There’s a big, 10-game slate that awaits us in DFS on Thursday. We have tons to chose from here, but one of the premier fantasy matchups has Conner McDavid and the Oilers hosting Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals, as two of the biggest superstars in hockey face off. We also have a mix of division games and inter-conference matchups as the Flames host the Panthers, the Blackhawks host the Flyers and the struggling Wild look to get on track when they face the Predators in Nashville.
Top Line Stacks
PHI at CHI
Claude Giroux ($6,100) – James van Riemsdyk ($5,600) – Jakub Voracek ($5,200)
This usually dependable trio has started the season slowly. Multiple 30-goal scorer van Riemsdyk has yet to record a point through seven games, while dependable Giroux also has yet to score a goal on the year. Despite the slow start, van Riemsdyk has been OK on DraftKings as he’s averaging an absurd five SOG per game thus far and more than 16 minutes of ice per game. These three skated together at even strength and on the power play in the Flyers’ most recent game and should be together a ton against the Blackhawks — a team allowing well over 30 SOG against per night and featuring the eighth worst penalty kill in the league. It’s as a good a breakout spot as any for this trio.
SJ at MTL
Tomas Hertl ($5,500) – Evander Kane ($7,100) – Kevin Lebanc ($4,200)
The Sharks’ forwards have a decent matchup tonight against the Canadians, who enter this game with the fifth worst penalty kill in the league. The trio of Kane, Hertl and Lebanc has seen plenty of time together at even strength in the Sharks’ past three games with all three featuring together on the Sharks’ first-line power play. Despite not scoring in four of six games this year, Kane is averaging four SOG per night, with his linemates all averaging more than two SOG per game themselves and more than 17 minutes of ice. This is a high-upside line that offers great correlation and big upside at an affordable price.
Superstar to Target
Alex Ovechkin ($8,100), WAS at EDM– Ovechkin has averaged more than five SOG over his past five games and has managed to hit the DK SOG bonus in four of his five games as well. It’s this reason why I would lean slightly to Ovechkin over McDavid ($8,200) at this price point. Ovie has a whopping 22 more SOG than the Oilers’ star — a big bonus given DraftKings’ scoring changes.
Washington has started to come on after a slow start, scoring four or more goals in five of its six games, and will be facing an Edmonton squad that is starting to cool off after a fast start. Ovechkin’s in a prime spot for some continuation in what is setting up as the game of the night this Thursday.
Value on Offense
Kirby Dach ($3,400), CHI vs. PHI– The third-round draft pick has been seeing some consistent minutes in Chicago’s top-six over the past two games and looks poised to continue, at least partially, in that role Thursday against the Flyers. The 18-year-old Dach has seen time skating alongside Patrick Kane at even strength, which gives him solid offensive upside despite seeing just 10-12 minutes of ice per game thus far. He’s a boom-or-bust type of play but worthy of consideration for those looking for deeper value tonight.
Nick Suzuki ($3,300), MTL vs. SJ- Suzuki started the season slowly for Montreal but looks to be picking up the pace of late. The 20-year-old rookie has two goals in his past three games and has seen more consistent time on the second line for Montreal. His real value lies in the fact he’s averaging nearly three minutes per game on the power play, which boosts both his point-scoring and SOG upside. With eight shots in his past three games and consistent top-six ice time, he’s a potential slate-breaker at just above $3K in price.
Jordan Binnington ($8,400), STL vs. LA- Binnington is the highest-priced goalie on the slate, and he’s in a remarkably great spot for fantasy. The Blues are one of the biggest favorites on the slate at -175 as of writing. But it’s not just the solid chance of getting the win bonus here that leads us to wanting to pay up. The Kings have fired an average of 38 shots per game thus far, putting Binnington in a great spot to deliver both the win and a 30+-save performance. Coming in with three solid outings in a row, he’s a fine pay-up candidate if you can spare the room.
Brian Elliott ($7,200), PHI at CHI– Elliott looks set to tend the twine for the Flyers, who enter this game as small underdogs to the Blackhawks. Elliott’s been strong in limited work for Philly this year, posting save percentages of .943 and .946 in two starts on the season. He’s stopped well over 30 shots in both games he’s started and faces a Blackhawks team averaging 33.4 shots per game. He’s a great, cheap target tonight who could deliver both the win and saves bonus on DK if he continues his good play here.
Value on Defense
Alex Martinez ($3,700), LA at STL– Martinez sits 17th in the league in terms of blocked shots and comes in having hit the blocked shot bonus on DraftKings three times over his first nine games of the year. His upside is bolstered by the fact he sees consistent power play minutes, averaging more than two minutes of power play ice per game coming in. His only downside is he plays for the Kings, who have a bottom-five power play, but his cheap price and blocked shots make him a nice value right now, regardless of opponent.
Jake McCabe ($3,900), BUF at NYR– McCabe leads the league in blocked shots, averaging just under three blocked shots per game. As you can imagine, his proficiency in this area makes him a valuable DraftKings target, and he comes in having hit the DraftKings blocked shots bonus seven times already through his first 10 games. Sitting at less than $4K in price and averaging more than 21 minutes of ice a night, his blocked shots make for a nice value play who could turn up with major upside at some point if he ever finds the back of the net or racks up a couple of assists.
Oscar Klefbom ($6,100), EDM vs. WAS– Klefbom comes in averaging 2.4 SOG per game and 2.4 blocked shots per game as well, giving him an incredibly solid floor in terms of his nightly fantasy production. The Oilers defenseman doesn’t quite score as much as many of the other top defensemen in the league, but he gets plenty of power play exposure, averaging well over three minutes of power play time per game. He comes in having gone scoreless in his past three games but looks to be in a good spot here to break out of his slump against the Capitals, who have allowed the third most goals against in the league thus far. He makes for a good defense target and could be stacked with any of the Oilers’ elite forwards in GPP lineups.
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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.