It’s the second-to-last Monday night slate of the regular season, and it’s a big one. Nine games slated for action tonight, with lock at the usual 7:00pm. It’s almost playoff time, so scoring is going down, undrafted free agents that you’ve never heard of are popping into lineups on a nightly basis, players are resting for the playoffs – there’s a lot to keep track of. Let me make things easier for you with a breakdown of my favorite players for cash game lineups tonight. Here’s an overview of the slate, followed by some quick analysis on said players…
As always, I will do my best to keep the article updated to reflect any late scratches, line changes or surprise goalie confirmations. Please follow me on Twitter @RyanClifford as I will always post any updates that affect my article there, as well.
Good luck tonight!
POSITIONAL CASH GAME RANKINGS
1) Auston Matthews, TOR (DK $7500 FD $8600) – Over his last six games, Matthews is averaging nearly 3.5 DK points per game from shots + blocks alone. He’s provided us at least 2 DK points from shots + blocks in 15 of his last 16 games. Toronto has the slate’s second-highest implied total (3.8), so Matthews has one of both the highest floors and ceilings on the slate. Lock him in.
2) Patrice Bergeron, BOS (DK $7200 FD $8300) – Bergeron has 10 points (6G 4A) in his last six games, yet tonight his salary is at it’s lowest point of this stretch. I’m assuming he’s getting a matchup discount, against the league’s top-ranked team, but Tampa Bay has allowed 19 goals against in their last six games, so it’s not like they’ve been defensively sound. #37 has 4+ peripherals in seven of eight games – averaging nearly 5 shots + blocks per game.
3) Anthony Cirelli, TB (DK $3700 FD $4400) – Trivia time: In Tampa’s last 12 games, who is their second-leading scorer behind Nikita Kucherov? If you said Anthony Cirelli – you would be correct. With 11 points (5G 6A) in his last 12 games, Cirelli continues to be a DFS bargain. He’s more of a GPP play – averaging just 2 peripherals per game in this stretch, but it’s getting to the point where I feel comfortable riding the wave – especially if I’m looking to conserve salary in order to pay up elsewhere.
4) Anze Kopitar, LA (DK $4800 FD $6200) – This is a DK-only play, where Kopitar has just become too cheap for a top line center, playing 25+ minutes per game, PP1 and PK time. In his past four games, “Kopi” has 2 goals and 3 assists, and tonight the Kings are in Calgary, where the Flames will be starting the volatile Mike Smith in goal. Since March 1, the Kings actually have the league’s fifth-ranked power play, while Calgary has had it’s struggles on the PK – killing less than 80% of their opposition’s power plays this season.
Daily Dumpster Dive: Teddy Blueger, PIT (DK $2800 FD $3500) – Bluegar has 4 points in eight games, and is playing on the second line in Evgeni Malkin’s place. I don’t think I’m paying down at center today, but Bluegar would be my favorite choice from the bargain bin.
1) Matthew Tkachuk, CGY (DK $7200 FD $6900) – I like Tkachuk a lot for FD users tonight. On DK, Tkachuk is the second-highest priced winger on the slate, behind only Nikita Kucherov. It’s well-deserved, though, as the youngster has amassed 8 goals and 5 assists in his last seven games. Looking at just home games, Tkachuk has points in six straight, and has totaled 8 goals and 5 assists in his last six in Calgary. The Flames are back on home ice again tonight, with the slate’s third-highest implied total – currently sitting at 3.7.
2) Alexander Radulov, DAL (DK $6900 FD$6600) – Like Tkachuk, Radulov is also a better value on FD, but I don’t mind him on either site. His linemate Tyler Seguin is just as good of a cash play tonight, but I don’t like to list multiple players from the same line as it can get confusing – cash game rule: don’t stack linemates…especially on a 9-game slate. Radulov is averaging 6 peripherals per game over his last 10, and has 7 goals and 4 assists in this stretch. Once again, floor and ceiling.
