Four NHL games on the docket for tonight’s kick-off to this week of DraftKings DFS fantasy hockey and there are some top players littered throughout the player pool for your drafting pleasure. Let’s take a look at some of the superstar and bargain buys for today’s slate of games:
Braden Holtby ($8,600) – Holtby has hit a bit of a wall and has seen his numbers regress in the last few weeks. He is still a leading contender for the Vezina trophy but due to his workload over the last year and a half, 119 stats are the most in the league, you may see the Caps start to rest him more in the second half of the year with their lead in the division. He has won all but one of his starts since we came out of the All-Star break but he has allowed at least two goals against or more in every game. His numbers on the year have returned more to his numbers from last year but players should expect positive movement going forward, especially with some added rest. The saving grace for Holtby tonight is that he gets the Coyotes, and their 2.35 GF/G on the road this year, at home and on the season he has been fantastic at Verizon Center with a 19-2-1 record, a 2.03 GAA and a .927 SV%. All those marks are better than his road splits, especially his road GAA which now sits at 2.38.
Pekka Rinne ($7,500) – Rinne seems to have righted the ship after being bench for a few games to get his head straight. Since the benching he has put together two fantastic outings shutting out the Bruins in his first game and then taking a tough OT loss to the Kings allowing only two goals on 30 shots. His numbers were expected to get better and perhaps this is what he needed to get things going back in the right direction. He gets the Canadiens, who are trying their best to save-face on the season, tonight and given their offensive inconsistencies they are a good matchup for Rinne to continue his current return to form. He provides you the ability to save $1,100 over a top option or $900 over our next goalie and spend that money elsewhere in a favorable game.
Brian Elliott ($8,400) – Elliott is making things hard for Ken Hitchcock in the St Louis net for with Jake Allen primed to make his return after being taken off IR yesterday. Elliott did have a shaky outing on Saturday night against the Coyotes, allowing four goals against, but still picked up the win which extended his current winning streak to five games. Overall in his last 10 games he’s 7-2-1 with a 1.69 GAA and a .941 SV% and he is continuing to prove that he is capable of back-stopping this team into contention. Elliott has moved into the lead in both GAA and SV% in the league and should continue that going forward. Healthy competition is good, and having Allen back should keep the fire lit under Elliott to motivate him to keep this strong form going. I expect Elliott to be between the pipes tonight against the Sharks, but should Allen ($7,400) get the nod to give him some reps and to save Elliott for Thursday’s game with the Rangers then roll Allen tonight.
Others to Consider: Tuukka Rask ($8,100), Martin Jones ($7,400), Joonas Korpisalo ($7,100)
Zdeno Chara ($5,400) – Big Z will presumably take on more of an offensive role with Torey Krug banged up and he can still be the offensive cog for the Bruins from the blueline. Chara is having a very good season with 32 points in 57 games and despite losing a step is still effective. He is coming off a very good game over the weekend against the Stars with two assists, both coming on the PP, and three SOG. The strong outing broke a three-game scoreless streak and with Krug unlikely to play for the Bruins tonight against the Blue Jackets players should expect Chara to be featured more prominently in the offense tonight.
Colton Parayko ($4,900) – Remember when Parayko was on fire at the beginning of the year and was the savior of the Blues blueline when Kevin Shattenkirk was injured? Well he quieted down quickly and we haven’t heard much from him until lately. After having only five points from December 10 through the end of January, Parayko has seven points (1G, 6A) in his last six games. He’s currently riding a three-game assist streak and is coming off a multi-assist game against the Coyotes over the weekend where he added five SOG and a BS as well. The Blues are rolling at the moment and Parayko has been brimming with confidence again, so take advantage of his offensive outburst and play him in a good matchup tonight.
Michael Stone ($4,500) – Stone is enjoying a breakout season for the Coyotes and is proving their faith in him as a top-four defenseman after trading away Keith Yandle last year. He has already set career-highs in both assists (22) and points (26) and will easily break the 30-point barrier for the first time in his career. He has 119 SOG in 58 games and is easily on pace to break his previous career high of 144 SOG in a season. He is also averaging almost two blocked shots per game, giving him great foundational coverage for DK categories. He has points in four of his last five and is currently riding a three-game point streak that has produced a goal and three assists. They have a tough game tonight against the Capitals but Stone is an intriguing mid-level option on the blueline tonight.
Others to Consider: Brent Burns($8,300), Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($6,400), P.K. Subban($6,300), Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($5,000), John Carlson ($5,800), Dennis Seidenberg ($3,700), Kevin Connauton ($3,000)
Evgeny Kuznetsov ($6,600) – Kuznetsov is potentially out-playing the expectations that people had projected for him when he was seen before the season as a breakout candidate. The argument can be made that he is the MVP of the team this season and that they would not be where they are without him and the depth scoring he had provided all season. Despite the success of the team this year Barry Trotz recently switched up the lines in his top-six and reunited Kuznetsov with Alex Ovechkin, thus increasing his fantasy value. Over his last 10 games Kuz has 11 points and has found the scoresheet in eight of them. He leads the team in points with 60, six ahead of Nick Backstrom, and is third in the NHL with 43 assists on the season. He’s riding a four-game point streak with two goals and four assists. He is almost a must start at this point in the season and especially with the added value of playing with Ovie against a defense that allows 3.23 GA/G on the road this season, third-worst in the league.
Patrice Bergeron ($7,100) – Bergeron has slowed down slightly since the break but he still has six points in his last nine games and is coming off a multi-point game. He has points in two of his last three and continues to lead the Bruins with 50 points in 57 games. The Bruins face the Blue Jackets tonight at home where Bergeron has 27 points in 29 games and against Columbus this season he has a goal, an assist, two blocks and 17 SOG in two games. He is the second most expensive center on the evening but has a great matchup, so he’s a top player to build around tonight.
Jaden Schwartz ($5,400) – The Blues are happy to have Schwartz back in the lineup and he is on fire since returning. Playing his first game action since mid-October, Schwartz finds himself back with linemates Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera and is looking like his didn’t miss any time. In his first game back against the Panthers he had a goal and an assist and has points in four of his five games since his return. He has goals in three straight games for St. Louis against the Stars, Kings and Coyotes. The Blues face the Sharks tonight at home, and in a limited sample size Schwartz has four points in three games on the year.
Max Domi ($5,000) – The Coyotes are setup well for the future with Domi and Duclair on offense and the two are just beginning to show what’s to come. Domi is staying strong through the growing pains this season and has an impressive 41 points in 58 games. He’s second on the Coyotes in points with 41, just behind OEL for the team lead, and has come on very strong as of late with six points in his last three games. He has two consecutive multi-point games and has two goals in both games. Domi has also added an impressive 11 SOG in those three games and overall in his last 10 outings he has nine points and 27 SOG. Arizona has a tough matchup tonight with the Capitals but Braden Holtby has regressed slightly on the season and I like Domi and his linemates to get to him at least once on the evening.
Others to Consider: Alex Ovechkin ($9,100), Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,200), Max Pacioretty ($7,000), Brad Marchand ($6,900), Nicklas Backstrom ($6,700), David Krejci ($6,100), Brendan Gallagher ($6,000), James Neal ($5,900), T.J. Oshie ($5,800), Boone Jenner ($5,000), Anthony Duclair ($4,100), Troy Brouwer ($3,500)
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