With the 10-game slate, there are several games to look at. The Toronto Maple Leafs face the Nashville Predators in what is expected to be one of the highest event games of the night. These are two teams that can shoot the puck a lot. Carolina and Arizona is another game where scoring should be elevated. Do not sleep on the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay.
Philadelphia may appear to be chalky on the surface. Washington has the stronger top-10 power play. Nashville and Toronto could also experience some moderate to high ownership as (besides Boston and Florida), they both have won five games or more in a row. Arizona and Carolina have an expected goals of just over six. Watch out for teams on the back end of a back to back. Risk may be worth the reward but could dud. All prices are from DraftKings.
Top Budget Plays
Nick Schmaltz $3600 – The center is a decent play at the least. However, playing against Vancouver and some bad road numbers might boost his ownership a fraction. It is tough to roster a player who struggles at times. However, this has value as Schmaltz gets enough top-six time to make this worthwhile. Vancouver does not have much of an identity out there and though Chicago is playing out the string, Schmaltz has much to play for. A couple points gives him 50 on the season. Look to some depth like Ryan Strome and maybe even Alex Kerfoot.
Pontus Aberg $3000 – This is one of the intriguing tournament plays of the night. No one is saying this will work perfectly but Aberg is in Edmonton’s top six. Too many games where he is just does not get quality shots on net. When one sees a lot of 0’s, 1’s, and 2’s, that is ominous. However, the last three games, the forward has four points in his last couple contests. Hopefully, the speed he has shown in flashes lately is seen again. Keep an eye on Tyler Bertuzzi as he has seen an expanded role with Detroit and keeps hitting value.
Yohann Auvitu $2900 –There may be better plays like Patrik Nemeth or Nikita Zadorov even, but Auvitu could be a nice punt play for a low price. His floor is kind of low (shots and blocked shots combined). Risk always exists with value plays, but Auvitu had a couple points and may merit a little more ice time with Oscar Klefbom shut down for the season. Ottawa has been far from stingy at home. They even have been allowing more shots at home per 60 over the previous month. This may be a chance to sneak a value play in. With the 10-game slate, there is a little more value. Looking towards Detroit and even Carolina may pay dividends.
JF Berube/Anton Forsberg $7100 – This is a cheap GPP/cash play, but this is a Vancouver team that allows lots of shots on net (more than 34 per 60 overall) and yet Chicago does too. The goalies for Chicago have not played well. Let’s be honest. However, Vancouver has managed just four goals in the last five games and even when they scored, the Canucks yield almost 3.5 goals per game in 2018 on the road. There are other value options like Jonathan Quick and perhaps Darcy Kuemper.
Since we saved some money on the budget plays let’s look at the few of the pricey options that are worth paying up for today.
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Connor McDavid $7800 – People will run to this as it will be a chalky play that still has to be used in quite a few lineups. The center has a solid matchup against an Ottawa team struggling with team defense (18 goals allowed over last five games). McDavid has a high shot output floor. He will draw bottom-six match-ups and a shaky penalty kill of late. Edmonton and Ottawa could be quite high scoring. Edmonton and even Ottawa will have a number of plays.
Mikko Rantanen $7000 – Los Angeles can be a tough matchup, but Rantanen is on fire as much as Nathan MacKinnon. While the two may be too expensive for a mini stack, there is a way to string Rantanen with maybe a Tyson Barrie to provide a way to gain that top line exposure. The Kings will have some contrarian value on a night like this, however. Do keep that in mind.
Brent Burns $7100 – Again this will be high risk in cash or even GPPs, but Burns is going up against a Vegas team which is riddled with injuries. Burns has had some awful luck this year (ten goals on 290 shots). His booming shot has not found the back of the net since the middle of February. Burns has had no shots in his last three games which just seems to indicate a correction is coming. He is a bit due there. Roman Josi and Aaron Ekblad are other good plays along with Oliver Ekman-Larson if one is not comfortable with Burns. Plenty of defensive options exist for pretty good prices among the first and second tiers of defense.
Semyon Varlamov $8100 – There may be better choices, but this has potential to work well. The Los Angeles Kings pile on shots like few teams can. Varlamov is a rhythm goalie who thrives on seeing a large volume of shots and chances. Colorado does play loose at home and the expectation is the Colorado goalie could see 30-35 shots at least. He has four quality starts in his last five contests. This could double as a bit of a tournament play on Thursday as there are higher profile goalies like Pekka Rinne and Sergei Bobrovsky on the slate.
The Saturday slate features ten games on what will be the main slate. It will also feature a hot match-up between the New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning. This will feature an expected goals of over six. A main slate will include an intriguing match-up between Minnesota and Arizona. Boston and Tampa Bay will be a bit tough to fade but it is possible.
Chicago and the New York Islanders has probably one of the best top-six match-ups, so they may go crazy. It is something to look at, however. Washington will be a very attractive play and Minnesota could be enticing in late slates and as a turbo hammer. Watch out for line shifts and some injuries. If one plays the early slate, risk could be high but fun with Edmonton and Florida leading the way. St. Louis and Columbus could be volatile but watch out for the status of Vladimir Tarasenko, who is battling a shoulder ailment.
Chris Wassel has been playing DFS for the past several years and has played Fantasy Hockey for three decades. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. Finally, please note that Thursday’s slate has several options. Thanks for reading and enjoy the slate daily fantasy hockey fans!
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