Three-game nights are when you need to prioritize foundation stats (shots on goal, blocked shots), injury implications and line combinations while going against the grain whenever possible to construct a unique lineup. When you find a duo or individual and can say “X is cheaper and/or likely lesser-owned than Y,” that gives you a better chance of finishing in the money range of a large contest. There are very few value options at each position with only six teams in action, so every play and stack comes with greater risk than on jam-packed game nights. Let’s dive right into some promising options at each position for Wednesday.
Martin Jones ($7,200) – Jones settled down against the Hurricanes on Saturday (two goals allowed on 34 shots faced) after allowing four goals in back-to-back losses to the Rangers and Kings. Outside of those two defeats, Jones has allowed two or fewer in each of his other five starts this season. He ranks among the top six League-wide in wins (five, 3rd), goals-against average (1.69, 3rd), save percentage (.940, 6th) and shutouts (two, 1st). It’s a great goalie matchup in San Jose with Jones opposing Pekka Rinne, so this is a much safer bet for a low-scoring affair than the Penguins-Capitals game. And, for what it’s worth, the Sharks blanked the Predators twice at SAP Center last season.
Craig Anderson ($6,900) – The Senators will eventually put an end to their home woes (0-2-2 this season), and Wednesday presents a great chance to do so against a Flames team that is tied for the worst goal differential in the League (minus-19). Anderson has not been great since winning his first three starts of the season on the road, but he’s priced fifth out of the six projected starting goalies and faces the most favorable opponent of the night. The “cheap goalie, good matchup” strategy will pay off here more times than not.
Brent Burns ($6,200) – Burns leads all defensemen in SOG this season with 35 in eight games, more than four per game. That’s two foundation DraftKings points per game on average, and add in another block or two (12 this season) per game and you’re already off and running before we even start talking about potential point production (one goal, four assists; 60 points last season). He’s priced accordingly at third-highest among D-men and mans the first power-play unit in San Jose with a chance to correct his low shooting percentage (2.9 percent). Nashville is allowing 30-plus SOG per game and nearly three goals per game on the road this season, so Burns and the Sharks could capitalize.
Dennis Wideman ($4,700) – There aren’t many low-priced ‘D’ options with category coverage on this night, so Wideman has to be in play considering he blocks (13), shoots (15 SOG) produces points (five) and plays on the top power-play unit for Calgary with Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Jiri Hudler and Mark Giordano. Obviously only take him if you don’t roll out Craig Anderson, his opposing goalie, but the Senators have been generous to opposing goal-scorers of late, allowing four-plus goals in each of their past three home games. While I expect the Senators to win, Calgary could easily put up a fight — especially if given opportunities with the man-advantage.
Others to consider: Erik Karlsson ($6,800), Shea Weber ($5,300), Matt Niskanen ($4,300), Ryan Ellis ($3,600), Olli Maatta ($3,500)
Evgeny Kuznetsov ($5,400) – For this price, there’s every reason to take Kuznetsov given his recent surge (nine points during three-game streak) and lineup placement. He’s stationed next to Alex Ovechkin ($9,300) and T.J. Oshie ($5,900), but offsets the cost of Ovi if you want to go that route. That stack will be a high-ownership one on this light night but is one that may need to be rostered in order to contend in larger DraftKings contests if the other two games have little goal-scoring. Only his teammate Nicklas Backstrom (6.0), who will cost you $1,200 more than Kuznetsov, averages more DraftKings points per contest than Kuznetsov (5.1) among centers in action Wednesday.
Mike Ribeiro ($3,900) – If you are not starting Jones in net and are looking to round out your unique lineup with a West-coast play, you should ride the hot hand in Ribeiro for salary cap relief. He’s centering Craig Smith ($4,700) and Colin Wilson ($3,700) on Nashville’s second line, presenting cheap stacking options with high upside given their recent success. You can even roll out the whole line for $12,300. Priced 12th among centers, Ribeiro has at least a point in each of his past four games (one goal, four assists in span). He doesn’t shoot much (six in eight games), but is a high-floor player if you’re looking to pinch pennies around your stars.
Others to consider: Joe Pavelski ($7,000), Kyle Turris ($6,100), Joe Thornton ($5,000), Marcus Johansson ($4,600)
Bobby Ryan ($5,000) – DFS owners should definitely monitor the lines for Ottawa at its morning skate with Mike Hoffman likely sidelined again because of injury. Bobby Ryan saw time alongside the Senators’ most potent duo of Kyle Turris and Mark Stone in Hoffman’s absence, and will have added value and a chance to break free of his inconsistent ways if he stays in that spot. He had eight SOG and one assist Saturday in a heightened role and has only been bumped up $100 since then. Turris and Stone have been quiet in recent games, but this wouldn’t be the first time an offense wakes up against the Flames.
Pascal Dupuis ($4,800) or Sergei Plotnikov ($2,700) – Here are your prime value options. After the Penguins shook up their lines, the result has been Dupuis with Crosby and Patric Hornqvist and Plotnikov with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel. Crosby ($7,700) and Malkin ($7,000) are expensive, but you can get them with their left wings for totals of $12,500 and $9,700 respectively. Dupuis has had past success alongside Crosby, but I see Malkin and Plotnikov as a potential home-run duo for a more-affordable combined price. They showed chemistry in the preseason and could combine for two team goals on any given night. Malkin had a slow start but has reeled off six straight games with at least 3.5 DraftKings points. If he has a big night on the road, chances are Plotnikov will be involved.
Others to consider: James Neal ($6,200), T.J. Oshie ($5,900), Mark Stone ($5,700), Jiri Hudler ($5,100), Colin Wilson ($3,700), Matt Nieto ($3,600)