With six NHL games on the slate to start this final 2015 week of DraftKings DFS Hockey contests, DFS hockey players have a solid player pool to delve into 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:
Braden Holtby ($8,300) – Holtby continues to chug along for the Capitals and shook off two sub-par starts heading into the Christmas break with a 29 save, one goal against performance against the Canadiens on Saturday night. The solid outing pushed his league-leading win total to 22, 18 games over .500, and his GAA remained tops in the league as well at 1.92. The Caps have a home-and-home in the next few days against Buffalo and you can expect Holtby to likely start both. He is my top goalie of the night and the matchup with the Sabres, despite their recent drubbing of the Bruins, reinforces Holtby as a must start tonight.
Ben Bishop ($7,500) – For those of you wanting to save some money in net to spend elsewhere, Bishop is $800 less expensive than Holtby and comes with a great matchup as well against the struggling Canadiens. Once thought to be the best team in the league earlier this season, the Canadiens are riding a six-game losing streak and are 1-9-0 in their last 10 games. Bishop is trending the opposite way and has allowed more than two goals against only once in his last 10 games. In that 10 game span, nine starts, he’s 6-3-0 with a 1.92 GAA and .929 SV%. Bishop has had Montreal’s number in his career with a 10-1-2 record, a 1.53 GAA and .941 SV%.
Others to Consider: Petr Mrazek ($7,200), Henrik Lundqvist ($7,800), Pekka Rinne ($7,700), Jonathan Quick ($7,900).
Drew Doughty ($5,500) – Doughty is having a very solid season for the Kings and has begun to produce more offensively as of late. In his last 10 games he has put up very good all-around numbers with eight points, 12 blocked shots and 22 SOG. Doughty is coming off a multi-point game on Saturday against the Coyotes and faces the Canucks on Monday night, who he had a goal against earlier this month.
Brent Burns ($8,000) – Burns continues to arguably be the best fantasy defensemen this season and is putting incredible all-around numbers for the Sharks. He has points in three of his last four games, and all three games have been multi-point games. He has 18 shots in those four games and in his last 10 he has 11 points, 22 blocked shots and 42 shots on goal. Burns currently sits third in the NHL in shots on goal with 150 this season and is fourth in the league in TOI. If you can stomach the price tag for your lineup, Burns is worth the price.
Brendan Smith ($2,700) – A perfect complement to putting Burns in your lineup is someone like Smith. He of only seven points this season Smith has put up four points in his last four games and has seven shots on goal and five blocked shots in that span. He is playing top-four minutes on a pairing with Mike Green and is seeing an increase in offensive zone possessions because of it, but only at even strength. Still, Smith is on pace to break his previous career high in points this season and should be considered as a great value-buy for your lineups tonight.
Others to Consider: John Carlson ($6,800), Roman Josi ($7,000), Ryan Suter ($5,800), Victor Hedman ($5,200), Andrei Markov ($4,400), Justin Braun ($3,500).
Steven Stamkos ($7,400) – Stammer is getting his groove back and has now put up nine points in his last 10 games after being mired in a season-long inconsistency. He has goals in three of his last four games, with two of those games being multi-goal outings. He’s had uncharacteristically low shooting numbers this season, with only 96 shots in 34 games, but is beginning to turn that around averaging almost three shots on goal in these last 10 games. And much like his goalie, Stamkos has put up great numbers in his career against Montreal with 21 points in 25 contests vs the Habs.
Alex Ovechkin ($8,700) – To say that Ovechkin has been streaky lately is an understatement. Yes he has 30 points in 33 games and seven points in his last 10, but all of those seven points have come in four games. He has been held off the scoresheet his last two outings against Montreal and Carolina and yet he is still a great option for your lineups tonight. Ovie has feasted on Buffalo throughout his career, putting up some players full-season totals against the Sabres. In 36 career games vs Buffalo Ovechkin has 38 points (23G, 15A) and 202 shots on goal. He leads the league with 164 SOG and is currently on pace to break the 400 shot barrier for the fourth time in his career. If you want to pay the price to put him in your lineup he is a very solid option tonight and any night that he’s on the ice.
Filip Forsberg ($5,900) – Forsberg is beginning to find his offensive stride after being off his game for periods this season. A Calder trophy contender with 64 points last season, Forsberg has struggled with his consistency this year for the Preds, but he has found something as of late and now has points in four straight contests for Nashville. On his mini-streak he has three goals, two assists and 15 shots on goal including a multi-goal effort on Saturday against the Red Wings. The Predators will have a tricky matchup with the Rangers on Monday who are mired in an inconsistent streak of their own as of late, but Forsberg is affordable and productive so he’s worth taking the flier on going against Henrik Lundqvist, who has surrendered four goals against or more in four of his last six starts.
Anze Kopitar ($5,300) – Kopitar will see increased responsibility for the Kings for the time-being while Jeff Carter is on the shelf and the Kings first line will be relied on to drive LA’s scoring. Kopitar and his linemates picked up the slack on Saturday when Carter went down early in the contest and the Kings center had himself a multi-point night with three SOG. He had been held off the scoresheet his past two games, which snapped a four-game point streak, but Kopitar has been producing consistently since being paired with Milan Lucic and Tyler Toffoli. The Kings have a favorable matchup against their division rival Vancouver on Monday night and Kopitar managed a goal in their last meeting earlier this month.
Jannik Hansen ($3,900) – Hansen continues to be effective on the wing of the Sedin twins in Vancouver and has five points in his last four games for the Canucks. He has moved into third on the team in points with 22 behind his two all-star linemates and now sits second on the team in goals scored behind Daniel Sedin. He has three goals and two multi-point games in his last three outings and despite a tough matchup against the Kings on Monday night, he is in a prime position to see production in a top-line role at an incredible value price. He’s being given a great opportunity for point production that he has never seen before and is running with it, currently on pace to shatter his previous career high of 39 points in a season. Strongly consider Hansen as a contender for your lineup tonight.
Others to Consider: Nicklas Backstrom ($6,200), Pavel Datsyuk ($5,700), T.J. Oshie ($5,800), Joel Ward ($4,600), Alex Killorn ($4,100), Joe Pavelski ($7,500), Rick Nash ($6,900), Daniel Sedin ($6,700), Henrik Sedin ($5,100), Milan Lucic ($4,600), James Neal ($6,000), Jonathan Marchessault ($2,900), Max Pacioretty ($7,100), Zach Parise ($7,600).
Make sure to check out DK Playbook’s 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