Today’s NHL Cash Game Breakdown goes over Thursday’s nine (9) game slate that has a roster lock of 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT.
UPDATE (6:40 PM ET): I’m going to have to downgrade Bryan Rust a little bit. He should be okay as a whole, but dropping away from Crosby’s line is not what you want right now, given the way PIT1 was rolling. There are plenty of good pivots for Rust if you need them in the rankings.
UPDATE (6:03 PM ET): The Rangers announced that K’Andre Miller is OUT of the lineup today and that Alexander Georgiev will start instead of Igor Shesterkin. If you’re looking for a play on DK at that price range or less, I would consider Philippe Myers, Michael Matheson, and Calen Addison as pivots to go with Nikolai Knyzhov who was already in the rankings.
UPDATE (4:00 PM ET): I am bumping up Ovi a few spots up in the winger rankings since we have confirmation that Ristolainan remains out for the Sabres. I have seen multiple people mention not playing Matthews on DK because of salary. While I think you really should do it in GPP, I think it’s still really borderline to do it in cash. At a minimum, if you fade him in cash, you should play Ovi or Pastrnak. Lastly, I am adding Mats Zuccarello as a punt play. He’ll be playing with Ek and Fiala, so the opportunities should be there.
As a reminder, this is going to be our content schedule throughout the season:
*Projections by Ryan Clifford for every slate (available for download AND uploaded into the optimizer)
*Lineup Coach in chat 1 hour before lock each slate
1 Games: Showdown Article
2 Games: Slate Breakdown
3-4 Games: Cheat Sheet and GPP Breakdown
5 Games or More: Cash Game Breakdown, Cheat Sheet, and GPP Breakdown
1 Game: Showdown Breakdown
2 Games: Slate Breakdown
3 Games or More: Cheat Sheet and GPP Breakdown
Please be sure to keep an eye on late news by looking at our NHL Team Beat Writers lists on Twitter by clicking here.
Positional Cash Game Rankings
- Auston Matthews, Leafs (DK: $9000, FD: $9000)
- Mika Zibanejad, Rangers (DK: $5700, FD: $6000)
- Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Islanders (DK: $4400, FD: $4500)
- Jack Roslovic, Blue Jackets (DK: $5300, FD: $5100)
- Joel Eriksson-Ek, Wild (DK: $5400, FD: $4900)
- Nick Schmaltz, Coyotes (DK: $6000. FD: $4800) // much better value on FD
- Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Kings (DK: $2600, FD: $3200)
- Even though he plays on a line with Old Man Marley from Home Alone, he’s still the most consistent fantasy hockey performer of his generation. He’s also likely going to face Marcus Hogberg, who is still statistically the worst starting goalie in the NHL, so it’s basically suicide if you decide to fade him in cash.
- The sites are basically daring my ass to play Mika Zibanejad at these price points. Holy hell, put him at $7500 fade. But okay, in all seriousness, we really still need to give him serious consideration tonight. Philly’s defense and goaltending has been questionable all season long, and somewhat a product of the absence of Sean Couturier. While Couturier is actually going to make his return tomorrow night, there’s still going to be a thin roster without Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Travis Konecny, and Scott Laughton, among others. Call me an absolute lunatic, but I think he’s not only going to score tonight’s but he’ll have 5+ shots and 2+ points as well. It’ll be his first time in my cash game article this year, and hopefully this is what helps him break his slump (hah).
- Joel Eriksson-Ek is now centering the Wild’s top line, and he’s centering it with Kevin Fiala situated next to him. He has been the Wild’s best player this season, and he’s even getting top power-play minutes. I think he’s still the best pure value play at the Center position.
- Mike Hoffman, Blues (DK: $4600, FD: $5600)
- Bryan Rust, Penguins (DK: $6700, FD: $6300) // more likely to play on FD than DK
- Alex Ovechkin, Capitals (DK: $8400, FD: $8300)
- Conor Garland, Coyotes (DK: $6900, FD: $5300) // much better value on FD
- David Pastrnak, Bruins (DK: $8800, FD: $8600)
- Joel Farabee, Flyers (DK: $4200, FD: $5100)
- Cam Atkinson, Blue Jackets (DK: $5800, FD: $6400)
- Kevin Fiala, Wild (DK: $6300, FD: $5700)
- Jordan Kyrou, Blues (DK: $4700, FD: $4400)
- Oliver Bjorkstrand, Blue Jackets (DK: $4400, FD: $5400)
- James van Riemsdyk, Flyers (DK: $5400, FD: $6400)
- Nick Ritchie, Bruins (DK: $4300, FD: $4000)
- Nick Paul, Senators (DK: $3100, FD: $3800)
- Evgenii Dadonov, Senators (DK: $3800, FD: $5100)
- Hoffman is finally going to get a serious look on the power-play unit, and he’s going to be in good shape at 5v5 playing with Schenn and Kyrou as well. When he’s on his game, there’s not many guys who are priced where he’s at right now who can do the type of damage that he can do with the one-timer. Playing with Schenn and Kyrou will definitely put him in favorable situations throughout the night.
