We have a big 11-game NHL schedule here on the 11th of February, so let’s not waste any time and dive right into this slate and see if we can get into some money early in the week!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns
C – Jack Eichel (BUF) – $8,300 vs. DET
Tonight’s lineup is going to feature some players that will see some ownership – like Eichel – but also some players that could fly under the radar a little bit so while I wouldn’t consider this a straight up cash or GPP lineup, it leans more towards GPPs in my opinion. Regardless, Eichel is almost a must for me tonight.
The Sabres continue to lose games and haven’t been able to generate a ton of offense, even against these Red Wings at home when they lost a 4-3 shootout game to them last week. That said, when this team does score Eichel has been involved more often than not while he’s been lights out at home this season. He’ll enter this one with 31 goals and 69 points in 55 games on 183 shots on goal, but he’s also tallied 23 goals and 43 points in 29 games at home compared to just eight goals along with 26 points in 26 road contests. Eichel hasn’t scored in his last four, but he does have four assists in that time as his MVP type of production continues.
Of course, the matchup with the lowly Red Wings is a fabulous one as they have allowed 4.11 goals per game on the road this season, by far the worst mark in the NHL while their road penalty kill checks in at 29th with a 73.3% mark. There’s some massive multi-goal upside here with Eichel and while he certainly is a must in cash games tonight I like him in optimal lineups like this one as well.
C – Jack Hughes (NJ) – $4,100 vs. FLA
The New Jersey Devils aren’t a good home offense, but they do get a nice home matchup tonight against a Panthers team that will be playing their second game in as many nights and also one that has struggled to defend on the road for much of the season.
Indeed, the Panthers went into Philadelphia last night and dropped a 4-1 affair to a very good Flyers home team and now rank 22nd with 3.33 goals against per game on the road this season. Now, they’ll either be starting Sergei Bobrovsky for the second time in as many nights or they will be going to currently backup Sam Montembeault, but either way it’s a good matchup for the Devils. Bobrovsky would carry in a 3.44 GAA and .888 Sv% in 22 road games while Montembeault would bring in a 3.40 GAA and .889 Sv% on the season in five starts and nine NHL appearances and a 3.16 GAA and .896 Sv% in four starts and five appearances on the road.
Seems like we could snatch some nice value here with Hughes despite a tough rookie season in which he’s tallied six goals and 20 points in 46 games. The 2019 first overall pick does have two points over his last four games and 11 points in 23 home games compared to eight in 23 road games. At the end of the day, his stats are not going to jump at you but this is a good matchup, he’s coming in cheap and likely low owned on a big slate.
W – Sam Reinhart (BUF) – $6,200 vs. DET
If Eichel isn’t scoring a goal for this team chances are it’s going to be Reinhart. Eichel leads the team with 69 points, and while he’s quite far behind, Reinhart’s 45 points are easily second-best on the team and his 20 goals are also second best to Eichel’s 31.
Of course, skating with Eichel this season is going to get you plenty of points and Reinhart is on pace for career-bests across the board on offense as a result of flanking Eichel on the top line and top power play unit. The 24-year-old has tallied those 20 goals and 45 points in 56 games on the season which puts him on pace for 29 goals and 66 points. His previous highs were 25 goals in the 2017-18 season while the 66 points would just clip the 65 he posted last season while skating in all 82 games.
Like Eichel, Reinhart has been more productive at home this season where he’s tallied 13 goals and 27 points in 29 home games compared to just seven goals and 18 points in 27 games away from home. He’s also been extremely consistent of late, notching eight goals and 11 points over an 15 games since the beginning of January. In this matchup, using Reinhart alongside Eichel is simply a no-brainer.
W – Kyle Palmieri (NJ) – $6,500 vs. FLA
With Taylor Hall traded away earlier in the season Palmieri took over the team’s best offensive player and he’s for sure their best goal-scorer at the moment and one of the more underrated goal-scorers in the entire NHL.
The 29-year-old Palmieri has tallied 20 goals and 37 points in 50 games on the season, excellent numbers considering how poor the Devils offense has been for much of the season. This is the fifth straight season – all with the Devils – that he’s hit the 20-goal plateau while he’s scored no fewer than 24 over that time and that total came in just 62 games two seasons ago. Palmieri has been particularly dangerous on the power play where he’s scored half his goals on the season and he’s been much more potent at home where he’s notched 15 goals and 24 points in 26 games with eight of his 10 power play goals coming on home ice as well.
Palmieri enters this one sporting a hot hand with three goals and four points over his last three games with nine shots on goal in that time. Going further back, he’s tallied five goals and nine points over his last nine games. With a matchup as good as this one versus a weak Panthers road defense playing their second game in as many nights, I like the Hughes/Palmieri duo to get things done on the top line and top power play unit.
W – Jason Zucker (PIT) – $5,400 vs. TB
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning get together in a matchup of a couple of the Eastern Conference’s elite and the Penguins will have a new face on board in the form of former Wild winger Jason Zucker.
