NHL DFS Primer: Thursday (12/2)
The NHL slate is chock-full of games Thursday night, as 20 teams will compete to provide numerous prospects to target in DFS lineups. Wednesday only had six matchups, but over half of the teams scored at least four goals, which yielded quite a bit of production. In addition, several matchups contain offensive juggernauts lined up for immense success against lackluster goaltenders and teams unable to produce on offense consistently. This includes Florida against Buffalo, Colorado against Montreal, Washington at Chicago, and Carolina hosting Ottawa.
The divisional races are in full swing, and teams are beginning to trade losses and wins two months into the schedule. Marquee players always disappoint in spots, while under-the-radar players with fewer opportunities become more efficient, returning massive value on the initial investment. Keeping this in mind, I gathered some of my favorite players to prioritize when constructing DFS lineups for a busy Thursday slate. I’ll explain why each player deserves consideration below. Let’s get into it and cash some lineups!
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Nazem Kadri (C – COL): $7,200
Nazem Kadri has been one of Colorad0’s best offensive assets thus far in the 2022 season. The 31-year old anchors the Avalanche second-line and earns additional opportunities on the team’s top powerplay unit. Kadri leads the Avalanche in points (29) and is coming off a two-game span that yielded two goals and two assists with nine shots on goal. Kadri has an easy path to success once again on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens, who plan on starting Jake Allen (G – MTL) in the crease. Allen has been a bit better lately, but he’s surrendered five or more goals in five of his seventeen starts this season. Kadri is worth every penny and is an excellent prospect, to begin with when building lineups for Thursday’s slate.
Jonathan Huberdeau (LW – FLA): $7,000
The Florida Panthers are in the midst of a divisional battle with Toronto for the top seed in the Atlantic Division and just secured a big win over Washington to end their two-game losing streak. This year, Jonathan Huberdeau is a big piece of the Panthers’ success as he leads the team with 23 points, which includes seven goals, and accounted for three assists in their 5-4 win over the Capitals on Tuesday. The 28-year old winger only has one game without a point in his last eight games played, making Huberdeau a high-floor play with the ability to hit a high ceiling against a spiraling Buffalo Sabres team. In their previous loss, the Sabres just allowed seven goals to Seattle and have surrendered at least five goals in five of their last seven games. So it’s a smash spot for Huberdeau, so pay up and reap the rewards.
Erik Karlsson (D -S J): $5,000
Erik Karlsson is in his fourth year with San Jose, and he’s been a quality defenseman during his tenure. The 31-year old defenseman skates on the Sharks’ second-line and second powerplay unit, presenting plenty of opportunities for him to contribute on a good offense. Karlsson has four points in his last four games, including scoring his second goal of the season in the Sharks’ last 5-2 win over New Jersey. While he likely won’t hit a goal again, he draws a fantastic matchup against the New York Islanders, who have the fewest goals scored in the league (32) but good goaltending from Ilya Sorokin (G – NYI). In his last start, Sorokin played well against the Penguins, allowing only one goal, but he has recently surrendered four goals in back-to-back starts, which makes Karlsson appealing. In addition, he typically manufactures a couple of blocked shots per game, adding to his floor. Karlsson is a quality defenseman to pick up who won’t burn you in lineups against the Islanders.
Adin Hill (G – SJ): $7,600
The 25-year old netminder for San Jose has been inconsistent this season but has been playing under his ability in recent games. However, the games where he surrendered four or more goals came against teams like St. Louis, Colorado, and Boston, meaning Hill should not be written off against the lowest-scoring team in the league on Thursday night. Yes, the Islanders have a league-low 32 goals scored this season, which makes Hill a coveted goaltender to insert into lineups.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Sam Bennett (C – FLA): $6,100
Sam Bennett has a ton of opportunity skating on Florida’s first line and top powerplay unit, as his skills are amplified by the talented personnel that surrounds him. The 25-year old center has at least four shots on goal in five of his last six games, which automatically gives him a high floor. He just ended a two-game point drought with a game-tying goal against Washington on Tuesday and should be able to transfer this momentum into more production against a bad Buffalo Sabres team on Thursday night. The Sabres sent veteran netminder Craig Anderson (G – BUF) to Injured Reserve, exposing their lack of depth at goaltender. Bennett is a great investment to make in lineups against an inferior opponent and comes with a nice floor should he wind up without a point, which seems unlikely. Fire Bennett up in lineups with confidence.
Filip Forsberg (LW – NSH): $6,400
Okay, let me preface this recommendation by proclaiming that Filip Forsberg will not score four goals again as he did against Columbus on Tuesday. However, the 27-year old has a point in every game since his return from injury, which bodes well for a tough matchup against Boston on Thursday night. Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (G – BOS) has three straight starts allowing only two goals, so Forsberg will need to find ways to find the back of the net or an open linemate in the offensive zone. Nevertheless, there is little reason to doubt Forsberg’s ability due to his consistency on that end of the ice, so take advantage of his discounted salary and watch him skate circles around the Bruins defense.
Rasmus Dahlin (D – BUF): $4,700
Rasmus Dahlin is only 21 years old but is settling into his fourth season in Buffalo. While the season has changed for the worse since the injury to goaltender Craig Anderson, Dahlin has been one of the few bright spots, racking up 14 points to crack the team’s top-five in point leaders. He averages over 23 minutes of time on ice per game and is one of the league’s more heavily-used defensemen on offense. However, his salary reflects the state of Buffalo’s team as a collective, not his individual talents. Dahlin has consecutive games with an assist and four shots on goal, so he should be in line for similar production against goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (G – FLA), who has allowed at least three goals in each of his last two starts. Dahlin is a good defenseman on a bad team, so take advantage of the price discrepancy and plug him into Thursday lineups.
Cam Talbot (G – MIN): $8,200
I like Cam Talbot against New Jersey at home on Thursday. The 34-year old netminder is one of the league’s best goaltenders to start this season, which has led to Minnesota sitting atop the Central Division with a plus-17 goal differential. Talbot has a blistering 1.50 GAA in his last two starts against talented teams like Tampa Bay and Winnipeg, so he should be able to continue his elite level of play against the Devils, who have only scored more than three goals once in their last five games. Talbot also is 12-5 as a starter, which is why the goaltender is poised for success in lineups, as 12 points are awarded to a goaltender on a winning team. So make sure to plug Talbot into lineups ahead of Thursday’s 8 pm ET puck drop.