The Sharks are coming off a big win against the Blues and are getting a little bit of respect here as road underdogs, which is giving us a nice line on Minnesota to cover. The Wild are 3-1 without getting much if any offensive production from their top-line while San Jose has given up the eighth most scoring chances on the season. The odds on the Wild here are worth chasing.
These two teams rank 4th and 11th respectively in scoring chances allowed since the beginning of 2019, and also had two of the best power-play’s in the league last year. They were both playing their fifth-game in around seven days when they played to a 3-1 snoozer on Wednesday but the extra rest and fact this game will decide the short series should mean more offense.
Top Line Stacks
Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs
Connor McDavid ($8,300) – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6,600) – Tyson Barrie ($4,400)
As mentioned above, we have two teams who really trend towards giving up a ton of scoring chances every night in the Leafs and Oilers going at it here. The Oilers power-play has been slow to start the season and rank 10th-last in efficiency thus far. Luckily they may have found the perfect tonic in the Leafs here. Toronto was a bottom-12 team in terms of penalty-kill last year and the Oilers finally broke through in that area against them in the last game, going 1 for 3 on the PP, scoring the game winning goal with the man advantage late.
The confidence there should flow through to this game and targeting the Oilers PP1 is a solid way to start DFS lineups as a result. The lack of production thus far means we still can get the Oilers PP-quarterback in Tyson Barrie for cheap and you can pair him with regular strength line-mates McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins pretty easily here as a result. McDavid has outperformed TO’s Auston Matthews ($8,400) in eight career meetings scoring 11-points to Matthews’ six as well. The upside is here tonight and this trio could be slightly lower-owned after coming off a dud in their first game against the Leafs.
Superstar to Target
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals ($7,600)
The Sabres are taking on the Capitals tonight, who have several stars missing from their lineup due to Covid-19 protocols. While it’s an unfortunate blow for Washington it is also something we should be trying to take advantage of in fantasy. Eichel has started the season well scoring six points in four games, although he’s yet to find twine as all his points thus far have been assists. He and Taylor Hall ($6,800) are gelling though as they’ve been elevating their linemates to hot starts and have already improved the Sabres special teams output.
Washington is going to be thin up front tonight and is also starting a back-up goalie, making penalty-killing and defending against the Sabres top-unit tough in general. Eichel’s salary may seem a touch high for a player who has yet to score a goal but he’s averaging over 21 minutes of ice per game and should be motivated to take advantage of the short-handed Capitals here. With the Sabres already behind the 8-ball at 1-3, expect a big effort form their big-star here.
Value on Offense
Jakub Vrana, Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres ($4,800)
As mentioned already, the Capitals will be without several big names tonight as Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Kuznetsov will both be out of the lineup due to Covid protocol. Vrana is a player who we have seen produce well when he’s got a shot at playing bigger minutes and that’s exactly what he’ll get here as the Caps really have no choice but to use him as their top-line winger. Vrana should play with the skilled Nik Backstrom ($6,100) tonight and will be up against a penalty-kill which ranks second-worst in the short season thus far. He’s solid value at under 5k.
Alexis Lafreniere, New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins ($3,400)
Lafreniere has looked like a number one overall pick when he’s skating but hasn’t produced like one yet. The rookie has been moved around the top-six a couple times already by the Rangers as they try to find the perfect spot for him in their collection of high-end offensive talent. Tonight, he’s slated to start on the top-line with Mika Zibanejad ($7,700) and should see a touch more ice as a result. If the line clicks early the upside here is tremendous and Pittsburgh has had issues defensively early, allowing 4.5 goals per game thus far, Take advantage of the savings here while you still can.
Linus Ullmark, Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals ($7,600)
Ullmark seems likely to get the start for the Sabres tonight (Carter Hutton is injured) and he’ll be in a good spot for the win here against the short-handed Capitals. The Sabres are the visitors but enter as -139 favorites on the moneyline, which speaks to how much the Covid situation is affecting the Caps lineup. He stopped 19 of 21 SOG in his first start but was the Sabres best goalie down the stretch last year and is a fine target at this price given the situation. There’s likely a few better targets with better pure upside tonight but as a value with a good floor and solid odds to pick up the win, it’s hard to do better than Ullmark on this slate.
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins ($7,400)
Shesterkin was hyped up as a possible Vezina dark horse before the start of the year, based off his hot finish to 2019-2020, but threw up a complete dud in his first and only start of 2021. He came in as a relief goalie in the Rangers last start and is getting the nod here against the Penguins. We should expect the Rangers to regress as the season goes on in terms of shots allowed (they allowed the second-most shots on goal in 2019-2020) and it was matchups like these last year—against solid offenses like the Penguins—where Shesterkin often shone brightest, getting DraftKings save bonuses on the regular for those who rostered him. At under 7.5k in price he’s a good GPP target, as we should definitely be buying low on the talented netminder for the time being.
Value on Defense
Adam Boqvist, Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Redwings ($3,900)
The Blackhawks are off to a terrible start, losing four games in a row while being outscored 20-9. They do have a shot at getting on the board here though against Detroit who was one of the worst defensive teams in hockey last year and seems unlikely to be much better when all is said and done at the end of 2021. Boqvist is seeing plenty of PP1 time for the Hawks each night and played over 2 minutes on the man advantage in each of the Hawks last two games. The blocked shots won’t come into play much, if at all, for Boqvist but he already has three assists and the matchup says he could easily add to his total here. He makes for a good stacking target in this spot too if going for a contrarian Hawks PP1 stack tonight.
Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights at Arizona Coyotes ($6,100)
Theordore has started the season averaging a point-per-game thus far as the Golden Knights offense has been tearing a hole through their division. The offensive defenseman is also averaging four SOG and 15.6 DKFP per game making this salary almost seem like a bargain given the potential upside and floor he’s been showing. While some may have thought the presence of Alex Pietrangelo ($6,400) may have taken away a bit from his opportunity the opposite effect seems to be happening here and the matchup tonight against the bottom-feeding Coyotes is a good one. The Coyotes are devoid of talent upfront and have been sluggish defensively as well, allowing 3.8 goals against on the season. This is a huge mis-match and with the Knights coming in as the second-biggest favorites on the slate, despite being on the road, loading up on their studs in this spot makes sense.
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