NHL DFS Primer: Tuesday (1/11)
The National Hockey League continues to postpone games due to Covid-19, as most of Monday’s slate was affected. Boston thrashed the Washington Capitals 7-3, the Colorado Avalanche avoided an upset against the Seattle Kraken, and the Los Angeles Kings earned a decisive victory over the New York Rangers. Tuesday’s slate originally had nine games scheduled, but the postponement has carried over from Monday, removing Carolina versus Philadelphia and the New York Islanders versus the Calgary Flames games to a later date.
Do not let the postponed games get you down! Tuesday’s slate still has plenty of entertaining games and prospects to add into DFS lineups, as Colorado will travel to Nashville and Vegas will host Toronto. In addition, Pittsburgh just had their win streak snapped by Dallas and will get a redemption opportunity against an equally talented Anaheim Ducks team. Please do not make the mistake of ignoring high-usage players on bad teams or high-upside players on good teams who rely on their efficiency to return value.
Let’s jump right into the players who possess the upside necessary to cash your Tuesday lineups!
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Brayden Point (C – TB): $7,300
Tampa Bay appears to be poised for a run at winning Lord Stanley’s Cup three years in a row. The return of 25-year old first-line center Brayden Point only helps the team approach this milestone. Point has been great since returning from a lower-body injury that sidelined him for a month, earning at least one point in six of seven games since December 28th. He skates on the Lightning’s top powerplay unit and benefits from skating alongside Nikita Kucherov (RW – TB), who will only be competing in his fifth game of the season in Buffalo on Tuesday. Point has scored a goal in three straight games and should extend this streak to four against Buffalo’s reserve goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (G – BUF). The 22-year old netminder has allowed ten goals across his last three starts and stands little chance against Tampa Bay’s first-line attack. Pay up and add Point as an anchor into DFS lineups due to possessing both a high floor and high ceiling.
Nikita Kucherov (RW – TB): $6,800
I have to stick with Tampa Bay’s matchup by investing in Nikita Kucherov. In his eighth season with the Lightning, Kucherov is fully healthy after spending the previous two and a half months recovering from a lower-body injury sustained in the third game. Kucherov was held without a point against Boston but still managed five shots on goal, which is his absolute floor. In his debut game against Calgary, another talented team, Kucherov buried two assists despite attempting only three shots on goal. He has a wicked wrist shot and is one of the best offensive weapons in the league. Take advantage of the plus-matchup against Buffalo’s reserve goaltender, as Kucherov could quickly rack up two or three points on Tuesday night. His salary is under $7,000, but it won’t be for much longer, so take advantage and stack Kucherov and Brayden Point to form a potent one-two punch in your DFS lineups.
Roman Josi (D – NSH): $7,500
Only a handful of teams can claim their top point leader as a defenseman. Such is the case for Roman Josi, the 31-year old Nashville Predators defenseman who has been a catalyst for the offense all season. Josi has two consecutive multi-point games entering Tuesday’s home game against a talented Colorado Avalanche team, attempting seven shots on goal against the lowly Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. He’s spent his entire career in Nashville, and the team is now on a run in their last ten games, going 8-1-1 and sitting atop the Central Division as a result. The Avs are also 9-1 entering Tuesday’s game and will feature Darcy Kuemper (G – COL) in the net. Kuemper has been relatively solid for Colorado in his first year with the team, earning a 2.77 GAA and .908 save percentage. In his last game, he surrendered three goals to Toronto, where he was pulled after only 15 minutes. Josi is too talented to ignore, and oddsmakers expect the over/under to hit above six goals. This matchup has all the makings of a high-scoring game, so paying up to add Josi is worthwhile.
