It’s an eight-game fantasy hockey slate with plenty of Eastern Conference teams in action. From a marquee standpoint the most interesting game is Calgary at Washington, but for fantasy purposes, Ottawa at Pittsburgh and Toronto at Detroit both carry lots of firepower as well.
Top Line Stacks
Sean Monahan ($7,100) – Johnny Gaudreau ($7,400) – Elias Lindholm ($6,500)
CAL at WAS
The game between the Capitals and the Flames has the potential to feature lots of scoring as two of the leagues most proficient offenses go head-to-head. With Alex Ovechkin (suspension) out for the Capitals, attacking here with the Flames’ forwards makes some sense. Washington has the seventh-worst penalty kill in the league, and the Flames’ power play unit comes into this game eighth-best in efficiency. The trio of Gaudreau-Monahan-Lindholm are attached at the hip most nights for the Flames at both even strength and on the power play, where it chews up plenty of minutes. The three also enter this game as the second most productive line in the league. The three have combined for 12 points in three of their past four games, so while you might be spending a lot to roster all three, you’re relying on a very consistent and productive grouping that has been money for fantasy all season.
Superstar to Build Around
EDITOR’S NOTE: Evgeni Malkin (upper-body) will miss at least the next two games.
Evgeni Malkin, PIT vs. OTT, $6,300 — The Penguins are in an enticing matchup tonight against the Senators, who enter this game second-last in goals allowed and third-last in penalty kill efficiency. The temptation here might be to just pay up for Crosby ($7,800) in a situation this good, but taking the discount with Malkin has its pluses. Malkin enters this game having scored just three points less than Crosby on the season and has scored five more points than him over the past 10 games.
Both men will see power play time together as well, making Malkin the clear value in this spot against such a weak opponent. He’s a great anchor play and also makes for a cheaper starting point if you want to stack him with one of the Penguins’ wingers or defensemen on your roster as well.
Value on Offense
Evan Rodrigues, BUF vs. CHI, $4,000 — Rodrigues enters this game having scored seven points over his past 10 games and now has four goals over his past five. On top of giving the Sabres some good second-line scoring depth, he’s been a consistent anchor on their second-line power play unit, too, and in that respect offers nice upside for his still-suppressed price. The matchup against the Blackhawks is a fine one, too, as they enter this game last in goals allowed and have been a great matchup all season for opposing offenses.
Thomas Vanek, DET vs. TOR, $3,900 — The Red Wings might not be high up in the standings, but they do offer some good value on offense on a nightly basis. Vanek isn’t the prolific scorer he once was, but he’s been effective of late for Detroit, recording seven points over his past 10 games and points in each of his past four. The Leafs are a tough opponent, but the fact Vanek is playing well and entrenched in a role on the Wings’ top power play unit makes him a decent value here, in a game that could devolve into a shootout.
Frederik Andersen, TOR at DET, $8,100 — The Leafs enter tonight’s game against the Red Wings as -170 favorites. Anderson has been solid for Toronto for most of the year and is coming off a couple of big games where he’s stymied some good offenses. Anderson also has garnered more wins on the road this year, and the Leafs, as a team, have been great on the road, entering tonight with a 16-6-1 road record. There’s not much else to think about here, as we have a strong goalie taking on a weaker team and backed by a team that plays well on the road. Andersen looks like a top play for tonight’s slate.
Ben Bishop, DAL vs. MIN, $7,900 — Bishop has played well of late for the Stars and comes into tonight’s game having stopped 57 of his past 59 shots. Dallas and Bishop are small home favorites against a decent Wild team, but his ownership might not be as inflated as some of the other top netminders, giving him good value as a GPP play. If you’re looking to save a bit off of the top players or just want to fade the more popular plays, Bishop makes for a great swerve in net.
Value on Defense
Zach Bogosian, BUF vs. CHI, $3,200 — Bogosian doesn’t carry a ton of offensive upside, but he still has a great shot and blocks a decent number of shots — 13 over his past 10 games. Bogosian isn’t likely to break any slates for you, but he consistently is getting well over 20 minutes of ice a night and averaging more than 2.0 DKFP for that span, as well. The Sabres have a terrific matchup tonight against the Blackhawks, too, so the possibility of a garbage assist exists here, which would put Bogosian into serious value territory. He’s a decent way to save cash at defense if so inclined.
Power Play Defensemen
Mark Giordano, CAL at WAS, $6,400 — There are multiple big names on defense tonight, but Giordano seems like a logical pay-up play here. The Capitals enter this game with the seventh-worst penalty kill in the league. and Giordano is a fixture on the point for Calgary with the man advantage. On top of amassing 52 points already — 18 on the power play — the Flames’ defenseman is also 15th in the league in blocked shots, a stat that is valuable on DraftKings. He’s cheaper than two of the Flames’ big forwards if you’re looking to mix and match a Flames stacks tonight.
Rasmus Dahlin, BUF vs. CHI, $5,000 — The Sabres have started to give Dahlin a little more consistent ice time on the power play of late, and it’s paid off big time for fantasy purposes, as he enters this game with eight points over his past 10 games. The matchup tonight couldn’t be better, either, as the Blackhawks enter tonight’s game with the worst penalty kill in the league. Dahlin’s a great play for those not wanting to pay up for the true studs on defense and a great correlation play with the Sabres’ first-line forwards as well.
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