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).
Following a busy Saturday that was filled with eleven games featuring twenty teams, Sunday brings us a slate of eight games. With sixteen teams in action, you should also note that nine of those teams are playing on back-to-back nights (Islanders, Capitals, Predators, Flyers, Blue Jackets, Panthers, Penguins, Stars and Lightning). If you are trying to choose between two players that you have projected to hit the same point target on a short slate, selecting the player who is not skating on back-to-back nights may be the better selection. There are two separate slates on FanDuel today with the first game set starting at 12:30 p.m. Eastern and the primary game set starting at 6 p.m. Eastern.
Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins, $9,500 – It is so tempting to start every goalie against Buffalo. But that is not the case today, as it looks like Carter Hutton will get the start today, and even at his price of $7,200, he may have a hard time hitting value as the Sabres simply do not fire enough shots on goal. The Penguins should be fairly strong favorites against Florida, who will be playing their fourth road game in six days. While the Panthers have won two in a row, the Penguins look as if they remembered how to score and beat the Blues 4-2 last night, and will look to beat a far lesser team today. One reason that Fleury is in a good spot tonight is due to the fact that he will face a Panthers team that shoots the puck the 11th-most in the NHL (30.8 S/GP) and his Penguins are giving up 29.5 SA/GP. Any time you are paying up for your goalie, you want to pay attention to whether they can pay off their salary by being able to save enough shots, which is one of the problems with starting a high-priced goalie against the Sabres, who average the fewest shots per game in the league. However, there should not be an issue today. Do not let Fleury’s past two games worry you too much. While he lost both of them, he stopped at least thirty shots in each contest and only gave up two goals per game (+.930 SV%). It was his team’s offense that only managed one goal per game over that span. With the Pens coming off a strong win last night, look for Crosby and company to score some goals tonight in support of MAF. Wins are all-important on FanDuel, and Fleury has a great shot at a win and a good amount of saves, making him the top pick.
John Tavares, New York Islanders, $8,800 – Your cash game lineups should start with rostering Tavares as well as one of his linemates, Anders Lee or Josh Bailey. Of course, if you are stacking a line in your GPP lineups, grab this whole line, but only use two players in cash games to protect yourself from a potential dud. As the second-most expensive center on today’s slate, Tavares comes into the game in New York riding a five-game point streak in which he has registered a total of five goals and six assists. Moreover, as the tenth-best power play in the NHL, the Islanders get a crack at the Canucks, who have given up five shorthanded goals in their last four road games. In a game that Vegas expects to hit the over of 5.5 goals, look for the Islanders to put up four goals with the Tavares line figuring in at least two of those goals.
Rick Nash, New York Rangers, $8,500 – With goals in two straight games and in four of his last five games to go with five assists in his last six games, Nash is your second best bet (behind John Tavares) to bury a puck in the back of the net today. As -220 ML favorites, the Rangers are in the Garden tonight having won five of their last six games, and have scored an average of five goals per game during those wins. Nash, who skates with Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello on the Rangers’ first line and with the same duo on the team’s first power-play unit, will take his average of 6.28 FDP per game over his last ten games to attack a below league average penalty kill unit in the Blue Jackets (who are also giving up the second-most shots per game (33.1 SA/GP) in the NHL). Nash and the rest of the Rangers’ top unit are due for a minimum of one goal tonight as the team should earn their second straight win.
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators, $6,000 – Any time a team takes on the Sabres, you must take notice of that offense and attack the NHL’s worst team. Forsberg, who plays with the Predators third line (Calle Jarnkrok and Taylor Beck) while the team in on even strength, also skates with Mike Fisher and James Neal on the team’s first power-play unit. That line will be firing on all cylinders against the league’s worst penalty kill unit that has given up five shorthanded goals in its last seven games. Forsberg has just one goal in his last two games, but he has been averaging over 3.25 shots per game over his last ten games and he should shoot the puck a minimum of four times against the Sabres, who give up the most shots per game (34.9 SA/GP). Look for the Preds’ top power-play unit, as led by Forsberg, to record at least one power-play goal. At just $6K on FD, Forsberg should serve as a safe cash game play.
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators, $6,900 – If you opt to fade the Predators forwards and go elsewhere, you can get exposure to a team that averages 2.95 goals per game (sixth-most in the NHL) against a team that is giving up 3.36 goals against per game (30th in the league) with Weber, who plays the point on the power play with Roman Josi. At his current price tag, Weber is the second-most expensive D-man on the day, but he is the top overall play at the position. Despite his lack of offensive production over the last two games, Weber has logged heavy minutes on the ice (26:48 ATOI since the ASB). As the third-most heavily penalized team in the league, the Sabres, who also have the worst penalty kill percentage, should at least hit their average of 11.6 PIMs/GP, which will give Weber more opportunities to see quality ice time during the man advantage to get back on a fresh point streak.
Mike Green, Washington Capitals, $4,500 – If you are playing the all-day slate today, Green must fill one of your defensemen slots as his Capitals head up the I-95 to Philadelphia to take on a Flyers team that has dropped two straight, including one to the Buffalo Sabres. With a lack of a potent offense, the Flyers have also struggled in the defensive zone as they are giving up the seventh-most goals per game in the NHL (2.80 GA/GP), primarily due to shaky goaltending. Contrast this to the Capitals, who have won three in a row and have scored an average of 4.33 goals per game during that span. Despite being held off the score sheet his last game out, prior to that, Green had recorded at least one point in three straight games and will lead the NHL’s second-best power-play unit against the league’s third-worst penalty kill unit. In what should be a high event hockey game, at just $4.5K, Green should be in your lineups.