NHL DFS Primer: Tuesday (10/19)
The second week of the 2021-22 NHL season is underway with an 11-game slate to close out Tuesday night. A few teams are surprising with their undefeated record and a plus-point differential, including the Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres, while playoff teams from last season like the Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens are still searching for their first win.
A double-digit game slate provides a lot of opportunities for stacking cheap skaters on the same line to return immense value in lineups. While some teams have already played four games, others are only appearing in their second contest of the season, meaning tendencies and chemistry are still developing. With the amount of roster overturn across the league this offseason, combined with the ability to play all 32 NHL franchises during the regular season, points will be abundant.
I’ve identified a few prospects who are primed to be the source of a lot of points scored Tuesday evening. Let’s get right into these recommended plays.
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Ryan Hartman (C – MIN): $3,100
The 27-year old centers the second-line for a talented Minnesota Wild team, earning additional minutes on their second powerplay unit. In their last outing, Hartman racked up five shots and a goal with 15:04 of time on ice. He has eight shots to start his sixth season in the league and is extremely appealing due to the reduced salary associated with rostering him in Tuesday lineups. The Wild are -150 on the Moneyline against an 0-2 Winnipeg Jets team that will likely roll their struggling goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck (G – WPG), into the crease on Tuesday. He has an abysmal 4.10 GAA through two starts, creating a plus-matchup for Hartman to find a point or two in the offensive zone.
Patrik Laine (LW – CBJ): $5,800
After being dealt from the Winnipeg Jets to Columbus last season, 23-year old Patrik Laine failed to live up to the hype he generated during his stint on the ice for Winnipeg. Instead, he looked a shell of his former self, oftentimes making questionable decisions in the offensive zone. It appears that it may have been growing pains with a new team or maybe the old coaching staff under John Tortorella but regardless, Laine has been much better in two games for the Blue Jackets this season. He has produced points in each contest, including a pair of assists against Arizona while converting one of his three shots for a goal against the Seattle Kraken in a 2-1 overtime win over the weekend. He is worth the salary with his high-caliber play, especially against the Detroit Red Wings, whose new goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (G – DET) is struggling with a ridiculously high 6.70 GAA.
Drew Doughty (D – LAK): $5,500
Defensemen are either really involved in the offensive zone or very hands-off, allowing the offense to dictate the pace and set up the majority of the shots on goal. Drew Doughty falls into the former category, as he has amassed six points in two games for the Los Angeles Kings, including a four-point outing in their season-opening win against the Vegas Golden Knights. He also logs quite a few minutes of time on ice, as he surpassed 26 minutes in their last game against the Wild and nearly 24 minutes against the Golden Knights. Don’t hesitate at the salary, as an efficient defenseman involved in the offensive zone and on the team’s second powerplay unit warrants plugging into lineups. Pairing him with first-line skaters Dustin Brown (RW – LAK) or Anze Kopitar (C – LAK) is a good decision as well since it creates an extended opportunity to earn double the number of points on a single scoring play.
Craig Anderson (G – BUF): $7,400
Buffalo is hot to start their season and it may be attributed to the veteran netminder they signed this offseason from Washington. Goaltender Craig Anderson might be 40-years old but he is playing phenomenally inside of the crease, tied second for the lowest GAA (1.00), and is second outright in terms of save percentage (.968), allowing the Sabres to get off to a 2-0 start with a plus-five point differential. Despite being underdogs on their home ice against Vancouver on Tuesday night, Anderson is cheap and riding the momentum from his stalwart performance during the team’s opening night. Ignore his age and insert Anderson into lineups at a slight discount with maximum upside against the Canucks on Tuesday.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Jeff Carter (C – PIT): $6,400
The Pittsburgh Penguins are down three of their best players, as Bryan Rust (RW – PIT) joins Sidney Crosby (C – PIT) and Evgeni Malkin (C – PIT) on the bench due to injury. This has opened up opportunities for veteran center Jeff Carter to produce solid minutes on the first line, and with the return of Jake Guentzel (LW – PIT), his value soars even higher. Carter has at least one point in all three games the Penguins have played this season and doesn’t need to be a high-volume shooter to return value in lineups, as he assisted without attempting a shot in their 5-2 win over Chicago on Saturday. He’s priced fairly considering the high-octane offense he is featured on, meaning Carter is a good investment at home against Dallas on Tuesday night.
Jesse Puljujarvi (RW – EDM): $4,900
You won’t find many former top-five draft picks who currently skate on their team’s first line under a $5,000 salary. Yet, this is the exact scenario for second-year winger Jesse Puljujarvi. The 23-year old has produced points in each game for the undefeated Oilers to open this season, including a three-point outing against Calgary, where Puljujarvi netted two assists and scored a goal on just one shot. He is a massive beneficiary of skating alongside Connor McDavid (C – EDM) and Leon Draisaitl (LW – EDM), making Puljujarvi a cheap, high-ceiling winger to roster in Tuesday lineups.
Gustav Forsling (D – FLA): $3,900
Defensemen tend to linger by the blue line when attacking in the offensive zone, which is where Gustav Forsling has made a living to open the season. The 25-year old has assisted in each of the team’s two wins, including a two-assist game against the New York Islanders this past Saturday. He doesn’t skate on either powerplay unit but still manages to average over 19 minutes of time on ice, meaning Forsling is a cheap floor-play in Tuesday lineups due to his ability to manufacture assists. Against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida will be forced to score goals in order to keep up and attempt to maintain an undefeated record. Forsling will get plenty of opportunity despite skating on the second defensive line.
Vitek Vanecek (G – WSH): $7,900
Among the league’s best goaltenders sits Vitek Vanecek, the 25-year old netminder for the Washington Capitals. Through two starts, Vanecek has a blistering 1.44 GAA and a .938 save percentage, meaning he is a beast in between the red pipes. Facing a surprisingly underwhelming Colorado Avalanche team on Tuesday that is lacking Nathan MacKinnon (C – COL) and have downgraded their goaltenders with Philipp Grubauer (G – SEA) being selected to Seattle, Vanecek is one of the best goaltenders to target in Tuesday’s lineups, as he has an elite offense surrounding him and confidence from his previous success in the net.