Welcome to a fresh week of NHL DFS! We have a tiny two-game slate on our hands tonight, so with limited options on the draft board we will do our best to nail down a solid lineup. Let’s get to it!
C – Nazem Kadri (TOR) – $6,200 vs. LA
The Maple Leafs host the stingy Kings tonight, so I’m not going to go crazy with Toronto exposure, but they remain the highest scoring team in the league at 4.63 goals per game, so some exposure is warranted. Kadri has quietly has a real nice start to the season with four goals and four assists on 26 shots through eight contests on the season. Coming off career highs in goals (32) and points (61), Kadri has developed into one of the top two-way centers in all of hockey. He also threw 236 shots on goal last season and will be relied upon heavily by Mike Babcock tonight.
C – Logan Couture (SJ) – $6,500 vs. NYR
Couture is on an absolute tear right now as the Sharks’ most productive pivot has tallied five goals, including two on the power play, and two assists over his last three games. Couture and his Sharks visit the Rangers tonight who continue to be weak on the back end while allowing 3.44 goals per game, good for 22nd overall. The Rangers are also only killing penalties at a 77.1% clip, also good for 22nd league wide. The Sharks aren’t the most dynamic offense around, but with how Couture has been going lately I’ll grab him over the likes of Mika Zibanejad tonight.
W – Patrick Marleau (TOR) – $5,700 vs. LA
Marleau is off a nice start in his new digs in Toronto as the former Shark has tallied three goals and a couple of helpers on a real solid 25 shots across eight games on the season. Marleau lines up next to Kadri on the Leafs’ second or third line (depending on how you look at it), but he also lines up next to Auston Matthews and Willian Nylander on the Leafs’ top power play unit (again, depending on how you look at it). With exposure to Toronto’s top offensive players on the power play and exposure to a line that will be relied upon heavily tonight at even strength I like Marleau’s upside tonight.
W – Joe Pavelski (SJ) – $7,700 vs. NYR
I really think Pavelski is a must tonight against the Rangers. While the veteran forward has only two goals and two assists through seven contests, he does have 21 shots and has actually blocked a shot in every game this season too. Pavelski plays on the team’s top line and top power play unit, which means he gets exposure to Couture on the man advantage while getting plenty of ice time elsewhere as well. As long as he continues to shoot the puck the goals will start to come in bunches for the American sniper.
W – Melker Karlsson (SJ) – $3,500 vs. NYR
Today’s value play is Karlsson who will certainly come at lower ownership tonight against the Rangers. Karlsson has just a single point in seven contests this season, but it’s nice to see that he is set to skate with Couture on the Sharks’ second line. Differentiation is a must on this two-game slate, and with Karlsson having a nice offensive skill set against a struggling defensive team, I will roll the dice with the young winger this evening.
W – Rick Nash (NYR) – $6,200 vs. SJ
As I mentioned in a piece last week, Nash is due for better puck luck moving forward. Among forwards with at least 30 shots on goal this season, Nash’s 2.9% shooting percentage is the lowest of them all as he has just one tally on 35 shots this year, the latter of which ranks 7th in the league. Nash will receive first line duties as well as first unit power play duties and will start to see some goals cross the line imminently.
D – Kevin Shattenkirk (NYR) – $6,300 vs. SJ
Given Shattenkirk’s large offensive roll on the Rangers’ blueline it’s real tough to leave him out on tonight small slate. Shattenkirk is the quarterback of the Rangers’ top power play unit and considering the Rangers power play has clicked at 22.9% this year (10th), this is a nice place to be for the blueliner. The Sharks have a strong penalty kill at 86.7% this season, but given the small slate I will use Shattenkirk and Nash as a mini-stack on the Rangers’ top unit tonight.
D – Tim Heed (SJ) – $3,800 vs. NYR
Heed has played well for the Sharks so far this season, so well that he now has a spot on the team’s top power play unit, a group that now includes two defenseman. Heed has two assists and nine shots through just five games this season and has skated as much as 19:49 in a game as well. Admittedly, Heed’s value comes mostly from that spot on the team’s top power play unit but nonetheless I will take the value here with Heed in an opportunistic spot at a low price.
G – Frederik Andersen (TOR) – $8,500 vs. LA
You have to be willing to assume the risk with using Andersen due to the fact the Maple Leafs rank 23rd with 3.50 goals per game on the season. Combined with the fact the Kings offense has surprisingly clicked at a 3.86 goals per game pace and we have a GPP play here. However, the Kings just lost their leading producer from last season in Jeff Carter long term and are all the sudden very thin down the middle. Anze Kopitar is having a good season, but after that the center ice position drops dramatically for the Kings. Besides, Andersen could be in for a big work load tonight which could mean plenty of shots and if he is up to the task then we have a recipe for success. He’s not a cash play, but I don’t mind Andersen at all in GPP lineups.