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NHL DFS Primer: Thursday (10/28)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Oct 28, 2021
Brayden Point

Nine games are on tap for Thursday night in the NHL. Several exciting offenses will face each other, along with a couple of one-sided contests on the slate as well. Three of the five games on Wednesday went into overtime with only one team being held to under two goals, meaning there should be double the amount of opportunities to find production at a good value Thursday night.

Focusing on a team’s plus-minus goal differential is a good method for identifying which offensive units to target and avoid. Keep in mind, bad goaltending can hide a team’s offensive production, such as the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, who have both scored at least 23 goals but suffer from poor play in the net.

Without further ado, here are players to target that will help produce winning lineups on Thursday night.

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Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Brayden Point (C – TB): $6,200
The defending champs have been inconsistent to start the 2022 NHL season and with Nikita Kucherov (RW – TB) on Injured Reserve, Tampa Bay’s head coach Jon Cooper opted to move Brayden Point to center the first-line. Anthony Cirelli (RW – TB) was subsequently moved from the second-line center to right-wing on the first-line alongside Point and Alex Killorn (LW – TB). This shifting has yielded good production for the 25-year old center, as he has three goals in his last four outings, and has taken at least three shots on goal in four of seven games played. Facing an Arizona Coyotes team that is still searching for its first win, projected starting goaltender Karel Vejmelka (G – ARI) has allowed a 3.15 GAA in three starts. The Lightning should coast to a big win on home ice Thursday night, so prioritize Point in lineups as much as possible.

Dustin Brown (RW – LAK): $5,400
While the Los Angeles Kings may not be contending for a postseason run in 2022, veteran winger Dustin Brown continues to be a primary contributor to the offense. He was held without a point for just the second time this season in his most recent outing but still managed to rattle off five shots on goal. Skating on the first-line and top powerplay unit elevates Brown into nearly 20 minutes of average time on ice, meaning he should find plenty of production against Connor Hellebuyck (G – WPG), who is struggling in the net with a 3.67 GAA in six starts this season. The Kings may have a minus-six goal differential but they are barely underdogs against Winnipeg. Plug Brown in at a good salary and a high floor during Thursday’s slate.

Rasmus Andersson (D – CGY): $5,100
Spending a lot on defensemen is ill-advised, as there are numerous options available that fly under the radar such as Rasmus Andersson. The 25-year old Swede has an assist in four of six contests this season, averaging nearly 24 minutes of time on ice. Calgary has scored 21 goals and is one of the best teams in the Pacific Division, entering Thursday night’s road game against an injured Pittsburgh Penguins team with extreme confidence. Andersson doesn’t need shots on goal to rack up points, as he has five blocked shots on the season, which boost his floor without requiring several shots on goal. Facing Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (G – PIT) is a choice matchup, as he just surrendered five goals on Tuesday. Plug Andersson in and await an assist and a couple of blocked shots to strengthen your lineup.

Frederik Andersen (G – CAR): $8,100
The moves that the Carolina Hurricanes made regarding their goaltenders this offseason have paid off, as 32-year old Frederik Andersen has been on a tear with his new team to start the season. Previously goaltending for Toronto, Andersen replaced Alex Nedeljkovic (G – DET) as the primary goaltender in Carolina and has a blistering 1.60 GAA and .946 save percentage, both ranking near the best in the league. Boston is a talented team but they have collectively scored 15 goals this season, leaning on their goaltending to keep them in games. Expect Andersen to continue his elite play in between the pipes, as he has only allowed one goal in three consecutive wins. Pay up and don’t look back on this one.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000

Robert Thomas (C – STL): $3,600
Not often is a third-line skater recommended but St. Louis has one of the most potent and deep offensive units across the entire league. Enjoying a plus-14 goal differential,  third-line center Robert Thomas has at least one assist in four consecutive games. He hardly attempts any shots on goal but the fact that he averages just under 17 minutes of time on ice, combined with playing alongside a pair of talented wingers in Ivan Barbashev (LW – STL) and Vladimir Tarasenko (RW – STL), makes Thomas a fantastic salary-saving option with an extremely high floor. Facing Darcy Kuemper (G – COL), who has allowed 3.22 GAA in five starts for Colorado this season, Thomas and the rest of the Blues should continue skating circles around the Avalanche in a plus-matchup on Thursday night.

Ivan Barbashev (LW – STL): $4,200
I’m sticking with the stacking method on the St. Louis Blues third-line unit, opting to roster Ivan Barbashev. The 25-year old winger has notched a point in every game this season and should be in store for a massive outing against a struggling Colorado team. Kuemper has not been great in net this season and with Barbashev increasing his minutes on the second powerplay unit, his consistency creates an extremely high floor that will yield double the amount of points in lineups if rostering another third-line skater such as Robert Thomas or Vladimir Tarasenko. Due to skating on the third line on such an explosive team, Barbashev is a great discount that will assuredly return value in Thursday lineups.

Mark Giordano (D – SEA): $4,900
The Seattle Kraken found a much-needed win in their most recent outing against a struggling Montreal Canadiens team. Defensemen Mark Giordano managed to chip in an assist and finished with a plus-minus of three, indicating his efficiency when on the ice. Averaging 20 minutes of time on ice per night has allowed Giordano to achieve a three-game point streak, which is enough to warrant plugging the veteran defenseman into lineups at a cheap salary.

Jordan Binnington (G – STL): $7,600
Perhaps the biggest reason for the Blues’ success to start the 2022 season stems from the elite goaltending displayed by Jordan Binnington. He has had ups and downs since helping the team win the Stanley Cup in 2019 but currently has a .919 save percentage across four starts. Of course, the high-powered offense helps Binnginton rack up additional points in fantasy lineups, as he has four wins despite allowing three or more goals in all but one game. Colorado isn’t the best offensive team but they should put up enough shots for Binnington to register 30 or more saves for the third time this season. He’s one of the cheapest goaltenders to insert into lineups and won’t have to do much to earn his fifth consecutive win thanks to the talented players surrounding him.

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Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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