After a rather calm three-game slate yesterday, the action picks up in a big way tonight as 26 teams will lace up their skates. If you’ve yet to give daily fantasy hockey a try, it’s definitely not too late as this is the busiest night of the very young season. FanDuel has some serious money up for grabs, and these picks should help get you started in the right direction.
Ben Bishop – Tampa Bay Lightning - $9,200 - Securing a win (and the 12 fantasy points that come along with it) is task #1 when selecting your netminder. With that in mind, Ben Bishop looks as if he’ll be well worth the investment this evening. Bishop wasn’t his best in the season opener, but did post an impressive 2.06 GAA and .926 SV5 over 60 starts in 2015-16 and the 6’7” behemoth dominated this New Jersey Devils in all three meetings in last season (3-0 record, 1.00 GAA, .957 SV% and a shutout). While the Devils did finally bring in some offensive firepower (Taylor Hall), they owned an NHL worst 2.22 goals per game last season and looked fairly lifeless in their season opener. While the expected lack of shots thrown his way does limit his GPP upside to some degree, he’s a rock solid foundation to your H2H and 50/50 lineups.
Top Mid-Tier Play: Steve Mason – Philadelphia Flyers - $8,200
Top Value Play: Brian Elliott – Calgary Flames - $7,800
Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars - $7,700 – Seguin was oddly quiet in the season opener on Thursday, but he was able to log nearly 17 minutes of ice time and looks to be back to at least nearly 100% from the hell injury that kept him out of the World Cup of Hockey. Seguin joins forces with Jamie Benn to form arguably the most dangerous 1-2 punch in the NHL and tonight’s matchup is nearly ideal as this Dallas Stars team rated out as the fastest paced team in the NHL last season (118.93 CP60) and they’ll square off against a Colorado team that was the worst puck possession team in the league (44.2% CF%).
Top Middle Tier Play: Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers - $7,100
Top Value Play: Henrik Sedin – Vancouver Canucks - $4,900
Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues - $7,700 – After being shadowed by the likes of Jonathan Toews and Zach Parise in his first two games this season, Tarasenko figures to find a bit more open ice in tonight’s game against the New York Rangers. Despite those two tough matchups, he’s already scored a pair of goals and added an assist while piling up nine shots on goal. Tarasenko is an extremely dangerous threat on the wing of the Blue’s top power-play unit and he should be able to take advantage of the fact that the Rangers coughed up an ugly 78.2% penalty kill last season.
Patrik Laine – Winnipeg Jets - $4,200 – While your opponents will likely all zero in on Auston Matthews after his ridiculous debut on Thursday night, Patrik Laine will likely manage to fly under the radar a bit tonight. The second overall pick from last year’s draft also made an impact with a goal and an assist in his NHL debut, and with Bryan Little now sidelined for the Jets, Laine looks to be slated to join Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler on the top forward line. He’s immensely talented, staring at a great opportunity and still very cheap.
Top Overall Play: Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals - $8,400
Top Mid-Tier Play: Brendan Gallagher – Montreal Canadiens - $6,300
Zach Werenski – Columbus Blue Jackets - $4,100 - If you’re looking for some value on the blue-line, the Werenski looks like a terrific option. After an impressive preseason, the 19-year-old picked up an assist in his NHL debut and, perhaps more importantly, logged nearly 21 minutes of total ice-time and led all Columbus players with 3:21 of work on the power-play. It’s not an ideal matchup tonight as the Blue Jackets face San Jose, but the Sharks did own a rather ugly 80.5% penalty kill last season.
Francois Beauchemin – Colorado Avalanche - $3,800 – With plenty of expensive forwards/goalies to spend up on tonight, I’ll likely be looking for some salary relief on the blue-line and luckily there are plenty of options. Beauchemin is definitely not the most exciting pick on the board (and likely better served for H2H’s and 50/50’s), but FanDuel’s new scoring system gives him a very appealing floor. He showed plenty of offensive upside with 34 points in 82 games last season, but his real value comes via the blocked shot as he dominated the rest of the NHL in that category (256 Blocked Shots). As mentioned above, Dallas plays at a frantic pace which only makes him an even stronger cash game option.
Top Overall Play: Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks - $7,500
Top Value Play: Ivan Provorov – Philadelphia Flyers - $3,900