Marc-Andre Fleury (G – CHI): $7,500
Veteran netminder Marc-Andre Fleury has been inconsistent for most of the 2022 season. Yet, he did impress in a revenge game win over his former team, the Vegas Golden Knights, allowing only one goal on 31 shots. Chicago does not have a lot of depth, relying on Patrick Kane (RW – CHI) and Alex DeBrincat (LW – CHI) to churn out the majority of their scoring possessions. In moments, Fleury has shown his upside, earning two shutouts against Montreal and Vancouver in previous starts. He should fare well against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Columbus has only scored three goals once in their last three games and is the youngest team in the league. Fleury should be able to handle their offensive attack, and he is available to roster at a fraction of the cost compared to some of the league’s more prominent goaltenders. So, save your money for a blue-chip prospect and rack up a goaltender win in the process.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Sidney Crosby (C – PIT): $7,800
Pittsburgh finally had their nine-game win streak ended against the Dallas Stars over the weekend, as their veteran captain and first-line center, Sidney Crosby, was held without a point. This rare occurrence is doubtful to extend into Tuesday’s contest against the Anaheim Ducks. He has been a “walking assist” for the Penguins, currently sitting with 19 assists on the season, second only to defenseman Kris Letang (D – PIT) (27) while playing eight fewer games. The Ducks will deploy their primary goaltender John Gibson (G – ANA), after being approved to exit the league’s Covid-19 protocols. Gibson played well in his last start against Philadelphia, winning by surrendering only one goal on 29 shots. However, before this performance, Gibson had allowed three goals in consecutive games and even surrendered six goals to Arizona on December 17th. He is not a reliable netminder, and Crosby possesses the unquestioned talent and personnel to return to the point column on Tuesday night.
Patrick Kane (RW – CHI): $7,900
Patrick Kane has endured quite the goal slump this year. He scored seven goals this season, but the last one occurred on December 4th against the New York Rangers. However, Kane is nearly sure to deliver an assist or two in any matchup. He faces Joonas Korpisalo (G – CBJ), the reserve netminder for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Korpisalo has been a massive liability defending the crease for Columbus this season, allowing at least six goals in two of his previous six starts. He is 1-3 in his last four games and still allowed three goals in the win over New Jersey. Kane may defer to Alex DeBrincat for scoring goals, but he is still a stud navigating the offensive zone, so pay up to acquire the veteran speedster in a plus-matchup.
Brent Burns (D – SJ): $6,300
Defensemen that get heavy usage in their team’s offense are always lucrative prospects in DFS. Veteran defenseman Brett Burns fits this description, as he is fourth in points (23) for the Sharks thanks to a hefty 19 assists racked up through 36 games. Burns earns nearly 27 minutes average time on ice and skates on the second powerplay unit, maximizing his opportunities to produce for San Jose and fantasy managers alike. While he has only four goals this season, he’s scored two of them in the last two weeks while burying three assists against the Philadelphia Flyers in his previous game on Saturday. Detroit’s goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (G – DET) has not lived up to the hype he generated in Carolina last year, possessing a 2.86 GAA through 19 games. He is 1-2 in his previous three starts and allowed three or more goals during both losses. Burns is heating up at the right time, so take advantage of his $6,300 value and plug him into lineups against Nedeljkovic Tuesday night.
Thatcher Demko (G – VAN): $7,600
The Vancouver Canucks have scratched and clawed their way out of last place in the Pacific Division standings. A massive reason for their 8-1-1 record in their previous ten games has to be attributed to goaltender Thatcher Demko. The 26-year old netminder has not allowed three goals since December 10th against Winnipeg. Any goaltender who can hold the opposing team to one or two goals needs to be seriously considered in DFS lineups. 12 points for a goaltender win can elevate lineups into the green, mainly if they perform well against a ton of shots. Demko meets all the attributes of an elite goaltender and is riding momentum from previous performances, so make sure to grab the value he possesses at $7,600 on Tuesday’s slate. Yes, the Florida Panthers are an excellent team. However, Demko has been stonewalling talented teams during his impressive run. He’s worth the risk, especially at a discount, so go ahead and plug Demko into lineups.