With eight NHL games on tap to start this week of DraftKings Hockey contests, DFS hockey players have a deep player pool to sift through to fill-out their lineups with both superstar and value plays. Let’s take a look at some of top and bargain buys for tonight’s game:
Jaroslav Halak ($7,400) – Halak is a great play on Monday night against the Ducks coming off a fantastic outing holding the Coyotes to a lone goal on Saturday despite taking the loss after not being bailed out by the Islanders offense. After his first rough outing in a while against Florida last week Halak bounced back strong against Arizona and this game helped to push Halak back in the top-10 in the league in GAA (2.10). Halak has put up solid numbers at home this season with a 2.25 GAA and .913 SV% at Barclays Center and if he gets the nod tonight should be heavily considered for your lineup. Should the Islanders decide to start Thomas Greiss ($7,300) against Anaheim tonight, then consider him on the same level as Halak.
Pekka Rinne ($7,600) – Rinne seems to have snapped out of his recent funk and has now put forward three consecutive strong showings allowing only two goals against in each game. Rinne picked up the win on Saturday, keeping the Wild in check during a game where he didn’t see much work. But it’s the matchup tonight with Montreal that makes Rinne a great start. The Canadiens, losers of seven of eight, have hit a huge 2-7-0 December slump and have struggled to find the net putting up only 15 goals this month and mired in a three-game losing streak. Roll Rinne tonight in a favorable matchup with the Habs.
Connor Hellebuyck ($6,600) – My value pick of the night is the Jets young netminder who had a great bounce back performance on Friday night holding the Rangers to two goals on 28 shots. He had two rough outings in the last week and a half giving up four goals against twice but has played very strong overall and is sporting a 2.14 GAA and .925 SV%. Hellebuyck should get the nod on Monday night against the Oilers who are falling back to earth and are riding a three-game losing streak. If you’re one to favor a less expensive option in net, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option tonight.
Others to Consider: Braden Holtby ($8,200), Semyon Varlamov ($7,500), Jake Allen ($7,700)
Roman Josi ($6,900) – Josi continues to develop into one of the more consistent all-around defensemen in the league and has jumped Shea Weber for the points lead on the Preds blueline with 24. He has points in back-to-back games, both coming on the power-play, and is a point-per-game player over his last 10 games with 10 points. He has managed 26 blocked shots and 22 shots on goal in that span and has a matchup against Montreal on Monday night who are allowing three goals against per game in December.
Brett Pesce ($2,900) – The Hurricanes rookie defenseman has been getting into the scoring act as of late. Pesce has seen action in 26 games this season and has been very impressive putting up nine points while adding 33 shots on goal and 29 blocked shots. On top of his regular strength role, the rookie is seeing over two minutes of ice time per night on the Canes power-play and he has managed four PPP in his last 10 games. At that price tag, he’s a great value option tonight despite the tough draw against the Caps.
Shane Gostisbehere ($4,400) – Another impact rookie, who by now is taking no one by surprise, Gostisbehere continues to shine for the resurgent Flyers. He has taken command of this offense from the point and is showing a poise beyond his years. Despite only playing half of the Flyers season to date “Ghost” is tied for fifth on the team in points with 12 in 17 contests. He’s shooting at an incredible 16.2% on the year and four of his six goals have been power-play tallies and even with such a limited time in the bigs he leads the team with a +4 rating. His value is beginning to rise, so take advantage before he is priced near the top of the defense charts.
Tyler Myers ($3,900) – Myers has shown flashes on his old offensive self with back-to-back multi-point outings against very tough opponents in St. Louis and the Rangers. The Jets are a sneaky good offensive team and if Myers begins to flash any kind of an offensive side to his game, he could greatly outplay his current value. Take advantage of his recent offensive form with an affordable price and a favorable offensive matchup with Edmonton on Monday night.
Others to Consider: Justin Faulk ($6,200), John Klingberg ($5,900), Dustin Byfuglien ($6,400), Dion Phaneuf ($4,100), Nick Leddy ($3,700), PK Subban ($6,000), Francois Beauchemin ($5,100), Sami Vatanen ($4,900), Trevor Daley ($3,500)
Vladimir Tarasenko ($8,000) – For a brief moment this past weekend Tarasenko was the league-leader in goals before Jamie Benn scored two and jumped him. Still his 21 goals sit tied with Patrick Kane for second in the league behind Benn’s 22. The young Russian sniper now has goals in five straight games for St. Louis and has two, three-point outings in that streak as well. He’s averaging four shots per game on this current scoring run and now has seven goals and five assists in his last 10 games, getting it done all-around for the Blues. He has a fantastic matchup against Philadelphia on Monday night.
Brian Little ($5,400) – Playing with one of the most underrated players in the NHL in Blake Wheeler ($7,000), Little has put together a fantastic season to date and is on the cusp of being a point-per-game level producer. His 27 points are good for second on the team and he’s coming off one of his best games of the season with a two goal, one assist and four shot performance against the Rangers on Friday night. The Jets travel to Edmonton on Monday night and Little has been a consistent producer at home and away this season with 13 of his 27 points coming on the road.
Patrick Sharp ($6,500) – After a brief demotion from the Stars top line, Sharp was put back with Benn and Seguin and immediately paid dividends putting up a goal and assist against the Canadiens on Saturday night and breaking a four-game pointless streak. Both points came courtesy of the man advantage but with the promotion back to the top assignment expect Sharp to see the level of production he did earlier this season with this line. On the season he has put up 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points in 33 games for Dallas and is easily on his way to a 50+ point season in his first with the Stars.
Brandon Saad ($5,700) – After a slump in scoring for Saad, he seems to be turning things around with points in four of his last seven games including four points in his last two games. He had a three point game against Arizona on Thursday and followed suit with a goal against the Flyers on Saturday and added nine shots and three blocks in total over the two games. He will continue to see every chance to produce being in the Blue Jackets top-six rotation with Ryan Johansen and now that he is finding his offense, Saad should be a consideration for your lineup tonight going against Pittsburgh backup Jeff Zatkoff’s near-3.0 GAA.
Evgeni Malkin ($7,500) – With Sidney Crosby missing tonight’s game against the Blue Jackets Malkin will inherit the top-line role for the Penguins and see an expanded offensive responsibility. He has been Pittsburgh’s most consistent forward this season with 28 points in 32 games, leads the team with 15 goals and has two goals and 11 shots on goal in his last four games. With the Penguins struggling all-around lately, expect Malkin to shoulder the load in a favorable matchup against Columbus on Monday night.
Marcus Johansson ($4,000) – Johansson has settled in nicely on the Capitals second line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams and has been a solid contributor for Washington this season with 19 points in 31 games. He’s on pace to potentially crack his previous career-high of 47 points which he set last season as well as setting a new high for shots on goal. He has points in back-to-back games and had his fourth multi-point game of the season in Washington’s 7-3 rout of the New York Rangers last night when Johansson managed a goal and two assists. With a matchup against Carolina on Monday night Johansson becomes an intriguing value pick for your lineups, so consider him to spend big elsewhere.
Others to Consider: Blake Wheeler ($7,000), Alexander Ovechkin ($8,900), Jamie Benn ($8,500), Tyler Seguin ($8,800), Mikko Koivu ($4,800), John Tavares ($7,700), Evgeny Kuznetsov ($5,700), Filip Forsberg ($5,800), Jakub Voracek ($5,800), Jeff Skinner ($4,400), Michael Grabner ($3,000).
Make sure to check out the NHL Cheat Sheet and NHL Line Stacks posts today and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at @JHarding_Hockey