The Sharks held up well against the Avalanche in their last series, winning the finale and losing two games by a single goal (one in OT). They’re now 3-3-1 in their last seven games and they’ll draw a reeling Coyotes team who is nearly as bad as the Sharks are on defense. San Jose has also been getting better goaltending from their young prospects and are starting Josef Kořenář ($7,600) here, who is 3-1 in his last four starts.
The Blue Jackets have picked up a couple of recent wins, but are still just 2-6 over their last eight games. They really shouldn’t be favorites against anyone. Detroit hasn’t scored more than a single goal in a game in four-straight, but the team is getting great goaltending down the stretch. Facing a Columbus team that has allowed the fourth-most scoring chances against and is starting an untested goalie, the Wings are worth taking a chance on.
Top Line Stack
San Jose Sharks vs. Arizona Coyotes
Tomas Hertl ($6,000) — Evander Kane ($6,800) — Alex Barabanov ($3,400)
The Sharks top-line has been a steamroller for fantasy purposes of late, as they come in with 17 total points in their last three games alone. It would be one thing if those points had come against a weak opponent, but they came against one of the best defensive teams in hockey in the Avalanche. The Coyotes have been eliminated from the playoffs and come into Friday in free-fall, as they’ve lost five of their last six games. They have also allowed the sixth-most scoring chances against in the league.
With their goaltending in shambles and their season over, the Coyotes are a great target for a top-line that is clearly interested in racking up some cheap points before their season expires. The Hertl-Kane stack has been one of the best in the league of late and Barabanov makes for a perfect value add. He’s seen 17 minutes of ice time or more in three of his last four starts. Stack this very affordable line at will.
Superstar to Target
Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks ($6,900)
Kaprizov has been on a tear in the second-half of the year as the Russian looks to cement the Rookie of the Year award and propel Minnesota into the playoffs. Kaprizov comes into this game with an astounding 10 goals and 12 points over his last 10-starts, and he is averaging a healthy 16.2 DKFP over that span while playing around 18 minutes per night. The Wild really have no reason to rest Kaprizov, either, as they’re right behind Colorado for the second-seed, which would ensure them home-ice advantage in what will undoubtedly be a tough opening round matchup.
The Ducks remain a great matchup for fantasy purposes as they’ve allowed the third-most scoring chances against this year and carry a group of unproven forwards who don’t stack up well against high-end skill players like Kaprizov. At under $7K, he’s a salary steal and a good player to build around as the Wild continue their push for a higher seed.
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Value on Offense
Mattias Janmark, Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues ($3,400)
With Max Pacioretty (undisclosed) banged up, the Golden Knights have been giving the versatile Janmark more minutes. He comes into this game having skated over 18 minutes in each of his last two outings. Janmark is getting looks on the top-line with Mark Stone ($7,400), which puts him in a great spot for offensive opportunities. The Blues have had trouble on the defensive side all season and still have multiple defensemen banged up for this contest. If Pacioretty misses another game, Janmark is a steal at this price considering the volume he should be getting against a weak opponent.
Daniel Sprong, Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers ($4,100)
Sprong missed the Capitals last game with an illness, but should be back in the lineup here. The winger has seven points and is averaging 10.4 DKFP now over his last 10 games. While he hasn’t been seeing a ton of power-play time, he’ll likely continue to skate with Nicklas Backstrom ($6,600) with Alex Ovechkin (lower body) set to miss another game. The matchup here is geat, as the Flyers continue to rank as the worst defensive team in hockey with 3.6 goals allowed per game.
Thomas Greiss, Detroit Red Wings at Columbus Blue Jackets ($7,200)
Greiss has been stellar for the Red Wings of late, stopping 115 of the last 118 shots he’s faced. The former Shark has pitched shutouts in each of his last two games (one was a shootout loss), and he now gets a Columbus team that ranks fourth-worst in goals per game. The Wings may be underdogs on the DraftKings Sportsbook, but Greiss is a great DFS target nonetheless given the form and opponent.
Josef Kořenář, San Jose Sharks vs. Arizona Coyotes ($7,600)
Kořenář will be getting his fifth-start in the last few weeks for the Sharks and he comes in having posted a save percentage of .930 or better in two of his last three outings. The Czech goalie looked great in his last outing against one of the best teams in hockey in the Avalanche — a game he ended up winning 3-2. Arizona’s offense is a great matchup for any goalie, as they’ve not scored more than three goals in a game in over six contests. At well under $8K in price, Kořenář makes for a great pay down target for all formats.
Value on Defense
Filip Hronek, Detroit Red Wings at Columbus Blue Jackets ($4,500)
Hronek and the Red Wings offense has been anemic of late, but if they are going to breakout before the season ends, it will likely come here against the Blue Jackets. Columbus is starting Matiss Kivlenieks ($7,900) in net tonight (first start of year), and come in with just an average penalty-kill and having allowed the fourth-most SOG per game. Hronek continues to see plenty of ice time — specifically on the power-play — and has managed multiple SOG in three of his last four games. Despite the slow production of late, he’s a solid upside target given the price and matchup.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes at San Jose Sharks ($4,300)
Even though the Coyotes have been falling as of late, Ekman-Larsson has been gaining some steam as a reliable fantasy producer. The Coyotes’ defenseman has taken a backseat on offense for most of the year to Jakob Chychrun ($7,400), but has now landed 12.0 or more DKFP in each of his last three games. Ekman-Larsson has started to get regular power-play time again, culminating in the veteran averaging 4.1 SOG over that same three-game span. The matchup against San Jose — seventh-most SOG allowed per game — is a great one to target.
Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues ($6,800)
Theodore takes on a Blues squad that ranks fourth-worst in penalty-kill tonight, and he’ll be in a spot where he may be relied on to use his shot a little more on the PP. Pacioretty is questionable, and if he doesn’t go, it could open things up for Theodore to be more of a trigger man in a great matchup for the Vegas PP1. Pairing him with playmaker like Stone makes some sense here, as well, and Stone is another player who could also be firing a few more pucks on net tonight out of necessity. There’s a lot of high-priced defensemen on this slate, but from a matchup perspective, Theodore and his 12.7 DKFP average make for the best upside play.
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