Nikita Kucherov

It’s an 11-game Thanksgiving slate for Friday. The NHL is coming off a slow night so plenty of these teams will be well-rested and there are no teams on back-to-backs here. From a matchup perspective, Blues-Stars is interesting but projects as one of the lowest-scoring games on the slate. Meanwhile, Maples-Sabres and Predators-Hurricanes carry better fantasy potential as all four teams carry decent offenses with a couple below-average special teams and goaltenders mixed in.


Top Line Stacks

CAR vs. NAS

Sebastian Aho ($6,700) – Teuvo Teravainen ($5,900) – Andrei Svechnikov ($6,500)

The Hurricanes roll into tonight’s game with Nashville sporting an offense that ranks eighth in goals scored per game and a power play that ranks the same inefficiency. The matchup tonight looks sweet for some production from their top players, too, as the Predators sport the third-worst penalty kill in the league and sport the eighth-worst GAA in the league, as well. The Hurricanes’ top line has picked up the pace of late, accumulating 16 points combined over its last four games. Each of these three players average right around three shots on goal per game, making them a triple-threat to hit the SOG bonus, as well. They’re a high-upside trio who are in a spot to potentially go off tonight.

WPG at ANH

Mark Scheifele ($6,000) – Patrik Laine ($6,500) – Kyle Connor ($5,900)

The Jets’ top line has been clicking of late, with 12-points between them in their last four games. Both Patrick Laine and Kyle Conner have hit their stride recently, with each coming into tonight having scored three goals in their last six games. A three-time 30-goal scorer, Laine’s sub-10% shooting percentage is well below his career average at the moment, meaning we should be in line for some positive goal-scoring regression from him soon. This is an extremely solid matchup for the surging Jets offense, too, as the team comes in having won five of their last six games and faces off against Anaheim, a team that sports the ninth-worst penalty- kill, and have allowed four or more goals against in three of its last four games. With all three players priced well under $7K, Winnipeg’s first line could be the key to unlocking a big GPP lineup on this larger slate.


Superstar to Target

Nikita Kucherov ($7,300), TBL at WAS Kucherov’s dealt with injury issues and a general poor start to his season, but recently he’s shown signs of the form which saw him produce back-to-back 100 points seasons. Kucherov heads into tonight’s game with Washington having scored six points in his last three games while landing seven shots alone in his last outing, the biggest SOG total in his last 10 starts. Priced as just the ninth-most expensive player on the slate, he’s a great anchor play here against the Capitals, who sport just league average stats defensively in most categories.


Value on Offense

Ilya Mikheyev ($4,000), TOR at BUF Like most of the Maple Leafs’ offensive players, Mikheyev has benefitted from the coaching change, recording four points and eight SOG in his last three games. What’s more exciting for fantasy purposes, though, is that Mikheyev’s opportunities seem to be increasing, too, as he’s averaged around 18 minutes per game under the new coaching regime, up from his 15.6 per game average. With a solid matchup against the Sabres, who have allowed three or more goals against in four of their last five games, he’s a solid way to get exposure to the emerging Toronto offense.

Adrian Kempe ($3,100), LAK at SJS Kempe’s been a regular on the first-unit power-play unit for the Kings most of the season, and has now recorded three or more SOG in three of his last four games, and also has three points in that same span. Priced near the min and going up against a Sharks team that has the fifth-worst GAA in the league, this makes him a decent value target tonight for those needing some relief at the forward position. Having exceeded his average point total on DK in four of his last seven games, he’s got a better upside than his salary suggests.


Stud Goalies

Connor Hellebuyck ($7,100), WPG at ANA With his team rolling and sporting a .930 save percentage on the year, Hellebuyck simple looks too cheap on today’s slate. The Jets have now won five of their last six games, while Anaheim comes in having lost four of its last five games. While this game is a pick’em in the odds, there’s little reason to fear using Hellebuyck here given his form and the fact he’s ultra-cheap at just over $7K.

Andrei Vasilevskiy ($7,500), TBL at WAS The Lightning take on the Capitals tonight in what could certainly turn into a shootout. While the Capitals do possess a potent offense, their high shot rate also makes this a high-upside spot for Vasilevskiy, whose team surrenders the third-most shots against per game. The Lightning netminder has hit the DK-save bonuses three times in his last 10 games, and he has faced at least 30 shots against in his last four starts. He’s posted a save percentage of .933 or better in three of his last four games now, too, and looks like a solid GPP play at a very affordable price.


Value on Defense

John Marino ($3,400), PIT vs. CLB Marino has been getting some extra chances with the injury to Justin Schultz and it’s really paid off for his production. The 22-year-old has averaged well over 21 minutes of ice per game over his last five starts, and that has translated that increased opportunity into some serious production as he comes in on a six-game point streak. Now starting to see some power-play time and going up against a Blue Jackets team that ranks below-average in penalty kill and GAA, Marino remains a solid pay down target at his sub-$3.5K salary.


Power-Play Defensemen

Kris Letang ($6,500), PIT vs. CBJ Letang has averaged over 25 minutes of ice in his first two games back from injury and is coming off a six-shot, 33.7 DKFP night in his last outing. The Penguins’ defenseman is averaging 3.82 SOG per game now and should continue to be busier than normal in that department given the injury to Sidney Crosby. Priced as just the seventh-most expensive player on the slate, and facing off against a Columbus team that sports the 12th-worst penalty kill, it’s a solid night to target the veteran whose SOG production has made him an extremely valuable play so far in DraftKings new scoring system.

Shea Theodore ($4,400), VGK at ARZ If you’re looking for a lower-priced power-play defenseman who can potentially land you a multi-point night, Theodore should catch your eye. Priced well under $5K, Theodore averages well over three minutes of power-play exposure per game and faces the Coyotes who sport the 14th-worst penalty kill at the moment. While Theodore is slightly behind his goal pace from last season, which saw him pot 12 goals, he’s still averaging 2.5 SOG per game, and he comes in having scored goals in two of his last three games. He’s a solid pay down target at defense who possesses similar upside to a lot of more expensive defensemen.


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.