I hope everyone took advantage of the three-day NHL break and got to spend some quality time with friends and family over the holidays. But let’s be honest, by now you’re probably ready to sneak away and watch some hockey. Luckily, we’ve got nine games on tap for Saturday coming off an 11-game slate from Friday. For cash or tournament lineup strategy, be sure to go back and check out some of my previous articles. I had my best Saturday of the season last week, so let’s get right into this week in hopes of duplicating that success. All players and prices are from DraftKings’s 7 p.m. EST main slate but can be applied to FanDuel as well.
C – Auston Matthews ($7,500)
Matthews was one of the top targets on last week’s slate and he retains that status for tonight. He continues to thrive on home ice where he has scored 18 of his 24 goals. As a whole, Matthews has reached double-digit DraftKings points in 10 of his past 11 games. In Friday’s morning skate Matthews was joined on the top line with Zach Hyman and Mitch Marner. The latter is particularly intriguing, as Marner represents an upgrade as a linemate for Matthews as he has been on a tear with nine points in his last three games. The Maple Leafs opponent, the New York Rangers, have allowed the second most shot attempts per game. All of this signals plenty of opportunity for the Leafs tonight and it can be expected Matthews will be heavily involved as he almost always is.
Stacking Options: Mitch Marner ($6,400)
C – Erik Haula ($4,100)
Paying up for both centers is likely the preferred cash build on this slate, but if looking for some salary relief, Haula can provide it. Haula just recently returned from injury, but he picked up where he left off by scoring two goals and adding an assist in Monday’s game vs Toronto. In the two games before the break Haula averaged four shot attempts and 20.0 DraftKings points. Haula was seeing power play time prior to the injury and if that returns, he becomes an even better value.
W – Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,300)
Coming out of the break it appears Florida is set to reunite the top line of Huberdeau, Barkov, and Dadonov after a few games of running the lines through a blender. This line has proved to be one of the league’s best as they have scored 23 goals together on the season. Huberdeau has led the way with 14 goals and 34 assists. In the past four games Huberdeau has been particularly hot with 11 points while averaging 22.7 DraftKings points. A home matchup against the Detroit Red Wings and their league-worst 3.92 goals allowed per game puts Huberdeau and all of the Florida Panthers at the top of the list for cash and tournament consideration on this slate.
W – Brock Boeser ($6,200)
The Vancouver Canucks have one of the highest team totals on tonight’s slate, so targeting them makes sense here. The matchup with the Kings stands out especially on the power play. At 73.3% the Kings penalty kill is the second worst in the league. Meanwhile, Vancouver’s power play is a top five unit. Boeser leads the team with 43 shots on the man advantage and has compiled five goals and nine assists. At even strength, Boeser typically finds himself skating with Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller a trio that has combined for 44 goals. With scoring expected, getting a piece of this line is a priority.
D – Cale Makar ($4,500)
Makar made his long-awaited return to the Avalanche lineup on Friday after an eight-game absence. The rookie defensemen had been having a spectacular season before going down with an injury with eight goals and 20 assists. His 11.3 DraftKings points per game is higher than that of Brent Burns, Morgan Rielly, and Erik Karlsson. Makar’s price tag was as high as $6,800 at the end of November and was still $5,800 when he played his most recent game. Tonight at just $4,500, Makar is simply too cheap to ignore given the talent on the ice at all times for the Avalanche.
D – Mike Matheson ($3,000)
The spot for the Florida Panthers was touched on previously but in addition to the matchup, Mike Matheson expects to see a bump in opportunity tonight against the Red Wings. Defenseman Aaron Ekblad who leads the team with more than 23 minutes of ice time a night, is expected to miss the game. To fill this void, Matheson should see more minutes and has slid up to the team’s second power-play unit. At just $3,000 Matheson represents one of the best values on the slate and provides exposure to the Panthers and that great matchup.
Goalies (Be sure to confirm goalies at Goalie Post before rostering)
Frederik Andersen ($8,300)
Jacob Markstrom ($8,100)
Tristan Jarry ($8,000)
The Five Hole
Five players to build cash lineups around:
Five tournaments stacks to consider not previously mentioned:
(Editor’s note: Mikheyev left Friday’s game because of injury)
Feel free to reach out to me via Twitter for any NHL DFS questions. Follow me @SteveDotzel and I will do my best to tweet any major updates to players in the article throughout the day and before lock.