It was another productive night with my FanDuel NHL DFS Picks despite my main four-man stack being the most disappointing players of the bunch.
The four-man Oilers stack I released was cut to three as Connor McDavid missed that one due to an illness, so your results on the night could very well have hindered on what you did with that open spot and all that money available.
Leon Draisaitl somehow managed to post a zero on the night. While that might be the first case of him doing that all season, we did get an assist from both Oscar Klefbom and Kailer Yamamoto while Klefbom added three shots and two blocks to his resume.
We also got some value out of our Kings mini-stack. Both Gabriel Vilardi and Martin Frk recorded an assist on the night, but unfortunately Vilardi’s two shots on goal were the only peripherals stats available there.
The best performances from our skaters came from our Jonathan Marchessault/Shea Theodore mini-stack. Marchessault had a massive night, tallying a goal and an assist to go along with six shots on goal and a blocked shot to boot. Meanwhile, Theodore continued his blazing-hot goal-scoring stretch by burying the OT winner while he added some serious peripherals himself in the form of five shots and three blocked shots. Fantastic production from this duo.
Finally, we got some serious production from our netminder as well. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 36 of 38 Coyotes shots and earned the win in a 4-2 Jets victory.
As a result, our lineup did just fine, but McDavid’s empty spot would likely have been make or break depending on who you used there.
Let’s now turn our attention to this eight-game Tuesday night slate!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns
C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $8,600 vs. TB
The Maple Leafs better start winning some games as the Panthers have climbed to within one in the race for the third spot in the Atlantic Division, and it won’t be easy tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That said, while the Maple Leafs’ offense went cold in California recently, head coach Sheldon Keefe has done some line juggling in an effort to kickstart the offense and I think I want to take advantage of a possible breakout against a Lightning team that could be without defenseman Victor Hedman for the second straight game and also Ryan McDonagh who has been sidelined for some time.
There’s also the fact that Matthews has been absolutely lights out at home this season. He enters this one with 46 goals and 79 points on a whopping 283 shots on goal, but he also has scored 31 of those 46 goals at home and he’s notched 48 points and 155 shots in 33 home games compared to 15 goals, 31 points and 128 shots in 36 road games. Someone is probably due for a licking from Matthews soon as he was held off the scoresheet in the final two games of the three-game West coast swing and Matthews has not gone three straight games without a point and still put eight shots on goal over his last two contests.
Add it up and I think we can get Matthews going tonight despite facing a solid Lightning road defense, albeit one that could be shorthanded on the blueline.
C – Sebastian Aho (CAR) – $7,700 vs. DET
While I expect Matthews to give us a real nice floor tonight, the anchor of this lineup is my three-man Hurricanes stack as they take on the league-worst Red Wings tonight in Detroit.
While the Red Wings rank last with 3.39 goals against per game at home and 29th with a 75.2% penalty kill at home, the matchup for Carolina gets much better given the goaltending situation tonight. It appears Jimmy Howard will get the nod in goal for the Wings tonight, and to say he’s had a tough season would be a massive understatement. Howard enters this one sporting a ghastly 4.20 GAA and .882 Sv% in his 27 games of action while he’s also been torched to the tune of a .727 Sv% in allowing nine goals over his last 33 shots across two starts, getting pulled from each of them. While Jonathan Bernier has been excellent for Detroit, Howard has been atrocious and has allowed at least four goals in five of his last six starts.
Enter Aho who is enjoying a career-year, at least from a goal-scoring standpoint with 36 tallies on the season, already blowing by his previous career-high of 30 set last season, but he’s only played 67 games this year compared to all 82 games last season. He’s also broken the 200-shot barrier again this season with 203 shots on goal and he’s actually scored 19 goals on the road compared to 17 at home, so his splits work too. At the end of the day, this Hurricanes offense should certainly get going tonight and the team’s best offensive player is a good bet to be in on the action.
W – William Nylander (TOR) – $6,500 vs. TB
Back in the 2016-17 Matthews and Nylander displayed some serious chemistry as rookies when Matthews scored 40 goals to open up his NHL career, and it appears the duo will be reunited again for this one tonight.
