Has anybody seen Tyler Seguin?
How about Jamie Benn?
If you have, please kindly let them know that there’s still half a season left to play.
A three game point drought for each and a combined -10. Ouch. If you’ve been paying up for these two over the last week then I’m going to assume haven’t been happy with the results.
Such is the life of an NHL DFS player. Sometimes you might feel like you have the best lineup possible on paper, and then your studs don’t perform and some third liner seeing 11 minutes a game scores twice. Now your lineup is in the garbage bin.
Don’t get discouraged by this. For an NHL player the season is 82 games long. For a DFS player it’s actually much longer because you can choose to play every night throughout the season. Sometimes slumps happen to the best of us.
Just ask Seguin and Benn.
The important thing is to focus on making the right decisions. Focus on the right trends, determine the best targets, and try to be as consistent as possible. If you do that, then you’ll see the best total results through the course of a long season.
Tonight is a small slate for a Thursday with only 7 games. FanDuel is running the $300 buy-in $150k Super Monster. Here’s to a good night of hockey!
7 p.m. Washington Capitals at New York Islanders
On Wednesday, the Capitals signed the troubled veteran Mike Richards to a one-year contract. This is a good signing for the Caps and I think it sends a message that they’re gearing up for a Stanley Cup run this season.
On the surface, it doesn’t seem like it will have a big fantasy impact. And it won’t be by the way of expecting consistent scoring out of Richards. But I do like the signing for a couple of other reasons.
I expect the Caps to use Richards as a checking line center. They had recently moved Marcus Johansson off of the 2nd line to take this role. It’s unclear if Richards is expected to play tonight already, but when he does enter the lineup i think it makes sense to play him on the third line against opposing teams top players. His grit and feistiness is a perfect match for this type of role.
And what this does for Washington’s top 6 is immeasurable.
Now the Caps can move Johansson back to the wing with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams reuniting one of the best second lines in the league.
This in turn takes pressure off of the first line of Alex Ovechkin, TJ Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom.
Get ready for goals to pour out of the Capitals lineup as if they already hadn’t been.
Make sure to check the lines today. It will be interesting to see how coach Barry Trotz plays his team going forward.
The Islanders lost Johnny Boychuck to injury, so you won’t hear me complaining about him not seeing power play time (at least not for a little while longer).
Defenseman Nick Leddy has been playing better of late, and actually has a modest 5-game point streak going. He has a goal and 5 assists over that span, and as the QB of a PP1 that features a ton of talent, it makes sense to roster him going forward until he cools down. He’s only $4,600 on FD.
John Tavares has snapped out of his December slump with 6 points in his last 6 games. Tavares also has a knack for showing up in big games. He’s facing the best team the East has to offer tonight, but he could be worth his salary tonight. Especially if you flank him with lineman Josh Bailey who also sees PP1 minutes. This is a GPP play with a high ceiling.
7:30 p.m. Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators
Ten straight wins for the Panthers and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. The problem for DFS players is that everybody should be on this train by now. There’s no hiding the top line of Jonathan Huberdeau, Jaromir Jagr and Alex Barkov at this point. They should be upwards of 20% owned in all GPPs tonight.
And for good reason. They continue to produce and don’t break the bank. They should be owned across all formats, especially tonight against the Senators who have allowed the 2nd most goals in the Eastern Conference.
A possible low-owned play that I like out of Florida is defenseman Dimitry Kulikov. He is seeing PP1 minutes with the top line, and is cheaper than the PP QB Aaron Ekblad.
Ottawa lets in a lot of goals but they can also score them. They’ve moved Bobby Ryan up to the top line with Kyle Turris. This is a very intriguing combo that should maybe get some GPP consideration. But I think that Florida is better at preventing goals than Ottawa is at scoring them.
8 p.m. Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild
The Flyers stacked the top line on Tuesday and what it accomplished was opening up room for the 2nd line of Michael Raffl, Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier.
Schenn had a goal and two assists, while Couturier added a gino with an apple himself. This production won’t last forever, BUT, it’s worth considering these two as plugs if you need a wing or a center. Schenn should receive more consideration since he plays on the top power play unit with Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Shayne Gostisbehere.
Speaking of Gostisbehere, still only $4,000 on FD and as hot as ever. A goal and an assist in Tuesday’s win over Montreal. Those are the exact kind of numbers we want in a defenseman. Low cost with high expectations. Roster him in all formats and don’t look back.
Minnesota will score goals tonight. Zach Parise had a hat trick on Tuesday and he’s probably licking his lips at the thought of going against Philadelphia’s weak defense tonight. He’ll probably shoot the puck 6-8 times and I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t find the back of the net, as top snipers usually make their mark against the Flyers.
Mikko Koivu began Tuesday night’s game as the top line center, but left the game very early to go to the hospital after crashing into the boards awkwardly. No word yet on if he plays tonight. So it will be either Koivu or Mikael Granlund as Parise’s center tonight. If you’re going to go with Parise tonight, you’ll want his center as well, so make sure to check the lineup reports throughout the day.
