The NHL season will kick off tonight and with it the FanDuel Fades are back. This column is meant to highlight players that you should consider avoiding in tonight's daily league games. We're using their FanDuel prices as a big part of their evaluation, so please keep in mind that we're not necessarily suggesting that the players below aren't valuable, just that we think their listed price for the day is too high.
At the bottom you'll see tonight's projected starting goaltenders. We update them during the afternoon, so feel free to check back closer to game time.
Johnny Gaudreau (CGY) - W - $7,300
I'm putting this one forth with some hesitation. Gaudreau is a great forward for that price and the Flames opponent, Edmonton, isn't a team with a defense or goaltending I'm particularly confident in. However, Gaudreau missed Calgary's training camp as a contract holdout. He did participate in the World Cup, so he's not completely rusty, but he was with Team North America so his last game there was Sept. 21. Combine that with the fact that missing training camp prevented him from getting accustom to new Flames coach Glen Gulutzan and I just feel like Gaudreau is too much of a risk for the season opener.
Nail Yakupov (STL) - W - $4,200
I got to imagine some people are eyeing Yakupov as a low-cost pick. He is getting a fresh start after all and should be eager to prove himself after the trade. However, his first opponent will be Chicago and he's projected to be playing on the third line, so these aren't ideal circumstances for a standout game. Also, while I do hope the fresh start helps him, it's not a given that it will. Yakupov has recorded just 80 points in 204 games over the last three seasons and in 2015-16 he didn't even reach the 10-goal mark. I think it would be better to watch this situation for at least a couple games to gauge the situation before betting on Yakupov.
Brian Elliott (CGY) - G - $8,400
Elliott did a great job in St. Louis, but defending Calgary will be a tougher task. He might succeed where Karri Ramo and, in particular, Jonas Hiller failed last season, but Elliott isn't a safe bet at this time. Making things more complicated is the fact that he'll be up against Edmonton, which could prove to be a pretty dangerous team offensively this season, even if they remain questionable in other areas.
Drew Doughty (LAK) - D - $5,900
There are a lot of opportunities to keep your budget reasonable in terms of forwards today, so you might want to consider splurging a bit when it comes to defensemen. For $7,500 you could get Brent Burns or select $7,000 for Erik Karlsson. Doughty is meaningfully cheaper than both of them, but he's also a sizeable step down in terms of FanDuel point production. If you are looking for something cheaper, it might be better to consider Dougie Hamilton ($5,600) or Jake Muzzin ($5,200).
Marian Hossa (CHI) - W - $5,700
Hossa's coming off of a rought campaign and at the age of 37, I'm concerned that he'll slip further. On top of that, there are just better options at that price range. I'm particularly interested in Milan Lucic, who comes at the same price as Hossa, but is projected to play alongside Connor McDavid. Mike Hoffman at $5,500 is pretty tempting too.
Jonathan Toews (CHI) - C - $7,100
Your choices at center are somewhat limited tonight, but as far as the pricer options go, Toews is the one I like the least. Connor McDavid looks pretty good to me at $7,600, especially against Calgary and I'd consider Anze Kopitar at $7,200 pretty fair. Toews is a bit of a step down from them without much of a price discount. Plus Chicago will be facing St. Louis, so that might end up being a low-scoring affair.