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
This is not a test. The Elite Mafia Broadcast System has issued a warning: A BOS1 smash spot is in effect this evening. The Bruins star-studded top line should be matched up for a majority of their time at 5v5 against the Rangers Mika Zibanejad line. While they have very average possession numbers, Brad Marchand/Patrice Bergeron/David Pastrnak have been an absolute force when on the ice together this season (and last).
I wanted to look at their possession numbers on the road, specifically, as teams will always throw the kitchen sink at these three in an effort to shut them down. Wow.
The Bruins top liners have skated for almost 50 minutes at 5v5 in road games this season. This isn’t the biggest sample size, but it’s not a small one either. The Bruins average 83 attempts, 46 shots, 31 chances, 14 high dangers, and 6.2 goals per 60 minutes with Bergeron and co. on the ice.
Insane numbers and their opposition tonight is extremely ordinary on the defensive side. Backup Alexandar Georgiev will start in goal. Make sure you’ve got a piece of the Bruins tonight.
If you want to get contrarian or just need some value in your lineup, the Bruins second line of David Krejci/Craig Smith/Nick Ritchie are cheap and offer some nice upside for a two-game slate. Ritchie and Krejci give you some exposure to Boston’s top power play, Smith is a high volume shooter, and Krejci is criminally underpriced on DraftKings tonight at just $4,100.
Jake DeBrusk returns to the lineup tonight, but he’ll be skating on the third line. With minimal minutes, and priced over $4k, I think it’s better if we wait to jump on DeBrusk.
I’d look elsewhere for my defensemen tonight. Boston just doesn’t have any high upside options, and are even experimenting with 5 forwards on their top power play tonight.
For the Rangers, it’s the second line of Artemi Panarin/Ryan Strome/Kaapo Kakko that interests me the most. Zibanejad has not been the same player this season, and they’ll be tied up with BOS1 for the majority of the evening.
Adam Fox and K’Andre Miller are two defensemen that catch my eye. Fox is getting a ton of minutes, has a high floor, and is still reasonably priced. Miller is nearly the minimum price on both sites and gives you a bit more offensive upside.
In goal, Georgiev is a no brainer for any lineups that don’t include Bruins. He’s cheap and will see a bunch of volume. If you don’t think Boston scores much, he’s a must. Tuukka Rask doesn’t have much upside, but should have the easiest path to picking up a W.
Top GPP Plays: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Nick Ritchie, David Krejci, Craig Smith, Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, Kaapo Kakko, Adam Fox, K’Andre Miller, Aleksandar Georgiev
Favorite Showdown CAPT Options: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Nick Ritchie, David Krejci, Craig Smith, Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, Kaapo Kakko, Aleksandar Georgiev
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens
These teams have met once this season, with Toronto winning a 5-4 shootout back on opening night.
As is usually the case, with Toronto being the road team, I favor John Tavares and William Nylander over Matthews here tonight. Not only will Tavares likely receive about 50% of the ownership Matthews will command, but he will also largely avoid Shea Weber and Ben Chiarot’s shutdown style of defense. Ilya Mikheyev looks to be on the right wing with these two, making for a real solid value play on tonight’s two-gamer.
I’d expect Matthews to have about 40-45% ownership tonight. I would recommend the fade and pray here. I would much rather have more exposure to Boston’s stars than try to match the field on Matthews. And if you aren’t going to match the field, I’m not sure it’s really worth playing him at all.
Jake Muzzin continues to pile up peripheral numbers (SOG & blocks) and remains a big point-per-dollar value night in and night out. I love Muzzin in Showdown lineups tonight, and I think he’s a fine one-off in regular GPP lineups, too. Morgan Rielly has also been running hot, and his salary on DK/FD has not yet caught up with his form.
For the Habs, there are so many ways to go with this team. They are one of my least favorite squads to cover for DFS purposes. There are three lines here that have shown the ability to fire off on any given night. So where do we go?
I think Tyler Toffoli is just too expensive, and his linemates don’t offer the same upside as he does. Josh Anderson is a bit cheaper, but has been producing just as much, if not more than Toffoli. I think I prefer Anderson as a one-off, but Brendan Gallagher is another one of my favorites for GPP purposes, and I consider him a one-off two.
If I’m going to stack up a full Habs line, it’s going to be Anderson with Nick Suzuki and Jonathan Drouin. Suzuki is one of the top young prospects in hockey, and Drouin has shown the ability to have big games in the past, though he’s started off slow in 2021.
Shea Weber is still my preferred option for DFS lineups, coming in at a $700 discount from teammate Jeff Petry.
Top GPP Plays: John Tavares, William Nylander, Ilya Mikheyev, Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Anderson, Nick Suzuki, Jonathan Drouin, Shea Weber
Favorite Showdown CAPT Options: John Tavares, William Nylander, Ilya Mikheyev, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Anderson, Nick Suzuki, Jonathan Drouin
Here are my top options in goal…
- Aleksandar Georgiev (NYR) *only if not playing Bruins
- Tuukka Rask (BOS)
- Frederik Andersen (TOR)
- Carey Price (MON)