The player pool is deep with 10 games in the NHL and the Minnesota Wild as the only team playing a second game in as many nights. The high-scoring Dallas Stars, who lead the League in goals for with 154 in 47 games, have a favorable matchup at home against the Edmonton Oilers (29th in the NHL with 141 goals against in 48 games). There are also a good amount of even games on the schedule (Hurricanes at Maple Leafs, Flyers at Penguins, Wild at Kings) which should allow daily fantasy lineups to be stacked with many lower-priced options that can be paired with one or two of the eight players priced over $8,000. Here are some recommendations to help you grab the cash in your contest(s).
Antti Niemi ($7,100) – Stars coach Lindy Ruff has alternated starts between Niemi and Kari Lehtonen ($7,200) since Jan. 2 so with Lehtonen losing 3-2 at the Kings in Dallas’ last game Tuesday, it would be Niemi’s turn in the rotation when the team hosts the Oilers. Either goaltender is a fine choice given the great goal support (Stars are second in the NHL with a 3.28 goals-for average) as well as Dallas being tied for third in the League with 29 wins through 47 games.
Cory Schneider ($8,100) –The Devils starting goalie is among the League leaders with a 2.03 goals-against average, 20 wins and .929 save percentage through 39 starts. It’s worth the high price on Schneider since he’s been very strong against the Senators, the Devils opponent at home Thursday. Schneider is 5-1-1 with a 1.39 GAA and 196 saves on 206 shots in seven career starts against Ottawa.
Others to Consider: Pekka Rinne ($7,300), Sergei Bobrovsky ($6,900), or Steve Mason ($7,200)
Mark Giordano ($6,500) – There are three other defensemen more expensive than Giordano, but he should provide a great bang for your buck. Giordano leads all Flames defensemen with 108 SOG through 44 games and had an assist, three blocked shots and four SOG in his last game against the Blue Jackets, the Flames opponent Thursday. Calgary’s top blue liner also has 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in the past 13 games.
Dustin Byfuglien ($6,300) – The offensive-minded Byfuglien is second in the NHL with 145 SOG through 46 games this season. He will look for a similar result Thursday as he got the last time the Jets played the Nahsville Predators on Jan. 14; Byfuglien had two goals and five SOG in a 5-4 win.
Others to Consider: Shea Weber ($6,300), John Klingberg ($6,000), Shayne Gostisbehere ($4,900), Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($4,800), Seth Jones ($4,400)
Marian Hossa ($5,700) – You can always do well with Hossa’s teammate Patrick Kane ($9,100) who leads the League with 30 goals, 41 assists and 71 points through 49 games but there wouldn’t be much left in your budget to build a strong supporting team. Instead, go the bargain route with Hossa with the assumption he continues to build on his incredible numbers against the Lightning. The veteran wing has 59 points (25 goals, 34 assists) and 173 SOG in 57 career games against Tampa Bay.
Tyler Toffoli ($6,000) – The Kings top-line forward leads the team with 22 goals and is tied for second with 118 SOG through 45 games. He should provide a good return on investment against the Wild with six points (three goals, three assists) and 14 SOG in seven career games against Minnesota.
Others to Consider: Zach Parise ($7,700), Artemi Panarin ($6,100), Filip Forsberg ($5,900), Michael Cammalleri ($5,200), Max Domi ($4,800)