FanDuel NHL Value Plays: Thursday (3/16)

Mar 16, 2017

Brayden Point’s price is on the rise, but he can still return value

The value options tonight are in high supply given the fact there are a whopping 12 games on the slate. With only a couple value plays required per lineup, it is paramount we are choosing the best possible. Let’s identify the top value plays for tonight’s huge slate of games.

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Center

Tanner Kero (CHI): $3,400 vs. OTT
With Artem Anisimov set to miss 3-4 weeks of action Kero could have a breakout opportunity in front of him for the foreseeable future. He looks to be the man stepping into Anisimov’s spot as the second-line center in between superstars Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin at even strength. While his power play usage is yet to be determined, it’s clear Kero has struck gold due to Anisimov’s injury. Kero has seen mostly fourth-line minutes this season but has chipped in a decent 11 points and a solid combination of shots and blocks with 39 and 35 respectively across 34 games this season.

Brayden Point (TB): $4,200 vs. TOR
Point’s price is definitely on the rise, as it should be given his recent production and position atop the Lightning depth chart at center. Like Kero, Point moved up the lineup thanks to an injury to Tyler Johnson. Point has made good on his coach’s faith in him by tallying three goals over his last two games with six shots in that span. He plays in between sniper Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat at both 5v5 and at even strength, certainly an appetizing spot to be in that Tampa Bay lineup. The Lightning will host a Maple Leafs team that gave up seven goals in their last road game and have been shaky defensively for the majority of the season.

Wing

Reid Boucher (VAN): $3,400 vs. DAL
Like Point, Boucher was part of my lineup advice for today and he certainly deserves a spot here as well. He will skate on the Canucks’ second line and second power-play unit, both of which contain Bo Horvat who leads the Canucks in scoring with 46 points on the season. Boucher has just five points in 26 contests this season but also has recorded a solid 46 shots on goal in that span including five in two of his last three games, one of which found the back of the net. Boucher and the Canucks will battle a Stars team tonight who ranks dead-last in both goals against per game on the road (3.73) and penalty killing on the road (72.3%). Boucher could be a very solid, low-owned value play tonight.

Miles Wood (NJ): $3,300 vs. PHI
The Devils’ lines are a bit unpredictable right now, but Wood has been playing in a top-six role recently while also getting time on the number one power play unit, a group that contains Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri. That sort of ice time could be very beneficial for Wood tonight when the Devils host the Flyers. Playing their second game in as many nights, Philly could go to Michal Neuvirth tonight who owns a 3.57 goals against average and an .867 save percentage on the road this season. Regardless of who plays goal for Philadelphia, the Flyers give up 3.29 goals per game on the road while killing off just 76.7% of their penalties away from home, good for 25th in the league. Wood has a decent eight goals and 16 points on 88 shots in 48 games this season and could be in for some production if his spot in the lineup remains for tonight’s contest.

Defense

Nikita Zaitsev (TOR): $3,700 vs. TB
Zaitsev has had a very solid first season in North America after several seasons of KHL action in his native Russia. He enters play tonight with 29 points in 68 games, however, he has 90 shots on goal and 117 blocks as well. He has been Toronto’s best defenseman this year to the point where Mike Babcock has him as the lone defenseman on the team’s second power play unit. He consistently skates upwards of 22-23 minutes per game on the Maple Leafs’ blueline and has a solid opportunity for production on a nightly basis. Toronto boasts one of the league’s best road offenses with 2.91 goals per game away from home while leading the league with a 26.5% clip with the man advantage on the road.

Ivan Provorov (PHI): $4,200 vs. NJ
Here we have one of the best young blueliners in the league. At just 19 years of age, Provorov has stepped into the Flyers’ first defensive pairing where he has thrived. His assist in last night’s contest was just his first point since Feb 19, however, the rookie has a solid 25 points in 69 games this season. What’s better is his peripherals. Provorov has 132 shots and 143 blocks on the season which gives him a solid floor just about every game he plays. The Devils haven’t been the same stingy defensive team this season that we have seen in years past so I am liking Provorov’s upside, especially if he can stick on the number one power play unit where last night’s assist came from.

Goalie

Mike Smith (ARI): $7,700 vs. DET
Smith is easily my top value play in goal tonight. In last game action, Smith had little problem shutting out the low-scoring Avalanche while making 22 saves in the process. Tonight he will take on another low-scoring team in the form of the Detroit Red Wings who rank 26th with 2.35 goals per game. Detroit easily has the league’s worst power play on the road at a measly 8.2%, which is 4.8% worse than the 29th-ranked Wild. Smith gave up just one goal on 37 shots in his only other game against the Red Wings this season so he shoots to the top of my list of value goalies as a result.

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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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