Each day I will be providing my recommended player picks for your FanDuel daily fantasy hockey lineups. The goal is to help you build the optimal cash game (50/50s/double-ups/head-to-head) lineup.
Following the NHL’s Christmas Break, the league is back at it tonight with a typically busy Tuesday with 10 solid games as ramp up towards the All-Star Break. Of the 20 teams in action, only the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing the front end game of a back-to-back series and all teams are well-rested so let’s dig in.
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders NHL Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks, $9,000 – Despite dropping their last game out on Friday to a punchless Colorado Avalanche team, the Chicago Blackhawks are the heaviest Vegas favorites skating on home ice tonight, making Corey Crawford your best bet for a win on this 10-game slate (from which selecting your cash game netminder may prove difficult). Despite shooting the puck just under 30 shots times per game, the Winnipeg Jets are scoring at a below league average pace of just 2.58 goals per game. In Crawford’s first start this December 1 on Friday, he looked solid in stopping 32 of 34 shots, but his offense could not support his performance against Calvin Pickard who stop on his head in stopping 38 Blackhawks shots. Back on home ice, look for the Blackhawks to help earn Crawford the all-important “W” tonight.
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins, $9,200 – If you faded Sidney Crosby on Friday against the New Jersey Devils, you missed out on another solid performance by the first line and top power play unit center, who has now scored a goal in three straight games. The Pittsburgh Penguins face-off on the back-end of a home-and-home series against the New Jersey Devils (although the second game has been separated by the Christmas Break), who have now dropped eight of their last nine games and have allowed 4.13 goals against in each of those nine losses. Moreover, the team is allowing almost 32 shots against per game this season and have a bottom four penalty kill on home ice (75.0%). As my top overall offense play tonight, look for Crosby to connect on at least one goal tonight in the swamps of New Jersey.
Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks, $7,700 – Despite continuing his seven game point streak and putting up 11.7 FDP on Friday against the Colorado Avalanche, the Blackhawks top line and top power play unit left winger’s price on FanDuel has not increased, which makes Artemi Panarin a player to exploit in cash games tonight. The Winnipeg Jets may have won three of their last four, but the team is still allowing the ninth-most goals against per game (2.89 GA/GP) on almost thirty shots against per game. Panarin should have no trouble continuing his point streak tonight in the United Center against the Jets.
Patrick Eaves, Dallas Stars, $5,400 – The third offense that you will want a piece of this evening is the Dallas Stars, who have been playing up-and-down hockey in December (well, really, this whole season), but get a crack at one of the worst teams in the National Hockey League this evening. The Stars head to Phoenix to shoot against an Arizona Coyotes team that has dropped four in a row and have allowed an average of 3.75 goals against per game in those losses. While Dallas’s entire first even strength line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Patrick Eaves are in play in cash games, I want Eaves at just $5.4K as I prefer to pay up for the Pittsburgh Penguins offense. Benn is a great play tonight, but I want the salary savings in Eaves, who gets you cheap exposure to this deadly offense.
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks, $6,400 – Much like the recommended play in Artemi Panarin above, even on a large slate, you should have multiple points of exposure against the Winnipeg Jets in the United Center this evening. Having recorded at least one point in six straight games for a total of one goal and five assists during this game span, Duncan Keith is underpriced on FanDuel tonight and currently has one of the safest floors of any blueliner in play on this slate, given the number of shots he takes and shots he blocks. In what should be a high-event hockey game, rostering several Blackhawks in your cash game lineups makes sense, especially if you look to a Panarin, Kane and Keith power play stack.