NHL DFS Primer: Tuesday (1/18)
A robust eight-game slate is set for Tuesday night in the National Hockey League. Most of the matchups are relatively even, all things considered, with Dallas the overwhelming favorite at -278 on the moneyline. Calgary hosts Florida, the red-hot Los Angeles Kings will host Tampa Bay, and Carolina will travel north to face Tuuka Rask and the Boston Bruins. The goaltending on Tuesday’s slate should be substantial due to the weak offenses most netminders will face. We saw several upsets occur during Monday’s slate, so expect at least a couple more to follow tonight.
The Kings, Canadiens, Sabres, Islanders, Flyers, and Predators form all of the teams playing back-to-back nights, meaning their opponent could generate massive production due to the extra day of rest. Fatigue and familiarity are two factors that can elevate or plummet your DFS lineups, so be mindful of these conditions when you’re constructing lineups ahead of the puck drop. As always, I’ve found eight players that either return value or offer too much upside to ignore. So let’s jump in and prepare to cash those Tuesday lineups!
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Brock Nelson (C – NYI): $4,800
Brock Nelson centers the New York Islanders’ second-line attack and earns additional minutes on their top powerplay unit. The 30-year old has been in and out of the lineup this season due to the league’s updated Covid-19 protocols, but he remains highly involved within the offense when he’s available. Sure, the Islanders have scored the fewest goals (71) in the league, but they are currently 6-3-1 in their previous ten games played. Nelson will get another matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers after beating them 4-1 without Carter Hart (G – PHI) defending the crease. Hart is expected to return to the net on Tuesday, but this does not negate the appeal of Nelson in DFS lineups. Hart has allowed at least three goals in his previous four starts, meaning Nelson could replicate the two-point outing he provided on Monday. He’s a tremendous hidden value and is worth adding into lineups to get a massive return on investment against a Flyers team that has now lost eight in a row.
Joe Pavelski (RW – DAL): $7,200
Dallas will likely play against Montreal without Jason Robertson (LW – DAL) on their first-line attack but will be OK with veteran winger Joe Pavelski. The 37-year old leads the Stars in points (36) and is tied for first with 15 goals through 35 games played. Pavelski is in line for an even more significant role and possesses a higher ceiling with Robertson day-to-day due to a lower-body injury. Pavelski has a point in eight of his previous nine games, including two multi-point outings that saw him go ballistic against Seattle and Chicago. Montreal is very similar to those teams, as their offense is anemic, and their goaltender Samuel Monteambeault is struggling mightily. Due to the matchup and the depth chart situation, it’s an easy decision. Pavelski is a blue-chip prospect to prioritize in Tuesday night lineups.
Thomas Chabot (D – OTT): $6,200
Ottawa has been an extremely disappointing team all season, but they have been able to turn their fortune around a bit with wins in their last two games. 24-year old defenseman Thomas Chabot earns over 27 minutes average time on ice and skates on the Senators’ top powerplay unit, which is a big reason he has the team’s second-highest assist (17) total this year. Chabot just ended his three-game point slump by netting an assist against Edmonton last Saturday. Once again, he should be positioned for success, facing an extremely raw goaltender for Buffalo. Michael Houser (G – BUF) was just signed by the Sabres and has not played a game yet this season. While he did play in four games for Buffalo last season, he allowed 14 goals during that span. Chabot also racks up blocked shots, totaling six in his previous game against the Oilers. Ignore Ottawa’s record and plug Chabot into lineups.
Semyon Varlamov (G – NYI): $7,800
The second-fiddle for the New York Islanders goaltending crew, Semyon Varlamov, is earning his ninth start of the season against the Flyers on Tuesday. While the Islanders have lacked scoring production all season long, the 33-year old goaltender has been earning every cent in his contract. Varlamov has a 2.60 GAA, and .917 save percentage, allowing only one goal in each of his last three starts. Unfortunately, the Flyers are trending in the wrong direction, and Varlamov is the stone wall goaltender, making it even more challenging for Philadelphia to stay competitive. Please take advantage of Varlamov’s sub-$8,000 salary and plug him into lineups with confidence.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Erik Haula (C – BOS): $4,500
Despite not skating on either of Boston’s powerplay units, ninth-year veteran Erik Haula earns roughly 15 minutes average time on ice centering the Bruins’ second-line attack. Haula has been consistently delivering assists since January began, scoring seven assists in his last nine games. Carolina is a top-notch opponent and will be challenging to face. However, Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen (G – CAR) has been volatile with his play in the net. He played a great game against Vancouver, surrendering only one goal on 31 shots, but he previously surrendered seven goals to Columbus and Calgary in his previous two games. Nevertheless, Boston has found ways to win recently, entering Tuesday’s home game with a five-game winning streak. Haula has been a consistent contributor, so take advantage of his high floor and low salary.
Kyle Connor (LW – WPG): $9,200
In his sixth year with the Jets, 25-year old first-line winger Kyle Connor has been lighting up the lamp this season. Connor has 20 goals and 17 assists and is the only player for Winnipeg with at least 30 points through 34 games played. Connor has two goals and three assists in his previous four games, only being held without a point during a road contest against the talented Colorado Avalanche. The Jets will continue their road trip in Washington D.C., where Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov (G – WAS) has been vulnerable against suitable offensive units. Samsonov has allowed at least three goals in three straight starts and has only one game allowing one or fewer goals since December 6th. Connor’s salary reflects his usage and skillset in the offensive zone, so pay up to acquire one of the slate’s best skaters.
Roman Josi (D – NSH): $7,600
I’ve been running back to Roman Josi lately. It’s rare to find a defenseman who leads his team in points, but Josi has been the exception, scoring 13 goals and racking up a whopping 27 assists. It helps that Josi has spent his entire career in Nashville, as he has three multi-point games and a point in seven of his previous eight matchups. In addition, he earns nearly 30 minutes average time on ice. Josi gets all of the best opportunities skating behind Mikael Granlund (C – NSH) and Matt Duchene (RW – NSH) while receiving plus-man advantages on the Predators’ top powerplay unit. He is supremely talented and highly involved, so pay up to add the slate’s most talented defenseman into your DFS lineups.
Cal Petersen (G – LAK): $7,500
The Los Angeles Kings saw their win streak end against Timo Meier (RW – SJ) and the San Jose Sharks in a 6-2 blowout on Monday. 27-year old goaltender Cal Peterson was not defending the crease, ceding the opportunity to veteran netminder Jonathan Quick (G – LAK). When given a chance, Petersen has performed at a high level, allowing just two goals in his previous three starts, including a shutout against the Detroit Red Wings. Tampa Bay is one of the best teams in the league and two-time defending champions, so that Petersen will have a big task defending home ice on Tuesday night. Tampa Bay is 4-1 in their last five games and has scored four goals or more during three of these matchups, so Petersen does have a chance to return value if he can sustain his previous level of play. Take a chance and plug Petersen into lineups.