The Penguins come into this game having lost two of their past four games but they aren’t a team you should be down on. Pittsburgh remains one of the best 5v5 teams in the league, ranking fourth-best in xGF% (expected goal rate) and they have won 12 of their last 14 games. The Penguins take on a Vegas squad that is still beat up and without top scorer Max Pacioretty. Pittsburgh has been the better team of late by a wide margin and, even if Vegas gets some players back for this game, that group will have little conditioning or practice under their belt. The Penguins offer good value as a money line targets today given their slight underdog status.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Vegas Golden Knights
Evgeni Malkin ($6,400) — Jeff Carter ($5,100) — Evan Rodrigues ($5,900)
The Penguins come into this game with the Golden Knights as small underdogs, but playing well. Pittsburgh is now averaging 3.2 goals per game and has their top six healthy for today’s game. A lot of DFS players will be on the Penguins' top line here, but with a full lineup now intact, the Penguins' second line is a viable stacking option too. The trio of Malkin, Carter and Rodrigues combined for five points in Malkin’s first game back last week and take on a Vegas squad here that has lost four of the past five games and enters this game having allowed the seventh-most quality scoring chances on the year.
The rust factor looks like it’s hurt Malkin over the past few games but eventually, consistency will prevail here for the elite center. While he remains a boom or bust option at this stage in his comeback, pairing him with wingers Rodrigues and Carter make the gamble worth exploring. Both wingers are averaging over 4.0 blocked shots + shots on goal per game over their last 10 starts and look like terrific value here.
The matchup is good and the ownership on these three will be significantly lower than the Penguins' top line. On a small three-game slate, it’s a good time to pay down and go with the Penguins' second elite unit.
Superstar to Target
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators ($7,400)
The Blues enter this game still dealing with some injury and Covid issues up front, as they’ll likely be without David Perron and Brayden Schenn (among others) for this game. This all means that we’ll likely just see Tarasenko asked to do even more and the Russian winger has responded to such requests this year when asked.
He enters this game on a tear, having scored 15 points in his past 10 games and is coming off a small COVID-induced rest so his legs will at least be somewhat fresh. Perhaps in a normal year, we’d worry about usage coming off the layoff but the Blues are too short-handed to limit his minutes here. The last two times Tarasenko played over 20 minutes he responded with over 20 DKFP and his usage here seem likely to approach that same barrier. The Predators have taken a step back a bit defensively of late too (12 goals in their past three games) and Tarasenko is likely to benefit majorly here if that trend of play continues. He’s the best combo of upside and value among the big forwards in play tonight.
Value on Offense
Oliver Wahlstrom, New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers ($3,900)
The Islanders’ offense has finally started to show some signs of life and one player whose play of late has helped along the turnaround is Wahlstrom. The Swede comes in having scored 10 points in his past 10 games, but he is also being far more productive for fantasy purposes from a non-scoring aspect. He’s averaging 3.3 shots on net over his past 10 games and has 22 shots on net over his past five games alone.
Wahlstrom’s power-play exposure against a team like Philly, which allows 35.0 shots on net per game and features a below-average penalty kill makes him an ideal target here at under $4,000 today. If you need the value, take it here with the Islanders’ emerging winger.
Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers ($8,100)
There are some quality goalies available on this slate but we do have to consider the matchups on the board here as well. The Predators are on the road against a high-scoring Blues offense while the Penguins’ goaltending has cooled off just a touch of late. As much as I like Pittsburgh, there’s some shutout potential here with Sorokin, who enters as a -175 home favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook and takes on a Flyers team that is without their top center.
Sorokin has averaged 20.0 DKFP in seven home starts this year and has posted a .932 save percentage in those seven starts as well. Philly hasn’t scored more than twice in five straight games and looks like a wounded animal at the moment. Take advantage by paying up in net today for a goalie who has been playing well, despite his team's struggles.
Value on Defense
Brian Dumoulin, Pittsburgh Penguins at Vegas Golden Knights ($3,600)
There’s admittedly not a lot to get excited about in the bargain shopping aisle on defense today, but the Penguins’ Brian Dumoulin does give us a pretty solid floor for the price he’s available at here. Dumoulin plays big minutes for the Penguins, who have been a solid offensive team of late and it’s led to him averaging 0.5 points himself over his past 10 games. He’s also averaged 3.3 blocked shots + shots on goal over that same span and has grabbed the blocked shot bonus five times in his past 10 games as well.
Considering the increased point production of late, Dumoulin offers us pretty good upside especially considering his price, which remains a huge bargain at under $4,000. The Penguins’ increased offense should mean his offensive output continues to stay solid and his tertiary production matches or exceeds those at his price point.
Roman Josi, Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues ($8,400)
The defense position tonight doesn’t offer us a ton of options and may actually be more appealing to those who like to punt. That said, with some cheaper line stacks available we also have the cash here to fit in a player like Josi, whose ownership will likely be kept somewhat down due to his huge price tag.
The near $9,000 salary may seem huge, but Josi really has been in a class by himself of late. He’s averaging an absolutely astounding 6.8 blocked shots + shots on goal over his past 10 games and also has averaged 20.9 DKFP over that same span of games as well. The Blues aren’t a terrible opponent at all as they allow over 32 shots on goal per game and have given up the sixth-most scoring chances against this year. Josi’s now hit the double-bonus (shots on goal + blocked shots) in three of his past four games and should be the player you build around on today’s slate. Look to save cash at other positions today.
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