FanDuel NHL Lineup Advice: Saturday (3/31)
Eighteen teams are in action during the main Saturday slate, as the regular season’s end is in sight. Many teams, like the Canadiens, Islanders and the Sabres can play spoiler against teams trying to make the playoffs or improve their seed. That doesn’t appear to be the trend, though, as each of those squads only has three wins in their last 10 games. Edmonton and Calgary square off in a you-suck / no-you-suck contest while the Hurricanes and Rangers also have little to play for, other than pride.
Connor McDavid (EDM): $9,300 vs. CGY
Someone should remind the Flames they have no first or second round pick this year, so there’s no reason to throw in the towel. Sean Monahan‘s been shut down due to a wrist injury, and Johnny Gaudreau may be back from a family issue for tonight’s game, but this feels like one of those nights where McDavid might pad the stats. The Flames have been outscored 33-8 in their last seven games while Edmonton has been playing .500 hockey.
Evgeni Malkin (PIT): $8,900 vs. MON
I’m going to have to pay for this later, but am loading up on the top two centers. Geno’s been a bit quiet lately (four points in his last six games), and is simply too good to not break out soon. He could do that in a big way against Montreal who will have Antti Niemi in net. He is one of four projected starters with a goals against average north of three and will be facing the second highest scoring team in the league.
Carl Hagelin (PIT): $3,600 vs. MON
This is a double down on my Malkin theory, as Hagelin is still listed as his linemate. With only two points in his last six games he is clearly along for the ride, but if Geno has a big game, Hagelin may be good for a couple of helpers at least. That is a really low price for a superstar’s linemate.
Ty Rattie (EDM): $3,900 vs. CGY
Speaking of, Rattie must be pinching himself as he’s gone from journeyman / minor-leaguer to patrolling the wing on McDavid’s line. He’s done okay, with seven points in his last eight games, and as mentioned I love the matchup with Calgary.
Kyle Connor (WPG): $5,000 vs. TOR
Connor’s rookie season has gone way under the radar. He could hit the 30 goal plateau tonight and has a solid 51 points to his name already. He is fifth in scoring on a powerhouse Jets squad and is listed on the top line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. His ice time is currently averaging at a solid 15:57 (more than Patrik Laine) and he’s also logging 2:42 on the power play. He has seven points in his last six games, including four goals, and looks like good value at $5,000.
William Nylander (TOR): $5,600 vs. WPG
Here’s hoping the Jets-Leaf’s game is a barn burner. Nylander has his good buddy Auston Matthews back and should continue to benefit as this superstar shakes off the rust from his time out of the lineup with injury. He’s no slouch himself with 55 points and 16:40 of regular ice time.
Jake Gardiner (TOR): $4,900 vs. WPG
I haven’t been in tune with Gardiner’s big nights lately, so here’s hoping I’m back on track. With 46 points, 126 shots and 100 blocks, he’s a pretty solid play typically and his pricing (17th dman) means I could spend more cash elsewhere.
Matt Dumba (MIN): $4,800 vs. DAL
Dumba is another good, young, under-the-radar defenseman I often turn to. His stats (46 points, including 12 goals, 160 shots, and 105 blocks) are also enough to start with confidence (especially when I’m using the most expensive goalie).
Pekka Rinne (NSH): $9,000 vs. BUF
I also considered Murray ($8,300), Dubnyk ($8,400) and Allen ($8,400), but Buffalo really seems to want to come in last this year. They have a -21 goal differential in their last eight games and are 3-6-1 in their last 10 “contests.” We also have the seventh-best offense facing the third worst defense in the league. I say money well spent. 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.