FanDuel NHL Lineup Advice: Tuesday 8/11
Today technically marks the first day of the NHL playoffs. It was fair to be skeptical of the quality of hockey we would see in the bubble over the last two weeks, but I think I speak for most when I say that I’ve been pleased.
The qualifying rounds were very entertaining, despite only one series going the distance. I could have done without the round-robin, but I understood the reasoning behind it. At the end of the day, the NHL was put in a very tough spot this season, and thus far, I would give them full marks with how everything has transpired since the stoppage. It looks like we can say goodbye to the 12:00 and 2:30 Eastern Time slots, as 3:00 will be when hockey begins each day of the first round. Let’s take a look at a solid four-game slate.
Pierre-Luc Dubois (CBJ): $5,700 @ TB
The former third overall pick continued his breakout season through the round-robin series against Toronto. After posting 49 points in 70 regular-season games, Dubois continued his strong year with four points in five playoff games, including a hat trick performance in game three. If Columbus is going to stun the Lightning for a second straight year, Dubois must be a major part of it. Columbus won’t have Panarin or Duchene to rely on anymore, and Dubois has become the focal point of their offense. Dubois will center the top line as well as the top power-play unit. Victor Hedman, the 2018 Norris Trophy Winner as the NHL’s top defenseman, is a game-time decision. Should he sit out game one, that would give Dubois another bump.
Alexander Radulov (DAL): $4,700 vs. CGY
Radulov eclipsed 70 points in his previous two seasons. He recorded 72 points in just 70 games last season. This year, Radulov took a step backward, recording 34 points in 60 games with a career-low shooting percentage. This is due in part to the change in playing style in Dallas, where Rick Bowness has the Stars playing a more defensive-minded game. With all of that said, these risks are already built into his price tag. Radulov will skate on the second line with Joe Pavelski and Mattias Janmark, as well as the top power-play unit. He had 10 points in 13 playoff games last year, and he has 31 points in 37 playoff games in his career. Expect to get Radulov at his best here.
Liam Foudy (CBJ): $3,300 @ TB
It’s not often that you find a player for this price that you can make a legitimate case for putting into your lineup. Foudy is a 2018 first-round pick who cracked the lineup for the first time earlier this season. He now has more playoff games played than he does regular-season games. Foudy will play the left side on a line with Riley Nash and Oliver Bjorkstrand. Bjorkstrand ended the season on a six-game point streak, but he has since been pointless in his last five games. It would not surprise me to see this line heat up. Foudy put the Maple Leafs away in game five with a tough angle shot late in the game, which should boost his confidence. To make his case even better, Foudy is currently slated on the top power-play unit alongside Pierre-Luc Dubois, Gustav Nyquist, Seth Jones, and Cam Atkinson. This player has a major opportunity for his bottom of the barrel price tag.
Torey Krug (BOS): $5,500 vs. CAR
Torey Krug is a gamer. In 62 playoff games, Krug has 46 points. What makes Krug so effective in fantasy is his power-play time. He quarterbacks the best power-play unit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I anticipate Krug will see upwards of 23 minutes a night. I fully expect to see a different Boston team from what we saw in the round-robin games. This is a veteran group that knows how to step up when it really matters.
Robin Lehner (VGK): $8,300 vs. CHI
This assumes Peter DeBoer turns to Lehner tonight over Marc-Andre Fleury. If he doesn’t, I have no issue with playing Fleury, either. However, Lehner has been the better goalie of late, proving to be a shrewd move by Kelly McCrimmon, who acquired him from the Blackhawks earlier this season. I expect to see Lehner’s best against his former teammates. While Chicago impressed by knocking off the Oilers in the play-in round, I expect their season comes to a screeching halt against Vegas. The Golden Knights are the biggest favorite on the betting board tonight at -210. I don’t usually like to spend up on goalies, but finding wins is paramount in DFS, and I am happy with cheaper options at other positions today.