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).
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 quiet Wednesday night with only three games, the NHL explodes with a nine-game slate on this Thursday evening. The New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings are big favorites and will be very popular tonight in both your cash games and tournament play, while the Ottawa Senators are the only team playing on consecutive nights.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $50,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night's NHL games. It's just $2 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders NHL Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings, $8,100 – Quick has won eight consecutive starts and has posted great numbers in the month of February (2.00 GAA, .925 SV%). The Los Angeles Kings are the NHL’s hottest team with eight wins in a row and are one the best teams in the league on home ice (20-6-6). The Ottawa Senators have an average offense at best and will be playing in back-to-back road games tonight at the Staples Center. Look for the Kings to win their ninth straight game and for Quick to be brilliant in net.
Derek Stepan, New York Rangers, $5,800 – Like a lot of the New York Rangers, Derek Stepan has been playing great hockey recently, with 11 points in his last 11 games. The New York Rangers are one of the NHL’s hottest teams, losing just once in their past 10 games and leading the league in goals per game (3.83) in the month of February. The Arizona Coyotes have lost seven straight games, allowing 28 goals in the process. The Desert Dogs have the NHL’s 27th-ranked penalty kill and I expect Stepan and company to exploit that tonight in New York.
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks, $5,400 – Henrik is riding a five-game point streak, a run that includes four multi-point games. Sedin has racked up an impressive three goals, nine points and a +4 rating in those five games. The Canucks’ top line of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Zack Kassian is really clicking right now and they are one of the NHL’s hottest lines. The Vancouver Canucks have won seven of their past 10 games and have now scored the fifth-most goals per game this month. The Buffalo Sabres remain the NHL’s worst defensive team, sitting dead last in shots allowed (35.1) and goals against per game (3.30) this season. Look for another multi-point performance from Henrik tonight.
Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens, $8,600 – Pacioretty has eight goals, 14 points and a whopping 67 shots on goals in is last 15 games. Mad Max has been an offensive beast this season, scoring the sixth-most goals in the NHL with 29 and taking the second-most shots on goal with 221. The Columbus Blue Jackets have been a bad defensive squad all year long, allowing the second-most shots (33.1) and the fifth-most goals per game (3.08) this season. Pacioretty should feast on this Columbus Blue Jackets team tonight.
Rick Nash, New York Rangers, $8,500 – Nash has had a very productive February so far with eight goals, 14 points, and 49 shots on goal in 11 games. Nash is currently second in the NHL in goals with 37 and fourth in shots on goal with 221. The Arizona Coyotes are one of the league’s worst defensive teams, allowing the sixth-most shots (32.0) and the most goals per game (3.30) this season. Look for Nash to have a multi-point effort and to be one of the top fantasy players tonight.
Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers, $6,100 – Simmonds has points in eight of his last nine games and is now skating on the Flyers’ top line with Michael Raffl and Claude Giroux. Since the All-Star break, Simmonds has eight goals, 14 points and 37 shots on goal in 13 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs have only two wins in their past 10 games and have allowed the fourth-most shots (32.6) and sixth-most goals per game (3.00) in the NHL this season. Simmonds is playing his best hockey of the season and should remain hot tonight against a defensively weak Maple Leafs team.
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings, $5,000 – The offensive statistics might not show it, but Drew Doughty is one of the best all around defensemen in the game. Doughty never seems to leave the ice, averaging almost 30 minutes per game. As the Kings’ leader and powerplay quarterback, Doughty is a big reason why Los Angeles has caught fire recently. Look for Doughty to have a big game versus a tired Ottawa squad tonight.
Ryan McDonagh ($4,300) and Dan Boyle ($3,900), New York Rangers – Both Ryan McDonagh and Dan Boyle seem to be in a time share for powerplay time and it is hard to figure who will be on the Blue Shirts’ number one powerplay unit tonight. McDonagh did have slightly more ice time last game on the powerplay (2:18) over Boyle (1:41), but it is very close. Regardless, both Rangers defensemen have great offensive upside and are in play tonight versus the defensively challenged Arizona Coyotes.