A slight drop-off this evening compared to last night’s slate of 11 games, but still there are five NHL games for DraftKings DFS hockey players to look forward to kicking off their weekend with. There are some superstars who are on fire lately and some solid value picks as well. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best buys for Friday’s docket of games:
Jaroslav Halak ($7,300) – Halak has had his struggles lately and it has led to many in the media and fans to speculate whether he is still the number one goalie for the Isles with Thomas Greiss playing as well as he has. Halak has a great chance tonight to prove everyone wrong and right his ship with a matchup against the Devils. With the Eastern Conference so tight, this is a crucial game for NY after managing a point against the Capitals last night with an OT loss. NY needs this game and Halak has been sterling against the Devils this year. New Jersey has been a historically good opponent for Halak in his career with an 8-4-2 mark with a 2.04 GAA and .927 SV%. In his two previous contests against NJ on the season, Halak is 1-0-1 allowing only three goals against and posting a .927 SV%.
Robin Lehner ($7,100) – Lehner has only started 11 games on the season but with the price that Buffalo paid in the off-season to acquire him, it seems that he will get the bulk of the starts going forward. He has been fantastic his last two outings going 1-0-1 against Colorado and Ottawa and allowing only one goal against in each matchup. While his GAA isn’t great, 2.53, his SV% would be inside the top-10 in the league if he had the appropriate amount of starts to qualify. The Sabres travel to Columbus tonight to square up with the Blue Jackets and, despite the small sample size of only six games, has been much better away from home this year with a 2.29 GAA (2.92 at home) and a .929 SV% compared to a .917 % at home. He is one of the more inexpensive options in net on a limited night, so seriously consider Lehner against a bottom-10 in the league offense.
Others to Consider: Cory Schneider ($8,200), Steve Mason ($7,500), Ryan Miller ($7,100)
Shayne Gostisbehere ($5,600) – While I believe he will contend for the Calder trophy this year it would have been interesting to see if “Ghost” could have won it, had he played a full season up at the NHL level. He is riding an incredible streak at the moment, not just for a rookie or a defenseman, and is now up to 13 consecutive games with at least a point. He has 12 points in his last 10 games (3G, 9A), with 25 SOG and has added seven points on the power-play. Gostisbehere is up to 32 points in 38 games on the season, putting him sixth in scoring among all rookies, and his 18 PPP on the year are tops for rooks. He’s the sixth-most expensive defenseman tonight and is arguably the most valuable fantasy defenseman at the moment and at $5,600 he comes in $2,600 cheaper than the most expensive d-man Brent Burns. Go with Ghost in a favorable matchup against the struggling Canadiens and spend the savings elsewhere.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($5,000) – Vlasic has been almost as hot as Gostisbehere lately and is seemingly overlooked a lot for his contributions to the Sharks, thanks to playing next to Brent Burns. He had an eight-game point streak snapped last night in the Sharks win against the Panthers but still managed to contribute two shots and two blocks. On his streak the San Jose blueliner had eight assists with 13 shots on goal and 20 blocks and is averaging 3.5 FPPG over his last 10 outings. The Sharks are on the second night of a back-to-back and play in Carolina against the Hurricanes on Friday, and earlier this season in their lone matchup with the Canes Vlasic managed an assist and one SOG.
T.J. Brodie ($4,700) – Brodie continued his strong play as of late picking up a pair of helpers on Wednesday night against the Wild in the Flames 5-3 loss, with one coming on the PP and also adding three SOG. After he had a five-game point streak snapped against Anaheim on Monday he got right back to work and is now up to 33 points on the year, good for fourth on the team, and his 29 assists on the season are second on the Flames to Johnny Gaudreau’s 33. Brodie has totaled nine points in seven of his last 10 games, all assists, and has averaged a SOG and BS per game over that span as well.