3) Vladimir Tarasenko, STL (DK $6500 FD $7900) – While Tkachuk and Radulov are better values on FD, Tarasenko is significantly cheaper on DK. He’s averaging over 4 peripherals per game in his last five, while scoring 2 goals and 4 assists. The Blues are hosting Vegas tonight, so it’s not the best matchup for St. Louis or #91, but St. Louis has still been given an implied total of nearly 3 goals. This is exactly the type of player I seek out for cash games – nice floor to fall back on in case he fails to get onto the scoresheet, but also a nice ceiling and potential for multiple points.
4) J.T. Miller, TB (DK $3300 FD $4600) – Miller is DK-only for me, where he’s still extremely underpriced for a top-six winger getting PP time, on the league’s #1 team. He has points in four straight games – 5 of 6 even – yet his salary is at it’s lowest point of the season…I truly don’t understand. This is a bit of a risky play, still, as Miller averages just 2 peripherals per game in this stretch – but honestly, even a pointless game isn’t going to kill your lineup for $3,300.
5) Patric Hornqvist, PIT (DK $4700 FD $5400) – This is another one I probably wouldn’t consider on FD, but for sub-$5k on DraftKings, Hornqvist brings a little bit of consistency to the table, with 4+ peripherals in four of his last five, and also gives you exposure to the Penguins top power play unit – which ranks 3rd since February 1. Hornqvist likely needs a point to hit cash value, but I feel comfortable with that, as Pittsburgh having a big implied total of 3.5 tonight.
6) Alexander Nylander, BUF (DK $3800 FD $3300) – William’s younger brother, Alex is finally getting his shot at the NHL level, and…so far, so good. He now has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last three games, and is skating on Buffalo’s top line, along side of Jack Eichel – on of the league’s top playmakers. Nylander is averaging just 1 SOG/game, so this is a little risky on DK, I like the price more on Fanduel, as we’re going to need at least a point for him to hit value.
7) Miles Wood, NJ (DK $4500FD $3800) – Wood is back in the Devils lineup, and started off with a point and 4 shots on goal in his first game back. The Sabres defense has been abysmal all season, so the Devils could be a sneaky DFS spot tonight. Wood is skating on the team’s third line, which will get the matchups against Buffalo’s depth. Wood is averaging 4 peripherals per game in his last six, so we’ve got a decent floor to fall back on, as well.
8) Taro Hirose, DET (DK $2500FD $3000) – I’ve been telling you guys about Hirose since his first game in Detroit. We’re three games into his career, and this kid has registered an assist in each game thus far. His price hasn’t moved, and he remains at the stone-cold minimum price on both sites. Keep plugging this kid in there until either his price comes up, or he stops showing the ability to setup goals at the NHL level.
Daily Dumpster Dive: Karson Kuhlman, BOS (DK $2500 FD $3100) – Kuhlman is back in the Boston lineup, and had a goal in his first game since being recalled from the AHL. He’s now scored 2 goals and added an assist in 6 career NHL games. I strongly prefer Hirose, but if you’re looking for two min-priced wingers, in order to cram in top dollar guys everywhere else, I don’t mind Kuhlman tonight, either.
1) Kris Letang, PIT (DK $6400 FD $7300) – The Penguins defender has picked up right where he left off, averaging 5 peripherals per game since returning to the Pittsburgh lineup. He’s registered a point in all three games since coming back, and Pittsburgh hasn’t been shy about giving him all the ice time he can handle right out of the gate, either – averaging over 25 minutes per game. There is more than enough value on this slate to fit him into cash game lineups, and with a really nice matchup on tap for the Pens, Letang is definitely going to be in my lineup tonight.UPDATE: Letang is OUT tonight. McDonagh becomes my top defenseman for cash games.
2) Ryan McDonagh, TB (DK $5100 FD $5000) – McDonagh is a bit cheaper than Victor Hedman, but he’s been producing just as much, and at a more consistent level than his fellow blueliner. He’s finished with no less than 3 DK points in seven of his last eight games, while playing at a point-per-game pace. He’s averaging 6 peripherals per game in his last five, so it’s possible for him to hit cash value with SOG/BS alone. I’m hoping to find a way to fit both McDonagh and Letang into my lineup – and again, there’s plenty of value available to get it done.
