An afternoon-heavy Monday slate is in the books and it’s now time for some more regularly schedule NHL programming on Tuesday.
In other words, we have a seven-game Tuesday night slate on tap, so let’s dive in and see if we can get into the money and get our week started on the right note!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns
C – Sean Couturier (PHI) – $7,200 vs. CBJ
This lineup is going to look more GPP than cash to be sure as I’ve faded a couple of favorable matchups and using a combination of players with upside in tougher matchups as well as some players who will simply be low-owned on a seven-game slate.
Couturier belongs in the group that has a tougher matchup as the Flyers take on the Blue Jackets at home. Now, the Flyers are an excellent home team with an excellent home offense as they sit fifth with 3.50 goals per game at home this season, although their home power play has scuffled of late and sits 16th with a decent 20.8% clip. Their their part, the Blue Jackets have lost five in a row and while they sit inside the top 10 in road defense at 10th with 2.86 goals against per game, that’s a far cry from their 2.09 mark at home while goaltending sensation Elvis Merzlikins owns a 2.95 GAA and .905 Sv% on the road compared to an eye-popping 1.35 GAA and .957 Sv% at home, so we definitely have the Jackets where we want them tonight against a quality Flyers home offense.
Enter Couturier who has tallied 17 goals and 52 points in 59 games on the season and has fired 158 shots on goal to boot. Despite the Flyers producing more at home his split are actually fairly even, but he enters this one red-hot with four goals and six points over his last five games with 18 shots in that time. As the team’s No.1 center at 5v5 and on the power play, sign me up for the veteran pivot tonight.
C – Mark Scheifele (WPG) – $6,700 vs. LA
For one reason or another the Jets have no produced well at home this season on offense, a stark contrast to what we’ve witnessed from this club in previous seasons. That said, Scheifele is still having a big year and the matchup is a favorable one against this Kings road defense.
Entering this one, the Jets are tied for 26th with just 2.72 goals per game at home this season where their power play sits just 17th with a 20.6% clip. It’s a big fall from previous years, but the matchup tonight is good. The Kings enter this one ranked 25th with 3.38 goals against per game on the road this season and 26th with a 75.3% mark on the penalty kill on the road as well, so the opportunity should be present for this Jets team tonight.
Enter Scheifele who has enjoyed a nice season for the Jets, scoring 23 goals and 59 points in 60 games to go along with 143 shots on goal. It’s a pace that’s just a hair under the previous three seasons in which he was at or just over a point-per-game, but with the Jets’ offense struggling at times this season Scheifele has been steady. He’s overdue in the goal-scoring department with zero goals over his last nine games and zero points over his last three, however this is a nice matchup for the talented pivot to get back on track.
W – Claude Giroux (PHI) – $7,700 vs. CBJ
Next man up in our three-man Flyers stack is Giroux who will skate on the top line alongside Couturier as well as to his left on the team’s top power play unit for this sneaky-good matchup with the Blue Jackets.
The biggest difference with Giroux to Couturier this season is that Giroux hasn’t produced up to expectations. The 32-year-old pivot tallied 105 points two seasons ago and 85 points in 82 games last season but has just 44 points in 59 games this season despite the Flyers sitting 10th in overall offense. He’s scored just 16 goals on 162 shots this season, so while his 9.9% shooting rate is low for him considering an 11% career mark, we shouldn’t expect some drastic change in that department at this point in the season. Rather, he hasn’t generated much in terms of assists with just 28 on the season after notching 63 a season ago. Nonetheless, the fact that Giroux and Couturier have combined for so much offense gives me confidence in this duo tonight.
I mentioned Couturier’s recent numbers above, but Giroux has actually been even better of late with three goals and nine points over his last five games after going four in a row without a point. When this guy is on he’s one of the more dangerous players in the NHL and he’s certainly on at this point. As a result, I think this duo can do some more damage at what I suspect will be lower ownership given the matchups elsewhere on the slate.
W – David Perron (STL) – $6,300 vs. NJ
Here’s where the lineup takes a GPP turn. Not because of Perron because he will probably see a good chunk of ownership but rather the teammates I am going to stack him with as I believe this trio will see low ownership as a stack due to the fact that all three members of their projected second line are listed as wingers on FanDuel.
For his portion of the piece I will stick with Perron who is having a big year and one that has included an appearance at an All-Star game. The 31-year-old has tallied 23 goals on the season to go along with another 33 helpers for 56 points in 59 games and has added another 145 shots on goal. He’s been good on the power play with nine goals and 26 points on the man advantage this season and there’s little doubt that the matchup is a favorable one tonight.
The Devils enter this one ranked 27th with 3.57 goals against per game on the road and while their road penalty kill sits at a decent 15th, it’s still at just 79% on the season. It’s also a Devils team that is now without a couple more key pieces in Andy Greene and Blake Coleman who were both traded over the weekend, so there’s two valuable NHL pieces that are no longer on board. Hence, it’s a weaker Devils defense than the one we see at 27th and I think the Blues can get some offense going in this one tonight.
