Friday’s NHL DFS Cash Game Breakdown will go through the best cash game plays for tonight’s six (6) game main slate that will have a roster lock of 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT.
Tonight’s slate is a little weird in the sense that all the high pace teams that are going are facing teams that play at a considerably slower pace. I don’t necessarily see any games that we have to stack the hell out of, but you can definitely look at it in a way where you just want to roster the best players and get the best possible lineup.
Please also be aware that salary differences between FanDuel and DraftKings have gotten out of hand. I may end up ranking a player in my top four in a position that should really only be played on one particular site. I will try to highlight the best values for a specific site in GREEN, but you should probably get an idea of whether or not I’m willing to play a player on BOTH sites (including the site with the overpriced salary) by reading the player breakdown.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to read my DFS NHL Frequently Asked Questions article that goes through some important information about what you need to know as a Guru Elite NHL Subscriber.
Also, please check out the following important information…
Please be sure to keep track of the LINES (who plays with who) and goalie confirmations (who are the starting goalies). Here are the resources I recommend to keep an eye on any developments:
This information comes straight from writers who follow each of the NHL teams closely. If anything important ever comes up, they are surely the first to know and will know earlier than any DFS or NHL website. Following this list will make it easier for you to keep an eye on all types of changes throughout the day (e.g. line changes, goalie confirmations, and late scratches).
If a goalie gets confirmed as the starter throughout the day, this is where you’ll want to go to make sure they are locked in.
This resource is very good to check on line combinations from the previous game and the projected lines for the next game. Be aware that lines may update as they come in, so if a team holds a morning skate, there’s a good chance that the lines that are updated from the morning skate are going to be used in that night’s game.
MAIN SLATE (6 Games – 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT lock)
OVERALL CASH GAME RANKINGS
1) Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche (DK: $7600; FD: $8400) – If I’m paying up at any position tonight, I want guys who are going to provide a high floor. Every single one of these expensive players I have listed is going to provide a pretty high floor and significant upside. MacKinnon is most definitely on that list. With no Gabriel Landeskog, he’s going to have to turn up the aggression, and a matchup against the Ducks should help his cause. Ducks games have featured the 5th highest high-danger scoring chances since the start of March, and after a pitiful showing last night in Arizona, I’m close to sticking a fork in them.
2) Bo Horvat, Canucks (DK: $5900; FD: $5700) – Bo Horvat at home is definitely a thing. He is a much better option at home because his minutes tend to increase, and he just seems to be more active as a whole as Vancouver’s top defensive forward (something I never would have imagined last season). Pace is something that I get concerned about with New Jersey, and I think facing the Devils top line and 2nd D-pairing will help the overall cause. Most people probably don’t see it, but I think Horvat is an exceptional value tonight.
3) John Tavares, Maple Leafs (DK: $7500; FD: $8300) – I just don’t see Toronto losing tonight. After two brutal home losses, they get a Philadelphia team that will be on the back half of a back-to-back, and also prone to allowing high-danger scoring attempts (8th highest in March). The Leafs did not play a complete game against the Hawks on Wednesday night, but they definitely did everything in their power to try to make a miraculous comeback. With Zach Hyman on track to be back in the lineup, I do give the Tavares line an edge over the Matthews line when it comes to pure chemistry. That chemistry has contributed to Tavares’s recent production, and the situation’s they’re put in contributes to the fact that the game tends to play at a higher pace when TOR1 is on the ice over TOR2. I do want to mention that Matthews is going to have plenty of ownership, but in my eyes, the way to get exposure to AM34 is potentially through my #6 ranked winger, William Nylander.
4) Boone Jenner, Blue Jackets (DK: $4200; FD: $5100) – Boone Jenner is extremely underpriced on DK for a guy who has earned so much trust from Head Coach John Tortorella, that he’s the man responsible for shutting down the opposition’s top line, and that has helped put him in a spot to get a lot of quality minutes, and roughly 20 minutes per game. I truly believe that those minutes may only exist when CBJ plays at home, and well….the Blue Jackets are home tonight, meaning Jenner will be tasked with stopping the Aho line. The Aho line does play with the most pace and can be susceptible in their own zone, but Jenner is an aggressive enough player where his floor tends to be on the higher side anyway.
5) Sean Couturier, Flyers (DK: $7100; FD: $7600)
6) Nazem Kadri, Leafs (DK: $4500; FD: $5200)
7) Tyson Jost, Avalanche (DK: $2700; FD: $3500)
8) Joel L’Esperance, Stars (DK: $2500; FD: $3000)
1) Johnny Gaudreau, Flames (DK: $7300; FD: $8000) – Being underexposed to Johnny Hockey against the Devils was not the greatest experience for me, but lesson learned. Gaudreau has turned on the aggression over the last couple games, combining for 17 SOG. I think even if he doesn’t light the lamp again, he should be able to give us a reasonable floor, but I think it should be fine. The NYR/CGY game is probably the game that has the highest upside for me. Both teams have goaltender issues and in the Rangers case, I really can’t recall when they’ve been able to get consistent quality goaltending all season long.
2) Mitch Marner, Leafs (DK: $7200; FD: $8300) – Same situation as Tavares, but I probably give Mitch the slight edge because he’s generally a safer play. The role he has on the top PP as a primary facilitator is always going to keep his floor high.
