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NHL DFS Primer: Tuesday (10/12)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Oct 12, 2021
Anthony Cirelli

The return of the National Hockey League begins on Tuesday with a tantalizing two-game slate. First, two Eastern Conference powerhouses face off against each other, as the Pittsburgh Penguins travel to play the reigning champion Tampa Bay Lightning. The late window offers a look into the league’s 32nd newly formed franchise Seattle Kraken on the road against the Vegas Golden Knights.

All four of these teams contain high-profile offensive talent that can score in droves, offering a prime situation to capitalize on during a small slate.  Let’s take a look at a few players to target in order to construct winning lineups on opening night.

Check out today’s daily fantasy hockey contests at DraftKings >>

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Anthony Cirelli (C/F – TB): $3,900
Cirelli was a part of the title run that the Tampa Bay Lightning went on last season and returns to the team as the Center anchoring a talented second-line as well as the second powerplay unit. Cirelli’s production was well below what he produced in previous seasons but Pittsburgh is vulnerable with Tristan Jarry (G – PIT) in net, meaning the opportunity for Cirelli to manufacture points will be present throughout the game. With nearly 18 minutes of time on ice averaged during the 2021 season, Cirelli is a cheap salary-saving option that is positioned nicely for success.

Steven Stamkos (RW – TB): $5,900
A big part of setting winning lineups when playing NHL DFS is to pair skaters on the same line. It’s comparable to the stacking strategy for NFL, as the opportunity to double-dip on a single scoring play often leads to high-end production. This applies to the talented veteran Steven Stamkos, who was highly efficient in just 34 regular-season games last year, scoring 17 goals and 17 assists. He skates alongside Anthony Cirelli and is an absolute weapon in the offensive zone, making Stamkos a worthy prospect to insert into lineups.

Alec Martinez (D – VGK): $5,500
Sporting a ridiculously high 26+/- last season, Vegas Knights defensemen Alec Martinez is worth the high salary. He averaged over 22 minutes of time on ice and finished with 22 assists, his highest assist total since 2017. With a whopping 168 blocked shots in 53 regular-season games, which is valuable considering each one is worth 1.3 points on DraftKings, nearly the same as the 1.5 points awarded per shot on goal. Martinez is no stranger to firing on the netminder, as he recorded 85 shots last year and will look to extend his high level of play into the team’s season debut at home against the Seattle Kraken. He is one of the best defensemen to target in Tuesday lineups.

Philipp Grubauer (G – SEA): $7,000
Seattle picked an absolute stud to play between the pipes for their inaugural season, as 29-year old goaltender Philipp Grubauer is entering the prime of his career. During the 2020-21 season, Grubauer averaged an elite 1.95 GAA in 39 regular season starts. Vegas is a tough opponent but he is very familiar due to the COVID-19 protocols that restricted teams to divisional play for the entirety of the regular season last year. He’s the best goalie out of the four projected to start in net on Tuesday, so prioritize spending the $7,000 necessary to roster Grubauer.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000

Alexander Wennberg (C – SEA): $3,400
After a surprisingly good season for the Florida Panthers, Alexander Wennberg was selected to center the top-line for the Seattle Kraken this offseason. He’s not the best player on the first line for the Kraken but he has recent experience changing personnel groups and teams, something that Jaden Schwartz (LW – SEA) and Jordan Eberle (RW – SEA) may need time to adjust to. Wennberg scored more goals (17) than he did assists (12) for the first time in his seven-year career and finally finds himself on the top line of a deeply talented roster. Plug Wennberg in as a salary-saver and experience the thrill of watching a player on the rise produce for a brand new franchise.

Bryan Rust (RW – PIT): $6,200
Bryan Rust is an extremely talented winger for the Pittsburgh Penguins, surpassing 20 goals (22) and collecting 20 assists alongside Jake Guentzel (LW – PIT) and Sidney Crosby (C – PIT) last season. During Tuesday’s road opener against the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning, Rust will be leaned upon heavily to produce. Jeff Carter (C – PIT) and Danton Heinen (LW – PIT) are a downgrade from the usual starters but Rust could pepper the net with shots all night long. He’s pricey but due to the shallow depth chart, rostering Rust creates a high probability for points to flood your lineups, making him a great play during Tuesday’s two-game slate.

Adam Larsson (D – SEA): $3,500
The former fourth overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft has found a new home in Seattle this offseason. Larsson isn’t a high-octane player in the offensive zone, reflected in the 10 points he totaled in 56 games for Edmonton in 2021. However, blocked shots (1.6) hold equal value to shots on goal in FanDuel contests, which elevates Larsson into contention for a spot in Tuesday lineups. This is due to him racking up 128 blocked shots in 2021, ranking 10th-most in the league. Grab Larsson for his blocked shot value, as he will likely see over 20 minutes of time on ice in Las Vegas.

Robin Lehner (G – VGK): $8,400
Lehner started in just 19 regular-season games last year but had the 13th-lowest GAA (2.29) amongst goaltenders who started in at least 10 games. He gets the advantageous position of playing at home against a newly formed Seattle Kraken team that lacks the chemistry possessed by Vegas, who is a perennial postseason powerhouse. Lehner can be streaky at times, which makes the expensive salary a bit less enticing, however, the odds are in his favor considering the location and the familiar personnel that surrounds him. If you pivot off of Philipp Grubauer, Lehner is the best remaining goaltender to insert into Tuesday lineups.

View daily consensus odds from all major sportsbooks for the NHL at BettingPros >>

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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