FanDuel NHL Lineup Advice: Thursday (3/9)

Mar 9, 2017

Thursday night brings us the largest slate of the week so far, edging out Tuesday’s nine-game slate with this evening’s 10 games. There are some appetizing matchups on deck so let’s get right to it and dominate this 10-game slate!

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Center

Auston Matthews (TOR): $7,200 vs. PHI
Matthews is the only player in the NHL to record at least one shot in every game this season, and that streak came dangerously close to ending in Tuesday night’s win over Detroit where the rookie was not at his best and tallied just a single shot on goal. However, you would be wise to bet on a bounce back game against the Flyers tonight. Matthews has managed 31 goals this season on a whopping 228 shots to rank tied for third and sixth respectively in the league. He and the high-octane Maple Leafs offense get a favorable matchup tonight on home ice against a Flyers team that surrenders 3.31 goals per game on the road.

Claude Giroux (PHI): $6,900 vs. TOR
This Maple Leafs/Flyers game could be a good target for offense tonight given the OVER is 6-3-1 over their last 10 meetings. Giroux got a huge monkey off his back in Tuesday’s win over the Sabres as he scored his first goal in 12 games despite taking 27 shots in that span. Despite his recent drought, Giroux remains the Flyers’ top pivot next to goal scoring machine Wayne Simmonds at both even strength and on the power play. That bodes well for tonight’s contest as Giroux has 26 points in 27 career games against a Leafs team that gives up the third most shots against in the league this season with a mark of 32.6.

Wing

Connor Brown (TOR): $4,300 vs. PHI
After spending some time moving around the lineup recently Brown is back in the spot where he has enjoyed the most success this season and that is on Auston Matthews‘ right wing. Brown also resides in that spot on the power play as part of a Leafs man advantage that ranks third in the league with a 22.9% clip. The rookie has 15 goals on 109 shots this season to go along with 42 blocks as well. He frequently skates in the 16-18 minute range for Mike Babcock and has the offensive skill set required to play alongside one of the league’s best young players in Matthews.

Richard Panik (CHI): $4,700 vs. ANH
Another young player who has a nice spot in his lineup is Panik. He has surprised all season long with the chemistry he has developed with Jonathan Toews, so much so that Panik resides on the Blackhawks’ top power play unit with the likes of Toews, Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin and Duncan Keith. That is surely an enviable spot for Panik in this price range. He has 17 goals, 36 points and 122 shots on goal this season. More recently, Panik has 14 points over his last 11 games and gets a solid matchup against a Ducks team relying on backup Jonathan Bernier and his .904 save percentage with starter John Gibson sidelined.

Wayne Simmonds (PHI): $6,500 vs. TOR
I’m confident Simmonds and Giroux will be a tough matchup for the shaky Maple Leafs blueline to handle this evening. Simmonds has developed into one of the top scoring threats in the league and he has made the Maple Leafs very aware of that fact. He has three goals across two games against the Maple Leafs this season and a combined four goals and six points over his last six against Toronto. Simmonds plays a large role for this Flyers club as he has scored 27 goals on 174 shots and blocking 47 shots as well. He plays both the power play and penalty kill which has him averaging a very solid 19:09 of ice time this season.

Mike Hoffman (OTT): $6,800 vs. ARI
Here is a guy who loves to shoot the puck and who loves to score goals. Hoffman has an elite shot and an elite release, a combo he has used to obtain 20 goals on 181 shots with a healthy 26 assists. Hoffman and the Senators are playing on back-to-back nights tonight in Arizona, however, this is certainly a targetable matchup as the Yotes surrender 3.22 goals per game, good for 29th in the league. Hoffman currently resides on the Senators’ second line, but he is also a key member of their top power play group, a unit that could have some fun tonight against Arizona and their 77.7% penalty kill, the fifth-worse mark in the league.

Defense

Erik Karlsson (OTT): $7,300 vs. ARI
A must-have for cash games and perhaps a chalk play in GPPs, I just can’t fade Karlsson tonight against the Coyotes. Interestingly Karlsson was held off the scoresheet in last night’s 5-2 win in Dallas, however, I don’t see that being the case again tonight. His floor is extremely high given he has recorded at least three shots on goal in 11 of his last 13 games and blocked at least four shots in five of his last nine games. He also ranks second among defensemen with 58 points, first with his 47 assists and leads the NHL with 176 blocked shots on the season. He should have a very productive evening against the NHL’s second-worse defense.

Calvin de Haan (NYI): $3,800 vs. VAN
Somewhat of a value play on the back end, de Haan is our second shot-blocking machine in this lineup. In fact, guess who has the second-most blocks in the league this season? Yup, de Haan. He has tallied 158 blocks in his 65 games this season while also taking a solid 91 shots on goal and chipping in 18 points as well, which is a career-high. There aren’t any defensemen in this price range with peripherals that impressive as at the very least we can expect a few blocks from the Islanders rear guard on a nightly basis.

Goalie

Calvin Pickard (COL): $7,500 vs. NJ
I rolled the dice on Pickard and the Avs on Tuesday night and after giving up a goal on the first shot of the game against Carolina I immediately regretted it. However, that would be the only shot to get past Pickard on the night as he turned aside the final 25 that came his way en route to a 3-1 victory. Therefore I am going back to the well against another sub-par offense tonight in the form of the New Jersey Devils. While the Hurricanes have scored the second-fewest road goals this season, the Devils have the fourth fewest and an average of 2.17 per game, which is actually worse than Carolina’s 2.21 figure. Furthermore, Pickard has been very solid on home ice lately having surrendered just 11 goals over his last six starts on home ice. That kind of goaltending at this price screams value.

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Kemper is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Kemper, check out his site www.doubleupsports.com and follow him @KemperDoubleUp.

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