Here we are again, another great Saturday slate of NHL action. 11 Games in all for us and some tasty looking match ups. I’ll go position by position and highlight a couple of the guys i’m highest on and give you a group of other names i’ll be considering. As always i’ll say, this article is written prior to morning skate and most goalies being confirmed, I do my upmost to project things as accurately as possible, however, please double check these things, especially starting goalies. That said, lets get on to some picks!
Marc-Andre Fleury $9,500 – This is as chalky as… chalk. But its hard to get away from. Just 7 days ago the Penguins beat the struggling (that is me being kind) Sabres 5-0. Fleury got the shutout win in that one and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same again today. I will say however, he did only face 18 shots in that game, so if the same were to occur but he was to give up a soft goal or two, he will really struggle to pay off the price tag. I’ll be locking him in to my cash games regardless and finding the value to make it work. The Penguins have won the last 4 games against Buffalo with a +15 goal differential in that time.
Steve Mason $7,200 – The Flyers are one of the strongest favourites on the day, they get a matchup on home ice against the visiting Colorado Avalanche. I think Mason makes a great play at this price point. I don’t anticipate a shutout but Mason should see a ton of shots and as i’ll get to later I really like the Flyers offence to get him the win in this one. I project 1-2 goals against, 30-35 saves and a win, which is a result i’m happy with given the price.
Braden Holtby $6,200 – Oh man. If i’ve ever talked NHL with you, you probably know I hate trusting this guy. But being impartial here, if Holtby starts, this is a solid spot for him. Vegas has Washington as the second biggest favourite on the day behind the obvious Penguins, at -170. Washington are on home ice against a Carolina offence averaging a not very intimidating 2.33 goals per game. Its not often you’ll get the second highest favourite goalie on an 11 game slate for minimum salary. For that reason alone I feel he has to be in consideration.
Joe Pavelski $6,900 – This is an interesting one for me. At first take you might not think taking players against the Stars on the road is a good strategy. But Dallas currently holds a 1-2-4 home record so far this season and the Sharks are an impressive 5-2-2 on the road. I really think this game has the potential to be an explosive one, this San Jose offence is always capable of blowing up and against a Stars team allowing 3.38 goals against per game, Pavelski feels just a bit under priced. He loves to shoot the puck and I can see San Jose putting their 25% PP to good use and grabbing at least 1 if not 2 PPGs. I think Sharks make a great GPP play.
Nicklas Backstrom $5,800 – Prior to having his streak snapped in last nights game against my Blackhawks, Backstrom had tallied 1 goal and 5 assists over his last 3 games. Backstrom makes for great exposure to the Washington offence, either stacked with, or played without, Ovechkin. He is a fantastic facilitator and in a game I see Washington scoring approximately 4 goals in, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another multi-point game for him.
Others to consider: Sidney Crosby $8,800, Claude Giroux $8,200, Logan Couture $7,600, John Tavares $7,500, Valtteri Filppula $5,000, Jeff Carter $4,700.
Vladimir Tarasenko $8,000 – WOW. Can someone get a heat check on this guy because he’s so hot he should be melting the ice. 11 points (8 goals and 3 assists) in his last 6 games, I am running out of superlatives to describe Tarasenko right now. The biggest compliment I can pay him is I am a massive Blackhawks and Patrick Kane fan, I enjoy watching him play the game as much as I do Kane right now. The Blues are finally getting healthy and I like them against a tough Nashville side on home ice. Skating with the absurdly good value Jori Lehtera at $2,800 and Jaden Shwartz $5,800 at even strength, I couldn’t blame you for taking all three.
Wayne Simmons $5,300 – So, this is were a lot of my fortunes will rest tomorrow. Simmons will start this game on the Flyers top line along side the dynamic duo of Giroux and Voracek. Coach Craig Berube has said he wants to get Simmons on the puck more. I think even though he is having to adjust from playing his natural right wing to playing on the left, this could be a great move for Simmons. He’s already seeing top power play minutes and call it a gut feeling, but I think this line gets out to a hot start and goes for multiple goals against the Avs. The price on Simmons does not reflect this switch, however, there is risk attached as if it doesn’t work out early, the coach may shuffle the lines again mid-game.
Others to consider: Patric Hornqvist $7,800, Chris Kunitz $7,200 (I love Kunitz at this price tomorrow), Patrick Marleau $6,000, Alexander Steen $5,700, Ryan Callahan $4,700.
Alex Pietrangelo $5,200 – The more research I do and the more i write this article the higher I am becoming on the Blues in general tomorrow. Pietrangelo is a consistent producer with multi-point upside. It doesn’t hurt to have guys like Tarasenko on fire playing in front of him and with the Blues finally getting healthy I can see them scoring 3-4 on what is a tough Nashville team.
Mark Streit $4,700 – As you might guess, being on the Flyers in other spots, I like Streit today too. He’s Mr Consistent averaging 3.5 DraftKings points per game, I think today’s matchup offers him a chance to add to his 10 points on the season. Colorado is giving up almost 36 shots per game, I can see him firing a few in from the blue line with good results.
Others to consider: Kris Letang $6,000, John Carlson $5,900, Brent Burns $5,700, Kevin Shattenkirk $4,700, Johnny Boychuk $4,600, Anton Stralman $3,400.
Well that wraps it up for today. Feel free to shoot me any questions on twitter @cjhopkins07. All that is left is for me to wish you all the best of luck in your games!