Each day I will be providing my recommended player picks for your FanDuel daily fantasy hockey lineups.
My FanDuel NHL Plays will be broken down by player positions, and will include picks for cash games (50/50s/double-ups/head-to-head) and GPPs (guaranteed prize pool tournaments).
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We have a solid six-game schedule in the NHL with some of the best offensive teams in hockey playing tonight. With 12 teams in action, there should be plenty of variety in cash game lineups and a ton of options for tournament play.
The New York Islanders are the biggest favorites on the board and the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings are the only teams playing on back to back nights. Without further ado, let’s get to the daily plays!
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders NHL Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders, $9,000 – Picking a goaltender in your cash games is a little more difficult than usual tonight. I ended up siding with Vegas and giving a slight edge to Jaroslav Halak over the likes of Ben Bishop and Braden Holtby. Halak has won six of his last eight starts, allowing only two goals in five of those six wins. The New York Islanders are the biggest favorite on the board tonight and one of the NHL’s best teams on home ice (22-8-0). The Calgary Flames are in the midst of a seven-game road trip and are not an offense to fear. Calgary sits in the middle of the pack in most offensive categories and do not have an explosive line or an elite sniper. I expect Halak to get the win tonight and allow two goals or less.
John Tavares, New York Islanders, $9,000 – John Tavares has been scorching hot since the All-Star break, racking up eight goals, 16 points and 61 shots on goal in 13 games. At this pacel Tavares is becoming a must play in cash games on a nightly basis. The Islanders are not only one of the hottest teams in the NHL (7-2-1 in their past 10) but also one of the best teams on home ice (22-8-0). Look for the Islanders and Tavares to keep rolling tonight against the Calgary Flames.
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals, $7,000 – The Washington Capitals have been playing great hockey recently and most of the offensive credit goes to Alexander Ovechkin. However, Nicklas Backstrom has been very good as well. Backstrom has tallied 14 points in his last 13 games and sets up most of Ovechkin’s goals. The Capitals have scored the seventh-most goals per game this season and have the NHL’s second-best powerplay. Washington is a dangerous offensive team and they can explode on any given night. The good thing about the Washington Capitals is that when their offense goes off, you know the top line will be heavily involved.
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars, $8,200 – Jamie Benn has not skipped a beat despite losing his superstar linemate Tyler Seguin. Benn has produced eight goals, 13 points and 31 shots on goal in his last eight games. The Dallas Stars will face an Avalanche team tonight that is one of the weaker defensive teams in the league. If Semyon Varlamov does not bring his “A” game tonight, Colorado is in trouble. With 10 goals and 20 points in 15 games since the All-Star break, Benn is one of the NHL’s hottest snipers and makes a great play in any format tonight versus the defensively challenged Colorado Avalanche.
Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning, $7,000 – Palat is riding a five-game point streak, collecting four goals and seven points during the streak. Tampa Bay has scored the most goals in the NHL this season with 201 and they average 3.37 goals per game at home. The Bolts are one of the league’s best teams on home ice (22-6-1) and one of the most explosive offenses in play tonight.
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche, $5,600 – Landeskog has really picked up his offensive game recently, scoring points in six of his last seven games. During those seven games, the talented 22-year-old Swede has tallied five goals and 20 shots on net. The Dallas Stars remain one of the league’s worst defensive teams, allowing the most goals per game (3.50) in the month of February. The Colorado Avalanche have owned the Dallas Stars this season, beating them in all four meetings and scoring 16 total goals in the process. With Landeskog heating up, he could be in for a big night tonight in Dallas.
Anders Lee, New York Islanders, $5,500 – Lee has been playing his best hockey of the season in the last month, producing seven goals, 14 points and 45 shots on net in his last 13 games. Lee has enjoyed his time playing on the Islanders’ top line alongside John Tavares,s and he has produced accordingly. I expect the Islanders to score a few goals tonight and their top line is my favorite line of the night. Anders Lee‘s salary has still not caught up to his production and that is something we should be taking advantage of.
Defense is similar to goaltending for me tonight, as there a few good choices, but nobody that stands out as the clear number one option. I was going to write up either Jason Garrison or Anton Stralman, as they are likely to share the powerplay duties with Victor Hedman out and both have great value, but it appears Hedman may actually play and is currently a game-time decision. Obviously Garrison and Stralman become more of a GPP play if Hedman is able to play. This is a situation we all need to monitor throughout the day.
Johnny Boychuk, New York Islanders, $4,900 – Boychuk had a goal and three shots on net in the Islanders’ 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night and he continues to quarterback the Islanders’ number one powerplay unit. New York is averaging the fourth-most goals per game in the month of February (3.15) and have scored more goals at home than any other team in hockey this season. Look for the Islanders to stay hot tonight and for Boychuk to find the scoresheet again.