3) Jacob Trouba, WPG (DK $5600 FD $5500) – Trouba is another consistent option available on defense tonight. He’s registered at least 2 DK points in 14 of his last 15 games, and is averaging 5 peripherals per game over his last 10. Dustin Byfuglien remains out, so Trouba is getting top pairing minutes, PP1 minutes, as well as time on the PK. He’s going to give you 22-25 minutes per game, and with 8 points in his last 10 games, he has some upside, as well.
4) Colton Parayko, STL (DK $4500 FD $4700) – Speaking of consistency, Parayko continues to pile up the peripherals, and has finished with 2+ DK points in eight straight games. He’s managed just 6 points in his last 10 games, though, so there is some risk of getting a 2.0 or 2.5 from him on DK – and this risk is a bit higher on FD, where peripherals don’t count for as much – but the floor is certainly nice to be able to rely on.
5) Roman Josi, NSH (DK $6500 FD $6500) – Josi has registered at least 4 peripherals in 11 of his last 12 games, but just isn’t giving us the upside to make a $6,000+ salary viable for cash games. He’s failed to reach 4 DK points in five straight games, yet his salary has gone up to it’s highest point in the last four weeks. Regardless, Josi is one of the most dependable players for DFS purposes, you can almost lock in a 3-point floor on DK, putting Josi over cash value with just one point. Nashville is on the road tonight against the Wild, and has an implied total of just 2.6.
6) John Gilmour, NYR (DK $3000 FD $3500) – I was glad to see Gilmour back in Ranger blue, as he was one of my favorite DFS plays last season. He’s wasted no time getting back onto my radar, piling up 14 peripherals (3 SOG 11 BS) in his first two games at the NHL level this season. He’s averaged 18 minutes TOI, so ice time isn’t an issue for this kid. He’s well worth his min-price salary on FD, and I have no issue whatsoever with the $3k price tag on DK. Gilmour’s teammates Kevin Shattenkirk and Tony DeAngelo are other options I’d consider for cash games.
Daily Dumpster Dive: Brayden McNabb, VGK (DK $2800 FD $3500) – If you need another min-price option on D, McNabb is averaging over 2 DK points per game over his last five from shots + blocks alone. He’s getting over 20 minutes TOI, and provides you with someone you can count on to hit value for min-price, while being able to allocate more salary towards your forwards.
1) Matt Murray, PIT (DK $8000FD $8900) – Pittsburgh has 66% implied odds to beat the Rangers in New York tonight. Murray is always a favorite of mine for cash games, as Pittsburgh allows the fourth-most shots against in the entire league – which gives Murray elite upside on most nights. Murray has allowed 3 goals against or less in 10 of his last 11 starts – 2 or less in 8 of 11.
2) Frederik Andersen, TOR (DK $8300 FD $8400) – Andersen is another cash-game staple, as the Leafs also allow a significant number of shots against, on average. I’m a bit more worried about Florida than I am about the Rangers (facing Murray), so Andersen falls just below the Penguins netminder, but I think his salary is very reasonable, especially on FD. Toronto has 66% projected odds of winning tonight, and Andersen has arguably the highest upside on the slate, as Florida ranks 5th in SOG/game.
3) Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB (DK $7800 FD $9500) – Vasi is coming off two straight games in which he allowed 4 goals against, so his form could be an issue here. A sub-$8k Vasilevskiy is a rarity, though, and the Lightning are back on home ice tonight – where he’s gone 10 straight games allowing no more than 3 goals against. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole for $9,500 on Fanduel, but he’s got a lot of upside, and saves you a few hundred bucks off the other options I’ve listed above.
Daily Dumpster Dive: Cory Schneider, NJ (DK $7400 FD $7400) – Schneider is on home ice, where the Devils host Buffalo tonight. This game is listed as a “pick-em”, and Schneider is likely to see a whole lot of shot volume in this one. The Sabres have lost 9 of their last 10 games, while averaging just 2 goals per game. The Devils haven’t been much better, but for $7,400, I’m willing to take a shot on Schneider here, if necessary.