Every Tuesday and Thursday I will be providing my recommended player picks for your daily fantasy hockey lineups. The goal is to help you to the top of the leaderboards in FanDuel and DraftKings tournament play.
We have ourselves another action packed Thursday evening on tap with 12 games scheduled in the National Hockey League. The Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and the Carolina Hurricanes are tonight’s biggest favorites, and we two teams (Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers) playing on consecutive nights.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Al Montoya, Edmonton Oilers & Ryan Miller, Anaheim Ducks – If money is an issue when you are building your GPP lineups and it generally is, rostering Al Montoya in goal will certainly help. Montoya is not only one of the cheapest goalies industry wide, he should also cruise to an easy victory tonight at the Rogers Place as the Oilers should dominate a Colorado Avalanche team missing it’s best player in Nathan MacKinnon. If you are ok adding a little more risk in order to have more save potential, Ryan Miller would be my choice. The Ducks are allowing over 33 shots against per game this season, and with the Ottawa Senators struggling to finish (26th overall in the National Hockey league in goals per game), this should lead to a very nice game for the underpriced netminder.
Buffalo Sabres Top Line – The Buffalo Sabres are not an offense I target often, but with Coach Phil Housley finally loading up his top line (Evander Kane, Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo), they become quite intriguing tonight in GPPs. The Sabres have struggled mightily to score goals throughout the 2017-18 season (ranking dead last in goals per game in the National Hockey League), but when they have had this trio intact, they have been quite productive, and they have a few monster games on their resume. The Florida Panthers are not a good defensive team (24th in CA/60 and 20th in HDCA/60), and they can certainly be exploited on the road. Look for Phil Housley to get his top line on the ice against the weaker lines of the Panthers, putting them in a prime spot tonight at the KeyBank Center.
Dallas Stars Top Line - With the Dallas Stars being on the road, and with their top line being expensive to stack, I doubt they are all that popular tonight in large field tournaments, despite the fact that they have a very favorable matchup on deck. The Arizona Coyotes continue to play poor defensive hockey, sitting 27th overall in the National Hockey League in both CA/60 and HDCA/60, while ranking 19th in SCA/60. On top of that, the Desert Dogs have done a lousy job while short-handed this year, ranking 22nd overall on the penalty kill and 28th overall in the month of January. In other words, this is a juicy matchup for the Stars’ loaded top line, and there is definitely big game upside for them tonight at the Gila River Arena.
Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames - The Tampa Bay Lighting are the best team in the National Hockey League (34-13-3), and they are sound defensively, so it is rare I pick on them, but they continue to take too many penalties (fifth-most minor penalties this season), and their penalty kill has not been good (21st ranked PK), which opens the door for Mark Giordano and the Calgary Flames’ number one power play unit. The Lightning are also in the midst of a long eight-game road trip, and I think we see the Flames take advantage of that tonight, like the Winnipeg Jets did on Tuesday night. Look for the Flames offensive defenseman to break through on the man advantage this evening, perhaps even multiple times, and considering the perceived difficult matchup, and with his expensive price tag, Giordano will certainly be low-owned tonight in tournament play.