We’ve got another monster slate tonight, with 10 NHL games set to face-off tonight. I’m writing to you from Cleveland, OH, where I’ll be on stage again with my band later tonight, so it’s another early morning for me, as I scour the player pool in search of our best cash game options. Here’s a quick overview of the slate:
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) Tyler Seguin, DAL (DK $7200 FD $7700)– This is the kind of matchup I’ve been waiting for to target Seguin. They’ll play Chicago tonight, who has allowed 4 or more goals against to their opponents in eight of their last nine games (9 of 11). Dallas just put up 4 goals on this same team two weeks ago, and they’re on home ice tonight. Seguin has 4 or more peripherals in 9 of 10 games, so you’ve got a really nice floor, and a guy who is overdue for a ceiling game.
2) David Krejci, BOS (DK $5700 FD $6000)– Speaking of great matchups, Boston is on home ice against the Ottawa Senators tonight. Ottawa has allowed 4+ goals against in five of their last six. Boston, meanwhile, has won 12 of their last 13 games, including a 5-game win streak during their current home stand – they’ve scored 4 goals in four of those games. The Bruins should smash, and Jake DeBrusk will still be out. In his absence, Krejci’s role changes a bit, as he’s now going to be depended on as the goal scorer of that second line. With DeBrusk out of the lineup Thursday night, Krejci finished with 5 shots on goal, the first time all season he’s gotten to that mark.
3)Auston Matthews, TOR (DK $7700 FD $8100) – Speaking of guys due for a ceiling game, Matthews has had just one game of over 6 DK points in his last ten – very uncharacteristic of the young American. Toronto is in Edmonton tonight, and has the slate’s fourth-highest projected total. The Leafs just clobbered the Oilers 6-2 in Toronto a couple weeks ago, and although they’re playing a bit better defensively since returning home, there’s no question they’re susceptible to getting trounced. Matthews has gone eight straight games with 4+ peripherals, so you’re getting a really good, really consistent floor here, too.
4) Sean Couturier, PHI (DK $6900 FD $7500)– At first glance, the Flyers have a tougher matchup tonight – playing the Islanders for the second time this week in Nassau Coliseum. It was the Flyers, however, that won Sunday’s game 4-1, so perhaps we don’t have much to worry about. Couturier scored in that one, and overall, has points (3G 4A) in five of his last six games. He has 4+ peripherals in five of those six as well, and overall, his fantasy output has been incredibly consistent, with just one game of under 3.5 DK points in his last 11.
ALSO CONSIDER: Sidney Crosby (PIT), Blake Coleman (NJ),William Nylander (TOR), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (OTT)
1) Nikita Kucherov, TB (DK $7700 FD $9300)– Kucherov over Kane on Thursday night was a poor choice. Thankfully, he got me 5 SOG which wasn’t the complete disaster it could’ve been after he was held scoreless. Tonight, though, I’ve got to go right back to him, I think. Tampa has one of the highest projected totals I’ve seen all season – currently sitting at 4.3. Dylan Larkin is probably out again for Detroit, so this game could get out of hand. Kucherov has multiple points in 8 of his last 13 games (9G 18A), giving him arguably the highest ceiling of any skater playing tonight.
2) Brad Marchand, BOS (DK $7300 FD $8800)– I need to have either Kucherov or Marchand in my cash lineup tonight, and would love to cram both in, if possible. Marchand and the Bruins get a REALLY bad Ottawa team tonight. Marchand has 8 goals and 10 assists in his last 13 games, including a 3-point night on Thursday. Boston has the slate’s second-highest projected total – 3.9, which would be the highest total on nearly every other slate this season.
3)Patrick Kane, CHI (DK $8000 FD $9100)– Kane got himself back on the score sheet on Thursday, with 2 assists, after being held pointless in three of four. Over his last six games, however, he’s averaging over 3 DK points per game from peripherals alone, so although that isn’t going to get you to cash value, it does perhaps make him a safer play than the first two players in my ranks. Chicago is in Dallas, who has been playing brilliant defensive hockey, so that scares me a bit, and with the amazing spots Kucherov and Marchand are both in, it likely keeps Kane out of my cash lineup tonight.
