Once again, we got solid production up and down our lineup but on a two-game slate our goaltender hurt us and we didn’t get enough from our four-man stack.
The Sabres had the opportunity to run all over the Senators, but they simply choked in scoring just twice against a 29th-ranked road defense playing their second game in as many nights. That said, we did get both Buffalo goal-scorers in our lineup as both Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart tallies goals for the Sabres and combined for eight shots on goal. Unfortunately, Jeff Skinner was held to just one shot in his return to the lineup.
I went with a four-man Blues stack as well, and we got some decent production there, but nothing great. Jaden Schwartz scored a goal on five shots, Alex Pietrangelo notched a pair of assists, two shots and two blocks, Brayden Schenn posted an assist and two shots, but unfortunately Jordan Kyrou was held to just two shots and a block.
It also hurt that our one-off defenseman Noah Hanifin registered just one shot on goal in this one.
Finally, the worst part of the lineup was Sabres netminder Linus Ullmark who allowed three goals on 33 shots and left the game midway through the third with an injury. The Sens upset the Sabres 5-2 in that one.
We have a much bigger six-game main slate on tap tonight, so let’s bare down and get some consistent production throughout tonight’s lineup!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns
C – Connor McDavid (EDM) – $9,300 vs. CGY
It’s the much-anticipated rematch of the battle of Alberta tonight as the Oilers and Flames get together in Edmonton, and while the intensity is sure to be at a high level for this one, I am on the Oilers’ side here as the Flames will be playing their second game in as many nights after taking a 5-4 shootout loss last night on home ice to the aforementioned Blues. Of course, starting the lineup with the best player on the planet isn’t the worst of ideas, right?
McDavid enters this one sporting an NHL-leading 76 points on the season that has come in the form of 27 goals and 49 assists on 158 shots on goal while playing in all 49 games to this point. The good news here is that McDavid has been absolutely unbelievable on home ice this season. The 23-year-old has notched 14 goals and 42 points in just 23 home games on the season compared to 13 goals and 34 points in 26 road games. Of course both numbers are fantastic, but the increased production does come on home ice. The Oilers rank 10th with 3.39 goals per game at home where their power play ranks second with a huge 31.6% clip, so I have absolutely no problem paying up for McDavid’s services in this one tonight.
C – Ryan Getzlaf (ANH) – $5,700 vs. ARI
I want this to be an optimal lineup that can go into both cash and GPP contests but it’s certainly one that can fit into GPPs as I am going to fire out a Ducks stack as they take on the Arizona Coyotes on home ice.
Now, when we think of the modern day Coyotes, we think defense as they’ve been one of the best defenses in the league over the last couple of seasons and sit fifth with 2.70 goals against per game on the road. The problem for them right now is that they’ve allowed an average of four goals per game over their last six and at least three goals in all six of those games. They’re also desperately missing goaltender Darcy Kuemper as Antti Raanta owns an .804 Sv% over his last two starts and was shelled for six goals on just 18 shots in Edmonton his last time out.
Enter Getzlaf who has tallied 11 goals and 33 points on the season to go along with 108 shots on goal across 47 games. He’s been better at home where he’s tallied seven goals and 18 points in 23 games on the season. Now, he has just one goal over his last 18 games, but he’s shooting at just a 2.5% rate in that time (1 goal on 40 shots), so I would look for the positive goal-scoring regression to kick in for the veteran pivot tonight.
W – James Neal (CGY) – $5,300 vs. CGY
You could call this a revenge game for the Oilers on the whole as the Flames took a heated affair a few weeks back in Calgary by a tight 4-3 count, but this is also a revenge game for James Neal after the Flames traded him to Edmonton in exchange for Milan Lucic in what, at the time, looked like a swap of bad contracts.
Fortunately for the Oilers, Neal has regained his scoring touch and the trade has certainly been won by the Oilers to this point as McDavid finally has a left-winger that can put the puck in the net. Neal enters this one with 19 goals and 28 points in 49 games on the season on 106 shots on goal. He’s still shooting at an extremely high 17.9% clip, but that’s due to the fact that Neal has scored 12 of his 19 goals on the power play, so he’s undoubtedly getting better looks and higher-percentage shots on the man advantage where he’s skating alongside the likes of McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
Neal has certainly scored in bunches this season and doesn’t have a goal over his last seven games – all in January – but he did register an assist in his final game before the break and so long as he skates with McDavid in all offensive situations he has a massive ceiling that he’s shown many times this season.
W – Rickard Rakell (ANH) – $5,800 vs. ARI
Next man up in my three-man Ducks stack is Rakell who will flank Getzlaf on the team’s top line and top power play unit for this one tonight.
The Ducks have struggled on offense for the majority of the season as the youth movement has kicked in up front and Rakell’s production has slowed with 12 goals and 28 points in 42 games on the season, but he’s also recorded a healthy 125 shots to bump up his floor a little bit as well. There’s also the fact that his shooting rate of just 9.6% is well under his 12.3% career mark. That said, he did shoot at just 9.3% last season as well, so while I’d like to see positive regression there, it’s certainly not guaranteed, especially this deep into the season.
Nonetheless, given how poorly the Coyotes have defended of late, I love the upside of this top line tonight. He’s the team’s best goal-scorer at the moment and is logging well over 18 minutes a night as part of the top line and PP1, so I will look for the Swede to provide some offense alongside Getzlaf in this one.
W – Troy Terry (ANH) – $3,000 vs. ARI
We have some high-priced assets in this lineup tonight and while this wasn’t mandatory I wanted to get a low-owned player into this lineup and the minimum-priced Terry looks like a nice option given his spot on the team’s depth chart at the moment.
