It was another big night with last night’s FanDuel NHL DFS Picks! As I noted many times throughout the piece, the lineup was designed for both cash games and GPP tournaments, and it crossed cash lines by a substantial margin in both departments.
Both of our centers did big-time damage. Aleksander Barkov tallied a goal and an assist while putting six shots on goal and Vegas’ William Karlsson tallied a goal, two assists and four shots on goal himself.
Karlsson’s winger, Jonathan Marchessault, had a nice night at low ownership, tallying a goal, an assist and three shots on goal at less than 7% owned in some of my GPPs.
Our three-man Ducks stack unfortunately didn’t get in on much of their offensive damage as they actually scored four times against the Sharks. Rickard Rakell notched an assist and a shot on goal while Jakob Silfverberg put five shots on goal. Finally, while he missed the scoresheet, Kevin Shattenkirk brought his peripherals to the table in the form of four shots on goal and two blocks. That’s equivalent to Rakell’s assist and lone shot on goal.
Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau didn’t get in on much of the action with Barkov as the Panthers scored just twice in their 2-1 win over the Preds.
Finally, Andrei Vasilevskiy was once again very good in goal, turning aside 27 of 28 shots an route to a win over the Red Wings.
We have a tiny main NHL slate on tap for this Saturday evening as a combination of early games and postponements leads us to a four-game main slate tonight.
Let’s dive right in and see if we can cross some cash lines and keep our weekend rolling!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – February 6, 2021
C – John Tavares (TOR) – $7,400 vs. VAN
The Maple Leafs and Canucks meet up for their second game of a three-game set tonight in Toronto on the heels of a 7-3 Maple Leafs blowout win from Thursday.
Jason Spezza had three of those goals and Auston Matthews two, but in a lineup that is more aimed towards GPPs (and cash games to an extent), I am moving down to the team’s second line with John Tavares at center.
The veteran is having a fine year himself, tallying five goals and 11 points in as many games while he’s been a beast on the power play where he’s scored four of his five goals and six of his 11 points.
That’s all well and good, but this is all about the matchup against one of the very worst defenses in the NHL.
The Canucks rank dead last in scoring chances against/60, 30th in high-danger chances against/60 and once again dead last in expected goals against/60 at 5v5, as per Natural Stat Trick.
If that weren’t enough, they also rank dead last while averaging 36.1 shots against per game after the Maple Leafs put 37 on them on Thursday.
He’ll see ownership tonight, but I like the cost savings we get combined with a high floor and ceiling in this favorable home matchup tonight.
C – Logan Couture (SJ) – $7,300 vs. ANH
Tonight marks the second game in as many nights between these two Californian foes after the Sharks roared back from 3-1 to win last night’s high-scoring affair by a 5-4 count in the shootout.
Couture notched his fourth of the season in that one last night, giving him seven points in nine games on the season along with 25 shots on goal.
While the Sharks enter this one ranked 23rd with 2.67 goals per game, I very much like their chances in this one tongiht.
While they played just 24 hours earlier, last night was the Sharks’ first game in eight days due to postponements. Meanwhile, the Ducks will play their 13th game in a 24-day span in this one tongiht as well as their fourth game in eight days. In other words, the Sharks should by far be the fresher team in this one.
While the Sharks rank among the worst defenses in the league, the Ducks are close. Anaheim is tied for eighth with 2.67 goals against per game this season, but also rank 28th in scoring chances against/60, 25th in high-danger chances against/60 and 27th in expected goals against/60 at 5v5.
How are they tied for eighth overall? John Gibson’s heroic work, turning in a 2.48 GAA and .918 Sv% despite the monster workload.
With Ryan Miller and his 3.13 GAA and .893 Sv% likely to go tonight, I think the Sharks enjoy more offensive production in this one. Even if it’s Gibson in a back-to-back, sign me up for a three-man Sharks stack this evening.
W – William Nylander (TOR) – $6,500 vs. VAN
Mitch Marner ranks third in the NHL’s point race entering tonight’s game, but once again we’ll pivot down to the far cheaper option in Nylander who has played very well this season.
The Swede enters tonight’s rematch with the Canucks boasting four goals and 12 points on the season, putting 22 shots on goal and producing five power play points as well. He has admittedly not been shooting the puck as much this season, averaging 2.00 shots per game after averaging 2.90 shots per game last season.
Nylander scored in back-to-back games prior to Thursday’s win over the Canucks, but went on to record three helpers in that one despite skating just 13:56 as well. Ice time is not a concern here, however, as he’s skated more than 16 minutes in eight of 11 games so far and has averaged 16:17 of ice time per game this season.
He’ll flank Tavares on the team’s second line as well as the second power play unit, but that’s more of a 1B unit given their elite talent and production to this point, so sign me up for a cheaper Maple Leafs three-man stack tonight.
W – Evander Kane (SJ) – $6,100 vs. ANH
To me, we’re getting a major bargain here with Kane who has had an excellent season so far and brings an extremely high floor to the table.
He too enjoyed a productive night last night, recording a goal and an assist while putting a whopping five shots on goal. After going pointless with just one shot in his previous two games, that could be the effort he needs to get back on track.
He now has three goals and seven points in nine games on the season with 25 shots on goal. However, expect the shot totals to increase moving forward. He’s averaging a solid 2.78 shots per game so far, but he also averaged 3.38 last season. Over the last five seasons prior to this one, Kane’s 1,322 shots on goal ranks sixth in the league behind only Alex Ovechkin, Brent Burns, Tyler Seguin, Patrick Kane and Nathan MacKinnon. Decent company I’d say.
With a fantastic matchup on hand coming off a big performance, look for Kane to break through again tonight at a bargain price.