Matthews and Nylander actually skated together earlier this season as well and got excellent results, but were split up in order to spread the wealth in the lineup, but it looks like Keefe is looking to spark that chemistry here again in this one.
Speaking of career-years, it’s certainly been one for the 23-year-old Nylander has he too has already set a new career-high in goals with 30 while his 58 points in 67 games easily puts him on pace to shatter his previous career–high of 61 points, a number he recorded in each of his first two seasons in the NHL. Nylander is also set to blow past his previous career-high in shots as he has 193 of them this season. Nylander’s splits are almost dead-even unlike his center tonight, but was probably the Maple Leafs’ best player in their disappointing road trip through California as his much maligned contract now looks like a full-blown bargain for the blue and white.
He skates with Matthews on the team’s top line now while also flanking him on the Maple Leafs’ 10th-ranked home power play, so let’s get this duo firing in this one tonight.
W – Teuvo Teravainen (CAR) – $6,400 vs. DET
Just like Aho, the opportunity that presents itself is massive for Teravainen against the NHL’s worst defense and the NHL’s worst goaltender this season.
The 25-year-old Teravainen is one of the game’s more underrated play makers as he sits with 61 points in 67 games on the season, but with a whopping 46 assists as well as he and Aho have found some serious chemistry on that Hurricanes top line. He’s also put a healthy 179 shots on goal as well, but has just 15 goals to show for it as his 8.4% shooting rate has bit him and sits well under his 10% career mark.
Nonetheless, Teravainen has been a big power play contributor with 20 man advantage points on the season with 16 of those coming in assist form, but he actually has a goal and three points on the penalty kill as well, so there’s some nice special teams bonus points potential here as part of his 19:12 of average ice time per game.
The 2012 first-round pick of the Blackhawks has been almost as productive on the road as he’s been at home, and the matchup lends itself to having those splits get even narrower tonight.
W – Andrei Svechnikov (CAR) – $5,800 vs. DET
While he by no means had a poor rookie season last year when he scored 20 goals on 189 shots, Svechnikov has really made a name for himself this season and has taken a massive step forward in his point production and his impact on the ice.
Still just 19 years of age, Svechnikov has tallied 24 goals and 60 points in 67 games on the season to go along with 180 shots on goal. He’s already blown past last year’s numbers in goals, assists and points, and he will also do the same with shots on goal, imminently. He too has been productive on the power play where he’s tallied six goals and 19 points on the season.
Interestingly, this first-line trio of Aho, Teravainen and Svechnikov were all held off the scoresheet in the Hurricanes’ blowout of the Penguins on Sunday afternoon despite the teams scoring six goals. I could see the Hurricanes putting another six goals up in this one, and if they can manage anything close to that you know this group is going to be involved this time around.
Like his linemates, Svechnikov’s home/road splits are fairly even which bodes well for a shellacking of the league-worst Red Wings tonight.
W – Sonny Milano (ANH) – $3,500 vs. OTT
The Ducks and Senators get together tonight in a rematch of the 2007 Stanley Cup final from Anaheim, and I have found myself a low-cost Ducks mini-stack against one of the worst road defenses the NHL has to offer.
While the Ducks have struggled to the tune of 2.56 goals per game at home, good for 29th in the league, and their home power play also sits at 29th with a brutal 13.4% clip, I think they can get some offense going tonight in this matchup. After all, the Senators rank 30th with 3.69 goals against per game on the season away from home while their road penalty kill hasn’t helped at 29th with a 73.8% mark on the season.
Enter Milano who has been given a big role with the Ducks since coming over from the Blue Jackets at the trade deadline as he’s set to skate alongside Ryan Getzlaf on the team’s top line while flanking Getzlaf on the top power play unit. Sure, the power play has stunk but so has the Senators penalty kill, so something has to give in this matchup tonight.
Milano has actually been quite productive in his brief tenure with the Ducks, tallying two goals and five points in his seven games in Anaheim after notching five goals and 18 points in 46 games with the Jackets prior to the deal. He’s also chipped in a goal and an assist on the power play in his seven games with the Ducks and has seen a four-minute increase in average ice time in Anaheim to 16:34 per game with the Ducks. Seems like a real valuable play to me given the matchup, the increase usage and the increased production in his new digs.
