DraftKings NHL Lineup Advice: Thursday (1/11)

Jan 11, 2018

It is a quiet Thursday night in the NHL with just three games scheduled. Tampa Bay is a heavy -220 favorite as they host the Calgary Flames tonight. Although the Lightning studs are not must-play, value plays will be the difference makers with limited options. Let’s break down some options tonight.

Center

Nicklas Backstrom (WAS): $6,400 vs. CAR
These two teams played just nine days ago in a 5-4 Capitals win. Now the game will be played in Washington where the Caps are much better. On the season, Washington is 18-5 at home. A big reason for their success is the dynamic duo of Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Lately, Backstrom has been putting up a lot of points and has shown no signs of slowing down. In his last four games, the Swedish All-Star has scored two goals and six assists.

Pierre-Luc Dubois (CLS): $5,200 @ BUF
The Buffalo Sabres are currently winless in January. In the last five games, the Sabres have been outscored 24-12. They are averaging almost five goals against to start 2018. The Columbus Blue Jackets are dealing with some injuries to players who log a lot of ice-time. This has made it easier to predict where the scoring will come from. Pierre-Luc Dubois will center both the top forward line and top power-play unit. With plenty of opportunities, look for the talented young center to thrive.

Wing

Alex Ovechkin (WAS): $7,800 vs. CAR
As one of the best pure goal scorers of all time, Alex Ovechkin is on pace for yet another 50+ goal season. Capable of scoring three goals any given night, the Russian sniper is in a great spot tonight. Carolina is a very disciplined team. There shouldn’t be a lot of power-time. However, the Hurricanes take the most shots of any team in the NHL. This leads to quick transition opportunities. Backstrom is one of the best passers in the league and will surely find Ovi open for a one-timer.

Devante Smith-Pelly (WAS): $3,700 vs. CAR
The third part of a Capitals stack is Devante Smith-Pelly. Playing alongside Ovechkin and Backstrom naturally puts him in play tonight. At a very low price, Smith-Pelly should easily hit value by chipping in on a point or two. Don’t let the box score scare you off this play. He will not play on the power-play. As discussed, though, Carolina does not take a lot of penalties.

Artemi Panarin (CLS): $6,500 @ BUF
Playing alongside Dubois on the top line and power-play unit will allow you to double dip in the most productive Blue Jackets’ options. Panarin is having a nice season with 36 points in 44 games. This is more about the lack of defense from the Buffalo Sabres. It’s almost a given that they will allow at least three goals against. Look for Panarin and the Jackets to score at will.

Evander Kane (BUF): $6,400 vs. CLS
Even though the Blue Jackets should win this game with ease, the Sabres do have talented offensive players. Evander Kane is having the best season of his career. The controversial winger is never the most liked player in the dressing room, but he does know how to score. On pace for over 30 goals this season, Kane can score on anyone if he comes to the ice ready to play. On such a short slate, Kane at $6,400 is a fair price with multiple point upside.

Defense

John Carlson (WAS): $6,300 vs. CAR
The final piece of the Capitals team stack is defensemen, John Carlson. Averaging 26 minutes a night puts him in the top tier of NHL defensemen. Carlson is a multi-utility player who can contribute to fantasy points in many categories. With 29 assists on the season, look for the veteran d-man to find Ovechkin and Backstrom early and often.

Zach Werenski (CLS): $5,400 @ BUF
The final piece of a Blue Jackets stack is young defensemen, Zack Werenski. Werenski has not contributed on offense as much as expected this season. With just four points in his last 10 games, this should be a confidence-boosting spot. Seth Jones is the counter play to Werenski who will come in at higher ownership and a higher cost. The two have similar upside and floor. Lean to the play that gives you an edge.

Goalie

Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): $8,300 vs. CGY
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the heaviest favorites on the slate tonight. Vasilevskiy is in line for his 28th win as he will face the Calgary Flames. There isn’t a whole lot more to say than the Vas has been elite all season and we should expect to see the same kind of performance tonight. The Flames are not a very offensive team. Again, with only three games, this is the safest option in net.

Jeremy Maw is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Jeremy, check out his archive or follow him @j_maw.

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