FanDuel NHL Lineup Advice: Thursday 2/20
As we come down the stretch in the NHL, the dominoes have begun to fall in the trade market. It appears to be a seller’s market as over 20 teams are still vying for the 16 playoff positions. Montreal may have officially started cashing their chips after dealing Marco Scandella and then losing 4-3 in regulation against the Red Wings. Elsewhere, the Jets acquired Dylan DeMelo from the Senators, The Canucks acquired Tyler Toffoli from the Kings, the Lightning acquired Blake Coleman from the Devils, and the Islanders acquired Andy Greene also from New Jersey. All eyes at this point seem to be on Chris Kreider. Colorado? Boston? The Islanders? The deadline is only five days away, and then we are officially in the mad dash towards the greatest time of year. Let’s take a look at another stacked Thursday night in the NHL.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (OTT): $5,700 vs WPG
Pageau is playing like a guy who is interviewing for a lineup spot on a playoff contender. As an expiring UFA, he is almost certainly going to be dealt before Monday’s trade deadline. Pageau’s 24 goals, 16 assists, for 40 points is good for the most on the Ottawa Senators. In his last two games, he has three goals and three assists. Tonight’s game against the Jets and Saturday’s game against Montreal will be his last chance to showcase the kind of game he can bring to a playoff series. He will be centering the top line and the top power play unit, so he will have all the ice time he needs. If I were a GM of a playoff team, I would certainly be interested.
Alex Ovechkin (WSH): $8,800 vs MTL
Clearly you don’t need me to tell you that Alex Ovechkin is a good selection in daily fantasy hockey. However, if you are trying to pick which stud to put in your lineup tonight, allow me to suggest it be Ovechkin. Everyone knows that Ovy is chasing 700. He is scoreless in his last five games, which almost never happens. Over that span, he has shot the puck an average of 5.5 times per game. Tonight the Caps host a Canadiens team that seems to have finally chalked up their season. Coming off a 4-3 come from behind loss against the Red Wings and opening up to selling assets, the message is clear in Montreal. The Habs have not gotten phenomenal goaltending this season either. I expect Ovechkin to break his goalless drought tonight in dramatic fashion. He had a goal on six shots against the Habs back in November.
Noel Acciari (FLA): $3,800 @ LA
Acciari is having a career year. Both his 19 goals and his 24 points are career bests, with 25 games to go. He is shooting a lights out 22.6%, which is likely due for a regression, but I’m happy to ride the wave for now. Tonight Acciari will skate on the top line alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. The Panthers are visiting the Western Conference’s last place LA Kings. If Florida wants to make the playoffs, this is a game they have to have. The Kings are surrendering 2.97 goals against per game this season.
Zach Werenski (CBJ): $6,300 vs PHI
Werenski is quietly putting together a really nice season. He has 18 goals and 18 assists in 54 games. With the loss of Seth Jones, Werenski has stepped up to take 28 minutes a night on the top pairing and quarterbacking the top power play unit. The great part of Werenski in DFS is how much he shoots the puck. He has shot the puck over five times in five of his last eight games. He is seventh in the league in shots on goal amongst defensemen. Columbus trails the Flyers by one point in the playoff chase, so tonight is a massive game.
Elvis Merzlikins (CBJ): $8,000 vs PHI
Even after a string of losses, I was surprised to see Merzlikins listed as the 13th ranked goalie on FanDuel tonight. I understand the last few nights haven’t been his best, but I don’t think Elvis has left the building just yet. Merzlikins has stellar season numbers with a 2.29 GAA and a .924 SV%, top five among active goalies in both categories. Tonight is a massive game as Columbus is one point behind the Flyers in the standings, and on the outside of the playoffs looking in. The sportsbooks have Columbus listed as a slight -115 favorite to win the game, but more importantly, they have set the goal total at under 5.5 -120, one of the lowest numbers you’ll see on the board.