($7,500), SJ at ANH– Jones has recorded four straight wins for the Sharks, who are trying desperately to get their season on track. The winning streak coincides with an opponent tonight in the Ducks who enter this game on a four-game losing streak. Jones’ numbers don’t jump off the page, but his team is playing well at the moment in front of him and his price is extremely affordable. He’s a solid tournament target as the Sharks go looking for their fifth straight win against a Ducks team that has scored more than two goals only once in their past three games.
Value on Defense
Dennis Cholowski ($3,300), DET at LA- The Red Wings theme continues here as we essentially are targeting all of their solid power play producers against a bad Kings squad tonight. Cholowski is coming off perhaps the best game of his career as he played 27 minutes in an OT win against the Ducks, scoring the OT winner himself while recording 17.1 DKFP. The 21-year-old hasn’t been a huge point-producer as of yet in his career, but perhaps his most recent outing will spark something. He’s averaging 2:26 PP minutes per night and gets a Kings squad that has one of the worst penalty kills in the league. Averaging around a blocked shot and 1.6 SOG per game, Cholowski looks underpriced here given his increasing ice time, peripheral stats and a prime fantasy matchup against the Kings.
Brent Burns ($6,500), SJ at ANA– As mentioned above, the Sharks are rolling while the Ducks are floundering, allowing 4.25 goals against per game over their past four games. The Sharks’ special teams started the year slowly but their power play is up to 15th in efficiency, while the Ducks’ penalty kill has slid to 13th worst in the league. Burns isn’t shooting quite as much this year but is still third in SOG among defensemen and comes in with nine points in his past 10 games. He’s a fine pay-up target in what could be another statement game for the Sharks.
Keith Yandle ($5,000), FLA vs. WPG– Yandle is coming off a monster 34.2 DKFP game, where he hit multiple DK bonuses. While rostering him might feel like chasing points, his salary has come up only $300 and he gets a fantastic matchup against the Jets, who sport the third worst penalty kill in the league. Yandle eats up a ton of ice on the power play, averaging nearly four minutes of PP time per game, which gives him massive upside most nights, but especially here against Winnipeg. Considering his peripheral stats aren’t too bad either — averaging one blocked shot and two SOG per game — he looks like one of the most attractive defensemen from a points-per-salary salary basis tonight.
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