The Capitals haven’t landed many wins of late but they’re playing a Stars team who has struggled against elite opponents at times this season. The Stars’ last four wins have come against the likes of the Sabres, Flyers, Red Wings and Devils, while two of their last three losses have come against Tampa Bay and Florida. The Capitals rank out as the better 5v5 team in terms of expected goal rate (xGF%) and have an 11-5-4 road record which includes a +10 goal differential in 2021-22. The plus-money on Washington is worth backing today.
The Penguins’ goaltenders have regressed a little over the last couple of weeks, but it’s been hidden because their offense has been scoring at a huge rate. It’s possible we also get a Casey DeSmith start today too, which would only heighten the possibility we see Detroit show up with three or more goals in this spot. Larkin is averaging a point per game on the season and part of a line that has produced 18 goals on the season (seventh-most in the league). We’re getting good odds just to have him land a point in a game with a 6.5 over/under.
Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars
Evgeny Kuznetsov ($5,400) - Alex Ovechkin ($8,700) - Tom Wilson ($4,500)
As mentioned above, I like a bounce-back for the Capitals tonight against a team in Dallas who allowed 37 shots when facing the Devils in their last outing. Building around Alex Ovechkin today may actually end up being a contrarian play too as the Capitals have the perceived worst matchup on the slate and Ovechkin is the only player priced above $8,500.
Despite not scoring in two games, Ovechkin remains one of the best upside plays in DFS, averaging 4.6 shots on net per game while remaining in the top 1% at his position in terms of shots attempts at even strength and on the power-play. The Capitals have also moved Ovechkin back with Wilson and Kuznetsov for the time being, a trio which produced early for them and ranks fourth in the league in terms of goals produced by a single line. Wilson has been productive when playing alongside Ovy and makes for a good value at under $5,000 when he’s in that role. He seems likely to break a three-game scoreless drought soon and is averaging 3.0 shots on net per game and over 0.5 ppg as well.
Stacking the Capitals’ top-line today will likely get you lower ownership levels in bigger fields as other lines have been hotter for fantasy purposes of late. Take the low sentiment on a line that seems likely to bounce back today against an opponent that has struggled of late against elite Eastern conference teams.
Superstar to Target
Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks ($6,900)
The Avalanche will likely be without Nathan MacKinnon today and that should mean increased usage for Kadri, who is already having an MVP caliber season. The former Maple Leaf has carried the second-line for Colorado and remains an integral part of their PP1 too, a role which will only become more important today. Kadri’s averaging an elite 4.5 shots on net per game and sits well inside the top-10% in overall Corsi Rating of all skaters in short-term form.
The fantasy matchup couldn’t be much better either as the Blackhawks have given up the 13th most quality scoring chances and feature the 7th worst penalty-kill. The Hawks have given up five or more goals in two of their last three outings and Colorado sits with a 3.9 implied goal total in the odds, second biggest on the slate. Kadri’s too cheap (regardless of what MacKinnon status is) and a great anchor play today.
Value on Offense
Jeff Carter, Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings ($4,700)
The Penguins’ offense should be in a testy mood after getting shut down by the Seattle Kraken of all teams in their last game. Jeff Carter has been reunited with Evan Rodrigues and has been quietly productive over his last stretch, averaging just under 3.0 shots per game and 1.0 ppg over his last 10 starts. The Red Wings have allowed the sixth-most scoring chances and have ceded 17 goals in their last three starts alone. The value available with Carter under $5,000 makes him a great target today.
Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins at Arizona Coyotes ($3,600)
DeBrusk has been a streaky player most of his career so it behooves us to take notice when he’s actually producing. The winger has been playing over 15 minutes a game consistently of late and has averaged 3.2 shots on goal +blocked shots over his last 10 starts, while also grabbing six points over that same span. The Bruins have a monster 3.9 implied team total so taking on some of their cheaper bottom-six players has appeal in big fields. DeBrusk has produced well of late and is in a good spot to potentially post a ceiling type of game against a weak opponent.
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers vs. Minnesota Wild ($8,000)
Shesterkin is the likely starter today and has posted a 9-1 record with a .944 save percentage over his last 10 games. Despite the sterling numbers, the Rangers still set up as home underdogs against the Wild. The fact the Rangers are +110 underdogs will likely keep lots of ownership off Shesterkin, who sits at a somewhat psychological salary level at $8,000 flat. The Wild are no pushovers but being able to get Shesterkin at a reasonable price tag at low ownership today is too juicy a spot to pass up. Any win today likely comes with huge save totals again too, making him the preferred upside choice in GPPs.
Value on Defense
Samuel Girard, Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks ($3,600)
The Avalanche will be without their top center (most likely) in Nathan MacKinnon today, but that should open up an opportunity for more usage and shot attempts from other players. Samuel Girard is a player we’ve seen step up his offensive game when other players have been out of the lineup for Colorado in the past and he remains a great value option to target when under $4,000—regardless of the state of the Avalanche’s lineup.
Girard is available at his cheapest price point on DraftKings in over 15 games today and comes in averaging over 0.6 points per game on the season, which alone is enough to make him a good value option at these levels. The Blackhawks’ defensive issues and the fact we could see Girard more on the power-play with MacKinnon potentially missing makes him the preferred pay-down target on defense by a longshot.
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings ($7,000)
The Penguins’ power-play is in a great spot to produce some big performances in daily fantasy. Detroit takes the 11th most penalties in the league but also features the seventh-worst penalty-kill—and has also ceded the sixth-most quality scoring chances this season. It makes this game a great time to deploy the high-priced talent on the backend for Pittsburgh and Kris Letang has shown of late that he’s well worth the price tag he’s offered at today.
Letang’s 11 points in his last 10 games have also been paired with him averaging a stout 5.6 blocked shots + shots on net per game, production which is essentially unrivaled today even by top option Cale Makar ($7,300). If you are wanting a big piece of Pittsburgh today then starting with Letang and building out with more value options at forward likely will be a more unique way to build Pittsburgh stacks in a game that could push to be the highest-scoring of the slate.
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