Gear up for a seven-game night in the NHL, with only one team on the second of a back-to-back set (Maple Leafs). Wednesday featured more examples of parity with Toronto blanking Anaheim on the road and Colorado rallying past steady goalie Jake Allen and the Blues, so be on the lookout for against-the-grain ideas, injury implications and fantasy-relevant line changes (especially the ones in Dallas). Here are your targets for Thursday:
Jonathan Quick ($8,200) – The Kings are coming off a road loss to the Avalanche with backup Jhonas Enroth in net, so expect Quick to lay down the law at home against Toronto, who will be on short rest after beating the Ducks on Wednesday. Quick has been masterful over his past 10 games with an 8-2-0 record, a .934 save percentage and two shutouts (6.7 DraftKings points per contest). As impressive as the Leafs were Wednesday in their 4-0 rout of Anaheim, they are still inconsistent and allowing the fourth-most DraftKings points per contest to opposing goalies this season.
Louis Domingue ($6,300) – Domingue is flying under the radar for the Coyotes, who are quietly in second place in the Pacific Division entering Thursday when they get Martin Hanzal back in the lineup. With Mike Smith sidelined, Domingue has faced an average of 35 shots per game over his first six starts, but has posted a 4-0-2 those games. He’s penciled in to face the Flames, who still have a minus-18 goal differential on the season, so kick back and enjoy the $2,000 or more of savings that comes with drafting Domingue over top-priced goalies Braden Holtby ($8,400) or Roberto Luongo ($8,300). Even if he gives up 2-3 goals, he’ll face a ton of shots and have a chance at the win bonus, which would be more than worth his price of admission.
Others to consider: Devan Dubnyk ($7,800), Kari Lehtonen ($7,200), Martin Jones ($6,900)
Matt Niskanen ($4,500) – Niskanen, many forget, had a 46-point season in his contract year with the Penguins in 2013-14. He’s usually behind John Carlson on the food chain in Washington among scoring defensemen, but with Carlson banged up and possibly out again for the Caps, look for Niskanen to keep taking advantage of his expanded role. He has assists in four straight games and is covering blocks (six) and shots on goal (11) in that span as well. He faces the Islanders, who average more than three goals per game at Barclays Center this season but are also allowing nearly 2.5 per game on home ice.
Nick Leddy ($4,000) – In the same game and a similar situation, Leddy’s recent uptick in fantasy value has been significant with Johnny Boychuk out of the lineup because of injury. Leddy, a smooth skater priced $500 cheaper than Niskanen, is riding a five-game point streak with 3.5 or more DraftKings points in four of those games. He’s playing on the top power-play unit again for the Islanders with John Tavares ($7,800), Frans Nielsen ($5,400), Kyle Okposo ($5,700) and Anders Lee ($4,700), presenting some nice middle-range stacking options that could set you apart from the pack in larger DFS contests.
Others to consider: John Klingberg ($6,100), T.J. Brodie ($4,800), Jake Muzzin ($4,600), Michael Stone ($4,000), Dmitry Kulikov ($3,400)
Joe Pavelski ($7,600) – The Sharks have been a great road team and an underachieving home team in 2015-16, but Pavelski has been a leader by example in his first season as captain with consistent performance regardless of what barn San Jose is playing in. He has 13 points and 25 SOG in his past 10 games, is better than a point per game on the season (38 points in 37 games), and averages 4.0 DraftKings points per contest through 16 games at SAP Center. His linemate at even strength and on the power play, Joe Thornton ($5,000), has an eight-game point streak and is still affordable enough to offset Pavelski’s steep price, so roll them out at home against the inconsistent Red Wings as that duo has a chance to combine for a few goals.
Jason Spezza ($6,100) – With the Stars in the midst of their first losing streak of the season (three games), coach Lindy Ruff broke up his top duo of Jamie Benn ($8,400) and Tyler Seguin ($8,500) at practice Wednesday ahead of a bounce-back opportunity on home ice against the Jets. Winnipeg allows the most road goals of any team in the League this season, while Dallas scores a League-best 3.75 home goals per game. Take advantage of Spezza, the lowest-priced forward on the Stars’ top power-play unit, who is expected to play with Benn and Valeri Nichushkin ($3,700). Spezza has points in five straight games, three of which have been multipoint outings.
Others to consider: Evgeny Kuznetsov ($5,900), Nazem Kadri ($5,400), Nick Bjugstad ($4,500), Mikael Granlund ($4,300), Martin Hanzal ($4,100), Charlie Coyle ($3,600)
Mike Hoffman ($5,900) – This is an against-the-grain spot for Hoffman and the Senators, who host the Panthers, who are in the midst of a franchise-best 10-game win streak. Roberto Luongo has been outstanding on the road this season (.933 save percentage), but doesn’t always get the goal support he needs to take home the win. Hoffman, who’s under the radar on Ottawa’s second line with Mika Zibanejad ($4,300), has been significantly more productive this season on home ice (5.2 DraftKings points per game) than on the road (3.3). He has 20 points and 57 SOG in 16 home games and is somehow still priced under $6,000 despite a expanded power-play role (eight power-play points) compared to his rookie season of mostly even-strength activity.
Kyle Okposo ($5,700) – Okposo has been off the top line in New York for a few weeks now, but has still made a living alongside Frans Nielsen at even strength and with Tavares and Co. on the power play. He has two goals and three assists during his current three-game point streak and had 10 SOG at the Penguins on Jan. 2. He’s in a contract year and is being relied upon to prove his worth as a secondary scorer. With a matchup against the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals, the stakes will be even higher for Okposo.
Others to consider: Patrick Sharp ($6,900), Wayne Simmonds ($5,300), Anders Lee ($4,700), Shane Doan ($4,100), PA Parenteau ($3,700), Andre Burakovsky ($2,800)