With just a couple of months left in the season, we have a large 12-game slate set for this Thursday with lots of key games. Injury-wise, the Panthers Aleksander Barkov ($7,000) is the biggest player to keep an eye on as he remains a game-time decision tonight as the Panthers host Las Vegas. The Golden Knights William Karlsson and the Devils Nico Hischier have also been ruled out for Thursday, while the Flames Mark Giordano ($6,600) remains day-to-day with a hamstring injury and looks very questionable to play against Nashville tonight.
TOP GOALIE TO CONSIDER
Set your lineups here: NHL $50K Twine [$10K to 1st]
Top Line Stacks
Oilers vs. SharksLeon Draisaitl ($8,200) – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($5,900) – Kailer Yamamoto ($4,300)
I mentioned in last Friday’s article how well the Oilers second-line had been playing and they came through in that game for seven points between them. Despite the Oilers’ solid play of late, they did get shutout in their last start vs. the Coyotes and should be primed to put that poor outing behind them tonight. The Sharks make for a great opponent for Edmonton’s top-6 forwards to give us a bounce-back game, too, as they feature the ninth-worst GAA in the league and also have one of the worst road records with just nine wins in 27 starts this year. While Draisaitl’s price has caught up to his recent production spurt — 20 points in his last 10 games — both Nugent-Hopkins, who’s averaged 14 DKFP over his last 10 starts and Yamamoto remains easy to fit and should see plenty of solid opportunities against one of the poorer defensive teams in the league. This line is a solid stacking target again in a game the Oilers should not be taking lightly after their loss on Tuesday.
Superstar to TargetMax Pacioretty ($7,000), VGK at FLA – It may seem like a broken record hearing this again, but when Pacioretty is priced this low, he almost always makes for a fantastic DFS target on DraftKings. Pacioretty now sits second in the league in shots on goal, just eight behind Alex Ovechkin, and has averaged an insane 6.0 SOG now over his last 10 games. Despite this kind of volume, he’s still scored just five points in his last 10 games, and he seems likely to explode for a big game and some positive shooting regression any night now. That explosion may come as early as tonight, too, as his matchup against the Panthers, who carry the 8th-worst penalty-kill and sixth-worst GAA into this game, is a fantastic one. Averaging 15.7 DKFP now over his last 10 games — despite scoring three goals in that span — the former Canadian should be high on your list of studs to target on the wing tonight.
Value on OffenseJakob Silfverberg ($4,700), ANH at MTL – Silfverberg has put in a strong season for the Ducks and comes into this game with Montreal on pace for over 20 goals and 50 points. He’s also averaging 3.3 SOG per game over his last 10 starts. While Anaheim’s anemic offense means he can go quiet for a while, there’s still plenty of upside available in rostering Silfverberg when he’s under $5K, as he averages well over 17 minutes of ice most nights, and also sees over two mins of power-play time per game. The Canadiens have struggled defensively most of the year and feature the 11th-worst penalty-kill in the league making this a good matchup to take advantage of Silfverberg’s affordable salary.
Pavel Zacha ($3,200), NJD at PHI – Zacha should get some extended run tonight as the already thin New Jersey roster took another hit recently with Nico Hischier getting ruled out for tonight’s game. Zacha has played well of late, too, as he comes into this game with the Flyers having scored four points in his last three games and was out for over 19 minutes in his last game against the Canadiens. Even in a neutral matchup, Zacha’s increased usage here makes him one of the best values on the slate given his incredibly cheap salary and how many opportunities he should get in the top-6 and PP1 tonight.
Stud GoaliesPhilipp Grubauer ($8,000), COL at OTT – Grubauer was solid in his last start for the Avalanche, stopping 23-of-24 shots in a dominant win against Buffalo. The Avalanche get an even weaker opponent tonight in Ottawa and enter this game as -210 favorites. While there are certainly some cheaper goaltenders on this slate that are worth looking at, Grubauer is going against one of the weakest offensive teams in the league. He should be in a great spot here to grab the win and put up a big night as the Avalanche are still in the bottom half of the league in terms of SOG allowed.
Jonathan Bernier ($7,000), DET at BUF – Most nights you’re taking a huge risk whenever you decide to target the Detroit goalie, but I’d be remiss not to mention the solid play of Jonathan Bernier of late. Since coming back from injury after the All-Star break, Bernier has now stopped 58-of-61 shots faced in two games and, overall, has averaged over 14 DKFP in his last two games, despite losing them both. Detroit remains big underdogs tonight, despite going up against Buffalo, but Bernier is an interesting target in GPPs given his low salary and solid production of late, even in losses.
Value on DefenseJustin Schultz ($3,000), PIT at TBL – Schultz returned from injury in Pittsburgh’s last game and played 15 minutes, but he was still able to accumulate a solid 9.7 DKFP. Going forward, expect the talented defenseman to start to see more power-play opportunity in the future, as that’s where his true talent lies. The Penguins remain somewhat thin at defense so seeing Schultz get a bump in ice time, perhaps even into the 20-minute range tonight against Tampa Bay, wouldn’t be all that shocking, either. If he continues to block some shots any increase in special teams opportunity will give him a nice ceiling at just $3K, especially considering the Penguins maintain one of the more solid power-plays in the league. Schultz sets up as a nice punt play if you need a really cheap defenseman to fill out your roster.
Power-Play DefensemenShea Theodore ($5,600), VGK at FLA – Theodore remains a solid nightly upside target as he currently sits fifth in the league in SOG among defensemen and has averaged 3.3 SOG now in his last 10 starts. As mentioned above, the Panthers make for an excellent matchup as they allow the eighth-most SOG per game and have a bottom-10 penalty-kill. Pairing Theodore with Pacioretty ($7,000), or another of the Vegas top-6 forwards, definitely makes some sense given the great matchup with Florida on tap.
Quinn Hughes ($5,400), VAN at MIN – Hughes has had a solid season with the Canucks thus far and comes into this game averaging nearly four minutes of power-play time per game. The rookie defenseman has also been producing nicely of late, as he now has nine points in his last 10 games and has hit 13.0 or more DKFP now in three of his last six starts. While Vancouver struggled to find goals in its last game, they have a much easier matchup tonight against the Wild who have been abysmal defensively this year and feature the second-worst penalty-kill in the league. Hughes is a good target on defense tonight and great stacking candidate with the Canucks PP1 forwards, with center Elias Pettersson ($6,600) looking the best value in that regard tonight.
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