4) Jamie Benn, DAL (DK $5500 FD $7600)– This is a DK-only play – $7,600 is way too pricey on FD. Benn seems to be playing much better after sitting out a couple games last week. He’s up to 4 goals and an assist in his three games since returning, and Dallas is in a really nice spot against the Blackhawks tonight. Benn is shooting the puck much more of late, with 22 SOG in his last 6 games. His price is still way too low on DK, so I would probably try to take advantage of the value tonight. Seguin and Benn have been skating on separate even strength lines, so I don’t mind having both of them in your lineup tonight.
5) Jared McCann, PIT (DK $4200 FD $4500)– So long as McCann remains on the Penguins top line, it’s going to be tough to NOT roster him in cash games at his current salary. He’s averaging nearly 5 points per game while skating alongside of Crosby, and overall, has points (3G 3A) in four of his last five games, and averaging nearly 4 peripherals per game over his last six. I’m going to keep rolling with him, giving me exposure to Sid at 5v5 without having to pay $8k.
6) Zack Kassian, EDM (DK $2900 FD $4300)– Kassian is quietly in the midst of a 4-game goal scoring streak. The 13th overall pick of the 2009 NHL draft, Kassian remains on Edmonton’s top line, skating alongside of Connor McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins. For being underdogs, Edmonton still has a decent projected total of 3 goals tonight, and Kassian is averaging 3 SOG/game over his last four. For a guy near mid-price on DK, I don’t think you can go wrong. I don’t mind him for $4,300 on FD, either, although the play gets a little riskier at that price point.
7) Brendan Lemieux, NYR (DK $2700 FD $3700)– Going even cheaper, Brendan Lemieux is playing some really good hockey since coming to the Rangers in a deadline day deal for Kevin Hayes. Lemieux is playing on the team’s third line, and has been averaging 4 peripherals per game since joining the Rangers. Claude’s son has 3 points (1G 2A) in his last four games, and his price remains below $3k, so he’s another value play I like for cash lineups tonight.
8) Mitch Marner, TOR (DK $7100 FD $8300)– I’m not sure why I’m not as high on Marner today. He has points (3G 10A) in six of his last seven games, including four multi-point games, and three 3-point games. He had a goal and 2 assists against this same Oilers team in Toronto a couple weeks back, and is one of the highest projected players in terms of raw points. As a cash-game play, though, he’s averaging just 3.2 peripherals per game, his price has jumped back up to the highest tier, Edmonton has tightened things up over their past few games on home ice, and frankly, there are just a handful of players I like more than Marner tonight. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad play at all, and I have no problem with you going here – I just prefer Kuch, Marchand and Kane tonight.
ALSO CONSIDER: Josh Anderson (CBJ), James van Riemsdyk (PHI), Vladislav Namestnikov (NYR), Lawson Crouse (ARI)
1) Victor Hedman, TB (DK $5900 FD $6300)– Tampa’s projected total is 4.3. In his last five games, Hedman has 5 points (2G 3A), 17 SOG, 7 blocked shots, and he’s skating about 25 minutes on ice per game. If the Lightning blow the roof off Amalie Arena tonight, you better believe Hedman is going to wind up smashing value. I think there is some merit to spending down at D tonight, if it helps you fit Kucherov and Marchand into your lineups, but if you’re paying up, Hedman is the best option.
5) Shea Theodore, VGK (DK $5600 FD $4400)– I don’t want to say this is a FD-only option, but tonight, it may be. I’m not sure I want to pay $5,600 on DK – in fact, I know I won’t be paying that much. But for just $900 over min-price. Theodore has points (2G 4A) in five of his last six games, while averaging almost 6 peripherals per game. Vegas has a projected total of 3.3 tonight, playing in Vancouver, so Theodore could very well find himself back on the score sheet before the night is over, which would likely put him over cash value.