Others to Consider: Brent Burns ($8,200), Rasumus Ristolainen ($5,700), Dougie Hamilton ($4,900), Seth Jones ($4,900), Nick Leddy ($4,500)
John Tavares ($8,000) – Make that seven in a row for the Islanders Captain after he netted a goal last night in the Isles OT losing effort. Tavares now has points in seven straight games and eight of nine games since coming out of the All-Star break. He has been absolutely on fire with 13 points in those nine games, and his 13 points in February has him near the top of the league in scoring for the month. Tavares has 33 shots on goal in that span and has contributed four PPP while posting a 5.2 FPPG average. He faces the Devils tonight and in his lone matchup vs NJ this season he posted a goal to go along with six shots. Roll the hot-handed Isles Captain in a must-win for NY.
Logan Couture ($6,200) – Couture has been equally as hot for the Sharks as Tavares has been for the Isles and has arguably been San Jose’s best offensive player since his return from injury. Since his full-time return to the San Jose lineup on December 30 Couture has 17 of his 19 points on the season. He has nine points in the month of February, which have all come in his last six games. He scored the Sharks lone regulation goal last night in their 2-1 SO win over the Panthers off assists from Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton. He is seeing prime power-play time with both of them, Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns on the Sharks top power-play unit as well. In this six-game outburst he has manage three goals, six assists and 19 SOG with five PPP to top it off. The Sharks have a favorable matchup against the Hurricanes tonight and Couture should see his fair share of chances to produce.
Wayne Simmonds ($6,600) – Simmonds has settled in nicely this year with Claude Giroux on the Flyers top line, and despite Coach Dave Hakstol’s line shuffling Jakub Voracek to the second line the other night, Simmonds was still productive netting a power-play goal and assist while adding two shots and a block. He’s now up to 10 points in his last 10 games with an impressive six power-play points in that span. He’s sitting third on the team in scoring with 38 points behind Giroux and Voracek but has now broken the 20-goal barrier for the third straight season, and fourth in the last five. He is still on pace to break the 50 point barrier again this season and playing with Giroux at both even-strength and on the top unit of the Flyers potent PP will always give him solid fantasy value regardless of the matchup, and the matchup tonight against the Canadiens is almost too good to pass up.
Kyle Palmieri ($5,200) – Despite their strong play as of late the Devils offense as a whole on the season has been anemic at best and currently ranks last in the league in scoring. Palmieri, who started the season strong, has slowed down massively and only has two points in his last 10 games. Both points have come in the Devils last three and both have been against the Flyers. He has picked up his shooting numbers in those three games with 10 SOG vs the 17 he had in his previous seven outings. In three games against the Islanders on the season he has an assist and five SOG, but in a very important divisional matchup look for Palmieri to be heavily involved in the Devils offense tonight.
Jordan Staal ($4,100) – Not the Staal brother that many were expecting to have an offensive outburst but it’s the one they have gotten and no one is complaining. Jordan Staal has been nothing short of fantastic for the Canes as of late with 12 points in his last 10 games and jumping all the way up to leading the team with 35 points on the season. The center is tied for the team lead in goals with 14, netting three on this current offensive run, and leads the team with 21 assists with nine coming in these last 10 games. He has goals in back-to-back games against the Jets and the Senators last night and is riding a three-game point streak that started with two assists against the Islanders last weekend. He has seen even splits on the year with 18 points at home and 17 on the road but the Canes get a home matchup tonight against the Sharks, who are also on the back-end of back-to-backs, and will potentially have a very favorable matchup against Sharks’ backup Alex Stalock and his 2.94 GAA this season. At $4,100 he is one of the best bargains at the center position right now so don’t think twice about putting him in your lineups.
Others to Consider: Joe Pavelski ($7,700), Johnny Gaudreau ($7,000), Max Pacioretty ($6,900), Claude Giroux ($6,800), Daniel Sedin ($6,300), Evander Kane ($6,300), Jack Eichel ($5,700), Tomas Hertl ($5,000), Frans Nielsen ($5,600), Cam Atkinson ($5,000), Adam Henrique ($4,700), Brendan Gallagher ($6,000), Mikael Backlund ($4,200), Alex Wennberg ($3,900)
Make sure to check out the 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