Just two games on the schedule tonight. Ryan Clifford gives you a rundown of top DFS plays for your main slate and showdown lineups.
As always, you’ll find at least one of us in chat in the hour leading up to lock. Please join us there for any late scratches, goalie changes, or other DFS news.
We also have an NHL dedicated Twitter account where you’ll find important news and updates, as well as curated beat writer lists broken down by team.
Also new this season, my personal NHL projections and models are available for download under the projections section of the NHL tab. Of course, you can still access all player projections in our Fantasy Cruncher powered optimizer.
Boston Bruins @ New York Rangers
Well, the smash spot didn’t lead to many fireworks for the Bruins top line on Wednesday night. They’ll get another crack at it here, though, and frankly; nothing changes for me. I still believe this to be a great matchup for Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand.
As predicted, it was Mika Zibanejad’s line that shadowed BOS1 at 5v5. Was it a complete shutdown, though? No. For the Rangers, it was much akin to a UFC fighter trying to hold on for dear life in the guard position while the clock winds down to the end of the third round. In this example, though, Brad Marchand landed a knockout blow in overtime. Look for the flood gates to open up now.
Artemi Panarin won’t suit up tonight, putting the Rangers in a bad situation. Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko may turn out to be superstars in this league, but all indications are that it will take some time for them both to grow into that role. Ryan Strome will center the two youngsters tonight, I’m not high on the trio going in.
I come right back to the Bruins second liners: Craig Smith, Nick Ritchie, and David Krejci. If you’re looking for a nice contrarian way to get Bruins exposure tonight, these three are where it’s at. Jake DeBrusk had himself a monster game on Wednesday night, which should lead to even more ownership in GPP’s tonight. Krejci and Ritchie are both playing on the team’s top power play unit with the big three. That’s right, it’s five forwards on the ice for Boston with the man advantage. The Bruins have the sixth-ranked power play in the league.
A two-game slate is a perfect chance to utilize the “mega stack” on DK. This is the perfect team to do it with, too. Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, Krejci, Ritchie, and Smith. Plug in a couple defensemen and a goalie, and you’ve got yourself the potential to take down a GPP in the event of a Bruins blowout. On FanDuel, maybe you stack up the big three with Krejci or Ritchie…same idea.
If you’re playing the Showdown slate, I probably would max out at two Rangers in my lineups. K’Andre Miller is one guy I like. He should get some more power play time now with Panarin out. Otherwise, the only other Ranger I would probably touch tonight is one of the fourth liners: Brendan Lemieux and/or Kevin Rooney. These guys have actually been playing really well together. Rooney, in particular, with 3 goals and an assist in his last four games.
I’m not really into any of these goalies tonight. Obviously, if you’re not playing Bruins in your lineup, Igor Shesterkin is almost a must. If you are rostering Bruins, Jaroslav Halak is probably my top goalie on the slate.
Top GPP Plays: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Nick Ritchie, David Krejci, Craig Smith, Brendan Lemieux, Kevin Rooney, K’Andre Miller
Favorite Showdown CAPT Options: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Nick Ritchie, David Krejci, Craig Smith
St. Louis Blues @ Arizona Coyotes
This will be the fifth straight meeting between these teams. Arizona leads the “series” 3-1 at the moment, averaging 3.5 goals per game. The Blues are averaging less than 3 goals per game, so it should come as no surprise that my projections lean towards Arizona.
In the past four games, the Coyotes top line of Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, and Conor Garland have maintained a 3.98 xGF/60 at 5v5 against the Blues. What does this mean? It’s a fancy way to calculate how many goals you can expect the Coyotes to score when these three are on the ice at 5v5. 4 goals in 60 minutes is, of course, very high. In reality, they’ve netted 4 goals already in just 38 minutes. That rate is unsustainable, but it shows how much this line is producing right now.
For the Blues, David Perron is off to a hot start. He’s piled up 5 goals and 8 assists in 12 games, including 4 points in the last four against Arizona. His linemate Ryan O’Reilly is also playing at a point-per-game pace, including 4 goals in these last four against Arizona. He’s got their number it appears. Perron and O’Reilly are my favorite pair for Blues exposure. Whether or not you choose to add Ivan Barbashev to your stacks is up to you, though I’d consider him more of a plug; I think you can get better value elsewhere.
Mike Hoffman has generated 21 shots on goal in these last four against Arizona. On DraftKings, he provides really nice upside with the value of shots on goal, and possibility of the 3-point bonus for shooting 5+ on net.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson will return tonight. He’s out of my price range at $6,100 on DraftKings, but seems like a no-brainer at just $4,400 on FanDuel.
Again, I don’t love either of these goalies, and I think it’s best to just let your lineup dictate which goalie you are going to roster.
Top GPP Plays: Conor Garland, Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (FD), Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Mike Hoffman
Favorite Showdown CAPT Options: Conor Garland, Clayton Keller, Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron
Here are my top options in goal…
- Jaroslav Halak, BOS
- Igor Shesterkin, NYR *only if not playing Bruins
- Jordan Binnington, STL
- Dary Kuemper, ARI