Frederik Andersen (TOR)
Toronto’s wide open style has allowed for a ton of scoring chances against through their first four games. Andersen is coming off of a rocky start in which he allowed four goals against on 34 shots. That’s just it, though. He’s seen 34 or more shots in two of his three starts thus far and we can expect that same kind of workload tonight. Andersen is an upside play that also offers a solid floor as I would expect Toronto to do enough offensively to earn him a victory.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB)
If you’re looking to pay up and not worry in net tonight, I don’t see any way that Tampa doesn’t beat Vancouver in what is just their second game of the season. The Lightning netminder stopped 42 of 43 shots against the Panthers his last time out and should rack up enough saves to justify the salary.
Devan Dubnyk (MIN)
Dubnyk leads the Wild at home tonight against the Blackhawks, a team he has had good success against recently. In his last two starts against Chicago, Dubnyk has allowed just one goal while stopping 78 of 79 shots faced. Through two starts this season, Dubnyk has seen an average of 40 shots and allowed just three goals. He’s a better value on DK but I don’t mind his salary on FD as I expect him to see at least 32 shots and walk away with a win.
Others to Consider: Jonathan Quick or Jack Campbell (LAK), Aaron Dell (SJ)
Key Three Skaters
Evgeni Malkin (PIT)
Malkin’s salary, especially on DK tonight is outrageously cheap. He centers the second line for the Penguins with Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel (who is also underpriced) and they face a good matchup against Vegas who have struggled defensively thus far. Geno is a game breaker anytime he hits the ice and incredibly hard to pass up in this spot at his value.
David Pastrnak (BOS)
Pasta has been all over the scoresheet thus far with 15 shots, three goals, and two assists in three games. The Bruins are always a team to look at playing at home and especially one against a team that is suspect defensively. He brings speed and a lethal shot to the first line whereas Bergeron is the do-it-all center and Marchand is the gritty, aggressive winger down low. Look for Pasta to have plenty of shooting opportunities tonight at even strength and on the power play.
Taylor Hall (NJ)
Hall took his game to a whole other level last season in winning the Hart Trophy as the leagues MVP. The Devils have played just one game thus far and Hall was limited to four shots but I like this spot for him tonight against the Caps. Washington is likely to start their backup tonight after playing last night and Hall had two goals and an assist in three games against the Caps last season. He’s a completely different player now than he was with Edmonton and is blossoming, finally, into one of the most dynamic forwards in the league.
Top Teams to Target
Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings
The Leafs have been on fire offensively thus far with 20 goals in their first four games. The Auston Matthews, Patrick Marleau, and Kasperi Kapanen line skated well in their last game together. This was Kapanen’s first game on the line with Matthews and Marleau who have both been gelling early on this season. John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and Zach Hyman have looked comfortable together, especially last time out when JT had two goals and Marner has a goal and three assists. On defense, Morgan Rielly has been on fire and Jake Gardiner is a worthwhile pivot off of Rielly at a lower salary.
Favorite one-off: Marner
Favorite defenseman: Rielly
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Vancouver Canucks
The Lightning have played just one game thus far, oddly enough, while Vancouver has played three. The Canucks have allowed 12 goals in their last two games, both road games in fact. The top Lightning line of Ondrej Palat, Steven Stamkos, and Nikita Kucherov is one that figures to be extremely productive. Stamkos and Kucherov are mainstays on the top power-play unit while Palat sees his man-advantage ice time on the second unit. Brayden Point centers the second line with Yanni Gourde and Tyler Johnson, a trio that present good value and are familiar with each other. Victor Hedman is the top dollar play on the blue line with value options like Ryan McDonagh and Mikhail Sergachev serving as pivot options.
Favorite one-off: Kucherov
Favorite defensemen: Hedman, Sergachev
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Vegas Golden Knights
The Pens were a major let down the other night at home against Montreal but I would expect them to bounce back tonight against the Golden Knights who just played last night in Washington. Vegas has allowed at least four goals in three of their first four games this season and I would expect this to be a high scoring back and forth game. Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby, and Patric Hornqvist make up a very strong top line with Crosby and Hornqvist seeing power play minutes on the top unit. The second line and my preferred line has Carl Hagelin, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel. I like the idea of pivoting off of Crosby and on to Malkin and pairing him up with Kessel as those two have shown great chemistry. You can complete this stack if you need a value piece with Hagelin finding himself often involved on this line. Malkin and Kessel also skate on the Pens top power-play unit. On the back end, Kris Letang is all offense as he couldn’t care less about the defensive side of the game. He has two goals, two assists, and five shots in his first two games and quarterbacks the top power-play unit. The other defensemen for Pittsburgh are value plays that don’t get involved enough in the offense for me to have any interest in, especially on such a large slate with plenty of options.