Rostering Ryan Suter at only $4,700 for a defenseman that sees PP1 minutes also seems like a no-brainer in this game.
8:30 p.m. Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars
Which way do we go with this?
Do we ride red-hot rookie Connor Hellebuyck in net? Or do we target players on the highest-scoring team in the league?
My heart tells me Hellebuyck. My head tells me Dallas.
If we do choose to go with Hellebuyck, we’re getting him at a great time to face Dallas. They’ve lost two straight, and as we mentioned before, Seguin and Benn have not scored for three games.
If we go with the trends, Hellebuyck seems like the smart pick. But, and it kills me to say this, it might be better to look for other options and just fade Hellebuyck for the night.
Hey, maybe he won’t even get the start and I won’t have to pay for this blasphemy.
It looks like in an effort to break this slump, Dallas is going to split up Benn and Seguin.
Benn will line up with Jason Spezza and Valeri Nichuskin.
Seguin will see minutes with Mattias Janmark and Patrick Sharp.
This gives us some relief if we’re trying to make a line stack work for Seguin or Benn. As tonight they probably should not be paired together in your lineup.
9 p.m. Arizona Coyotes at Calgary Flames
I promised myself i wasn’t going to bring up all-star selections during this write-up. But come on. How did Mikkel Boedker and Oliver Edman-Larsson of the Coyotes BOTH get snubbed?
The Coyotes are quietly having a great year. Fueled by a perfect mix of young legs and veteran leadership, they sit at 2nd place in the Pacific Division.
Boedker has 12 goals and 30 points through 39 games and is one of the most exciting open-ice players in the league. OEL has 10 goals and 26 points as a defenseman. These two should be in Nashville for the All-Star game. They should also be GPP considerations tonight.
Speaking of the All-Star game, at least we get to see Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau in the 3 on 3 format. Johnny Hockey probably IS the best player in the league for that format.
The Flames are very tough at home, and Gaudreau has been even better there.
There should be a lot of goals in this game regardless. I would love to see a free-wheeling 5-4 overtime thriller. Calgary’s top line of Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Joe Colborne should mix into that type of game well. If we’re going to see end-to-end transition play, which this game figures to have, that’s the stack I want in my lineup.
It looks like Flames captain Mark Giordano has been bumped off the top power play unit and replaced by Dennis Wideman. TJ Brodie see the other point on the PP1 unit.
I like Brodie’s game and offensive knack a bit better than Wideman’s, so he should be the Calgary target tonight on the back end.
10:30 p.m. Toronto Maple Leafs at Los Angeles Kings
Don’t look now, but the Leafs have won 3 straight and are 6-2-2 in their last 10. If you would have told me back in October that the Leafs would be 3 points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning in January I would have needed a slap to stop laughing. But here we are.
A major reason for this has been the play of the top line of James vanRiemsdyk, PA Parenteau and Tyler Bozak. They continue to produce at both even strength and the power play. At this point, they’re probably one of the top lines in the league.
It’s tough to trust them tonight, on the second end of a back-to-back and playing the defensively stingy Kings. But hey, if you want a risky play with a high-ceiling, i think you’ve found it here.
The Kings get Jeff Carter back and this is huge. He shoots, he shoots, he shoots. He makes for a great play tonight in all formats as he will be well-rested and is playing against the Leafs, who should be very fatigued after winning a physically demanding game against the Anaheim Ducks last night.
Carter is set to play on a line with Tanner Pearson and Marian Gaborik. They’ll probably be owned less than the top line of Anze Kopitar, Tyler Toffoli and Milan Lucic, and I think they’re the better choice in this one.
10:30 p.m. Detroit Red Wings at San Jose Sharks
The Red Wings are just that team. they don’t go away. I feel like they’ve been good every single year since 1995. It’s almost not fair.
It’s always tough to fly across the country and play on the road, but they get a San Jose team that has been just mediocre lately.
Detroit is deep upfront, so it’s hard to peg down a line with more of an advantage than another. But if i had to pick one for tonight it would be the top line of Justin Abdelkader, Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist. They also see PP1 minutes together so they should have plenty of opportunities to find the back of the nettonight.
San Jose defenseman Brent Burns has really seen his salary sky-rocket in the last two weeks on Fan Duel. It almost makes him unplayable. He costs more than Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson who is fourth in the ENTIRE LEAGUE in scoring.
I hate saying it because I love having Burns on my roster, but he’s probably a fade at this point. He’s only worth $8,100 if he’s scoring over 8 points a night. And the reality is he’s probably going to get you between 3-5. Look for other options on defense.
As always, make sure to check for lineup adjustments and confirmed goaltenders throughout the day. These write-ups are written before practice reports are made official, so some of the line combinations might change.