Daily Fantasy Saturday: Fly High With Provorov, Grant
We have one of the smallest Saturday slates of the season on tap for tonight with only six games on the 7 p.m. EST main slate. The Rangers, and specifically Mika Zibanejad coming off a five-goal outburst Thursday, figure to carry the most ownership with a home matchup against the Devils. If you can stomach a fade, there will be opportunities elsewhere for lower ownership and if the Rangers do struggle, you will likely be ahead of the field.
In a sport like hockey where a few single events have so much of an impact on fantasy scores (goals), there is always an argument for fading a player in a tournament if they are going to be heavily owned. Many times, even the best players in the best matchups fail to produce a goal and if 30% or more of lineups roster that player and he flops, well that puts about a third of all lineups behind you if you can find a better alternative.
A strategy I often employ in situations like this for tournaments is using a Rangers stack in a small, higher priced buy-in tournament, and then fully fading them in the larger, lower priced buy-in tournaments with the top-heavy prize pools. If the Rangers and their high ownership don't come through, I have put myself in a good position with multiple lineups in the lower buy-in and if they hit for a big score, I still have a chance in the higher buy-in.
All player prices are from DraftKings but can be applied to FanDuel as well.
C – Mika Zibanejad ($8,400)
There is a reason Zibanejad is set to be the highest owned player on the slate. In the three full games since Chris Kreider went down with an injury, Zibanejad has 17 shots, eight goals (!!), an assist, and has averaged 39.1 DraftKings points. That is not a typo. On Thursday he scored five goals and accumulated 64.8 DraftKings points in one game.
While these video game type numbers surely can't last forever, which is why a fade while others are chasing another 60-point night makes sense, if playing cash or a single tournament lineup don't overthink it and just lock Zibanejad in. The Devils have been stingier on defense of late, but their numbers on the season are still in the bottom third in goals, shots, and scoring chances allowed.
C – Derek Grant ($3,400)
A value option at center is Grant of Philadelphia. The Flyers are unconscious right now, having won eight games in a row all while scoring at least four goals. This run has put them in a tie atop the Metropolitan Division with Washington. In the first two games for Grant in coming over from Anaheim, he provided little from a fantasy perspective. However, in the last three games Grant has racked up five points on a goal and four assists and has averaged 14 DraftKings points.
Grant is also getting power-play time, with 5:25 worth the last two games after not seeing any time on the man advantage in his first three games with the Flyers. The matchup with Buffalo is a good one, as the Sabres come in on a five-game losing streak where they've allowed 19 goals. At just $3,400 it doesn't take much for Grant to pay off and with how well the entire Flyers offense has been playing, the upside exists for well over double-digit fantasy points.
W – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6,800)
Playing alongside the Hart Trophy front-runner Leon Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins is on pace for a new career high in points and has been an extremely consistent option. Over Edmonton's past 23 games Nugent-Hopkins has 12 goals, 21 assists and has recorded at least one points in 19 of those games. In fantasy during that stretch he has reached double digit DraftKings points all but four times en route to an average of 16.4 points per game.
Columbus has been a matchup to avoid for the most part across much of the year, but they have been giving up goals at a high rate as of late, with 3.9 on average over the last 11 including four or more seven times. If the casual player hasn't picked up on Columbus's recent struggles, Nugent-Hopkins and the rest of the Oilers could come in lower owned than normal.
W – Brendan Gallagher ($6,600)
We will have to keep an eye on this one leading up to puck drop as Gallagher missed Thursday's game with the flu. If he is able to suit up though he finds himself in a great matchup against the Florida Panthers. Only Detroit and Ottawa have allowed more goals than Florida on the season and since February 1 the Panthers rank dead last. In addition, they're allowing 30.9 shots per game which is bottom five in the league.
This sets up well for Gallagher who has taken the sixth-most shots per game among all forwards. In the two games prior to the one he missed Thursday, Gallagher accounted for two goals, two assists, and nine shots. As well with linemate Tomas Tatar out with an injury, it is possible Gallagher could find himself taking even more chances to put the puck on net. If he were to sit out again, then Artturi Lehkonen ($2,800) opens up as a strong value play as he found himself on the top line Thursday in Gallagher's absence.
W – Evander Kane ($6,400)
The Sharks set up as a strong tournament play as their mix of price, talent, and matchup are a great combination. Individually Kane leads the way with three goals and three assists in his last four games while cracking double-digit fantasy points in each and averaging 18.3 DraftKings points. He has been a streaky player this season from a fantasy perspective, so when he's hot you want to take advantage.
This hot streak coincides with the return of center Logan Couture from injury, which is no surprise considering the caliber of player Couture is. Stacking these two together makes for one of my favorite plays on the slate with Ottawa and their porous defense in town. If looking for additional pieces I would bypass Noah Gregor and instead look to Timo Meier who isn't on the same line as Kane and Couture, but he does join them on the top power play unit and has 14 shots in just the last two games.
D – Ivan Provorov ($5,800)
As previously mentioned, the Flyers offense is clicking right now and Provorov has had a role in that success. Over the past nine games Provorov has three goals and five assists while adding 16 shots and 15 blocks. Altogether he has averaged 10.8 DraftKings points per game during the stretch. With a role on the top power play, Provorov has the potential for a multi-point effort on any night and if the Flyers continue their streak of scoring 4+ goals he should be able to crack double digit points yet again.
Goalies (Be sure to confirm goalies at Goalie Post before rostering)
Carter Hart $8,400
Igor Shesterkin (Reports are he could return) $8,300
Mackenzie Blackwood (If fading NYR players might as well go all-in) $7,100
The Five Hole
Five players to build cash lineups around:
Pending Gallagher's status:
Five tournaments stacks to consider not previously mentioned:
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.
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