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).
Are you new to Daily Fantasy Hockey? Check out these strategies documents first for tips and recommendations to craft your winning FanDuel hockey lineups:
Daily Fantasy Hockey Primer: 2014-15 Season
Winning Strategies for Cash Games (head-to-head, 50/50s)
Winning Strategies for GPP Tournaments
Advanced Tips for Winning by Utilizing Vegas Odds and Line Combinations
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Hockey Research and Strategy Tools
After a slow Wednesday night in hockey, the NHL schedule explodes with 11 games on tap tonight. It is strange night, with a lot of the better teams in tough matchups and some of the weaker teams finding themselves in great spots. It should make for a very interesting night in your cash games and tournament play.
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues, $9,200 – It is a tough night to find a goalie you can trust, as all the elite tenders seem to have difficult matchups. With that in mind, I gave Brian Elliott the number one spot. The Blues are an excellent team on home ice (18-4-2) and are one of the best defensive teams in hockey. Elliott has had a terrific season (1.86 GAA, .930 SV%) for the Blues and I think he finds a way to get it done tonight. Without Pekka Rinne in net, the Blues should have no problems scoring enough goals to get Elliott a win.
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars, $7,900 – Seguin has five points in his last two games and he has three multi-point games in his last five. He leads the league in goals and is third overall in scoring. Ottawa is an average team at best and they do not have a defensive pairing that can shut Seguin and company down. Dallas has had 34 or more shots on goal in each of their last three games and I think they keep firing away tonight. Seguin is a cash game stud and he rarely disappoints. Play him with confidence.
David Backes, St. Louis Blues, $7,800 – I am willing to bet David Backes was not interested in taking a break for the All-Star game. Backes was red hot prior to the break with points in seven consecutive games, including five multi-point performances. During his seven-game hot streak, Backes racked up seven goals and 14 points. Backes and his linemates are the hottest trio in hockey and I don’t see the Predators slowing them down without Pekka Rinne in net.
Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs, $7,600 – The month of January has not been kind to Phil Kessel, but he is just too talented to slump for much longer. At some point he is going to break out with a big game, and I think that happens tonight. The Maple Leafs have scored more home goals than any other team in hockey and I think they score a few more tonight versus a bad Coyotes squad. The Arizona Coyotes are a team we like to pick on, since they’ve been lousy in their own end all year, ranking 25th in shots allowed (32.3) and 29th in goals against per game (3.32). Since the calendar turned to January, those numbers have actually been worse. In 2015 the Desert Dogs have allowed 33.9 shots per game and have given up 3.70 goals per game. As long as Mike Smith (3.49 GAA, .889 SV%) continues to be their the starter, I don’t see it getting any better for the Coyotes. Arizona has lost seven games in a row and look like a team more interested in the Connor McDavid sweepstakes than in winning hockey games.
Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks, $6,000 - Marleau has really picked up his offensive game of late with two goals, five points and 19 shots on net in his last four games. Marleau is back on a line with Logan Couture and this duo has been extremely effective when playing together over the years. San Jose always plays Anaheim tough and the Sharks have scored 15 goals against the Ducks in their four meetings this season. Marleau is moderately priced and has started to heat up lately.
Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers, $5,700 - I know what you are thinking: are the Buffalo Sabres really that bad that we can start looking at Edmonton Oilers to roster? The answer is “Yes”. Buffalo is awful on the road (4-18-1) and by far the worst defensive team in hockey. The Sabres have allowed the most shots per game (35.1) and goals per game (3.54) this season. The Sabres are a country mile worse than any other team in hockey, making Eberle and the Oilers’ top line a target in any format.
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators, $7,300 – Karlsson has scored three goals in his last two games and continues to play great hockey for the Senators. Karlsson is ranked fifth overall in shots on goal (176), which is 26 more than any other defenseman. The Dallas Stars are one of the weaker defensive units in the NHL and they struggle mightily to defend offensive defensemen. Karlsson is the best offensive defenseman in the game today and is my top dog on defense tonight.
Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs, $3,400 - With Dion Phaneuf injured, Jake Gardiner takes over as the Maple Leafs’ top offensive defenseman. Gardiner will see an increase in ice time and should be Toronto’s powerplay quarterback. Despite playing on consecutive nights, the Maple Leafs are still in a great spot versus the defensively-challenged Coyotes.