There are only three games on the NHL schedule Wednesday, and the Avalanche, Golden Knights and Penguins are all sizeable favorites. Edmonton is the only club playing the second leg of a back-to-back set after a disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to Anaheim on Tuesday. It’s also worth noting the player pool is loaded with superstar centers with Sidney Crosby ($8,000), Evgeni Malkin ($7,100), Nathan MacKinnon ($8,100), Jack Eichel ($8,300), Connor McDavid ($7,800) and Leon Draisaitl ($7,900) all hitting the ice.
TOP OPTIONS TO CONSIDER
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Top Line Stacks
Avalanche vs. SabresValeri Nichushkin ($3,500) – Nathan MacKinnon ($8,100) – Gabriel Landeskog ($5,800)
The Sabres have surrendered a healthy 3.36 goals per hour on the road this season, so Colorado’s No. 1 line should be positioned for success. The combined cap hit doesn’t break the bank, and MacKinnon hasn’t found the scoresheet in consecutive games despite attempting 22 shots. Additionally, MacKinnon and Landeskog have clicked for a high-end 5.25 goals per 60 minutes over the past three years, and Nichushkin is in the midst of a breakout campaign.
Oilers at Golden KnightsTyler Ennis ($3,700) – Connor McDavid ($7,800) – Andreas Athanasiou ($4,500)
Edmonton’s new-look line scored twice times Tuesday and combined for 58.3 DraftKings fantasy points, and the cap hit stands out as a notable discount. After all, McDavid is the fifth most expensive skater in the player pool, so that alone presents value. It’s also worth noting that while the matchup could prove to be difficult, Vegas has allowed a healthy 3.3 goals per hour during its active 6-1-1 stretch.
Superstar to Build AroundEvgeni Malkin, PIT at LA ($7,100) – Considering he’s recorded consecutive multi-point showings and owns an elite 4.03 points per hour this season, Malkin’s salary is manageable. It’s also a cushy matchup with Los Angeles owning a 5-14-2 record while allowing 3.26 goals per hour since the calendar flipped to 2020.
Value on OffenseJason Zucker, PIT at LA ($5,100) – Another Penguin with a soft salary in the favorable matchup against Los Angeles to consider is Zucker. He’s fit in well with three tallies, two helpers and 20 shots through seven games, and there’s also positive regression ahead of his combined 5.71 shooting percentage with Sidney Crosby ($8,000) at 5-on-5.
Josh Archibald, EDM at VGK ($2,700) – Skating in a favorable fantasy spot with Leon Draisaitl ($7,900) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($5,900) at 5-on-5 and also on the No. 1 power-play unit, Archibald checks out as an upside source of cap relief. He’s also recorded a respectable 10 points — six goals — through his past 16 games, and the Golden Knights haven’t been a defensive juggernaut of late, either.
Tyson Jost, COL vs. BUF ($2,500) – Injuries seen Jost promoted up the lineup, and he logged 20:47 of ice time with 7:29 on the power play last time out. While the 2016 first-round pick has struggled to find the scoresheet early in his career and has just a single assist through his past 12 games, it’s hard to overlook his potential at a contest-minimum salary given the favorable matchup and elevated role.
Stud GoaliesTristan Jarry, PIT at LA ($7,800) – Before a rough start against Buffalo last time out, Jarry won four straight with a .941 save percentage. The Penguins are huge favorites, and Jarry owns a high-end 20-9-1 record, .927 save percentage and 2.23 GAA for the campaign. The Kings have also scored just 2.22 goals per hour since the beginning of January — second-fewest in the league.
Mikko Koskinen, EDM at VGK ($6,800) – There’s enough cap relief with Koskinen to justify taking a flier on the Edmonton netminder. He’s been hit or miss for most of the season and allowed two goals or fewer in 14 of 31 starts, so the upside is there. Vegas could also be poised for a letdown showing after winning six consecutive games, and the Oilers will need a rebound showing after their disappointing loss to Anaheim on Tuesday.
Value on DefenseRasmus Dahlin, BUF at COL ($4,600) – Even with the tough matchup against Colorado (league-low 2.18 goals against per 60 minutes through the past 20 games), Dahlin is a worthwhile target at his price. The sophomore is an outing removed from a six-game point streak and owns a fifth-ranked 2.25 points per hour for the campaign. He’s also logging 3:27 of power-play time per game while beginning 57.4 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone.
Alec Martinez, VGK vs. EDM ($4,400) – Through three games with Vegas, Martinez has collected two tallies, two helpers, four shots and nine blocks. He’s also topped 20 DraftKings fantasy points in two of those contests. With Edmonton playing the second leg of a back-to-back road set, and the veteran blueliner clearly comfortable with his new club, Martinez is worth a look. His willingness to block shots provides a nice floor if he fails to mark the scoresheet, too.
Power-Play DefensemanKris Letang, PIT at LA ($6,200) – The Kings’ noted defensive struggles also include a 28th-ranked, 75.7 penalty-kill percentage, so Letang is all the more attractive Wednesday. The veteran has collected 13 points, 51 shots and 21 blocks while averaging 26:18 of ice time (3:32 on the power play) through his past 16 outings, and his high-floor, high-ceiling profile carries extra value in the shallow player pool, too.
Cale Maker, COL vs. BUF ($5,200) – With the Sabres owning the third-worst penalty-kill percentage in the league, Maker lands in a favorable matchup to breakout of his recent offensive lull. Even though the rookie has recorded just three assists through his past seven games, he still ranks second in the league in points per 60 minutes among regular defensemen.
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