D – Erik Karlsson (SJ) – $5,000 vs. ANH
Brent Burns had a night last night and certainly brings the higher floor to the table, but perhaps we can duck some ownership and go with the cheaper Karlsson at a quality price tag.
He’s without a goal on the season, but has just 13 shots on goal in nine games to go along with three assists in that time. However, there’s gotta be some regression on tap here.
Maybe he’s not vintage Karlsson at the moment after dealing with plenty of injuries over the last couple of seasons, but this guy still recorded 40 points in just 56 games last season while taking 120 shots and blocking another 74 as well. For what it’s worth, he’s blocked 14 shots in nine games this season.
He’s certainly getting his opportunities. Karlsson is averaging 26:46 of ice time per game while he’ll form a three-man PP1 stack alongside Couture and Kane. The Sharks are one of the few teams to keep two defensemen on their top power play unit with Burns and Karlsson roaming the point on a man advantage that ranks 19th at 16.2% this season.
We’ll look for a breakout game from the smooth Swede tonight.
D – Mikko Lehtonen (TOR) – $3,500 vs. VAN
We’ll go all the way to the minimum price here with Lehtonen as he forms a three-man PP2 stack with Tavares and Nylander, hopefully giving us a secret weapon despite the Canucks boasting a penalty kill that ranks in the top half of the league.
To say he’s been seldomly used is an understatement. Lehtonen has appeared in just four of the team’s 11 games so far this season and is averaging 9:22 of ice time per game in the process.
That said, he tallied a power play assist in his last game against the Oilers one week ago today, but yet skated just 9:09 in that one. With Travis Dermott out of the lineup tonight, Lehtonen will slide back in, but his offensive upside is far greater than what the minuscule sample show tells us so far.
Last season, Lehtonen led all KHL defenseman with 49 points in 60 games while skating for Jokerit. He scored 17 goals that season, but also played 17 games for Jokerit as a tune up for the 2021 NHL season this year, tallying eight goals and 17 points in as many games.
That’s certainly not easy to accomplish in the world’s second-best league. He’s being eased into NHL action in his rookie season, but his upside is sneaky-good and we’ll see if he can chip in tonight, hopefully on the power play along with his two Maple Leafs teammates above.
UTIL – Elias Lindholm (CGY) – $6,000 vs. EDM
The Battle of Alberta gets renewed tonight, and while we expect some fireworks in this one, I think the Flames can get to a weak Oilers blueline in this one.
The Oilers enter this one tied with the Detroit Red Wings for 26th overall while allowing 3.58 goals per game on the season and after ranking second on the penalty kill last season, they’ve slipped all the way to 25th with a 73.2% mark on the season to this point.
Furthermore, at 5v5, the Oilers rank 23rd in scoring chances against/60, 21st in high-danger chances against/60 and 25th in expected goals against/60. Their 2.99 actual goals against/60 at 5v5 is well above their 2.37 expected mark, so perhaps we’ll see some positive regression moving forward, but it’s certainly been a weak point without the services of No. 1 defenseman Oscar Klefbom for the duration of the season.
For his part, Lindholm has enjoyed a real nice season so far, notching two goals and 11 points in 10 games on the season. He’s also fired 26 shots on goal, but with just two goals to show for it, Lindholm is sporting a 7.7% shooting rate that is well below his 11.1% career mark.
After scoring a pair of goals over his first three games of the season, Lindholm hasn’t scored over his last eight games and 20 shots on goal.
He’s certainly due, so let’s see if Lindholm can find the back of the net as hostilities get renewed tonight.
UTIL – Matthew Tkachuk (CGY) – $6,200 vs. EDM
Most eyes in this one tongiht will be on the agitator Matthew Tkachuk who almost single-handedly sparked the Battle of Alberta back towards the good ole days a season ago.
For now, we’ll focus on his offensive production as he has notched five goals and eight points in 10 games to go along with 36 shots on goal. He’s also been a big part of a productive Flames power play, scoring two goals and four points as part of a group that ranks 12th with a 22.7% clip on the season.
He came out of the gate hot before being cooled off, but Tkachuk has notched two goals and four points over his last three games, including a two-goal effort against the Jets on Tuesday, helping propel our lineup into profit territory on that evening.
He’s also logging a ton of ice time at the moment, averaging an even 20:00 of ice time per game while his 36 shots on goal have him sitting in a share of 23rd league-wide at the moment.
He and Lindholm have certainly found some chemistry at even-strength this season, but I’ll also look for this talented Flames man advantage to take advantage of a regressed Oilers penalty kill.
G – Devan Dubnyk (SJ) – $6,900 vs. ANH
Believe me, I see the risk here as I am more than well aware of Dubnyk’s work from last season when he ranked 45th out of the 45 netminders (min. 30 games) in both goals-agaisnt average and save percentage last season.
He also came out of the gate slow this time around, but has actually played much better of late and has a fine matchup on tap in this one.
Dubnyk enters this one sporting a weak 3.23 GAA and .902 Sv% on the season, but also sports a .914 Sv% over his last two starts and three appearances, but lost all three as he received just four total goals of offensive support in that time.
As noted above, I believe Dubnyk gets that support tonight. Furthermore he takes on a Ducks team that ranks 30th with 1.92 goals per game on the season as well as a power play that owns a tiny 7.4% mark so far.
Much of his work against the Ducks came from his heyday with the Minnesota Wild, but it might be worth noting Dubnyk has posted a 2.13 GAA and .920 Sv% across 21 career appearances against the Ducks.
He’s more of a GPP play given his body of work over the last season and change, but a worthwhile one at this price and in this matchup.