FanDuel NHL Lineup Advice: Saturday (2/3)
The all-star break has come and gone, and we’re back to a heavy Saturday slate with 22 teams in action tonight. Some teams like Boston (7-1-2 in their last 10) and Pittsburgh (8-2) are looking to pick up where they left off and not lose that precious momentum. I am looking at those teams early and often for options and currently avoiding a few teams like Columbus (bottom five in scoring) who seem to be sick of Tortorella already, and Buffalo (other than Eichel) who are dead last in scoring. The Rangers, Senators and surprisingly the Kings all have only three wins in their last 10, so buyer beware.
Evgeni Malkin (PIT): $8,300 vs. NJ
I love watching Malkin play, and lately, it’s been a treat. He may have had the luckiest hat-trick in recent memory against the Sharks but has been a legitimate beast lately (nine goals and 13 points in his last eight games). With Cory Schneider still rehabbing a groin injury, Malkin will face the average-at-best Keith Kinkaid (3.10 goals against average and 0.896 save percentage). Malkin is one of the few players in the league that can sustain a hot streak over several weeks, so I’ll gladly spend $8,300 on him.
Mathew Barzal (NYI): $6,000 vs. CLS
Barzal’s had a bit of a rough week, an infrequent scenario for the Calder favorite, including the 5-0 loss to the Maple Leafs on Wednesday. As that game suggests, I believe it is the team in general that has bogged down for a couple of games and not Barzal hitting a rookie wall. He still has 51 points in 52 games and 12 in his last nine. Columbus isn’t an easy team to play against or score against, but I’m betting Barzal bounces back tonight.
Danton Heinen (BOS): $4,800 vs. TOR
I needed a deal and think I’ve found one. Heinen has been scoring at about a 75% clip this year and has been moved to the top line with the continued absence of Brad Marchand due to suspension. He’s produced at this clip on the third line so I like his chances of getting on the score sheet tonight with more ice time and better linemates. You don’t find too many first-line players at $4,800.
Evgeny Dadonov (FLA): $4,900 vs. DET
I needed another deal and hope I’ve found one. Dadonov has actually also scored at roughly a 75% clip this year (30 points in 41 games) and has four goals in his last seven contests. Here’s another first-line player (Barkov and Huberdeau for linemates) under $5,000. He is one of the top four forwards on the Panthers and logs 3:21 in power-play ice time.
Matthew Tkachuk (CGY): $6,600 vs. CHI
Tkachuk is an underrated player in many circles as his on-ice tenacity gets more publicity than his offensive production. After scoring a very respectable 48 points his rookie season, he has a legitimate shot at 30 goals and 60 points this year without playing alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. He is also heating up with six goals and nine points in his last eight games and is facing the Blackhawks who are currently last in the Central Division.
Kyle Connor (WPG): $4,900 vs. COL
Connor has just come out of a five-game lull (with only one assist) to score in his last two contests. He has consistently played well enough to continue to earn top-six ice time (16:55 per game) and regular power-play duty (2:56 per game).
Jake Gardiner (TOR): $4,400 vs. BOS
Gardiner has been rolling lately with 10 assists in his last eight games. He now has 30 points on the year and is logging a solid 23:10 of ice time for the high flying Leafs (fourth in the NHL in scoring). Boston is a very tough matchup, but Toronto seems to play well against them and may be additionally motivated to see how they fare against a team they may very well face in the playoffs this year.
John Klingberg (DAL): $6,700 vs. MIN
In his fourth full season, Klingberg is on pace for 76 points. He is leading all defensemen in scoring and has logged a respectable 66 blocked shots. When these teams meet it can end up anywhere from 2-1 to 7-6, but Klingberg is as consistent an offensive threat as you can find on the blueline.
Connor Hellebuyck (WPG): $8,400 vs. COL
The Avalanche are continuing to impress through the halfway point of the season (7-2-1 in their last 10 games) but simply do not look like the same team without Nathan MacKinnon in the lineup. The Jets have their share of injuries too but have weathered them well and still have the third-best record in the league. Hellebuyck is arguably the single biggest reason for the Jets success this year with his 0.924 goals against average. As always, make sure your goalie is a confirmed starter before entering your lineup.
Sheldon Curtis is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Sheldon, check out his archive.