If you are an NHL DFS die hard tonight is your night. This evening’s slate is jam-packed with 13 games on the schedule and is likely the deepest draft board you will see all season long. There is certainly plenty of talent to sort through so let’s see who can earn us some cash on the busiest NHL DFS night of the season.
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C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $7,500
Prior to last night’s slick backhand goal against the Red Wings Matthews had went three straight without a point. If you have payed attention to the rookie phenom’s season this year he has shown the ability to score in bunches, something that could prove valuable for tonight’s matchup in Philadelphia. The Flyers yield 3.06 goals per game on the season – good for 26th in the league – while still surrendering a fairly high 2.88 per game on home ice. Toronto also owns the NHL’s 2nd best power play overall at 23.8% and the league’s top unit on the road (by far) at a whopping 30.4%. Matthews is third in the league with 23 goals and seventh with 161 shots on goal.
C – Cody Eakin (DAL) – $3,700
Tonight’s value play up front comes in the form of Eakin who finds himself on the Stars’ top line skating next to Jamie Benn and Patrick Eaves. Yes, Eakin has just a single goal in 27 games this season, however he skates over 15 minutes per night and finds himself on the team’s second unit power play as well. As long as Eakin can remain with Benn and Eaves he serves as a solid value play for tonight’s home game against the Sabres.
W – Artemi Panarin (CHI) – $6,400
Panarin continues to deliver for those who trusted his Calder Trophy-winning rookie season wasn’t a fluke. The fact that he skates with Patrick Kane helps, but he doesn’t have to apologize for that. Kane and Panarin are one of the best one-two punches the NHL has to offer and they are looking at a favorable matchup at home tonight against the Jets. Winnipeg has surrendered at least three goals in eight straight games and more than three in four of those eight. They haven’t had any sort of goaltending all season long with tonight’s likely starter Connor Hellebuyck entering play with a 3.21 goals against average and an .893 save percentage in 15 road starts this season.
W – Patrick Kane (CHI) – $7,400
I like a Blackhawks stack tonight and Kane is a must-have in such scenarios. Last year’s Art Ross Trophy winner has 48 points and 173 shots on goal this season, both of which are good for fifth in the league. Like many of the reasons listed above for Panarin, Kane should be able to feast on the Jets tonight. Winnipeg yields 3.19 goals per game on the road and have surrendered the third most road goals in the league this season. There is plenty to like about the Panarin-Kane duo tonight.
W – Wayne Simmonds (PHI) – $6,400
One of the most underrated goal scorers in the league, Simmonds has scored in back-to-back games while adding an assist in the process. Simmonds has scored 109 goals over his last 287 games dating back to the beginning of the ’13/’14 campaign, good for .37 goals per game. He does a lot of damage on the power play as well, a unit that clicks at 22% on home ice which is seventh best in the league. The Flyers will get a break tonight and face Maple Leafs’ backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney rather than the red-hot Frederik Andersen. That bodes well for Simmonds this evening.
D – Brett Pesce (CAR) – $3,200
I have a solid amount of high-end firepower up front tonight so I looked for value and opportunity on the back end, something I believe I have found in Pesce. Pesce averages almost 21 minutes per game on the Hurricanes’ second defensive pairing, however he also plays alongside Justin Faulk on the Canes’ top power play unit. He has a decent 12 points in 47 games, however his counting stats are very solid with 62 shots and 83 blocked shots in those 47 contests. You don’t see that production at this price often, so Pesce makes for a solid value play on the blueline tonight.
D – Calvin de Haan (NYI) – $3,600
Somewhat of a value play, de Haan has had a nice season for an Islanders club that has not. His 11 points in 46 games won’t jump out at you, however he has blocked 121 shots this season, good for 4th in the league. The Canadiens have been surprisingly poor defensively this season and have surrendered 2.88 goals per game on the road. The Islanders are also a solid offensive group at home with an even three goals per game at the Barclay’s Center.
G – Scott Darling (CHI) – $8,100
Darling has easily been the Blackhawks better netminder since the calendar flipped to 2017. He has given up a combined one goal over his last two starts and will get the nod tonight against the visiting Jets. Chicago gives up just 2.28 goals per game at home and Winnipeg scores just 2.46 per game on the road. They have also scored just seven goals over their last three road games. Even if Darling gives up a goal or two tonight, the Chicago offense should certainly be able to carry him to a victory this evening.
UTIL – Jay Beagle (WSH) – $3,500
Beagle presents an intriguing play tonight on the road against the Devils. He missed Tuesday’s game in Ottawa with an illness, however he appears to be lining up next to Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin on the Capitals’ top line tonight. He is certainly capable of contributing offensively with ten goals and 20 points in 47 games this season and could get in on the action tonight for a potent Capitals offense that scores 3.08 goals per game on the road.