The good news here is that Terry is projected to skate on the Ducks’ top line alongside Getzlaf and Rakell, giving us a three-man 5v5 stack in this one while Terry gives us exposure to both power play units as he’s a member of the second group. Now, the Ducks own the NHL’s 24th-ranked home power play at just 17.2% on the season, but there’s also the fact that the Coyotes have slipped to a share of 17th place with a 78.5% mark on the penalty kill away from home this season. Furthermore, that penalty kill as been getting torched of late as the ‘Yotes have gone just 8 for 13 on the kill over their last four games, good for an awful 61.5% mark. Couple that with the Ducks notching a power play goal in two of their last three games and we could have something to work with.
The 22-year-old Terry has tallied just three goals and eight points in 34 games on 42 shots, so the floor is obviously low. However, I also believe that the value potential here is sneaky-high against a team that many will assume is still playing quality defense, which has just not been the case of late.
W – Filip Forsberg (NSH) – $7,300 vs. WSH
The Preds and Capitals get together in Washington tonight and you can expect most of the ownership to go to the Capitals against a Predators team that has uncharacteristically struggled on the back end this season. That said, there’s a few reasons why I like the Predators as a potential upset tonight and I think they can get some offense going in this one at lower ownership.
For one, the Predators are an excellent road offense. Nashville enters this one ranked third with a whopping 3.52 goals per game on the season, a number that towers over their figure on home ice. Their road power play that is tied for 11th at 20% also towers over their mark at home.
Secondly, while the Capitals have been a solid home defense at 10th with 2.71 goals against per game on the season, they’re giving tonight’s start to Braden Holtby who has been – by far – the worse of the two netminders in Washington this season with rookie Ilya Samsonov greatly outplaying the veteran. Holtby enters this one sporting a 3.05 GAA and .899 Sv% on the season and his increased 2.75 GAA and .907 Sv% at home is nothing to write home about, either.
There’s also the fact that Forsberg is as good of a candidate to post something like a hat trick as any player on the slate. He enters this one with 16 goals and 33 points on 42 games on the season to go along with a healthy 136 shots on goal. The 25-year-old has actually been excellent on the road, scoring nine goals and 18 points in 21 games on 71 shots, good for 3.4 shots per game. A former first-rounder of the Caps from 2012, look for Preds’ sniper to burn his old team tonight.
D – Oscar Klefbom (EDM) – $5,600 vs. CGY
Klefbom has taken a step up near the tier of elite defensemen in terms of DFS this season as he’s bringing some serious cross-category production to the table and his peripheral stats are among the best, if not the best we can get among defensemen.
The 26-year-old is having a career-year to this point and I wouldn’t expect a slow down considering his usage under new head coach Dave Tippett. Klefbom enters this one with five goals and 28 points in 49 games – the exact same production he posted in 61 games a season ago. He’s not only put 128 shots on goal as well, but Klefbom’s 148 blocked shots on the season is the best number in the NHL and well ahead of second-place Mark Giordano’s 131. He’s also approached the league leaders in ice time this season as he’s seeing 25:41 of average ice time per game which ranks fifth in the NHL.
His splits are dead even with 14 points at home and on the road this season, but he’s shooting at just 1.6% at home, so I would expect that number to climb with just one of his four goals coming at home. Nonetheless, with his spot on the team’s second-ranked power play alongside Neal and McDavid, the high-floor Klefbom is an easy choice for this lineup.
D – Mattias Ekholm (NSH) – $4,400 vs. WSH
Completing my Predators mini-stack is Ekholm who will skate on the team’s second power play unit alongside Forsberg, but considering Forsberg is the team’s best goal-scorer I wouldn’t exactly conclude that this unit is their second-best. Nonetheless, it’s a mini-stack at both 5v5 and on the power play and I certainly like that at what could come at relatively low ownership as road underdogs.
For a guy that slides under the radar with Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis in Nashville, Ekholm is an extremely talented player at both ends of the ice. His offensive game has improved in recent years and he tallied a career-high 44 points a season ago. That said, he’s on pace to edge that mark this season as he’s tallied five goals and 27 points in 47 games, good for a 47-point pace in a full 82-game regular season. Ekholm also brings nice peripherals with him to the table in the form of 105 shots on goal and a healthy 69 blocked shots as well. He’s notched five of his 22 ssists on the power play to boot.
The Swedish blueliner is skating 23:17 per game which is right where he’s been in each of the previous three seasons and I’m looking for him to put those minutes to good use alongside Forsberg in this one tonight.
G – Frederik Andersen (TOR) – $8,500 vs. DAL
Speaking of road underdogs, here we have Frederik Andersen whose Maple Leafs will take on the Dallas Stars tonight in Dallas. The Maple Leafs enter this one as slight road underdogs at +107 over at BetOnline, but I like their chances in this one and Andersen is a reason why.
For one, the Stars enter this one ranked 30th with just 2.60 goals per game at home this season. Sure, the Maple Leafs have struggled defensively at times this season and their road defense checks in at 20th with 3.36 goals against per game, but they’re coming off a 5-2 win in Nashville on Monday and to me, that’s the key with Andersen.
Andersen turned aside 34 of 36 shots in that one, good for a .944 Sv%. It turned around what has been a brutal stretch where he had posted an .864 Sv% over a six-start stretch. If you’ve followed his work over his career, Andersen is one of the very best goaltenders in the world when he gets rolling and after taking in the All-Star festivities and shutting a good Predators offense down, I think he could be starting one of those rolls right now.
Besides, he’s now 13-4-0 with a 2.49 GAA and .923 Sv% in 18 road starts on the year, so I’ll look to Andersen to build on Monday’s effort as a slight road underdog in this one tonight.