NHL DFS Primer: Tuesday (11/30)
Eight games fill Tuesday’s slate after a bit of a surprising start to the seventh week of the 2022 NHL season. Monday saw the Seattle Kraken pour in seven goals against a floundering Buffalo Sabres team, while Arizona shut out Winnipeg in a 1-0 defensive battle. Pittsburgh had been humming under the return of Sidney Crosby, but they couldn’t hold on in a shootout loss to the Calgary Flames.
Toronto finally dethroned Florida from the top of the Atlantic Division amidst their four-game winning streak. At the same time, teams like Philadelphia and the New York Islanders continue to endure massive losing skids that have left them buried at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. The Western Conference has much tighter divisional races, as Dallas has hit a four-game win streak, and Los Angeles has quietly gone .500 in their last ten games. There are still a lot of games left to settle the playoff picture, but players from all 32 franchises can be valuable assets in DFS lineups in any given matchup.
Half of the league will compete on Tuesday’s slate, so I’ve gathered some of my favorite players who are positioned for success and destined to help cash lineups by the end of the night. So let’s get into it!
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Evgeny Kuznetsov (C – WAS): $7,600
Washington has been impressive all season long, and it starts with a pair of veterans skating on their first line. Alex Ovechkin (LW – WAS) and Evgeny Kuznetsov have at least 27 points and sit in the top-five for most points scored this season. Kuznetsov, in particular, has been instrumental to the Capitals’ current three-game winning streak, as he racked up a goal and five assists in three consecutive games before being held pointless against the Carolina Hurricanes this weekend. Expect Kuznetsov to immediately return to producing in the offensive zone on Tuesday against the Florida Panthers. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (G – FLA) allowed Kuznetsov to earn three assists against him a few days ago, so expect more of the same Tuesday night. Kuznetsov is worth every bit of his salary and should be inserted into lineups without hesitation.
Jakub Voracek (RW – CBJ): $3,300
Columbus is firmly in the playoff picture right now, and they will continue to lean on their veteran winger Jakub Voracek to continue finding ways to win. The 32-year old winger is not a high-volume shooter but is gifted with his ability to set up scoring plays for the offense, entering Tuesday’s contest against Nashville with an assist in three consecutive games. Don’t expect him to score, as his only goal came against the New York Rangers on November 13th. However, Voracek skates on the first-line and top powerplay unit. As long as Columbus can navigate and hold possession in the Predators’ offensive zone, Voracek should be suitable for another assist. This makes him a high-floor play with a limited ceiling, which is perfect considering the reduced salary.
Roman Josi (D – NSH): $7,600
31-year old Roman Josi is one of the league’s most talented defensemen in the offensive zone. Josi was held without a point during Nashville’s loss to Colorado over the weekend but has at least one point in every other game he’s played since a massive four-point burst against Arizona back on November 13th. He takes anywhere from two to five shots on goal, which is a lot for a defenseman, and he also blocks at least one shot per game, raising his floor even if he fails to generate a point. I like Josi to perform well against Elvis Merzlikins (G – CBJ) in the crease, as Columbus’ goaltender is inconsistent with his performances in net this season. Nashville and Columbus are both coming off of losses, so each team will be motivated to score quickly and often, making Josi an integral piece of the Predators’ attack on Tuesday night. He’s an expensive defenseman to acquire, but the high-floor and high-ceiling potential are too great to ignore.
Cam Talbot (G – MIN): $8,500
Cam Talbot has not allowed more than two goals in three straight starts in the crease for Minnesota, leading the Wild to a three-game win streak that has them sitting atop the Central Division. The 34-year old netminder is playing at a high level right now after holding Tampa Bay to two goals, and he gets to face the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night as his reward. While the Coyotes have found ways to win in recent games, they lack an explosive offense, totaling 40 goals through 22 games, the second-lowest league. So don’t overthink this one and pay up for Talbot, who is one of the hottest netminders in the league competing in a plus-matchup on home ice.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Trevor Zegras (C – ANA): $5,600
20-year old Trevor Zegras has done a great job helping lead Anaheim to a fast start in the Pacific Division. Despite playing in just his second year in the league, Zegras is heavily involved with the offense, skating on the second line and top powerplay unit. He had four assists in three games until his last scoreless outing against Toronto, which still saw Zegras take eight shots on goal. On Tuesday night, Anaheim will face the Los Angeles Kings for the first time this season and will face veteran netminder Jonathan Quick (G – LAK). Quick allowed six goals in his last start for the Kings and remains vulnerable against a formidable Ducks offense that should continue to keep Zegras active enough to produce points in DFS lineups.
Sonny Milano (LW – ANA): $4,700
I always talk about stacking strategies when competing in NHL DFS contests, and I will use a pair of Anaheim Ducks to highlight this approach. Sonny Milano has been with Anaheim for three seasons but was very limited in his previous two years with the team, so it’s nice to see him thriving on their second line alongside Trevor Zegras and Rickard Rakell (RW – ANA). Milano produces in spurts, so it’s a bit risky to roll him out without a linemate like Zegras. The 25-year old winger has at least one point in eight of his last 11 games played and is coming off a very quiet performance against one of the league’s best teams in the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jonathan Quick is expected to get the start in net for the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, but he has faltered a bit since the first month. Anaheim will be motivated to avenge their loss against Toronto, and Milano skates on the top powerplay unit, providing extra lucrative opportunities to rack up a point. He’s a cheap prospect that becomes more appealing when paired with Zegras.
MacKenzie Weegar (D – FLA): $4,900
Florida has dropped a couple of games back and ceded their position at the top of the Atlantic Division. Yet the Panthers still have plenty of talent to tap into for DFS purposes. First-line defenseman Mackenzie Weegar has been an assist machine the entire season, totaling 11 through 21 games and earning an assist in six of his last eight games. Washington is a difficult opponent, but Capitals’ goaltender Vitek Vanecek (G – WAS) has allowed seven goals in his previous two starts, resulting in two losses for one of the league’s best teams. He is vulnerable in the net, and Weegar will likely smell blood in the water to capitalize and maintain his assist streak on Tuesday night. If he ends up without a point, Weegar still possesses a huge floor based on averaging three blocked shots in his last five games.
Mackenzie Blackwood (G – NJ): $8,100
Mackenzie Blackwood is .500 as a starter for New Jersey in November. The 24-year old netminder has only surrendered two goals in each of his last two starts. The Devils will host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, and Blackwood should be able to defend the net as confidently as he did in past outings. Vegas expects this game to be reasonably low-scoring, with the odds slightly favoring under 5.5 goals, so Blackwood stands a chance against an inconsistent offense that has looked flat for long periods this season. Blackwood’s 1.93 GAA across his last two games is promising, and he has shown he’s capable of posting a shutout. The Devils are home underdogs on the moneyline, but Blackwood has proven to be reliable in big spots this season, so plug him into DFS lineups for Tuesday night.