Welcome to the opening night of the National Hockey League season. There are only four games tonight as the schedule starts off lightly before getting busy on Thursday and especially Saturday. I’m going to give you some fades as these players either should not be in your lineup or tread carefully if you want them on your FanDuel squad. We will also be updating the goaltending matchups at the bottom of the column all season (up to the 7pm start times for most lineups) so check the column and Rotoworld’s daily blurbs for the latest updates.
Jonas Hiller G (Calgary) - $8300
Hiller was the starting goaltender for the most part last season and his dollar value can be seen thusly as it is opening night in the NHL. The problem is that Karri Ramo won the opening night assignment and Hiller will be on the bench as the Flames are home to Vancouver. Ramo is a lot cheaper at $6,500 and could run with the job this season as the Flames are apparently not enamored with Hiller.
Jonathan Bernier - G (Toronto) - $7,900
While it’s opening night at the ACC, the Maple Leafs do not look like a good team this season. They dropped their final five pre-season games and James Reimer actually outplayed Bernier. Bernier had a tough time of it last season and it appears that this may continue into the start of the season. Bernier is not a good choice in DFS at this time.
Kris Russell – D (Calgary) - $5,100
The Flames are loaded on the blueline with Mark Giordano, Dennis Wideman and Dougie Hamilton so it’s hard to see Russell getting a lot of power play time, if any, and adding value to you FanDuel team. He had only four goals and 34 points last season and while he had seven points in 11 playoff games, it was due to the fact that Mark Giordano was injured. That is not the case tonight.
Patrick Marleau - LW (San Jose) - $6,700
Let me preface this by saying I’m not a Patrick Marleau fan as far as fantasy hockey is concerned. He is 36 years of age and it seems his game is slipping. He had only 19 goals and 57 points, has been a plus player only once in his last five seasons and hasn’t had 30 penalty minutes in a season in eight years. He has had double digit power play goals in each of the previous six seasons save for the lockout shortened 2012-13 year, but had only seven last season. There are better choices at left wing tonight.
Radim Vrbata – RW (Vancouver) - $6,300
Radim Vrbata had a great season in 2014-15 playing on the top line with the Sedin twins. He had 31 goals and 63 points last season, but he won’t start the season on the first line. Vrbata will see third line duty when the Canucks are 5v5 alongside Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. While Vrbata will still get first power play time with the Sedin twins, Alexander Edler and possibly Alexandre Burrows, it may not be enough to warrant Vrbata being the third highest priced right winger in FanDuel Wednesday.
Joe Thornton – C (San Jose) - $5,500
Joe Thornton is an assists machine who does little else in fantasy hockey and like teammate Patrick Marleau, he is 36. Thornton is five years removed from his last 20 goal season and has been around the 30 penalty minute mark the last four seasons. He had a mediocre plus/minus last season at minus-four but to be fair, it was the first time he was a minus player in 14 years. Thornton is on the downward slope of his career and facing Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings on the road will not help.