We have a full eight-game slate for the second night of regular season hockey. Some prime matchups include a rematch from last year’s early round playoffs with Calgary at Colorado and an early meeting of two elite teams in Boston at Dallas. Meanwhile Florida at Tampa Bay and Buffalo at Pittsburgh both have puck totals hovering around 6.5 (highest on the slate), making them prime fantasy targets.
Top Line Stacks
Tyler Seguin ($7,000) – Jamie Benn ($5,800) – Joe Pavelski ($5,900)
Dallas at Boston
Dallas is loaded up front this year and feels like a team ready to make a statement early. The addition of Pavelski turns an already solid power play (11th in conversion rate last year) into an even better one. The 35-year-old Pavelski is set to man the point for the Stars and was always a big PP producer in San Jose, scoring 12 of his 38 goals there last year with the man advantage.
Benn, who scored less than 30 goals last year for only the second time in the past six seasons, also should be primed for a bounce-back. Finally, there’s Seguin, who comes in as only the seventh highest priced forward despite being fourth in the league in SOG last year while averaging a point per game.
Boston is coming off an emotional Stanley Cup loss and struggled at times killing penalties last year. I like the price you’re getting here to take a shot with a trio of players who all have the ability to nab you multiple SOG and points-scored bonuses every game they hit the ice together.
Superstar to Build Around
Nathan MacKinnon ($7,300), COL vs. CAL– It’s been five months or so since MacKinnon put a hurt on the Calgary Flames and helped oust them from the playoffs in embarrassing fashion. MacKinnon put up three goals and five assists in that series and now gets to face the same team he dominated last summer in Game 1 of the new season. MacKinnon was the clear league leader in SOG last season, averaging 4.5 shots per game, which would put him on pace to achieve the new DraftKings SOG bonus nearly every night. When you add that to his over a point-per-game total from last year — and the fact the Flames were only 11th in penalty-killing last season — you have a recipe for a big game fantasy game here from MacKinnon, who is still quite affordable in this spot.
Value on Offense
Roope Hintz ($3,800), DAL vs. BOS– The Stars are loaded at forward this year, and their depth should mean good things for Finnish forward Roope Hintz. Hintz is coming off a 30-point season but seemed to take a step forward in the playoffs, scoring eight points in 13 games. Not only will he be starting the season centering a line with the talented Alex Radulov ($6,200), but Hintz is also slated (as of writing) to see time on the first-unit power play. Opportunity knocks here for Hintz, and his DFS price still hasn’t caught up with his potential in this expanded role, making him a nice value play for the second slate of the year.
Jordan Weal ($2,700), MTL at CAR– For those wanting extreme value, Weal might pique your interest tonight. The former Flyer joined the Canadians late last year and provided a decent spark in his brief tenure, scoring eight points in his last 10 games while averaging more than 15 minutes of ice. His biggest fantasy plus, though, is he plays on the power play and should be in line to see opportunity in that regard tonight against the Hurricanes, who had the eighth-worst penalty kill in the league last season. He’s a solid boom-or-bust play if you’re looking for that sort of thing on this slate.
Andrei Vasilevskiy ($8,400), TB vs. FLA– The Lightning are tied with a couple of other teams as the biggest favorites (-170 as of writing) on the slate tonight, but their opponent makes deploying Vasilevskiy as your goaltender a little more appealing than some of the other options. Florida generated the seventh-most shots on goals last season, while the Lightening surrendered the 11th most per game in the league. Given the new save bonuses on DraftKings (35+ saves = 3 points) this matchup seems like it would put the highly skilled Vasilevskiy in a decent spot for both the win and save bonuses, giving him the upside you want from an $8K+ goalie.
Ben Bishop ($7,700), DAL vs. BOS– As mentioned above, I like this spot for the Stars tonight, who might be able to catch a Boston team coming off a heart-breaking finals loss a little off-guard. Dallas and Boston are essentially a pick’em in the odds right now, but Bishop is coming off a solid season where he recorded six shutouts, 20 wins and a 2.01 GAA at home. For less than $8K in price, he’s got the potential to post a massive game here against a Boston team that was top 10 in SOG last year.
Value on Defense
Jake Gardiner ($4,000), CAR vs. MTL– Gardiner will be making his debut for the Hurricanes tonight. The former Leaf is set to anchor the Hurricanes’ power play to begin the year after they said goodbye to Justin Faulk. Montreal isn’t the greatest matchup, but the Hurricanes are -160 favorites in a game with a 5.5 puck total, and Gardiner should see 20+ minutes of ice time with the possibility of lots of power play opportunity. He should be on your list of value targets here if you need a cheap defenseman.
Jason Demers ($3,000), ARZ at ANA– Demers is set to begin the year playing alongside Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($4,600) on the Coyotes’ top defensive pairing. The veteran isn’t a flashy point-producer, although he has topped 20 points on three different occasions while playing less than 70 games. Demers did average more than a blocked shot per game last year — and more than a SOG per game — and given his position on the top pairing should be in line to play plenty of minutes off the hop. He’ll have a real shot at reaching some the new bonus points on DK (3 blocked shots = 3 DKFP; 5 shots on goal = 3 DKFP) and makes for a decent punt target, especially against a weak Ducks squad.
Josh Morrissey ($4,500), WIN at NYR– Morrissey’s an attractive target tonight at well under $5K in price. The 24-year-old is set to begin the season as the top power play anchor for the Jets and act as one of their top four defensemen. He set a career-high in assists last year despite playing just 59 games and likely will improve on his 22:24 minutes of ice time from last season. The Rangers were a bottom-10 team in most defensive categories last season, including being fifth last in shots allowed and penalty killing. Getting a defenseman in this spot — less $5K and set to QB the league’s fourth-best power play from last year — seems like an outright steal.
Mark Giordano ($5,800), CGY at COL – Giordano is the fourth-most expensive defenseman on the slate but feels like his salary should even be higher. Fifth in the league in SOG last year among defensemen and 25th in blocked shots, Giordano isn’t just a solid point-producer (0.91 points per game last year), he’s also someone who should benefit from the new bonuses in DraftKings scoring for blocked shots and SOG given the huge amount of ice time he plays. Colorado allowed the 12th most shots against last year and had the seventh-worst penalty kill, making this opening game a nice spot to deploy Giordano.
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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.