It’s one of the busiest days on the ice of the young NHL season, which is a perfect time to get in on the daily fantasy hockey action over at FanDuel. With most teams already with 10 games under their belt this season, we’re starting to get a pretty clear look at the result of some of the major offseason moves that were made. With only the Wild and Avalanche dropping the puck this afternoon, these picks will focus on top plays from the 12 games taking place this evening.
Frederik Anderson – Toronto Maple Leafs - $8,500 – There won’t be many times when I recommend a Toronto goalie in cash games this season, but a home matchup against the Vancouver Canucks makes Anderson a very intriguing option between the pipes. His overall numbers this season are not impressive, but Anderson was brilliant in his last start, turning away 42 of the 43 shots Buffalo threw his direction in Toronto’s 2-1 victory. He’ll square off against a Vancouver team that has now dropped seven straight games and who has a scored an NHL-low 1.45 goals per game this season.
Top Mid-Tier Play: Mike Condon
Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles Kings - $6,600 – The Los Angeles Kings have really struggled to find any consistent scoring this season, but a home matchup against the defensively inept Calgary Flames could prove to be just what they need to get things rolling. Kopitar has just two goals and four assists through 11 games this season, but has racked up at least 64 points in each of the last three seasons and looks to be very reasonably priced at just $6.6K at FanDuel. Kopitar thrived against the Calgary Flames last season as he posted a goal and five assists in their four meetings, and it’s only a matter of time until he we see him erupt offensively.
Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs - $6,000 – As expected in his rookie season, Matthews has been rather inconsistent this season and now finds himself pointless over his last five games. With that said, the former top overall draft pick has still racked up six goals and four assists in 11 games this season and has a fine matchup awaiting him against a free-falling Vancouver team. With 46 SOG, Matthews has shown the ability to approach value based on shot volume alone, and overlooking his recently discounted price could be a mistake tonight.
Top Value Play: Brandon Dubinsky
Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning - $7,100 – Kucherov was an offensive force for the Lightning down the stretch last season and is quickly making his offseason contract extension look like quite the bargain for the Tampa Bay Lightning. John Cooper recently shuffled up his forward lines and placed Kucherov alongside Steven Stamkos on the top forward line; results have certainly followed. Kucherov has racked up three goals and eight assists over the last six games and he picked up an assist against this New Jersey team when they squared off earlier this season.
Artemi Panarin – Chicago Blackhawks - $7,000 – It was widely accepted that Patrick Kane moving to the top line alongside Jonathan Toews would be devastating to his former linemates Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov. Well, with Marian Hossa joining those two on Chicago’s second forward line in the last several games, that certainly hasn’t been the case thus far. Panarin is off to a terrific start with five goals and seven assists in 11 games and now leads the NHL with five multi-point games already this season. He’s racked up three goals and four assists during his current four-game point streak and should benefit from the quick pace that the Dallas Stars will look to establish.
Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators - $7,100 – Karlsson may the third most expensive blue-liner on the board tonight, but all things considered, his $7,100 asking price at FanDuel is actually a bargain. After racking up 82 points in 82 games last season, he’s off to another strong start as he’s posted three goals and six assists in 10 games thus far this time around. Karlsson runs the show on the point of Ottawa’s #1 power-play unit and is averaging nearly 27 minutes of ice-time per game this season. He’s proven to be far more productive at the Scotiabank Place in recent seasons and has a fine matchup on tap tonight against the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
Zach Werenski – Columbus Blue Jackets - $4,600 – The cat may be out of the bag by now with Werenski, but he simply remains too cheap to ignore for the time being. The 19-year-old dished out five assists over the last three games and now sits with a pair of goals and eight assists in nine games thus far in his NHL career. He’s grabbed the reigns as the point man on Columbus’ #1 power-play unit and has shown a patience with the puck that few players his age prove capable of matching.
Top Overall Option: Brent Burns