3) Alexander Edler, VAN (DK $5400 FD $4000)– Again, this is probably a play just for Fanduel users. I think I’d prefer paying the $400 more for Theodore, but otherwise, there isn’t many options on the slate that have a safer floor in hockey right now. He’s gone seven straight games with 4+ peripherals, averaging over 7 per game. He’s scored in two straight games, and is getting 25+ minutes on ice for the Canucks. This isn’t the best matchup for Vancouver, but they are on home ice, and I just can’t pass up the value on FD. On DK, I strongly prefer paying up for Hedman, and that will make it hard to fit him in if I’m also cramming Kucherov or Marchand into my lineup as well. Starting your FD cash lineups with Theodore and Edler gives you a lot of cap space to work with, while giving you two strong defensive options.
4) Morgan Rielly, TOR (DK $6200 FD $6600)– My only problem here, is that Rielly is just overpriced, in my opinion. There’s no way he should be $300 more than Hedman tonight. Regardless, he’s a solid cash play, averaging 5.2 peripherals per game over his last five, and has at least a point in six of his last eight – totaling 2 goals and 5 assists. Toronto’s got a nice projected total, but I really don’t think there’s any way I’ll be able to fit him in tonight. Solid play, nonetheless, and one I would definitely consider if I thought Tampa would come out flat again tonight.
5) Zach Trotman, PIT (DK $2500 FD $3500)– Trotman is now skating on the Penguins top D pair with Brian Dumoulin, as Kris Letang continues to miss time. He’s still min-priced on both sites, skating over 15 minutes per game, and is averaging nearly 4 peripherals per game in the month of March – that gets us to cash value on DK. He’s yet to record a point, but you have to think its only a matter of time if he’s out there skating with Crosby and co.
6) Brent Seabrook, CHI (DK $5100 FD $4600) – Seabrook’s ceiling is nowhere near that of Hedman or Rielly, but he continues to be one of the most consistent cash game players. He piled up another 8 peripherals against the Sabres on Thursday night, pushing his 10 game average over 5 per game. He has just 4 assists in those games, so his price makes him a little hard to play, but he’s also generating enough shots and blocks to push him over cash value on the nights when he does get into the point column.
ALSO CONSIDER: Seth Jones (CBJ), Roman Josi (NSH), Adam Pelech (NYI), Matt Roy (LA)
1) Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (DK $7800FD $7800)– Jesper Bratt is now hurt, so the transformation from the New Jersey Devils to the Binghamton Devils continues. New Jersey has lost five straight, and has managed to score just once in their last three games combined. They’re playing back to back, and although they’re only averaging 25 shots on goal per game in those three, the Rangers allow the fourth-most shots against league wide, so there is some potential for Lundqvist to see a decent shot volume. With the Rangers having 62% projected odds to win, and Lundqvist being sub-$8k on both sites, this is a no-brainer for me.
2) Pekka Rinne, NSH (DK $8300 FD $8200)– The Hurricanes continue to lead the league in SOG/game, so Rinne could also see an OK shot volume, despite Nashville ranking 8th in shots against. The Preds have just 57% projected odds to win, but I love playing Preds goalies in Nashville, as this is such a tough building to play in for opposing teams. Frankly, I don’t have anywhere close to the same interest in either of these goalies as I do for Lundqvist, but Rinne is a decent value on Fanduel tonight, too.
3) Frederik Andersen, TOR (DK $8200 FD $8900)– Toronto is playing in Edmonton tonight, sitting with 57% implied odds to win. They held the Oilers to 2 goals a couple weeks ago in Toronto, and Andersen stopped 34 shots in that one. In his last 12 games, Freddie is 8-2-2, and hasn’t allowed any more than 3 goals against in any one game in this stretch. I can’t see paying $1,100 more than Lundqvist on FD, but his price isn’t terrible on DK – in fact, I like him slightly more than Rinne on that site.