The Wild head into Nashville today and take on a Predators team who is struggling to keep the puck out of its own net. Juuse Saros has posted a save percentage well under .900 in three of his last four starts and the Predators are also allowing a ton of rubber every night. It’s a poor combo and Minnesota is playing like a team possessed, with wins in nine of their last 10. The line in this one doesn’t appear to give the Wild’s run much credit and that means Minnesota is worth a bet tonight.
It’s been tough times for both the Flyers and Blue Jackets of late, but recently the Flyers’ young offensive core has been scoring at a much more consistent rate. Philly has posted three or more goals in five of their last six games (and four or more in three of their last six). The Blue Jackets’ defense is ripe to be picked on in this spot as they played last night against Boston and have allowed four or more goals in seven of their last nine games. The Flyers at +130 are a bet for four or more goals today.
Edmonton Oilers at San Jose Sharks
Connor McDavid ($9,400) — Evander Kane ($6,700) — Jesse Puljujarvi ($4,200)
The Oilers’ offense has been a thing of beauty of late, scoring 22 goals over their last four games alone. There’s a sense of urgency among their stars right now, as the threat of potentially missing out on the playoffs has elevated the games of both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl ($8,800).
While both Oilers stars are playable, it’s the first line with McDavid that looks like the better fantasy target. Evander Kane heads into this game with 11 points in his last 10 games and is shooting at a near 20% pace over his last 10 games as well. The winger is in a solid revenge spot against San Jose, whom he landed a goal against in their last meeting. A breakout game with McDavid—who has put up 30.0+ DKFP in each of his last three games—seems imminent and the Oilers’ star center should also be in the mood to respond to Auston Matthews’ breakout game last night, who is trying to steal his MVP award down the stretch.
You can always try and fit in a defenseman with the Oilers’ top-line combo (for a PP1 stack), but San Jose’s penalty-kill is actually decent. Going with top-line winger Jesse Puljujarvi saves you more cash and the Finnish winger seems to have gained the trust of new head coach Jay Woodcroft of late. He’s playing solid minutes and grabbed four shots and a point in two of his last four games. It’s not the cheapest stack, but the Oilers are on a tear and this line has all kinds of slate-breaking potential on a night where there are big daily fantasy hockey contests across the DraftKings lobby.
Superstar to Target
Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs ($8,200)
The Panthers and Leafs play today in a game with an over/under that’s pushing 7.0 goals right now (and could even go higher!). Toronto has shown some life of late, but Florida is still -165 favorites and has an implied team total over 4.0. Aleksander Barkov is in a spot to potentially take advantage of a tired Leafs top-six as well, with Toronto coming off an emotional win last night against the Lightning.
Barkov’s main appeal may be his ownership. He has the potential to go well under-owned on this slate with both the Oilers studs and Matthews playing, and has produced multiple points in each of his last three games. The spot for Florida’s offense to reach six or seven goals seems high and if they do, building around a likely under-owned Barkov will look like a solid move in big fields. He’s a good pivot off what will likely be a popular Auston Matthews, who is coming off a hat-trick.
Value on Offense
Cole Caufield, Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators ($4,300)
Caufield has been terrific since getting another shot in the top-six for Montreal and has six goals in his last 10 games, with a shooting percentage of over 20% in that span. Caufield is getting plenty of top-six playing time and faces a Senators team that is seventh in shots allowed per game. Montreal’s offense has been a lot more formidable of late and is against a weaker Eastern conference team today. The price we’re getting on Caufield at under $4.5K makes him one of the best value targets for this big slate.
Kevin Hayes, Philadelphia Flyers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets ($4,000)
We mentioned the Flyers’ offense above as being one to watch today, and like Montreal, their lack of star power means we’re getting good value to go after a lot of their top-six forwards. Kevin Hayes has been thrust into a more significant role thanks to the Claude Giroux trade and the fact Sean Couturier is now injured. Hayes has responded nicely, with 12 points in his last 10 games, and is playing over 19 minutes a night. The Blue Jackets are an A+ matchup and bottom five defensively at pretty much everything. Hayes is a top value and can even be mini-stacked today with the likes of James van Riemsdyk ($3,200) for some serious savings.
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils ($8,100)
The Rangers goalie hasn’t been all that great over his last few outings and even got shelled for seven goals in a recent matchup against the Devils last week. Still, this price seems far too low for the Vezina favorite who should be in the mood to make up, quickly, for his sloppy performance against said division rival. Shesterkin may also be getting the Devils without their top offensive threat in Jack Hughes today (questionable) which only boosts his chances of giving us a shutout.
The Rangers are still solid -155 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook and Sheterkin’s 17.3 DKFP average on the road this season makes his salary look more than appealing. Look for a bounce-back from the Rangers netminder who was better than his save percentage indicates in his last start (a 4-3 OT loss to Philly).
Value on Defense
Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild at Nashville Predators ($3,800)
The Wild take on a Predators team who haven’t been great defensively of late, allowing four or more goals in four of their last five games. The shots on net allowed by Nashville have been troublesome too and that could mean trouble against a Wild team today that has been rolling.
Jared Spurgeon doesn’t get talked about a ton but he is the Wild’s main quarterback on the power-play and has flashed elite upside when in that role. His floor isn’t up there with the best fantasy defensemen in hockey, but he’s been a solid goal scorer from the blue line throughout his career and heads into this game with Nashville with points in four straight, two of which have come on the power-play. Spurgeon is perfect for GPPs today and the kind of player who has 20.0+ DKFP upside given his role with the Minnesota PP1. He should be your first stop when looking under $4K on defense.
Power Play Defensemen
Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings ($5,500)
Rinse and repeat. McAvoy has been our target in this section for the last four articles and there’s absolutely zero reason to fade him again today. The Red Wings offer us all kinds of upside with their penalty-kill being one of the worst in hockey (they are actually now the absolute worst at 72% efficiency) and McAvoy continues to see big minutes with the man advantage, producing power-play assists in three of his last five games.
Value is really the main appeal though as the $5,500 salary is simply too low for a player who has turned into one of the best facilitators from the blue line and has multiple assists in four of his last five games. One day his salary will rise above $6K and we’ll have to think twice about him, but that day is not today. Take the value and get yourself a solid piece of the Bruins’ offense with McAvoy again tonight.
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