There are just three games in the NHL on Wednesday with the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks as the only elite teams playing. Owners will need to be very selective when it comes to their lineups tonight as production from popular scorers will likely get cancelled out due to high ownership. It’s a good strategy to mix in a few deeper options from the Capitals, Ducks and playoff-eligible Philadelphia Flyers with some high-return players from the non-playoff teams as diversity can go a long way on a light game night. Here are some players to target.
Frederik Andersen or John Gibson – ANA vs. CGY – $8,000 or $7,900 – It should not be assumed that Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau will return with Gibson following a 2-1 win at the Edmonton Oilers on Monday as teammate Frederik Andersen usually alternates starts, but either goaltender is a fine choice at home against the Calgary Flames. Gibson is 4-1-0 with a shutout and a 2.49 goals-against average in five career games against Calgary and has an 11-6-2 record with a 1.85 GAA in 19 home games this season. Andersen has been even better against Calgary in his career as well as at home this season with records of 4-0-1 and 11-1-3, respectively. With the Ducks well within striking distance of first place in the Pacific Division, owners are likely to reap big benefits from the favorable matchup against the Flames.
Andrew Hammond – OTT vs. WPG – $7,700 – For owners that play in multiple contests, taking the likely lesser-owned Hammond in a few lineups could pay off. A combination of a lower price, a slim shot at a playoff berth and a comparable opponent tonight make Hammond a viable choice at the Winnipeg Jets. Although Hammond has struggled as the backup for the Ottawa Senators this season, he will face a Jets team that is 2-3-2 in their past seven games. It is the ultimate toss-up tonight but getting a surprise solid effort from Hammond could go a long way in getting your team in the money.
Others to Consider: Steve Mason ($7,800)
Dustin Byfuglien – WPG vs. OTT – $6,500 – Since the Jets-Senators game can go either way, owners may get a better bang for their buck from Byfuglien as opposed to the more expensive Senators defender Erik Karlsson ($8,300). While it’s always possible that Karlsson has a huge night, saving the money with Big Buff can help in a big way. Byfuglien has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists), 15 blocked shots and 74 shots on goal in 17 career games against Ottawa.
“The rookie defenseman [Gostisbehere] will try to extend his point streak to four with three assists and nine SOG in the past three games”
Shayne Gostisbehere – PHI vs. WSH – $6,400 – Facing the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Capitals is definitely not a positive attribute for Gostisbehere, but the Flyers will be playing with great desperation in the national rivalry night game tonight as they try to remain in a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. The rookie defenseman will try to extend his point streak to four with three assists and nine SOG in the past three games. Selecting Gostisbehere at home brings the chance of a great return on investment as the young defender has 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 27 home games this season.
Others to Consider: Sami Vatanen ($5,100), Brooks Orpik ($4,300), Jacob Trouba ($4,300), Cody Ceci ($3,900)
Nicklas Backstrom, C – WSH vs. PHI – $6,300 – No one should expect the Capitals to mail it in now that they locked down what will be the most points in the NHL this season with a 4-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. If Capitals linemate and the NHL goals leader Alex Ovechkin ($8,500) is the Cadillac of the team, then Backstrom is that V8 engine keeping him going. Backstrom has lit up the Flyers in his career with 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists) in 33 games and is coming off a two-point effort in the win Monday. The situation is right for the rivalry game to be high-scoring and owners can rack up tremendous fantasy points with Backstrom tonight.
Wayne Simmonds, RW – PHI vs. WSH – $6,800 – Sticking with the prediction that the Flyers-Capitals game will offer its share of offense, going with Simmonds as your top forward is a safe selection. Simmonds is averaging 3.83 DraftKings points in the past three games and has the potential to explode on any night playing with superstar center Claude Giroux ($7,300) on the Flyers top line at regular strength and the power play. Going with Simmonds at home brings the added potential for a goal with 16 of his 26 scores coming in 37 games at Wells Fargo Center.
Others to Consider: Ryan Getzlaf ($6,700), Corey Perry ($6,500), Sean Monahan ($6,100), Mike Hoffman ($5,800), Sean Couturier ($4,300)