After a slow night on the ice last night, the NHL delivers a very fantasy friendly 11-game slate this evening. With roughly only a quarter of the season to go, we’re really starting to a good picture at the assorted playoff races as well as getting an idea of which teams will be sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. Here are my top plays for your H2H and 50/50 games on FanDuel this evening.
Brian Elliott – St. Louis Blues - $9,000 - While many may be turned away by the matchup against the Los Angeles Kings, Elliott’s stellar recent play makes him a top-tier cash game option this evening. Elliott has potentially stolen the starting job away from the injured Jake Allen at this point after posting a ridiculous 5-1-1 record to go along with a 1.42 GAA and .952 SV% in seven starts since the All-Star break. The Kings have scored just one goal in their last two games and Elliott stood on his head against them earlier this season; turning away 26 of the 27 shots thrown his direction in a 2-1 overtime victory.
Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks - $8,100 – Getzlaf picked up another assist in Edmonton last night and is now wielding one of the hottest sticks in the NHL. The Ducks Captain will put a six-game point streak on the line tonight in Vancouver and has posted three goals and ten assists in nine games since the All-Star break. He’s picked up at least one point in 15 of his last 17 games and has developed a very nice rapport with new linemate David Perron while also still joining forces with former partner-in-crime Corey Perry on the top power-play unit.
Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers - $7,600 - McDavid picked up yet another assist in a tough matchup against the Ducks on Saturday and has now exploded for four goals and nine assists in eight games since returning to the lineup after the All-Star break. He has a nice matchup on tap tonight against a Minnesota team that was in action last night and who have not only posted an ugly 2-8-0 record over their last ten games but also surrendered 3.75 goals per game thus far in the second half. He’s already tallied five goals and ten assists in 11 home games and it’s unlikely we’ll see his asking price any lower than this any time soon.
Patric Hornqvist – Pittsburgh Penguins - $6,400 – Hornqvist has been fairly quiet lately, but the Detroit Red Wings just had no answer for him when these two teams met on New Year’s Eve. In that game, Hornqvist scored a goal, added two assists and fired six shots at Petr Mrazek. His 111 high-danger scoring chances is the third highest total in the NHL this season as teams are forced to give him more space than they’d like with Sidney Crosby as his center both at even strength and on the #1 power-play unit. The $6,400 price-tag seems very reasonable.
Mats Zuccarello – New York Rangers - $5,900 – Zuccarello was held in check last night against the Blackhawks and Jonathan Toews, but should have a much easier time this evening in Toronto. He’s scored one goal and dished out seven assists in eight games since the All-Star break and has absolutely torched this Toronto team in their prior meetings; scoring four goals and two assists in two games. His next goal will push him over the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his young career and I’m expecting it to happen tonight.
Patrick Eaves – Dallas Stars - $4,000 – As long as he stays both this cheap and on the top line alongside Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, Eaves is a fine play. Tonight he also has a plus matchup awaiting him against the struggling Arizona Coyotes. Eaves has tallied four goals and four assists in eight games since the All-Star break and is averaging nearly 17 minute of ice-time per game during that span as well. Pair him with either Benn or Seguin to lower the average cap hit.
Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning - $6,300 – After a somewhat quiet start to the season for Hedman, he’s really picked things up lately, posting three goals and 14 assists over his last 16 games. He’s routinely logging 23+ minutes of ice-time per game and sees plenty of run on the point of the Tampa power-play which should bode well for him as Winnipeg is not only one of the most penalized teams in the NHL this season but they also own an unsightly 77.4% penalty kill. Hedman racked up three assists against them in their only other meeting this season should be well worth the $6,300 investment this evening.
Noah Hanifin – Carolina Hurricanes - $3,100 – If you’re looking for some value on the blue-line, Hanifin deserves your attention. The fifth overall selection in the 2015 draft has picked up points in consecutive games and grabbed the reigns as the point man on the Hurricanes top power-play unit with Justin Faulk sidelined. He has a terrific matchup against an Ottawa team that has allowed the most goals against in the NHL this season and that sport an abysmal 74.3% penalty kill. At the near minimum price, you simply can’t ask for much more.