W – Zach Sanford (STL) – $5,000 vs. NJ
Next man up in our three-man Blues stack is Sanford who is back on the fantasy radar thanks to a four-goal game on Thursday in Vegas and followed that up with another tally on Saturday against the Predators. He also added a two-goal game against the Hurricanes earlier in the month, giving him seven goals over his last six games at this point in the month of February. He didn’t score on Sunday in the rematch in Nashville, but he did put six shots on goal in almost 17 minutes of ice time, so he’s very much feeling it at the offensive end right now.
For the season, the 25-year-old Sanford has tallied 13 goals and 26 points in 46 games on the season and while the floor is low with just 68 shots on goal this season, the potential is big here. He’s blown past career-highs in goals and points this season in far fewer games and is now getting second line and and second power play reps from head coach Craig Berube. Those second-line reps will come alongside Perron which is a positive while his second unit power play reps come alongside some talented players in their own right. Given the way he’s played of late – and not just the four-goal game – I wanted Sanford and his second-line minutes with Perron against a very poor Devils road team on home ice tonight.
W – Robert Thomas (STL) – $4,300 vs. NJ
Completing this three-man Blues stack is Robert Thomas who will likely see the least amount of ownership in this stack but he is the player that will play center on this line despite being listed as a winger on FanDuel.
While he’s scored just nine goals this season, it’s actually been a real nice season for Thomas. He’s added 25 assists as we to give him 34 points in 54 games which is already more than the 33 he tallied in 16 more games a season ago. In other words, the 2017 first-rounder has indeed taken the steps the Blues were looking for in his second season in the league at just 20 years old. That said, what I like most here is the home splits. On the road, he has just four goals and 11 points in 26 games, but he has been excellent at home where he’s notched five goals and 23 points in 28 games on the season on home ice. All four of his power play points have come at home as well.
We also need to keep in mind he’s managed this production in just 13:58 of average ice time at home this season, which is quite impressive for the sophomore. Thomas has also been productive of late, tallying a goal and seven points over his last nine games. He’s also seen more than 16 minutes of ice time in six of those nine games. For the price, I’ll gladly take Thomas in this matchup while he’s getting second line and second unit power play work.
D – Ivan Provorov (PHI) – $4,600 vs. CBJ
Completing my three-man Flyers stack tonight is Provorov who will skate as the lone defenseman on the team’s top power play unit, giving us a PP1 stack and as well as a group that will see plenty of ice time together at 5v5 as well.
After a down season last year, Provorov has bounced right back this time around and has had a productive year that’s included 11 goals and 30 points in 59 games on the season after registering only seven goals and 26 points while skating in all 82 games a season ago. He’s actually been excellent from a goal-scoring point of view on the power play where he has scored seven of his 11 goals on the season. Not only has he been productive on the scoresheet, but also in the peripheral categories as he’s tallied 131 shots and 94 blocked shots which to me are excellent figures.
Provorov has been more productive on home ice like his team on the whole as he’s scored seven goals and 18 points on 74 shots in 28 home games compared to four goals, 12 points and only 57 shots despite playing 31 games on the road. Provorov is also on a nice little run as he’s tallied two goals and four points over his last four games with eight shots in that span. He’s logging a ton of ice time at the moment as well, and I’ll look for him to put that ice time to use in this one tonight.
D – Neal Pionk (WPG) – $4,800 vs. LA
It took a while but I have finally completed a Jets mini-stack here with Pionk who is having an extremely underrated season with the Jets after coming over from the Rangers in the Jacob Trouba trade in the summer.
Entering this one tonight, Pionk has tallied six goals and 38 points in 60 games on the season to go along with 135 shots on goal and blocked another 65 shots himself to boot. Pionk has also been awesome at home this season despite scoring just one goal at Bell MTS Place this season as he’s also recorded 22 helpers and 23 points in n32 home games with 80 shots in that time compared to 15 points in 28 road games with 55 shots in that span. Pionk also has 15 power play points at home compared to seven on the road.
The 24-year-old has tallied one goal and five points over his last five games and has put 15 shots on goal in that time, or three per game. Pionk is logging more than 25 minutes on the Jets’ blueline on a regular basis at this point and he’s mostly put that time to good use of late, so I’ll look for him and Scheifele to capitalize on a favorable home matchup tonight.
G – Jordan Binnington (STL) – $8,200 vs. NJ
It’s interesting because there are some real nice goaltending options on this slate, most of whom are under Binnington’s price tag. Carter Hart and Connor Hellebuyck look great to me in their respective matchups with the Blue Jackets and Kings as home favorites, however I’ll stick with Binnington who has been excellent at home this season despite some struggles on the road.
Binnington enters this one sporting a 2.72 GAA and .909 Sv% in 42 games, but he’s also gone 16-4-5 with a 2.29 GAA and .919 Sv% in 25 home outings, so there hasn’t been much wrong with his work at home this season. Now, things haven’t gone overly well of late. He owns a 3.33 GAA And .896 Sv% in the month of February across six appearances and he’s gone just 1-3-2, so I could understand if you wanted to shy away from home tonight. Nonetheless, the Devils enter this one ranked 25th with just 2.46 goals per game on the road and the Blues sit sixth with 2.45 goals against per game at home on the season.
Add in the Blues as huge -255 favorites against a Devils team that’s missing many key pieces via trade and I think Binnington gives us a good chunk of safety on this seven-game slate tonight.