Today’s NHL Cash Game Breakdown covers today’s 4-game main slate. Let’s have a look at my top plays, Core Four, and slate value trends.
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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 as in the chat room.
You guys can’t seem to get enough of the Jeff Mans “Core Four” model, so I’m going to start including mine in my cash game breakdowns. These are the four players I would recommend starting my cash game lineups with.
DraftKings Core Four: Patrick Kane (CHI), Dustin Brown (LA), Brent Burns (SJ), Neal Pionk (WPG)
FanDuel Core Four: Patrick Kane (CHI), Brady Tkachuk (OTT), Brent Burns (SJ), Neal Pionk (WPG)
Current Value Trends
The average cutline in single entry double-ups on 4-game slates:
DraftKings: 92.4 (1.9x salary)
FanDuel: 118.9 (2.2x salary)
Good luck tonight!
Positional Cash Game Rankings
Mika Zibanejad, NYR
DK $8200 FD $8900
On DraftKings, Zibanejad has gone for double-digit fantasy points in 14 of his last 15 games. Now, we’re going to need more than just double-digits to hit cash value here, but Zib has reach his target score of 16.4 DK points in 7 of those 15 games, and he’s come within just a couple of points from that score in 5 others.
Connor McDavid, EDM
DK $8000 FD $8700
McDavid is back after missing Edmonton’s last game with an illness of some kind. #97 has gone for double-digit fantasy points in 12 of 15, but has hit cash value in 8 of the 12. Winnipeg has lost four straight on the road, including a 3-2 Edmonton win in late February – a game in which McDavid registered 2 assists and 4 shots on goal.
Ryan Strome, NYR
DK $5800 FD $5400
With Nathan MacKinnon out, the center position is extremely thin tonight. Ryan Strome has had a couple of poor performances lately for the Rangers, but with MacKinnon out – and the Avs still missing Kadri, Rantanen, Burakovsky, and Calvert – this all of a sudden has the looks of a brittle-thin roster for Colorado. Strome has 8 points in ten games, while averaging nearly 4 peripherals per game.
Dylan Strome, CHI
DK $4400 FD $4100
Strome’s younger brother Dylan is another cash-game option for me. His salary has jumped a bit on DK – its highest point since February 9 – but he still gives you a ton of upside while skating alongside of Patrick Kane. Chicago is still looking to get more consistency out of Strome, but he’s showed flashes of a bright future – most recently, his 3-point night against Anaheim in the beginning of the month.
Patrick Kane, CHI
DK $7900 FD $7900
Kane arguably has the highest floor of any player on the slate. He’s averaging 5 shots on goal per game over his last five, scoring 3 goals and adding an assist along the way. Not only are the Hawks on home ice tonight, but they’re facing a Sharks team that is once again missing Logan Couture – this is a nice spot.
Brady Tkachuk, OTT
DK $6700 FD $6200
Tkachuk ranks at the very top of the league in individual attempts, shots, chances, iGF – he is an analytics darling. Tkachuk averages nearly 5 peripherals per game, leading to a big floor for cash games. But he’s also beginning to find his scoring touch again, with 5 points (3G 2A) in his last six games. Ottawa is in L.A. to face the Kings tonight – a tough matchup, of course, but Tkachuk has fared better on the road, with 11 goals in 33 games, compared to 10 in 37 on home ice.
Alex DeBrincat, CHI
DK $5100 FD $5400
DeBrincat gets bumped up to the Toews line tonight, which is a big deal for his DFS upside. Not only will he get more minutes at 5v5, but he gets an elite and seasoned playmaker in Toews to skate with – a big improvement from the young Kirby Dach. DeBrincat has generated 16 shots on goal and scored twice in his past three games, so he’s entering tonight’s contest in good form.
Dustin Brown, LA
DK $4300 FD $5300
Although Brown has more value on DraftKings, I’d still consider him for cash games on FanDuel at that salary, with this matchup. The Kings host Ottawa tonight. Brown has been playing at a point-per-game pace over his last 10 games, scoring 7 goals and adding 3 assists. Although his consistency is questionable at best, and his floor is relatively low, there isn’t too much risk at this price point.