Favorite one-off: Kessel
Favorite defenseman: Letang
Top Positional Plays
Jack Eichel (BUF) – Three goals and an assist in his last two games with 10 shots. Good matchup against Colorado who has shown some defensive lapses against centers early on.
Nathan MacKinnon (COL) – In a game that I’m looking forward to, MacKinnon and Eichel should be battling all night long.
Aleksander Barkov (CBJ) – The Jackets’ have shown to have a bit of trouble with center ice men and Barkov is one of the best two-way centers in the game.
William Karlsson (VGK) – While knowing that Vegas played last night, keep in mind that Pittsburgh’s defense has continued to be god awful. Karlsson is still a value option at center for now until he gets going.
Eric Staal (MIN) – Pointless in two games but in a good spot against the Blackhawks who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to centers thus far.
Vincent Trocheck (FLA) – Had a goal, two assists, and 15 shots in three games against Columbus last season.
Patrice Bergeron (BOS) – As steady as they come and on the ice for the Bruins in all situations.
Logan Couture (SJ) – Just two points (one goal, one assist) so far in four games, but the Rangers can’t defend up the middle giving Couture plenty of opportunities to have a good night.
Nico Hischier (NJ) – Good value as a cheaper play to pair up with Taylor Hall.
Jonathan Marchessault (VGK) – Underwhelmed last night, but look for a bounce-back effort in a high-scoring game.
Evgenii Dadonov (FLA) – Three goals and an assist so far skating on Barkov’s line as a great value.
Blake Wheeler (WPG) – He had two goals and three assists to go along with 16 shots in five games against Nashville last season.
Mike Hoffman (FLA) – He was hungry for the net in the Panthers’ first game of the season with six shots. Look for the same approach tonight. He’s a good pairing with Trocheck as both skate on the top power-play unit.
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL) – Coming off a two-goal seven shot effort in his last time out. We’ve seen this before that Tarasenko is incredibly streaky. Over his last two seasons, he has 40 goals in 81 home games.
Evander Kane (SJ) – He’s the type of player that gives the Rangers fits. Speed, strength, and someone that is willing to shoot the puck a ton. He’s a nice value option skating on the first line for the Sharks.
Sam Reinhart (BUF) – Just $4,600 on DK he’s worth a look on the first line and top power-play unit for the Sabres in a game that should see some goals.
Mikko Rantanen (COL) – Good winger to pair up with MacKinnon.
Erik Karlsson (SJ) – The Rangers struggled with defensemen last season and Karlsson hurt them with five points and eight shots in three games.
Matt Dumba (MIN) – The Blackhawks have allowed four goals and five assists to defensemen so far in three games. Dumba is a good value as an offensive-minded blue liner.
Zach Weresnki (CBJ) – He’s a great value, especially on DK and is bound to get on the scoresheet as he’s had plenty of chances in his first three games. Werenski is still the main source of offense here with Seth Jones still hurt.
Morgan Rielly (TOR) – Continues to be on fire scoring points in every game this season.
Jake Gardiner (TOR) – Salary saving pivot off of Rielly for a potent offense.
Alex Pietrangelo (STL) – Calgary struggles with D men and Pietrangelo offers a solid floor with heavy ice time and shot blocking ability while presenting upside with his offensive ability.
Sami Vatanen (NJ) – Offensive mindset and a great value.
Tyson Barrie (COL) – Too cheap on DK for one of the better younger defensemen in hockey. He correlates well with the MacKinnon line at even strength and on the power play.
Ryan Ellis (NSH) – If you don’t want to pay up for Josi or Subban, who are both fine plays, Ellis presents great value.
Favorite Line Stacks
Tampa Bay Lightning First Line
Palat – Stamkos – Kucherov
Pittsburgh Penguins Second Line
Hagelin – Malkin – Kessel
Toronto Maple Leafs Second Line
Marleau – Matthews – Kapanen
Boston Bruins First Line
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
New Jersey Devils First Line
Hall – Hischier – Palmieri