The NHL features just four games Wednesday with each team coming off at least one day of rest. Owners need to be very selective with their player choices and could benefit from a few key value picks stepping up. Two of the hottest teams in the League have favorable matchups tonight with the NHL-best Washington Capitals seeking a fifth straight win when they host the Montreal Canadiens and the Anaheim Ducks trying to extend their five-game winning streak when the Buffalo Sabres visit Honda Center to wrap up the light game night. Here are some players to target.
Frederik Andersen ($7,400) or John Gibson ($7,400) – Owners will have to keep their eye on the morning skate reports before submitting their respective lineups, but either of the Ducks goaltenders should bring good value against the Sabres. While Gibson has taken the reigns as the starter for Anaheim and earned a spot on the All-Star team this season, Andersen is in the midst of a three-game winning streak and has been near perfect in his career against Buffalo. Andersen is 3-0-0 with a 1.34 and .936 save percentage in three starts against the Sabres. The Danish goalie has also been nearly as good at home this season with a 7-1-3 record, 2.14 GAA and .924 save percentage in 11 starts at Honda Center.
Martin Jones ($7,500) – The San Jose Sharks goalie has the potential to provide the most bang for the buck Wednesday at the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs will go with backup goalie Calvin Pickard ($6,700) again as starter Semyon Varlamov remains out due to the flu. Avalanche coach Patrick Roy, who was a goalie for 18 NHL seasons and is second in the League with 551 career wins as a goalie with Montreal and Colorado, was in full gear as the team’s backup during practice Tuesday. The situation is right for Jones to have a breakout game in Denver; the veteran is 19-6-2 with three shutouts in 27 road starts this season and has a 4-1-0 record in five career starts against Colorado.
Others to Consider: Braden Holtby ($8,700), Tuukka Rask ($8,000)
John Carlson ($5,800) – The obvious choices for defenders Wednesday would either be the Sharks’ Brent Burns ($8,200) or Kris Letang ($6,900) of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but owners could save a ton of money and get similar production by going with Carlson. The veteran defenseman plays at the point on the Capitals’ NHL-leading power play with offensive superstar Alex Ovechkin on the other end of the blue line so there is always a good chance Carlson will rack up the fantasy points. Given the shallow player pool, owners should take a shot on Carlson at home against the struggling Canadiens.
Cam Fowler ($4,100) – Pricing for defenders is not always the best way to gauge a particular player’s value. As an example, Fowler can provide a great return on investment since he logs top-pair minutes for the Ducks at regular strength and on the power play. It’s important for owners to dig deep with the light schedule and Fowler has been good enough recently to warrant a selection against the Sabres. Fowler has six assists in the past five games and five points (one goal, four assists), 14 blocked shots and 16 SOG in eight career games against Buffalo.
Others to Consider: Tyson Barrie ($5,600), Andrei Markov ($4,400), Justin Braun ($3,800)
Phil Kessel ($6,800) – For owners looking to fill out their rosters with players below the $8,000 threshold, Kessel is a fine play. The veteran forward leads the Penguins with 190 SOG through 58 games this season and has been heating up with four goals in the past five games. While playing the Boston Bruins on the road is a toss-up, owners should have confidence in Kessel since he is averaging 4.5 fantasy points in the past six games.
Ryan Getzlaf ($6,000) – Although it’s likely for the ownership percentage to be high on Getzlaf, it’s tough to pass up on a player boasting 13 points (four goals, nine assists) over an eight-game point streak. Taking Getzlaf against the Sabres is close to a sure thing as the center has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) and 30 SOG in 12 career games against Buffalo. The 11-year NHL veteran has also done well with two days of rest this season with 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) and 17 SOG in 10 games.
Others to Consider: Patrice Bergeron ($7,000), Corey Perry ($6,300), Joe Thornton ($5,500), Brian Gionta ($3,600)