Apologies for not getting a DraftKings piece out yesterday, but we return from the All-Star break for tonight’s three-game slate! Let’s dive in!
C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $7,100 vs. NYI
It’s tough to think any line on this slate has a better matchup than the Auston Matthews line. Not only do the Islanders sport the NHL’s worst defense and worst road defense, they are playing on back-to-back nights tonight and will likely start their backup goalie. Thomas Greiss has a 4.25 GAA and an .888 Sv% on the road this season, so this is a very targetable team tonight. Matthews has 22 goals on the season and three in his last four, so let’s nab him while he’s hot.
C – Dylan Larkin (DET) – $5,700 vs. SJ
If this was a month or two ago, I wouldn’t touch the Red Wings in a tough matchup against the Sharks. However, the Sharks’ defense has plummeted as of late. Not only have they yielded 16 goals over their last three games, they’ve also surrendered at least four goals in six of their last ten. They now check in with the NHL’s 13th-ranked defense after spending a good portion of the season in the top two. Larkin should be able to user his speed and skill to add to his 38 points on the season tonight.
W – William Nylander (TOR) – $5,500 vs. NYI
Riding shotgun to Auston Matthews in all situations, William Nylander is in quite a nice spot tonight himself. Like Matthews, Nylander has tallied four points over his last four games and now sits with 36 points in 51 games for the campaign. The Maple Leafs’ power play could have a big night tonight as the Islanders sport a 69.5% clip on the penalty kill on the road, good for 30th overall. Lock in the high-flying duo on a short slate.
W – Andreas Athanasiou (DET) -$5,200 vs. SJ
His price is starting to get up there, but considering he flanks Larkin at 5v5 on the Red Wings’ second line I don’t mind the elevated price. Besides, it’s no surprise it’s going up as he has tallied 23 points in 38 games this season. While he likely won’t skate with Larkin on the power play, he does skate on the Red Wings’ top unit with Henrik Zetterberg, so we get exposure to both groups tonight, albeit against a tough penalty kill.
W – Tyler Bertuzzi (DET) – $4,100 vs. SJ
Like Athanasiou, Bertuzzi’s price is climbing thanks to his production. He has tallied a real solid nine points over 15 NHL games this season as he flanks Larkin at both 5v5 and on the power play. The reigning Calder Cup Playoff MVP is showing plenty of promise in the show after tallying 14 points in 16 games at the AHL level. He should be a lower owned commodity on tonight’s slate.
D – Nikita Zaitsev (TOR) – $3,000 vs. NYI
I believe we are getting real good value out of Zaitsev tonight. He hasn’t played since December 15th due to a foot injury, but with Morgan Rielly sidelined it looks like Zaitsev is going to get some power play time on the same unit as Matthews and Nylander. He has only ten points in 34 games on the season, but he has also blocked 94 shots and should see his offensive numbers improve while he is in a more favorable position to produce.
D – John Carlson (WAS) – $6,700 vs. PHI
Carlson is going to be a highly owned player on the slate, but with the cost savings from our value plays we might as well go with the blueliner as he enjoys a career year. His 38 points on the season is the third best mark among NHL defenseman while his average ice time of just over 26 minutes per game checks in at fifth. The Flyers are coming off a five-goal shellacking at the hands of the Lighting prior to the All-Star break so perhaps Washington can catch them while their defense is porous tonight.
G – Petr Mrazek (DET) – $7,200 vs. SJ
I really like Mrazek’s matchup against the Sharks tonight. There isn’t likely a hotter goalie than the Red Wings’ netminder at the moment as he has recorded two shutouts while yielding a total of just four goals over his last four starts. The Sharks’ offense took a big hit when Joe Thornton went down with a knee injury and they are also an offense playing on back-to-back nights tonight in Detroit. I like the chances Mrazek stays hot tonight.
UTIL – T.J. Oshie (WAS) – $5,800 vs. PHI
We will grab Oshie tonight as he continues to skate alongside Nicklas Backstrom at 5v5 and retain his spot on the Capitals’ dangerous top power play unit. He forms a mini-stack with Carlson in the process as Oshie looks to score his first goal since way back on December 22nd. Hopefully the cold streak will lower his ownership on a slate that should see the Islanders/Leafs eat up a lot of ownership.