DraftKings NHL Lineup Advice: Thursday 12/7
With just a nine-game slate tonight, high priced players will be very much in play. The New York Islanders travel to Pittsburgh in what should be a high scoring game. Vegas has the total set as a 6.5 implied goal total, making it one of the highest over/under of the year. Let’s take a look at how the entire slate comes together.
John Tavares (NYI): $7,300 @ PIT
One of the most talented players in the NHL, John Tavares does get overlooked playing in a smaller market. Rest assured, he is an elite hockey player with massive offensive upside. Recording 17 goals and 14 assists in just 31 games, Tavares is one of the few superstars averaging over a point per game. As a cornerstone piece of the power play, look for Tavares to be involved in producing points on the man advantage as well. The Pittsburgh Penguins are averaging 11.5 penalty minutes per game which ranks 29th in the league. The betting line on this game is trending up which proves that this is going to be the game which most likely shoots out.
Steven Stamkos (TB): $7,800 vs. COL
It seems obvious to list two of the top three most expensive players. Sidney Crosby is also a great play, by the way. However, Steven Stamkos is in one of the best scenarios tonight as well. While posting a respectable 12-12-2 record, the Colorado Avalanche are a very average team. What generates interest is the lack of defense. Ranked 25th in Goals Allowed (GA) and 25th in CF% (Corsi For percentage), the Avalanche can be scored on. Although the Lightning has changed the lines up quite a bit, Stamkos is an elite sniper who has also shown the ability to distribute the puck. Racking up 38 points in the first 27 games, look for Stamkos to be involved early and often.
Vladislav Namestnikov (TB): $6,200 vs COL
The most underrated Lightning forward has secured minutes with the best player on this team. Known as a secondary offensive contributor, Namestnikov is having a career year. Slated to center the top power-play unit, there will be plenty of opportunity for the young Russian to contribute against this depleted Avalanche team. At home, the Lightning will line match their top players against a very weak second line of the Avs.
Phil Kessel (PIT): $7,200 vs. NYI
As mentioned previously, this 6.5 game total has the best chance to shoot out offensively. Phil Kessel is in a fantastic spot skating alongside Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel. The fact he is the main offensive weapon on the power play puts Kessel in a “must play” situation. Kessel currently has contributed 34 points on the season. Of those 34 points, 17 have come on the man advantage. Phil Kessel has one of the quickest releases out of any player in the NHL which makes him an elite goal scorer. Likely facing the far less defensive second line of the New York Islanders, this is a multi-point situation.
Anders Lee (NYI): $6,400 @ PIT
This will be a very high owned game stack in both cash games and GPP’s. In the NHL, there are not a lot of 6.5 over/under game totals. This is a game with two, very offensive teams and poor defenses. Anders Lee is a great stack with John Tavares. The top line will see a lot of Sidney Crosby. In the past, this would be a situation to avoid. This year, however, Crosby has a surprising 36.3% GF% (Goals For Percentage). While playing even strength, he has 12 GF (Goals For) and 21 GA (Goals Against). John Tavares and company should have no issue finding points tonight.
Shea Weber (MTL): $5,400 vs. CGY
After just his second game back, Shea Webber is back to his All-Star caliber self. Recognized as an elite defender in the NHL, Webber lacks the necessary respect of his offensive ability. After a slow start to the season, Shea Webber has generated 16 points in 22 games. With one of the hardest shots from the point, Webber is always a threat to score on the power play. Traveling across two time zones, Calgary will find themselves in a tough matchup against a red-hot Canadiens team. With AHL goaltender David Rittich expected to start, the Montreal Canadiens should have their way with a tired Flames team.
Kris Letang (PIT): $6,100 vs. NYI
The final part of a Pittsburgh Penguins stack is to force Kris Letang into a lineup. As one of the worst defensive defensemen in the league (-16 rating), Letang has already recorded 20 assists on the campaign. Fortunately for DFS, there is no penalty for poor defensive play. Kris Letang will slot in on the top power-play unit, currently ranked fourth in the NHL. With Justin Schultz questionable leading into tonight’s contest, expect Letang to see more ice time, which results in more fantasy opportunities.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): $8,300 vs. COL
As the heaviest favorite on the slate tonight, Andrei Vasilevskiy is the safest play. With an 18-4-1 record, the young netminder also carries a remarkable 2.21 GAA (Goals Against Average), and .932 SV% (Save Percentage) on the year. The offensive firepower from the Lightning makes a win almost be a lock.