Welcome to yet another Tuesday afternoon as I break down a few of the FanDuel and DraftKings plays I like in NHL DFS. If you read this column on a weekly basis, you already know that I like to name a few of the top players while going a little bit more in depth on some of the less-obvious picks of the evening. St. Louis, Montreal, Washington, and Minnesota are all playing on the back end of a two-day stint as part of a healthy 10-game slate.
Right off the bat, we find that Columbus has been inserted as the highest favorite of the night as they come in at -195 on home ice. With New Jersey only having five road wins to their credit, the obvious play here would be the top Blue Jackets line of Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson, and Pierre-Luc Dubois. Atkinson leads the team with 26 goals, while Panarin’s 33 assists and 50 points are tops on the team.
Next up, we have the Minnesota Wild coming in at -190 on home ice against a very weak Los Angeles team. The Kings have been spotty at best, so taking a look at Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle in this spot may not be a bad idea. The only concern here is that the Wild come in from playing in Philadelphia last night.
The Vegas bookmakers have inserted the Nashville Predators as a -155 favorite against the Washington Capitals. This line seems to be a little off, as Washington’s 14-6-2 road record is very similar to that of Nashville’s 15-7 record in front of the home crowd. The Predators do have a healthy top line once again, so taking a look at Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson may not be a bad play in this situation. It’s also hard to ignore Alexander Ovechkin and his league-leading 32 goals while skating on the top line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson.
Tampa Bay and Carolina are the only road favorites of the evening; the Lightning are -145 in Dallas while Carolina takes a trip to the prestigious Madison Square Garden. It’s hard not to recommend Nikita Kucherov against the Stars, as his 75 points in 46 games leads all NHL players.
Pittsburgh at San Jose should give us a few options if we elect to use a late hammer or two, especially considering both Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson have been lighting things up from the Sharks' blue line. Burns has grabbed 17 points over the last nine games, while Karlsson has added another 15 points in the last eight games he has suited up for. Now that we have covered some of the more obvious plays, let’s take a look at some plays that may fall under the radar.
Sebastian Aho - Carolina Hurricanes ($6,600 FD, $6,700 DK)
The reason that Carolina is favored on the road this evening may very well be the play of the top line of late. Yes, we already know how good the Carolina possession numbers are, but the problem that they have had is always putting the puck into the net. Over the last seven games, the team has scored four or more goals six times which, to no one’s surprise, has seen the team win all six of those games. Aho has been at the epicenter of all of this, as he has racked up six goals to go along with six assists in those seven games. Teuvo Teravainen and Michael Ferland skate on the top line with Aho and have also been able to combine for four goals and 13 assists over the last two weeks.
Kyle Connor - Winnipeg Jets ($5,400 FD, $5,900 DK)
The Winnipeg Jets put their 17-6-2 record in front of the home crowd on the line tonight as the Vegas Golden Knights stop in for a little 60-minute visit this evening. If you peruse the league leaderboards, you will find that Blake Wheeler and his 58 points is good enough for eight in the league, while his linemate in Mark Scheifele is down in the 11th spot with 56 points of his own. The injury to Nikolaj Ehlers has opened up the door for Connor to walk through, and for all intents and purposes, that is exactly what he has done. Not that his 13 goals and 15 assists in 40 games was bad, but he certainly seems to like playing on the top line as he has lit the lamp three times to go along with three assists in the five games that Ehlers has missed. With Ehlers expected to be out to mid-February, Winnipeg gets at least another few weeks to leave Connor on the top line before they have to make a decision.
Anders Lee - New York Islanders ($6,500 FD, $6,400 DK)
Head coach Barry Trotz has this set of New Yorkers playing much better than their in-state rivals, as their 25-15-4 record has them 11 points up on the struggling Rangers. The team is also nestled into the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference if the end of the year tournament were to start today. Unfortunately it doesn’t, so that means that Barzal and company will have to continue to produce if the Islanders have any chance of playing into late April. Barzal is the team leader for sure, but Lee has done his share of damage over the last six games by lighting the lamp twice to go along with five assists. Lee is tied with linemate Brock Nelson for the team lead with 16 goals.
Jake Guentzel - Pittsburgh Penguins ($7,700 FD, $6,600 DK)
With guys like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel on your team, you really have to be on your game to grab some of the headlines. It’s no surprise that Guentzel leads the team with 23 goals while skating on the top line with Crosby and Bryan Rust. Crosby makes everyone around him better. He did it with Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, and Conor Sheary, among others, so it’s no wonder that Guentzel is flourishing skating next to the aging superstar. His seven goals is second only to Johnny Gaudreau since the turn of the new year, so get him while he is hot.
Jacob Trouba - Winnipeg Jets ($5,000 FD, $5,200 DK)
With John Klingberg, John Carlson, Kris Letang, and the aforementioned San Jose defenders all being in action tonight, we may have to dig a little deeper to get off the beaten path. This is where Jacob Trouba comes in, as he has stepped up his game to the tune of registering eight points over the last seven games. The injury to Dustin Byfuglien helps out here, as Trouba has seen three of those points come while quarterbacking Winnipeg’s top power play unit. Josh Morrissey was the odds on favorite to fill that slot, but the play of Trouba made that hard to materialize. Although Vegas has only played four home games since December 18, they have been able to give up four power play goals in those games. Meanwhile, the Jets have scored six power play goals in the six home games that they have had over the last month.