DraftKings NHL DFS Strategy Advice: Tuesday (3/30)
Week 12 rolls into Tuesday, offering a seven-game slate that features an entirely new cast of opponents for teams who had been on their third and fourth games against the same divisional opponent. The league altered the rules to comply with health and safety protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic, limiting every team to divisional play for the entire 56-game regular season. Teams playing Tuesday will have a fresh start against a new opponent, meaning new lineups and coaching strategies will be deployed that are likely to create new value for skaters on both the first-line as well as those buried a bit deeper on the depth chart. I’ll be targeting the skaters in plus-matchups in the context of poor goaltending play from a team’s projected netminder. Let’s get right to the action.
Brayden Point (TB): $6,200 vs. CBJ
The Lightning’s top-center has been held without a point in three consecutive games but will almost assuredly end his drought against projected Blue Jackets’ goaltender Elvis Merzlikins. The 26-year old Latvian netminder has a 2.86 GAA with a .913 save percentage, earning five wins across 12 starts in net for Columbus this season. Although these might not seem like basement-dwelling atrocious play in net, the Blue Jackets have one of the worst offensive units in the league. They are constantly rushing back on defense to help out either Merzlikins or Jonas Korpisalo on any given night. Point has 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) while averaging 18:24 time on ice (ATOI) skating on Tampa Bay’s first line and top power-play unit. The 25-year old is an elite talent and should return to form in a plus matchup at home against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
Carter Verhaeghe (FLA): $5,800 vs. DET
Most teams that draw a matchup against Detroit Red Wings goalie Thomas Greiss will automatically fall onto my radar in DFS. Such is the case for Florida Panthers RW Carter Verhaeghe, who has 28 points (15 goals, 13 assists) across 35 games this season for a talented team that stands firmly within the Central Division’s top three. While the 25-year old is capable of stringing together points in back-to-back outings, he failed to generate any points in the team’s previous contest against Dallas. Recall that Verhaeghe went nuclear, scoring four points (three goals, assist) against the same Dallas team the previous night, although against their reserve goaltender, who is statistically better than Greiss. The Red Wings’ goaltender allows an absurdly high 3.51 GAA with a .885 save percentage across 18 starts this season, earning just two wins and recently allowing three goals on seven shots against Nashville. Verhaeghe is a great value add to cash in your lineups for all of the reasons listed above.
Adam Fox (NYR): $6,500 vs. WSH
Adam Fox is a home-town kid thriving as of late, totaling eight assists across his last three games. The 23-year old defenseman for the Rangers benefits from skating on the first-line with a juggernaut of offensive weapons led by C Mika Zibanejad and wingers Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich. Fox is a fantastic value for the number of assists and points he has produced across his last four games and has not been held without a point since he managed just one shot against the Boston Bruins back on March 13th. Lock Fox into your lineups despite drawing a fairly difficult goaltending matchup against Washington Capitals’ G Ilya Samsonov (2.38 GAA, .908 SV%) at home on Tuesday night.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): $8,500 vs. CBJ
Tampa Bay sits atop the Central Division with 50 points, with much of the reason stemming from the elite play of Russian netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy. The 26-year old has an incredible 1.99 GAA across 27 games this season, earning 21 wins and three shutouts to add tremendous value to your fantasy lineup. The Columbus Blue Jackets rank 26th in goals per game (2.47 GF/G) and will present an easy task for Vasilevskiy to potentially earn his fourth shutout of the season. Although the salary is high, a goalie playing lights out in between the pipes is a significant advantage to have in DFS because of the extra points accrued during a team win or the coveted shutout performance. This is the juiciest plus-matchup for all projected starting goaltenders during Tuesday’s slate, as BettingPros has the Lightning as -150 favorites on the money line, indicating that Vegas expects Vasilevskiy to handle the Blue Jackets’ offense with ease after they managed to score just two goals in two games against the lowly Detroit Red Wings this past weekend.