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.
After a busy Tuesday following the holiday, the league slows down tonight with just five games. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing on back-to-back nights, while the other teams are rested. We have a number of solid offenses to select skaters from, so tonight is a great cash game night.
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders NHL Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins, $9,300 – The Pittsburgh Penguins are the only team playing on back-to-back nights today, but they are the heaviest favorites skating at home. They host a Carolina Hurricanes squad that has won three in a row yet has not looked strong offensively. Pittsburgh had to travel overnight back to the Igloo, but this is a team in line for an easy win, with the fairly-priced netminder also eager to lock in a potential shutout against a Hurricanes team that is averaging nearly 30 shots per game, but only 2.61 goals per contest. On a short slate, make sure you don’t overthink your cash game goaltender and ensure yourself the all-important 12 points with a win.
Other Top Play: Peter Budaj (LAK)
Top Value Play: Carter Hutton (STL)
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings, $7,600 – The Los Angeles Kings offense may go overlooked today with the Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maples all in great spots, so this may be a low-owned cash game play, but the Kings head to Vancouver to face one of the worst teams in the National Hockey League. The Canucks have lost two in a row and six of their last eight games, and while the Kings have struggled this month, they still own the far better puck control numbers. Moreover, the Canucks are dreadful trying to kill penalties and have allowed power play goals in seven straight games. Lock in the underpriced Jeff Carter, who centers his team’s primary power play unit.
Other Mid-Tier Play: Nazem Kadri (TOR)
Top Value Play: Jori Lehtera (STL)
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues, $8,800 – Another offense that you will want a piece of this evening is the St. Louis Blues, a team that's been having an inconsistent December but one that you still want to target whenever they play at the Scottrade Center, where they have dropped just two games this season. The Blues' first line and top power play unit right winger is having another superb season, with a total of 38 points in 35 games and a fantastic and sustainable 12.7 shooting percentage. Vladimir Tarasenko has been held pointless in his last two contests on the road, but should snap that scoreless streak on home ice against a Flyers team that is allowing the fifth-most goals per game in the NHL (2.92 GA/GP).
Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings, $4,800 – The Los Angeles Kings' second line left winger and first power play unit right winger skates with Jeff Carter while at even strength and with Carter on the power play, and he has now recorded a point in two straight games. As mentioned in the Carter write-up above, the Vancouver Canucks are a team you want to pick on tonight, and a mini-stack of Pearson and Carter is cash game playable. The reason for the pairing of Carter and Pearson is because the Canucks' penalty kill is awful and the visiting team should connect on at least one goal on the man advantage.
Justin Schultz, Pittsburgh Penguins, $5,000 – The top blueliner in Pittsburgh is having a fantastic spell while Kris Letang is out for the Penguins, and while his price is now at the $5K mark on FD for the first time all season, Schultz’s price is still exploitable against the Carolina Hurricanes. The power play quarterback is averaging over a point per game over his last eight contests and has been averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game since mid-December. Despite the rising price point on Schultz, lock him in as one of your cash game D-men.