3) Max Pacioretty, Golden Knights (DK: $5700; FD: $6200) – While Anton Khudobin has been a very good backup goalie this season for the Stars, he isn’t exactly the type of goalie who is going to be used to playing in back-to-back games. With Ben Bishop’s lower-body injury last night, I’d be shocked if Bishop gets the nod, and that would truly bode well for the Knights, who have been the best team in hockey since acquiring Mark Stone. Unfortunately, Stone is way too damn expensive, and especially so when you can roster Pacioretty for a fraction of the price, and still be able to have exposure to the guy who has a more substantial track record for shooting the puck at a high rate.
4) Josh Anderson, Blue Jackets (DK: $4500; FD: $5200) – You could argue that the Duchene line was the best line on the roster for the Blue Jackets when they tore apart the Bruins on Tuesday night. But even though we call it the “Duchene line” it’s really a line driven by the stellar play of Josh Anderson. He has quietly led the team in high-danger scoring chances and shot attempts in the month of March, but he also happens to be the cheapest player to roster on the line. The chemistry between Duchene and Dzingel carries over from their time in Ottawa, so if you add a guy like Anderson, and their tendency to get matchups against 2nd and 3rd lines at home, the production definitely makes sense.
5) Kenny Agostino, Devils (DK: $2700; FD: $3600) – Agostino is an offensive specialist who is getting time on the top power-play unit, and getting more minutes at the NHL level than any other point in his career. I fully expect minimal ownership, but I must say, his four points over his last three games are NOT a fluke. He has torn it up at the AHL level for about five different teams and is a professional goal scorer. His lack of size is really what holds back his potential at the NHL level, but the Devils are going to give him every chance to make things happen given this Double-A lineup they’ve been forced to roll out.
6) William Nylander, Maple Leafs (DK: $3700; FD: $4800) – I do believe Nylander will end up sticking on the Matthews/Johnsson line after the chances they were able to generate on Wednesday against the Hawks. I could be wrong though, so you definitely want to check back. But if he does stay, I think his ½ off discount compared to Matthews is probably worth taking a chance on.
7) Roope Hintz, Stars (DK: $4300; FD: $4100) – I am loving what I’m seeing from Hintz, who has really developed quite the rapport with Seguin and Radulov. You’ll sometimes even see Hintz in a more playmaking role on the top power-play, which obviously increases his value significantly.
8) Nino Niederreiter, Hurricanes (DK: $4800; FD: $6400)
9) Alex Tuch, Golden Knights (DK: $4900; FD: $4600)
10) Reilly Smith, Golden Knights (DK: $5300; FD: $6100)
11) Elias Lindholm, Flames (DK: $6500; FD: $6100)
12) Alex Kerfoot, Avalanche (DK: $2900; FD: $3700)
13) Sam Bennett, Flames (DK: $3000; DK: $3400)
14) Josh Leivo, Canucks (DK: $3300; FD: $4300)
1) Tyson Barrie, Avalanche (DK: $5800; FD: $5300) – Again, I want to pick on the Ducks a bit tonight and I actually think Barrie is one of the best ways to do so. His SOG has been 5, 4, 5, and 4 over his last four games, which is certainly a good sign.
2) Mark Giordano, Flames (DK: $6500; FD: $6700) – I wish Gio was cheaper than this, but at the end of the day, he’s going to be an outstanding play in a matchup that will suit him much better than the matchup against the slow-paced Devils.
3) Alexander Edler, Canucks (DK: $6000; FD: $4800) – Ehhhhhh, and after I talk about how the slow-paced Devils didn’t help Gio’s value against the Devils, I am going to recommend Edler. Ultimately, I highly prefer Edler on FD where he’s only $4800, which really translates to a DK price of about $4300ish. Edler is the defenseman that is most likely to contribute a point and has been providing peripheral points at a higher rate than Gio. Again, the pace is the only thing that blows.
4) Rasmus Andersson, Flames (DK: $3100; FD: $3900) – I consider Andersson as more of a DK play due to price and risk. He’s gaining more and more trust from Head Coach Bill Peters, and the bigger role is partly why he has been able to accumulate more than ¼ of his total points this season over his last eight games.
5) Colin Miller, Golden Knights (DK: $4200; FD: $4000)
6) Zach Werenski, Blue Jackets (DK: $4700; FD: $5400)
7) Shea Theodore, Golden Knights (DK: $5200; FD: $4800)
8) Sam Girard, Avalanche (DK: $3100; FD: $3600)
*Make sure your goalie is starting
1) David Rittich, Flames (DK: $8300; FD: $8100) – We’re totally playing it safe here with this Rittich play. I don’t necessarily think he’s playing too great, but I do think he’s gonna be quite chalky and the Flames are the most likely to get us a W.
2) Marc-Andre Fleury, Golden Knights (DK: $7600; FD: $8900) – If you’re willing to take on the added risk, you can certainly take Fleury, who has statistically been the 2nd best goaltender in hockey in the month of March, right behind Ben Bishop, and ahead of Darcy Kuemper. I think the Knights might not have the most star power in their lineup, but they are certainly one of the deepest teams in the league and playing with arguably the most confidence.
3) Frederik Andersen, Leafs (DK: $8200; FD: $8500)