After trying – and failing – to trade for Zucker in the summer, general manager Jim Rutherford coughed some serious assets to get Zucker from the Wild to bolster the Penguins down the left side and it appears he will slide right into one of the best spots in the entire league, which is to the left of Sidney Crosby where Jake Guentzel was before going down for the season with a shoulder injury.
Zucker posted 14 goals and 29 points in 45 games with the Wild this season and has scored as many as 33 in a season over his last three years. The 28-year-old should almost certainly see his production increase with the Penguins who enter this one ranked seventh with 3.44 goals per game at home this season and five goals per game over their last three at home. While the Lightning are a very good road defense at fourth with 2.62 goals against per game, they will likely be going with backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney since this marks their second game in as many nights after an OT win last night in Columbus.
McElhinney has been solid this season, but avoiding Andrei Vasilevskiy is a big plus for this one, but I’m really looking forward to the spark Zucker could provide the club in a revenge spot for the Pens after dropping a 4-2 decision in Tampa Bay last week.
W – Patric Hornqvist (PIT) – $5,700 vs. TB
Completing a two-man mini-stack in this lineup here is Hornqvist who will also skate with Crosby on the team’s top line in this one while he will also skate on the top power play unit with him as well while Zucker should line up on the second group and thus give us exposure to both power play units.
That Pittsburgh power play has been a lot better since Crosby made his return to the lineup as they’ve scored two power play goals in a game four times over their last 10 games and have gone 4 for 8 over their last three on home ice.
For his part, Hornqvist enters this one with 12 goals and 22 points in 37 games on the season to go along with 109 shots on goal. He’s not quite producing at the same clip as he was a couple of seasons back as the wear and tear of his style of play has caught up with him a bit into his mid-thirties but he’s still produced well of late, scoring a goal with three assists over his last six games but also has 21 shots in that time, good for 3.5 shots per game while he’s also skated more than 17 minutes in all of those contests. It’s not the top matchup on the slate but I feel this duo can go a little overlooked with the Lightning in town, but I believe both have the opportunity to produce with Crosby as mid-priced assets.
D – Rasmus Dahlin (BUF) – $5,600 vs. DET
It’s been another wildly disappointing season in Buffalo with heightened expectations prior to the year, so while frustration is at a high level right now the play and production from Dahlin as flown right under the radar despite being the first overall pick in the 2018 draft.
The smooth-skating Swedish defender enters this one with four goals and 31 points in 46 games on the season, good for a 55-point pace in a full 82-game regular season which is an insane number for a 19-year-old defender in this league and it’s been nice to see him take a step forward from the excellent 44 points he recorded as an 18-year-old rookie last season on a weak Sabres offense. At just 19:04 of average ice time per game this season, Dahlin is actually seeing less minutes than the 21:09 he averaged a season ago, but his production has nonetheless picked up despite fighting some injuries throughout the season as well.
Dahlin missed a couple of games earlier in the month, but scored a goal on Sunday in a loss to the Ducks and now has two goals and 10 points over his last 12 games.
This three-man stack is going to be a top power play unit stack where Dahlin scored his goal on Sunday. The power play goal was their first over their last five games, so I would look for that group to bring some confidence into this one tonight against an extremely weak Red Wings road penalty kill tonight.
D – Damon Severson (NJ) – $4,400 vs. FLA
I thought about keeping my Devils exposure to just two players, however in order to lower the ownership of the stack as a whole, I think it’s a good idea to grab Severson and make this a three-man stack at 5v5 and on the top power play unit.
The 25-year-old Severson has had a solid season considering the circumstances as he’s notched even goals and 22 points in 54 games on the season. He doesn’t shoot the puck much with just 88 shots in that time but he also has 71 blocks on the season as well, giving us some solid cross-category production and one that gets a boost considering the matchup on hand.
Perhaps Severson is skating on the top power play unit again thanks to his red-hot production of late. Over his last six games, the blueliner has notched two goals and five assists for seven points in that time with two goals and four points on the power play over his last six as well. He’s logged as much as 29:24 worth of ice time in that stretch and more than 24:05 in four of those six games.
Given the usage, the matchup, the recent production and the spot on the top power play unit, I’ll snatch Severson to complete this three-man Devils stack tonight.
G – Philipp Grubauer (COL) – $8,500 vs. OTT
Keep an eye on the confirmed netminders tonight as Grubauer has yet to be named the team’s starter for this one, but considering how well he played on their recently-completed road trip I’d be surprised if he didn’t get the starting nod in a favorable home matchup with the Senators.
Pavel Francouz completed the trip with a win over the Wild on Sunday, but Grubauer was excellent in winning three in a row prior to that game and allowing just one goal in each of those three outings. He finished the trip by going 3-0-0 with a .963 Sv% over his last three outings.
Now, his numbers are better on the road thanks to those outings, but this matchup is too good to resist. The Senators enter this one ranked 29th with 2.33 goals per game on the road this season and they have just two wins over their last 17 games. The Avalanche have won four in a row and are huge -260 moneyline favorites to win this one tonight. There are probably better GPP-type netminders on this slate, but I chose to go with a safety element for this one as the win upside is enormous and considering the way he’s prevented goals of late, I’m down with Grubauer on a red-hot Avalanche club at the moment.