Evander Kane, SJ
DK $6100 FD $7200
Kane has quietly been playing some really good hockey, of late, with 4 goals and 4 assists in his last six games, while averaging 4.5 shots on goal per game. Logan Couture is out tonight, which hurts Kane’s upside a bit, but probably also turns him into a possession hog and shot monster, playing alongside of Kevin Labanc and Noah Gregor.
Patrik Laine, WPG
DK $6500 FD $7400
With 3 goals and 6 assists in his last ten games, Laine continues to put up points, despite not playing his best hockey – anyone who’s watched Jets hockey lately can see that. I’d say Laine and Ehlers are trending up, however, since Cody Eakin moved up to center the wingers. The trio is playing at an incredibly high pace, while holding an xGF over 4 goals per 60 minutes – which means they are generating tons of good scoring chances.
Nikolaj Ehlers, WPG
DK $5500 FD $5500
Laine or Ehlers? Ehlers or Laine? I think you can play either, or both. This line has been that good. The Jets have already scored 5 goals at even strength with Ehlers-Eakin-Laine on the ice together. They should also get a better defensive matchup with tonight’s game in Edmonton. In his last 10 games, Ehlers has scored 5 goals, added 7 assists, all while averaging 3.5 peripherals per game. Laine has more upside, of course, but I almost feel like Ehlers is the safer play.
Adrian Kempe, LA
DK $3700 FD $4500
Not much cheap value available tonight. Kempe is about as low as I’d go – although an argument could certainly be made for his fellow L.A. Kings Gabe Vilardi and Martin Frk. Regardless of the player, the Kings have a brilliant matchup with Ottawa tonight. Kempe has 7 points (1G 6A) in his last ten, but has lacked consistency – like so many other Kings.
Brent Burns, SJ
DK $7200 FD $6500
Burns is the top defenseman on the slate, and it’s not even close, to me. #88 is averaging nearly 6 peripherals per game, and should have the puck on his stick even more tonight with Logan Couture out of the lineup. On DK, Burns has hit a 3-point bonus in 10 of his last 13 games.
Neal Pionk, WPG
DK $4500 FD $4500
Pionk is averaging almost 4 shots on goal per game in his last ten, hitting DK’s 3-point SOG bonus 4 times in that stretch. Somehow, his salary remains in the mid-tier. With a peripheral floor of about 7-8 points, we likely need just 1 goal or assist to see Pionk smash cash value.
Oscar Klefbom, EDM
DK $6500 FD $5300
Klefbom has a much more favorable salary on FanDuel. I’m probably not going this high for Klefbom on DK, especially with Burns available for just $700 more. Still, Klefbom has returned to his spot on Edmonton’s PP1 and is already playing over 20 minutes per game.
Connor Murphy, CHI
DK $4900 FD $3700
Murphy is more of a DK play, for his ability to hit those 3-point bonuses in so many ways, although his price tag makes him just as playable on FanDuel. He’s gone for 5+ SOG or 3+ blocked shots in 22 of his last 40 games.
Ben Hutton, LA
DK $3700 FD $3700
Hutton is playing on L.A.’s top defensive pairing, next to Drew Doughty. Doughty is not at all afraid to feed it over to Hutton and let him rip shots any chance he gets. In games in which Hutton has skated more than 20 minutes, he’s averaging over 4 peripherals per game.
Alex Pietrangelo, STL (FD only)
DK $N/A FD $5900
Thankfully, DraftKings didn’t put the Anaheim-St. Louis game on their slate. If you’re on FanDuel though, Pietrangelo rivals Burns, for me. Not only is he cheaper, but I believe him to have a slightly better matchup. Burns does possess a higher floor and ceiling, though, so I guess it just depends on where you want to go salary-wise.
- Corey Crawford, CHI
- Alexandar Georgiev, NYR
- Calvin Petersen, LA
- Mike Smith, EDM
**Be sure to check out tonight’s Goalie Model for more goaltender analysis.