FanDuel NHL Value Plays: Thursday (3/2)
Large Thursday night slates are back which means the value options increase. With 10 games forming tonight’s slate 2/3 of NHL teams are in action, giving us a bunch of value plays to consider. I aim to identify those with exploitable matchups in what is shaping up to be another fun night in the NHL.
Radek Faksa (DAL): $3,900 vs. NYI
The lines for the Dallas Stars are going to be unpredictable leading up to game time, but Faksa should have a solid opportunity for success in a home matchup against the Islanders. Faksa has tallied seven of his eight goals this season on home ice where the Stars score a solid 3.15 goals per game. They are taking on an Islanders team tonight who has won just nine road games this season while yielding 3.15 goals against per game away from home. Faksa is going to get second unit power play time no matter what and could possibly move back into the Stars’ top six this evening.
Valtteri Filppula (PHI): $3,600 vs. FLA
Filppula will make his Flyers debut tonight after coming to Philadelphia in yesterday’s trade deadline deal with the Lightning. It appears he will line up as the team’s second-line center next to Jakub Voracek and rookie Jordan Weal. Skating with Voracek could be a productive spot considering Voracek’s elite offense on home ice. Regardless, Filppula is on pace to record his most assists in a season since the ’11/’12 campaign and the second-most of his NHL career. Playing on the Flyers’ second line could certainly help that cause.
Brett Ritchie (DAL): $3,400 vs. NYI
I used Ritchie in my FanDuel NHL Lineup Advice today as a value play and he bears mentioning again in this piece. While I mentioned the Stars’ lines are unpredictable, Ritchie has skated next to Jamie Benn on the top line for the last three games, a spot that has helped him tally two points over his last three games. Ritchie has also shown an ability to get shots on goal despite playing mostly on the fourth line this season. He has 126 shots in 61 games (2.1/game) and took five in his last outing while scoring a goal. He should continue to get looks tonight in Dallas’ top six.
Marcus Foligno (BUF): $3,500 vs. ARI
Foligno should benefit from playing with productive linemates against the visiting Coyotes tonight. He will likely skate with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart on the Sabres’ second line tonight (or 1b) against a very poor Coyotes’ team. Arizona surrenders 3.61 goals per game on the road this season while ranking 26th with a 75.5% road penalty kill. While Foligno doesn’t see much power play time, the fact he skates with Eichel and Reinhart has me intrigued by his value this evening.
Ben Lovejoy (NJ): $3,100 vs. WSH
While he will never be an offense-first defenseman, I like Lovejoy’s upside tonight in a road matchup against Washington. Lovejoy is likely to get a slight increase on his 20:56 of average ice time with the departure of Kyle Quincey, but I like him mainly because of his peripheral stats. He has taken 67 shots in 62 games this season but he has also blocked a very solid 113 on the season. The latter could be a big factor against a powerful Washington offense that has plenty of firepower and shot-happy players. He only needs a few blocks and a shot to reach value this evening.
Cody Ceci (OTT): $3,400 vs. COL
I had higher offensive expectations for Ceci than what he has delivered this season, but there is plenty to like about his matchup tonight against the visiting Avalanche. Ceci has just one goal and nine points in 61 games this season, however if there was ever a chance to add to those totals it is against the 30th ranked Avalanche defense. However, his real value comes in the shots and blocked shots department where Ceci has recorded 112 and 116, respectively. Ceci has a career 4.3% shooting percentage, more than four times the 0.9% rate he is going at this year. Expect more offense and at the very least very solid peripherals from Ceci at a discounted price moving forward.
Robin Lehner (BUF): $8,000 vs. ARI
Lehner has the best matchup for the price tonight against the visiting Coyotes. Arizona has scored just 2.19 goals per game on the road this season and Buffalo surrenders just 2.55 on home ice. Lehner has a solid 2.49 goals against average and a .925 at home as well. Overall, Arizona is the NHL’s 27th ranked team in both goals per game and power play percentage, so this is undoubtedly a very favorable matchup for Lehner. He is easily the best value play between the pipes tonight.