The Avalanche have been picking up wins despite a sluggish start, but this feels like a spot where they should be asserting some dominance over one of the weakest teams in the league. They picked up a close-fought OT win in their last outing over the Ducks and enter this game playing solid defensive hockey but just lacking a consistent spark on offense. The Ducks have one win and have already given up the second-most scoring chances against through just five games (several teams have played seven games already). Take the plus money on the cover here.
The Oilers played a solid series against Toronto, going 1-1 against the Maple Leafs in Toronto and should be able to carry some momentum into Winnipeg tonight. The Jets are coming off a hard-fought three-game series against the Sens and while they looked solid in that series, this is still a team that ranks in the bottom half of the league in shots allowed and scoring chances ceded through just five games. The Oilers’ offense should be able to get right here.
Top Line Stacks
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
Sidney Crosby ($7,100) – Jake Guentzel ($6,700) – Kasperi Kapanen ($3,400)
The Rangers-Penguins game has the highest implied total on this slate and these teams just played to a fast-paced 4-3 game in their last outing two nights ago. Targeting the top lines here makes a ton of sense for fantasy purposes and with the Penguins favored at -132, the Pens’ top unit looks like a solid deal on DraftKings. Crosby has averaged a point per game thus far and while he doesn’t fire shots as aggressively as some of his peers he also comes with a solid price attached here and will likely get multiple chances at a Rangers penalty-kill which ranks ninth-worst thus far.
The Pens’ power play has started the season well, converting on over 27% of their chances thus far and Crosby will be joined there by linemate Guentzel, who is averaging 20 minutes of ice time per game. Kapanen also saw his ice time rise in his second game of the year and adds a nice two-way component at even strength. He is also a player capable of going for multiple points playing in a top-six role. This line grades out as a solid value stack considering the weak opponent and makes a great way to start building GPP lineups this Sunday.
Superstar to Target
Connor McDavid ($8,400), Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets
Since the season has gotten underway, we’ve seen a more aggressive McDavid as the Oilers sniper has now averaged 4.66 SOG through Edmonton’s first six games of the year. That is a stark contrast to the 3.13 SOG he averaged last season through the entire year and it’s something we should take notice of for fantasy purposes as he was often the less superior fantasy option in these spots compared to Nathan MacKinnon ($8,500), who was far more aggressive with his shot. McDavid has really picked up in that area in 2021, though and has the better matchup tonight against the Jets who are sixth-to-last in penalty kill % thus far. With the Oilers in desperate need of a win and going against a team prone to major defensive lapses, he should be the stud you target on this slate.
Value on Offense
Ryan Strome ($4,600), New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins
I mentioned the potential for goals in the Penguins-Rangers matchup above and that definitely applies to both teams. The Penguins come in playing less than ideal defensive hockey, having already allowed the second-most goals against in the league. The Pens also enter with the ninth-worst penalty kill through five games, making the Rangers’ top PP unit a great target for fantasy purposes. Strome has started the season slowly but often went through droughts before breaking out last year as well. Despite being without a point in four games thus far, he’s averaged 3.5 SOG in his past two outings and remains a part of the Rangers’ PP1 while playing alongside the skilled Artemi Panarin ($7,100) at full strength as well. Take advantage of the low price in this terrific matchup.
Kailer Yamamoto ($4,500), Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets
Yamamoto might still be one of the better-kept fantasy secrets in the league. The second-year player is playing in a top-six role and gets top power-play minutes alongside two of the most skilled players in the NHL on a nightly basis. He’s averaged right around a point per game since coming into the league and is averaging right around 17 minutes of ice time per game. Realistically, he should be targeted every time he’s available at this price range but especially tonight in a matchup with the Jets, who make for one of the better fantasy opponents. Pair him with other members of the Oilers’ PP1 tonight or use him on his own, either way, Yamamoto’s one of the best values on this slate.
Kaapo Kahkonen ($7,900), Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks
With Cam Talbot injured, Kahkonen came on as a relief play in the Wild’s last game and stopped all 17 shots he faced. The rookie was projected by many to be a potential dark horse candidate for the Calder Trophy this year and he looks like the projected started for Minnesota tonight against the Sharks (although not confirmed yet). The Sharks have actually made for a perfect opponent for goalies thus far, as they’re attempting over 32 SOG per game (the eighth-most in the league) but only averaging 2.4 goals per game (fifth-worst in the league). The Wild are also -148 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook as of writing, putting him in a good spot for the win. He’s a nice value target for all formats tonight if he does start.
Mikko Koskinen ($7,500), Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets
Koskinen has been OK-ish for the Oilers thus far, putting together a couple of big performances coupled with some semi-disappointing ones. It’s pretty much what we saw from him all last season and while he’s not someone for cash games, if you time Koskinen correctly the upside potential for DFS is massive here. The Oilers have allowed the seventh-most SOG per game thus far and will be facing a Jets squad that has consistently hit 30-plus SOG per game over the past two seasons. A couple of bad goals from Koskinen may not matter here as he’ll have a great shot at hitting the SOG bonus and will be supported by an Oilers offense which is an equally good spot to produce here.
Value on Defense
Jared Spurgeon ($3,900), Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks
Spurgeon can be a bit of a spotty fantasy producer, but it’s hard to find a better opportunity under $4K on defense. The two-way defenseman played over three minutes on the power play for the Wild in their last game and is a fixture on their PP1 most nights. The fact he has zero points thus far should be looked at as more of an anomaly than anything, as the Wild’s power play has been slow to start the season, hitting at just a 4.8% rate thus far. For his part, Spurgeon has still averaged 4.8 DKFP on just SOG and blocked shots, so when the man advantage starts clicking for MIN much bigger fantasy games are on the way. If you’re looking to pay down at defense, Spurgeon has the ability to make up the difference for you given the opportunity.
Cam Fowler ($2,900), Anaheim Ducks vs. Colorado Avalanche
Despite the less than ideal matchup against the Avalanche, Fowler looks like a buy at under $3K in price here. The Ducks defenseman is playing over 22 minutes per game thus far and well over two minutes a night on the power play. He’s never been a great peripheral stat-stuffer for DFS but he has also produced two blocked shots now in three of his past four games and the consistently big minutes means he’ll likely fall into the blocked shot bonus at least a few times this season. He’s a PP1 quarterback for under $3K and if you are looking for extreme value, there’s really no better option.
Kris Letang ($5,900), Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
The Penguins defenseman has started the season slowly from a pure production standpoint, but this is a player who has averaged .79 points per game over the past two years and gets some of the biggest power-play exposure in the league — he’s already averaging 3:50 on the man advantage per game. It’s becoming a bit repetitive, but the Penguins-Rangers matchup is one you want to load up on for fantasy purposes as the Rangers’ tendency over the past two years has been for wide-open games that are great for fantasy and the Penguins’ start has made shootouts the norm for them in 2021 as well. You can cherry-pick whoever you want to stack him with from the top-two lines for Pittsburgh, but for a stud defenseman, there’s not really a better option under $6K than Letang. Don’t be afraid to go heavy on the Pens tonight and make Letang one of your core roster components.
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