With the eight-game slate, there are several games to look at. The Florida Panthers face the New Jersey Devils 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. Nashville and Edmonton is another game where scoring should be elevated. Do not sleep on Carolina and Philadelphia.
Both teams are poor on the penalty kill and the top lines are rather attractive plays. Philadelphia has the stronger top ten power play. Nashville and Minnesota could also experience some moderate to high ownership as (besides Philadelphia), they both have won five games or more in a row. Florida and New Jersey have an expected goals of just over six. Edmonton and Nashville may reach that level as well. Tampa Bay and Dallas may be moderate pace but could have high volatility. Risk may be worth the reward but could dud. All prices are from DraftKings.
Top Budget Plays
Christian Dvorak $3200 – The center is a decent play at the least. However, playing against Minnesota 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 Dvorak has nine shots on net in his last two contests. Watch line shifts. Dvorak must shoot the puck more to have somewhat of a floor. Maybe the Wild are due for a clunker. Tommy Wingels merits a little consideration from the realm of punts.
Radim Vrbata $3200 – This is one of the intriguing tournament plays of the night. No one is saying this will work perfectly but Vrbata is in Florida’s top six. Too many games where he just does not get quality shots on net. When one sees a lot of 0’s, 1’s, and 2’s, that is ominous. Hopefully, the speed he has shown in flashes lately is seen again. He had an assist against Toronto and looked more like his old self. Keep an eye on Anton Slepyshev and see if he stays with Connor McDavid.
Justin Braun $3600 –There may be better plays like Noah Hanifin or Andrej Sekera, but Braun could be a nice punt play for a low price. His floor is high (shots and blocked shots combined). Risk always exists with value plays, but Braun has points in his last four contests. Nashville has been less stingy at home and can give up a few goals. 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. Marc-Edouard Vlasic is equally dangerous for a little more money and even Joakim Ryan even may have some value.
Antti Raanta $7100 – This is a cheap GPP play but this is an Arizona team that allows lots of shots on net (more than 34 per 60 overall). The goalie has played well for the most part this year and faces a Minnesota team that looks worse on the road allowing over 3.5 goals per night. His .923 save percentage on the Coyotes is average adjusted to around a .930 anywhere else. The Minnesota Wild do produce less pace on the road than at home. Raanta’s .938 save percentage and impressive over .900 penalty kill save percentage have buoyed Arizona. The price is still attractive currently. If DraftKings will keep his price stagnant, keep playing him. Ben Bishop is a pretty solid choice among cheaper goalies on Thursday night against an unrested Tampa team.
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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Vincent Trocheck $6500 – 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 a New Jersey team struggling with team defense. Trocheck has a high shot output floor. He will draw bottom six match-ups and a shaky penalty kill of late. Florida produces high event hockey and will allow it as well. New Jersey and Florida will have a number of plays. Jamie Benn is a low risk play from the upper echelon of prices at $6300.
Taylor Hall $7700 – Florida yields nearly 3.21 goals per game at home and has had some real stinkers in the past against New Jersey. Hall will be high owned along with the rest of the top line. His 22-game point streak has brought him up to 27 goals and 68 points on the season in just 58 contests. Shot output during the streak has exceeded four shots a night. His floor is solid, and Hall has been involved in over a third of New Jersey’s scoring. The only concern is the power play for New Jersey. Nashville is a team to look at for wingers and yes, Philadelphia. The Flyers will be high owned but hard to fade.
Shayne Gostisbehere $6200 – Again this will be a bit of a risk in cash or even GPP’s but Gostisbehere is going up against a poor penalty kill and a Carolina team that can get cratered later in games (see the last five games). Gostisbehere has five points in his last four games. His booming shot has not found the back of the net since the first of the month. He is a bit due there. Roman Josi and Aaron Ekblad are other good plays along with Alex Goligoski.
Petr Mrazek $8200 – There may be better choices, but this has potential to work well. The Philadelphia Flyers just keep on winning. Mrazek has three straight wins, including a shutout against Montreal under his belt. Overall, the goalie has won four of his previous five starts. Carolina does shoot a lot and that could boost his totals. There is some risk as Carolina can score a few but again have given up nearly 3.5 goals a night in their last dozen road contests.
The Saturday slate features eight games on what will be a split slate. It will also feature a hot match-up between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals. This will feature an expected goals of well over six. A main slate could include the two 5:00 games so look out for that.
New York and Edmonton has probably one of the best top six match-ups so they may go crazy. It is something to look at, however. Arizona will be a very attractive play 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 Philadelphia and Tampa Bay leading the way.
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. We are targeting the eight-game main slate to give readers more of a range on what to go on. 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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