Let’s take a look at some of top and bargain buys for tonight’s game:
Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,700) – Fleury has won five of his last six outings and despite the small sample size on the season is posting his best numbers in both GAA (2.01) and SV% (.931) by large margins. The Penguins, with a hefty assist from Fleury, are a top defensive team on the season ranking third in the league in goals against average and welcome the Blue Jackets and their bottom-third of the league offense Friday night. On the season the Penguins are 5-2-0 at home with Fleury posting a 4-2-0 mark in those games.
Petr Mrazek ($7,200) – Mrazek and Jimmy Howard ($7,100) keep going back and forth in the net for Detroit but, after his impressive 38-save shutout of the Capitals on Tuesday, Mrazek looks to be in line to get the nod in goal for the Wings on Friday night when they welcome San Jose. The Sharks are struggling as of late with a 3-7-0 record over their last 10 and Mrazek has won his last three starts and has only surrendered four goals total in those games. He has posted great numbers on the season and is actually tied with Howard for ninth with a 2.07 GAA and is fifth in the league in SV% with a .938 mark. He is a great buy for the money thanks to the combination of production and the struggles of San Jose as of late.
Thomas Greiss ($6,900) – With the Islanders and Jaroslav Halak playing last night, Greiss is expected to get the nod in net tonight against the Ducks. Greiss has been fantastic for New York this season, stepping in and providing the Islanders with the level of backup goaltending they lacked last season behind Halak. He got the start on Tuesday to open the Islanders road-trip against the Sharks and held them to two goals and improved his numbers on the season to a very solid 2.39 GAA and .927 SV%. He is tied with Fleury for the second-best DFS FPPG, of the goalies Friday, with a 5.7 score, he should be considered for your lineup and is my value buy of the night in net.
Others to Consider: Jimmy Howard ($7,100), Philipp Grubauer ($6,900), Frederik Andersen ($7,000).
Johnny Boychuk ($5,400) – Coming in $1,500 cheaper than top-scoring FPPG defender Brent Burns, Boychuk is the second highest DFS scoring blueliner available on Friday night but had his three-game scoring streak snapped against the Kings on Thursday. He has found his scoring touch over the last 10 games with five points, and is getting fantastic DK category coverage hitting on both blocked shots with 27 and shots on goal with 22 over that span as well, and will have a great opportunity to pick right back up on Friday in Anaheim.
David Savard ($3,500) – With points in three straight games, and six in his last 10 games, Savard has really come on strong and been a surprising contributor for the Blue Jackets defensive corps. He’s producing at a 3.3 FPPG clip over that 10 game span and has added 17 blocks and 23 shots on goal on top of those six points. With the limited amount of impact options on the blueline Friday night, Savard is a real contender to be a value add for your DFS hockey lineup.
John Carlson ($6,400) – Carlson is the highest scoring defensemen playing on Friday night with 12 points on the season. He has cooled down as of late with three straight point-less games, but he has continued to shoot the puck and is surrounded by offensive talent that is too good for him to not see his production pick up. To be fair, the only defensemen on the Caps in that three game span to have a point is Matt Niskanen with an assist last night against Philly. Carlson is pricey but he is a great option on Friday night against Calgary.
Others to Consider: Brent Burns ($6,900), Mark Giordano ($6,000), Matt Niskanen($4,300), Kris Letang ($5,700), Justin Braun ($3,000), Mike Green ($4,300).
John Tavares ($8,200) – After battling a sickness and being held scoreless for four games, Tavares has scored in back-to-back games and seems to be clicking on the Isles new top-line with Brock Nelson ($4,000) and Kyle Okposo ($5,900). He is a point per game player on the season with 14 points in 14 games played and has the second highest DFS FPPG of centers playing on the night with a 4.3 average. The Islanders have a favorable matchup on Friday with Anaheim who have given up four goals against in each of their last two games and have lost both. Roll Tavares in what could be a high scoring affair.
Sidney Crosby ($7,800) – Crosby is continuing to turn around his anemic start to the season. He was scoreless through his first five games, and has come on strong with nine points in his last 10 games and has put up four points in his last four games. The Penguins welcome the Blue Jackets on Friday, and Crosby in his career has 20 points in 14 career matchups with Columbus. On the season he has seven points at home so he should be strongly considered for your lineup on Friday night.
Pavel Datsyuk ($5,300) – Datsyuk is making his season debut on Friday night in his return from ankle surgery and will immediately slot in on the Red Wings top line, displacing rookie standout Dylan Larkin. He is almost a must start despite the time missed, as he missed 19 games last season due to injury and still managed 65 points in 63 games. He is still capable of producing at a nearly-elite level and will start out playing on the Wings top-line in on right wing which will give him plenty of chances to get back into the flow of the games and free him up to shoot and produce. Take advantage of the low salary and play him before the production picks up and his price jumps higher.
Joel Ward ($4,500) – Ward has continued his strong start on the season and remains one of the best value buys in DFS with his production comparable to his salary cost. With 14 points in 15 games, Ward is on pace for a career season and is finally able to showcase his offensive side that he flashed in Washington last season but was overshadowed by the likes of Ovechkin and Backstrom. The Sharks have been struggling as of late but Ward has been one of the few bright spots. Plug him in your lineup and take advantage of the affordable pricing to spend big elsewhere.
Justin Williams ($4,600) – Williams was one of the more underrated signings of the offseason and has provided the Capitals with something they have lacked in recent years, depth scoring. Having won two Stanley Cups in LA, and one in Carolina, Williams brought consistency and experience to the Caps middle-six and has found good chemistry with linemate Jason Chimera. He has found his scoring touch with 13 points on the season and has seven points in his last seven games, including a multi-point outing against the Flyers last night. Like Ward, Williams is giving DFS players a great value play on the wing to spend big elsewhere so strongly consider him on Friday against Calgary.
Phil Kessel ($7,300) – Kessel has really found his stride with Evgeni Malkin on the Penguins second line and is beginning to put up the numbers that most expected when he was dealt over the summer to Pittsburgh. He has put up 11 points on the season, but his recent streak of five points (2G, 3A) and 16 SOG in his last four games are what DFS players should be really keying on. Kessel is an expensive play, but can be off-set in your lineup with a value play like the ones listed above. And like Crosby, Kessel sports great career numbers against Columbus with 10 points in 11 career matchups.
Others to Consider: Brock Nelson ($4,000), David Perron ($4,300), Corey Perry ($6,800), Kyle Okposo ($5,900), Johnny Gaudreau ($6,200), Joe Pavelski ($7,400), Evgeny Kuznetsov ($5,700), Alex Ovechkin ($9,600), Gustav Nyquist ($5,200), Dylan Larkin ($4,400), Justin Abdelkader ($4,600), Scott Hartnell ($5,400), Boone Jenner ($4,000).
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