- In Rust’s last four games, he has 8, 6, 6, and 4 shots on goal respectively. I know he has been a role-player for most of his career, but what I see when I watch Penguins games is Rust being the main option in terms of goal scoring. He plays the bumper position on the top power-play unit and seems to always make his presence known around the crease. He’s still very underpriced, especially on FanDuel, given the type of production we’re getting from him.
- Garland has been largely matchup proof this season, in what most would consider his breakout year. I think at home, we’ll be able to see him avoid LA1, which is extremely important if we expect him to produce tonight. Given his price point on FD, I would say he’s close to a lock play there. If you want a better DK option, you might want to consider his linemate, Clayton Keller.
- Pastrnak is super expensive, but when he’s in the zone, there’s just not many players who can put up the type of aggression and production that he’s capable of. As much as I love MacKenzie Blackwood as a goalie, I don’t know if there’s many players who play in front of him that’s going to be able to slow down Pasta.
- I had to look it over, and I ended up completely mind blown how little we’ve seen from Alex Ovechkin in the Cash article this season. He has been a cash game staple for years and years, but there has been a little bit of a drop this year due to how necessary it has been to roster someone like Auston Matthews and David Pastrnak, and also because he was out for awhile due to COVID restrictions. Still, He’s shooting the puck a ton since coming back to the lineup, and still provides a nice floor. Obviously the matchup matters as well, and well, there wasn’t too many things that looked good about the Sabres defense the last two games against the Islanders. Yes, they did it against a team that was fielding Matt Irwin and Colin Miller in their top four defense pairings, but I’m not sure if the return of Rasmus Ristolainen really corrects EVERYTHING.
- I really like Joel Farabee as a player, but he hadn’t been receiving any type of power-play time even with his monstrous 5v5 offensive performances. But with the Flyers dealing with a thin roster due to COVID issues, he’s going to get an opportunity on the top power-play unit, and hopefully he’ll make the most out of it.
- Justin Faulk, Blues (DK: $5100, FD: $4500)
- Jakob Chychrun, Coyotes (DK: $5800, FD: $4900)
- Seth Jones, Blue Jackets (DK: $5400, FD: $5300)
- Ty Smith, Devils (DK: $4000, FD: $3800)
- Adam Fox, Rangers (DK: $5700, FD: $4500) // still a much better FD play than anything
- K’Andre Miller, Rangers (DK: $3100, FD: $3900)
- Nikolai Knyzhov, Sharks (DK: $2500, FD: $3500) // only cash viable on DK
- Faulk is playing some of the best hockey of his career, and he has been rewarded with a big bump up to the top power-play unit, and a big bump in ice time, having hit the 23 minute mark in six of his last seven games. His price point has definitely inflated a bit, but I think he’s still value right now given the circumstances.
- I know Chychrun’s FD price has been bumped up, but given what he provides on the ice, he’s still very, very underpriced. No other defenseman in HOCKEY has been as aggressive in terms of shooting the puck as Chychrun this season, and he has also been rewarded with huge minutes, and especially huge minutes in high-leverage situations in the offensive zone.
- Jones has been great with Werenski out of the lineup, and it looks like Werenski will remain out of the lineup tonight against the underachieving Predators.
- With Ty Smith now getting time with the PP1 and also trusted to the point where he’s getting over 20 minutes of ice time, I’m all for getting as much exposure to the kid that I can. He’s still very raw, but he’s very comfortable with the puck, and has a cannon of a slap shot. Those extra minutes are going to translate to the scoresheet one way or another.
- Miller is a good value now, especially with Trouba out of the lineup. He’ll be a focal point on the 2nd power-play unit, and is a lock for 20+ mins a game, which is great for someone with his upside and price point.
Tuukka Rask, Bruins (DK: $8500, FD: $8500)Jaroslav Halak, Bruins (DK: $8300, FD: $8500)
- Vitek Vanecek, Capitals (DK: $8100, FD: $7600)
Igor Shesterkin, Rangers (DK: $7400, FD: $7000)Alexander Georgiev, Rangers (DK: $7200, FD: $7000)
DraftKings: Auston Matthews, Mika Zibanejad, Mike Hoffman, Justin Faulk
FanDuel: Auston Matthews,
Bryan Rust Mike Hoffman, Conor Garland, Justin Faulk