D – Tyson Barrie (TOR) – $4,800 vs. TB
Even with the return of No.1 defenseman Morgan Rielly for this one tonight, it appears Barrie will maintain his spot on the team’s top power play unit. If we see anything change between now and lock in the regards, Rielly is an easy pivot as he too is listed at $4,800, so keep an eye on line combinations over at Daily Faceoff leading up to lock.
Nonetheless, we want a PP1 stack tonight as the Maple Leafs have been real good in that department under Keefe, even if they have scuffled a bit of late, but that’s been their offensive game as a whole.
Barrie has been one of the main beneficiaries of the coaching change as he’s been much more productive under Keefe where he’s scored all five of his goals and 27 of his 34 assists since November 21st. He has 39 points and 168 shots on goal in his 69 games on the season and while that doesn’t live up to previous standards, he has performed as per usual from a DFS standpoint under Keefe. He has a goal and 12 points on the power play and the Lightning penalty kill is weakened if Hedman doesn’t dress in this one tonight.
Barrie’s been far more productive at home with 22 points in 33 home games compared to 17 points in 36 road games while he’s shooting the puck about even on both sides. Nonetheless, he’s a nice fit in this stack and if the Maple Leafs’ top power play unit can find its mojo in this one this three-man Maple Leafs stack will be in good hands.
D – Michael Del Zotto (ANH) – $3,500 vs. OTT
It’s been a long time since this name has appeared in one of my FanDuel NHL DFS lineups, but here he is as Del Zotto forms a mini-stack with Milano in a favorable home matchup tonight.
While the Ducks’ power play has been no good, this is indeed a power play mini-stack and one that gets increased upside thanks to a brutal Senators road penalty kill in town. With both Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm sidelined, Del Zotto has indeed been entrusted to quarterback this top power play unit.
Del Zotto enters this one with just two goals and 14 points in 47 games this year with 55 shots and 53 blocks, but that’s actually decent production due to the fact he’s averaging just 18:42 of ice time per game and largely hasn’t seen any power play time at all when the team’s blueline was healthy. That usage has seen a notable increase with the aforementioned injuries to Lindholm and Fowler as well as Erik Gudbranson. Del Zotto has skated more than his average in all five of his March games so far and has skated at least 21:15 in four of the five and a high of 24:49 in that time.
It hasn’t translated to much production with just one assist and five shots in those five games, but the increased usage helps, especially in a favorable matchup such as this. At the minimum defenseman price at FanDuel, I believe we have some notable upside here with Del Zotto and likely at very low ownership as well.
G – Frederik Andersen (TOR) – $8,200 vs. TB
The lineup takes a GPP turn here as Andersen lines up against the high-octane Tampa Bay Lightning tonight.
That said, it’s a Lightning team that will be without superstar forward Steven Stamkos and perhaps one of the game’s better offensive blueliners in Hedman, so it’s a weakened Tampa offense and one that produces much better at home. While I realize they scored five against an elite Bruins home defense on Sunday, the Lightning average 3.85 goals per game at home – the best mark in the NHL – but slip to seventh with 3.17 goals per game on the road. Still a quality number, of course, but a greatly reduced one in this split.
Also, as I noted in the Barrie section above, the Maple Leafs defense gets a step healthier tonight with the return of No.1 blueliner Morgan Rielly. That said, the biggest reason why I like Andersen here is a potential hot streak underway.
While we don’t know if he’s hot yet, he certainly was lights out his last time out after some struggles. Andersen made 30 saves in a shutout over the Kings last Thursday, and many of those saves were massive ones in overtime. Despite earning the shutout, he took the loss as the Leafs fell 1-0 in a shootout.
Still, that’s a .965 Sv% for Andersen over his last two after a rocky month of February. He’s had a down season overall with a 2.89 GAA and .908 Sv% on the year, but he has been between a .917 and . 919 Sv% in each of his last four seasons and owns a .916 mark for his career, so perhaps there’s some positive regression and a hot stretch to be had as the Maple Leafs fight for their playoff lives.
He could very well see some significant rubber in this one, affording him the opportunity to rack up the saves, and I will take that opportunity at what I presume will be low ownership tonight.