FanDuel NHL DFS Strategy Advice: Tuesday (4/27)
Week 16 offers up an eight-game slate on Tuesday, featuring prominent playoff-bound teams like the Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Tampa Bay Lightning. No one from the North Division will be lacing up their skates on Tuesday, making it easier to focus on matchups in the remaining three American divisions. It’s important to account for teams that are both jockeying for playoff seeding within the division, as the defense tends to be more suffocating, as witnessed during the Penguins’ 1-0 win over the Bruins in their previous game on Sunday.
I’ll be targeting primarily first-line skaters at a reduced salary to help increase a return on your investments by cashing the lineups you construct for Tuesday’s eight-game slate. Let’s get to it.
Sean Couturier (PHI): $7,300 @ NJ
A 10-year veteran, Sean Couturier has spent his entire career in Philadelphia and centers their first-line unit between wingers Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. This is a fairly potent offensive unit despite the Flyers averaging 2.83 goals per game, which is just under the league average of 2.93. The Arizona native has totaled a point in each of his last three starts (one goal, two assists) while peppering the net with 11 shots during this span. Couturier is capable of multi-point outings and is expected to face struggling Devils’ G Mackenzie Blackwood on Tuesday night. Blackwood has a 3.09 GAA in 29 starts for New Jersey this season and is an ideal goalie to face on offense, making Couturier one of the safest skaters to roster with both a high floor and high ceiling.
Jakub Vrana (DET): $5,200 @ CBJ
The 25-year old Czech winger was recently dealt to Detroit from the Washington Capitals at the trade deadline, immediately carving out a role on the Red Wings’ first-line and top power-play unit. With Dylan Larkin (upper-body injury) out for the remainder of the season, Vrana gets an increased run in the offensive zone despite averaging under 17 minutes of time on ice per game in the Motor City. In five games with his new teammates, Vrana has racked up six points (four goals, two assists), including a four-goal performance against the Dallas Stars last week. He faces Joonas Korpisalo and the spiraling Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, who are losers of nine consecutive games. Korpi is allowing 3.30 GAA with a sub-.900 (.894) save percentage in 29 starts for Columbus this season, creating ample opportunity for Vrana to return value in your lineups.
Dougie Hamilton (CAR): $6,700 @ DAL
One of the more expensive defensemen available during Tuesday’s slate, Dougie Hamilton, was held without a point during Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Dallas. He did manage three shots on goal, which often translate into points for the top-seeded Hurricanes. The 27-year old Canadian spends a ton of time on ice, averaging 23:05 per game in his last four starts. He benefits from skating behind Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho on Carolina’s first-line and buried two goals on five shots against Chris Driedger and the Panthers over the weekend. Hamilton is one of the few defensemen in the league who can bounce back from bad performances and often pours in a multi-point outing, making him a must-add to your lineups on Tuesday night.
Thomas Greiss (DET): $6,700 @ CBJ
The 35-year old German netminder hasn’t had his best season in Detroit but has been playing better as of late. He faces a Blue Jackets unit that has lost nine consecutive games and ranks bottom-three in the league in terms of goals per game (2.42) and dead last in power-play chances (2.14), which demonstrates the lack of offensive firepower he’ll be facing while in between the pipes in Columbus. Greiss is an absolute steal at this salary, which will allow you to prioritize star skaters and more expensive offensive players in your lineups. It sounds risky, but Greiss is averaging a really good .947 save percentage and 1.91 GAA across his last three starts, making him a solid option in net Tuesday night in Columbus.