Mika Zibanejad

It’s a seven-game slate for this Friday, one which features a lot of big-name players in action. On the injury side, William Karlsson (questionable) is likely the biggest name to keep an eye on. Tuukka Rask is expected to return from a concussion for the Bruins although his status should be monitored as well. There’s a lot of mismatches on the slate with the Rangers hosting Detroit, Washington visiting Ottawa and Tampa Bay out West playing the Ducks so some big fantasy nights for the star players could be on board.


TOP OPTIONS TO CONSIDER

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Top Line Stacks

Oilers vs. Blues

Leon Draisaitl ($7,000) – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($5,200) – Kailer Yamamoto ($3,300)

Instead of featuring one big line on this slate I thought I’d talk about two more affordable L2s. The first is this Oilers trio that has been clicking ever since Edmonton added Yamamoto to the mix. Since being called up from the AHL, Yamamoto has collected seven points in nine games and has also helped his linemates production. The duo of Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins have combined for 14 points between them over their last four games and face off against a St. Louis team that has uncharacteristically allowed four or more goals in three of their last four starts. The matchup has undoubtedly led to these three being cheaper than normal on DraftKings, but with their recent stellar play, this line may be in a good spot to catch the Blues off guard for a big night.

Lightning at Ducks

Anthony Cirelli ($4,400) – Tyler Johnson ($3,700) – Ondrej Palat ($4,100)

Tampa Bay followed up a close loss to Dallas after the All-Star break with a win over the Kings and get another weaker Western team to take advantage of in their third game back from break. Although Tampa’s first-line has been rolling, the Lightning’s second-line has shown explosiveness of late, too, combining for 12 points between them in their last four games, a stretch which included a six-point combined effort between Palat and Cirelli three games ago against Winnipeg. The Ducks are similar to the Jets in that they often struggle defensively against good teams and feature the 10th-worst penalty-kill in the league. Tampa’s second-line is a nice target tonight if you’re looking for solid upside, good correlation and some lower owned forwards from Tampa, whose first-line is sure to be a popular target in GPPs.


Superstar to Target

Mika Zibanejad ($6,900), NYR vs. DET Zibanejad is in the midst of a breakout season, although lately, his point production has cooled off a bit, with just nine points in his last 10 games. Despite slowing down a touch in his point-getting, the former Senator is still seeing a ton of ice, averaging over 22 minutes of ice per outing in his last two games. This kind of usage has also seen him rack up major shot totals of 5-6-8 in his last three outings. While the points have been spotty of late, a bust-out game feels like it’s coming soon for Zibanejad, who carries a major load on the power-play for New York and will be facing off against the worst defensive team in hockey in the Red Wings, who come into tonight having allowed four or more goals in their last three games. Zibanejad’s aggressiveness should finally pay off here against Detroit and his sub-$7K salary feels far too cheap for a player who has hit 24 or more DKFP twice in his last three games.


Value on Offense

Jared McCann ($4,400), PIT vs. PHI McCann has moved into a first-line role for the Penguins, playing alongside Sidney Crosby ($7,200) which brings an obvious boost to his fantasy value. Despite not scoring in four straight games the winger has been solid over his last 10 starts, averaging 9.3 DKFP which is a full point higher than his season-long average. Pittsburgh was shutout in Philly right before the break but are at home tonight where McCann has scored nine of his 14 goals this season. He’s solid value here at under $4.5K in price.

James van Riemsdyk ($4,000), PHI at PIT On the other side of the Philly/Pittsburgh game is James van Riemsdyk who looks like he’s going through one of his hot stretches. Back on the Flyers top line, van Riemsdyk played over 18 minutes in his last game and has now scored two goals and four points over his last outings. A streaky scorer, the former Maple Leaf can pile up the SOG quickly when he’s being given first-line minutes and looks like a great bargain tonight as he’s more than likely to remain in this top-6 role against Pittsburgh, a team he scored against in his last game.


Stud Goalies

Ilya Samsonov ($8,000), WAS at OTT Samsonov comes into this game sporting a 15-2-1 record on the season and will face off against the lowly Senators tonight as a -180 favorite, as of writing. While his upside might be limited by the Senators’ lack of ability to get shots on net, his floor here looks amazing as he comes in averaging 17.2 DKFP and sporting a .942 save % over his last 10 games. He’ll most certainly be a popular choice in goal tonight but it’s hard to make an argument against him, especially for cash-game lineups.

Tuukka Rask ($7,800), BOS at WPG Rask is also looking quite affordable, especially considering his recent play, as he had posted six straight games with a save percentage over .900 before the break. Rask did miss a few starts with a concussion but has been moved off injured reserved and seems likely to start tonight against Winnipeg. With the Bruins set as -165 favorites here, the Boston goalie also looks like a solid target at under $8K on a slate with a ton of mismatches and not many value options in net. Jaroslav Halak ($7,800) is coming off a nice game, as well, and would be a good option here if he does in fact get the starting nod.


Value on Defense

Adam Fox ($3,900), NYR vs. DET Fox has been a strong fantasy producer for the Rangers over the past couple of months and now leads the team in power-play assists with 11 on the year. The rookie has outperformed his salary on numerous occasions this year and comes in with a growing role and 10 points in his last 10 games. Averaging over two minutes of power-play time per game now, Fox looks like a great stacking partner with almost any of the Rangers top-six forwards as the Red Wings currently feature the second-worst penalty-kill in the league and allow the seventh-most SOG per game.


Power-Play Defensemen

Kris Letang ($6,100), PIT vs. PHI– Letang is more of a salary play as he’s significantly cheaper than the two players ranked above him in salary tonight on defense. Production-wise, Letang hasn’t been bad of late either, producing two games with 16 or more DKFP in his last three starts and, with the Penguins back at home tonight after the All-Star break, I like taking the slight discount here on defense and targeting Pittsburgh special-teams. It’s worth noting too that seven of Letang’s 10 power-play points have come at home and with Philly currently without their starting netminder, the matchup also seems to justify taking the discount on Letang vs. the other elite defensemen on the slate.

Torey Krug ($4,900), BOS at WPG The Bruins head into Winnipeg tonight for their first game back from All-Star break and will face off against a Jets team who bring the fifth-worst penalty-kill into tonight’s game. Krug’s a power-play specialist who only averages 20 minutes of ice per game but nearly four minutes of that ice time per game comes with the man advantage. At under $5K, and with the Jets failings on special teams, this feels like a great night to deploy Krug—who has 27 assists on the season already—with one or more of Bruins top-three forwards and look for some power-play correlation scoring.


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