I hope you are all enjoying the first games of the NFL playoffs. With other sports going on, I often notice people making lazy picks in hockey and forgetting to check for news and line changes in warmups. I have even encountered many backup goalie plays against me on Sunday. Therefore, it is a good idea to join some games, and hopefully this takes you in the right direction for you FanDuel contests.
Corey Crawford - $9,900 – Crawford is at home against a bad Colorado team, and he will have to be sharp in this one. One thing about taking a goalie against Colorado is that they can score despite their awful possession numbers. However, Chicago is a superior team and will give him all the goal support he needs in this one to get the win. The opponent is a bit risky, but Crawford is an elite goalie this year, and the Hawks are playing great in front of him.
Darcy Kuemper - $7,600 – I hate using Vegas lines to discuss a pick, but it is worth noting that this is the first game I have ever seen with an over under of 4.5. This makes perfect sense, as each team is very slow and strong defensively, and it will be the type of game where one team waits for the other to make a mistake, while playing cautious hockey. I give the edge to the Wild with their offensive talent, and Kuemper is very cheap for a goalie who could easily get a win with just one or no goals allowed.
Alex Ovechkin - $9,400 – Ovechkin is pricey, so we cannot always use him, however, a home matchup against the Senators is always a great idea. Ovy has eight goals in his last 10, and is still shooting at a ridiculous clip of over five shots per game. Ottawa gives up a ton of high-danger chances, and when Karlsson is off the ice, look for Ovy to be out there with the benefit of second change. Ovy against the depth lines of Ottawa and the Hamburglar in net is a recipe for disaster for Ottawa.
Artemi Panarin - $6,300 - A new day, and a new day to recommend Panarin. He is a great young player, and he and Kane have really flourished. A home matchup against the league’s worst possession team should not slow these guys down. In their last meeting, Panarin racked up two assists.
Jaromir Jagr - $5,400 – Jagr is an ageless wonder and is way too cheap for how well he is still somehow playing. The likely first ballot hall of famer has found his fountain of youth while playing with guys half his age and making them better. Jagr does not shoot that much, but on FD we want results, and Jagr is an elite playmaker, and has nine points in his last 10 games. Facing an inconsistent and high danger chance prone Edmonton team, look for Jagr to flourish in this one.
Jason Zucker - $5,300 – Until Zucker is off the top line, do not fade him in good matchups. Zucker is an elite winger, who has close to 17 icorsi/60, and his even-strength minutes with Parise and Koivu is the perfect recipe for him to produce. He hasn’t done much in the first two games up there, but he has more minutes and it will keep his ownership down until his price catches up to where it should be.
Duncan Keith - $5,800 – Keith picked up two more assists last night, and he is playing at an elite level offensively and defensively. Against an Avalanche team that is always trapped in their own end, look for Keith to get involved offensively once again, and continue to flourish in that top PP role, as he has done so for many years. While Keith will have some tough minutes tonight, Colorado’s top scorers are all bad in the corsi category.
Matt Niskanen - $4,400 – Niskanen is an auto-play at this price. For me, this is as sure as it gets in NHL. Any defenseman who is playing on the top power-play is in play, and a great play in the right matchup. It’s no surprise that Mike Green’s production is way down this year and Carlson’s is way up. All Niskanen has to do to reach value is simply pass the puck to Ovy on the point and watch him do his thing.
Good luck in your games tonight!