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.
After a quiet Wednesday night in the National Hockey League, the schedule explodes tonight with 11 games on tap. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators are tonight’s biggest favorites, and we have three teams (Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars and the Calgary Flames) 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.
Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings & Alex Stalock, Minnesota Wild – We have a massive 11-game slate on deck tonight and it is full of offensive upside, so I want to use as much salary as possible on offense, which means I am looking for value in goal. The Detroit Red Wings are a decent sized favorite tonight as they host a Buffalo Sabres team that struggles both to win games (17-32-11) and score goals (dead last overall in the National Hockey League in goals per game), and even though Howard may not see a ton of rubber, he is a safe bet for the win, and the price is right. If you are looking for more save potential and a better discount, have a look at Alex Stalock. The Minnesota Wild back-up goalie is by no means a lock for the win, but he will see plenty of shots, and with the Wild being one of the best teams in hockey at suppressing scoring attempts and high-danger shots, most of the shots will simply pad his stats. Stalock is risky, but at his inexpensive price, he is definitely worth the roll of the dice tonight in GPPS.
Colorado Avalanche Top Line – Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche’s number one line played a huge role in GPP winning lineups on Tuesday night in Vancouver, and they are once again an excellent tournament option tonight at Rogers Place. The Edmonton Oilers are having a disastrous season, and things only seem to be getting worse, winning just twice in their last 10 contests, while allowing the third-most goals against per game in the National Hockey League this month. Despite the Avs’ top line being one of the most consistent and productive lines in the game throughout the 2017-18 season, they remain somewhat moderately priced, and I strongly suggest you get exposure to them again this evening, while adding offensive defenseman Tyson Barrie to the mix whenever possible.
New York Islanders Offense - The Toronto Maple Leafs will definitely be a popular offense tonight, but the New York Islanders should not be ignored, and I would not be surprised in the least to see a shootout tonight at the Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs continue to play wide open, high-event hockey (resulting in plenty of shots and scoring chances against), and the Islanders can score with the best of them, ranking fourth overall in the National Hockey League in goals per game (3.28). The Islanders’ top line will draw most of the attention tonight and for good reason (this line is as explosive as any line in the game and they have big potential this evening), but their second line can be just as dangerous, and they come at much cheaper price, with a lot less ownership. If you can afford to do so, Nick Leddy makes a nice addition to the Islanders’ number one line, while Ryan Pulock is a high-upside value option, skating on the Islanders’ second power play unit, with two-thirds of the second line.
Nashville Predators Offense - Most still look at the San Jose Sharks as a good hockey club with sound defense and excellent goaltending, but that is really not that case on both fronts, and this is a team we can definitely attack, especially on the road. The Nashville Predators are a top-10 offense on the year, but they are seventh overall in the National Hockey League in goals per game on home ice, and their offense is currently firing on all cylinders, producing the sixth-most goals per game in the month of February. The Predators have two very good scoring lines and both are certainly stackable tonight in GPPs, with their top line having the higher ceiling, while their second line is the better bang for your buck. On the blue line, P.K. Subban lines up with the top line and number one power play unit, while both Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis skate on the second unit.
Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers - The Washington Capitals continue to struggle with their defensive game, as they possess one of the weakest defensive groups in the National Hockey League, and because of that, they have been bleeding goals of late, allowing the second-most goals against per game in the month of February (3.90), which puts the Florida Panthers’ offense in a prime spot tonight at the BB&T Center. On top of that, the Capitals have been an undisciplined group this season, registering the sixth-most penalty minutes per game, to go along with an average penalty kill, all of which puts a smile on the face of Panthers’ power play quarterbacks Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad. In this favorable matchup on home ice, both of Florida’s stud defensemen are playable tonight as one-offs, with Ekblad surely to see less ownership. Keep in mind, if you are stacking the Panthers offense tonight, Yandle skates on the top power unit (making him the preferred option), while Ekblad is the contrarian option, as he sees time on the second on power play unit.