NHL DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Tuesday (2/22)
The National Hockey League continues to provide fireworks on the ice, as players have been lighting up the lamp with goals and crisply served assists. Tuesday’s slate has six games on tap, with the marquee matchup pitting the Florida Panthers against the Nashville Predators. Most of the goaltenders projected to start in the net have been vulnerable in recent games, creating a lot of good value to invest in when constructing DFS lineups.
Saturday’s slate had a couple of dominant performances from my recommended players, including Anze Kopitar (C – LAK), who racked up three assists en route to a 5-3 win over Arizona. While Kopitar maxed out his ceiling, Matthew Tkachuk (RW – CGY) and Quinn Hughes (D – VAN) also delivered two-point outings, each scoring a goal and an assist to outperform their projected totals. Jeremy Swayman (G – BOS) held Ottawa off in a 3-2 overtime win, earning 29 saves in the process. On the other hand, Thatcher Demko (G – VAN) surrendered five goals in 24 minutes, resulting in him being pulled in a blowout against Anaheim. Andrew Mangiapane (LW – CGY) ended his seven-game point streak but still delivered a high-floor thanks to five shots on goal, while Patrice Bergeron (C – BOS) and Jakob Chychrun (D – ARI) quietly fizzled out. Overall, it was a good slate, considering half of the prospects outperformed their expected value.
I’ve scoured Tuesday’s slate and found several prospects who offer the necessary upside to launch DFS lineups into the green. Let’s dive in!
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Robert Thomas (C – STL): $4,600
One of the youngest contributors to the St. Louis Blues offensive attack is their second-line center, Robert Thomas. The 22-year old was selected as a first-round draft pick by the Blues back in 2017, and he’s been instrumental in their success this season, producing 39 points in only 42 games played. Thomas also centers the top powerplay unit, earning just under 20 minutes average time on ice. He has a four-game point streak, entering Tuesday’s road contest against Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (G – PHI). Hart missed the last two games with an eye injury, but he has allowed five goals in two of his previous three starts, creating a plus-matchup for Thomas to quickly produce a point or two on Tuesday night. He has only scored seven goals this season, but two were scored last week, so expect Thomas to transfer his momentum in a big way against Hart and the Flyers. At just a $4,600 salary, you should prioritize Thomas as a great value and asset in DFS lineups.
Vladimir Tarasenko (RW – STL): $7,100
I am sticking with the stacking strategy for St. Louis and their second-line attack. The household name on this line is not Robert Thomas but Vladimir Tarasenko. The 30-year old winger has spent his ten-year career with the Blues, but he was a shell of himself in 2020 and 2021, amassing only 24 points due to injury and lack of opportunity. It’s a much different story in 2022. Tarasenko is second in total points (45) and is tied for most goals scored (18), having scored three goals against Ottawa and Chicago last week. Tarasenko also enters Tuesday’s road contest with five points produced across his previous three games played, and he will get a soft matchup against Carter Hart defending the crease. He’s a high-volume shooter and will have many opportunities to extend his point streak, making Tarasenko worth the high salary.
Jonas Brodin (D – MIN): $4,400
28-year old defenseman Jonas Brodin is an intriguing value play in DFS lineups against Ottawa on Tuesday night. While he does not earn any minutes on either powerplay unit, Brodin is gritty and aggressive defending the defensive zone, as he has been a monster on the boards and blocking shots. This counters his lack of shots on goal, which tends to hover around one to two attempts per game. Brodin is undoubtedly not a world-beater by any stretch. Still, he can produce an assist and several blocked shots per game, so the plus-matchup against a lower-tier team like the Ottawa Senators makes me want to invest in his upside. Senators’ goaltender Matt Murray (G – OTT) allowed four goals in his previous staff and is returning from an injury, so expect him to be rusty against an aggressive, offensive team like the Minnesota Wild. Brodin could finish with his third assist in the last four games, along with a pile of blocked shots to raise his floor. At $4,400, he’s a definitive value play on Tuesday night.
Ilya Sorokin (G – NYI): $7,800
Despite the relative lack of offensive success, the New York Islanders are clawing their way out of the bottom of the Metropolitan Division thanks to stout goaltending from Ilya Sorokin. The 26-year old netminder has been stonewalling opponents, allowing only three goals across his previous two starts. He has recorded four shutouts in 32 games played for the Islanders this season, but the wins have been hard to come by due to the anemic offense skating in front of him. On Tuesday, the Islanders will travel to the West Coast and face the Seattle Kraken, who scored only seven more goals (135) than the Islanders. Oddsmakers expect the goal total to hit under 5.5, meaning Sorokin is a fantastic value play in lineups.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Alexander Kerfoot (C – TOR): $4,700
Buried deep on Toronto’s third-line attack is Alexander Kerfoot. The 27-year old center has seemingly found his role in his third year with the Maple Leafs, already surpassing his previous season point totals with 34 points amassed, thanks to 27 assists through 49 games played. He is a bit streaky and only earns 15 minutes of average time on ice. However, Kerfoot has the capability of delivering multi-assist outings. He will get a plus-matchup on the road against Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (G – CBJ), who is returning from a one-game absence due to suffering a lower-body injury. Merzlikins has allowed ten goals in his last two starts, so Kerfoot should be able to set up the second-line attack or light the lamp himself for just the eighth time this season. I like Kerfoot due to the plus-matchup and his low salary, making him a high-value prospect with appealing upside in Tuesday’s DFS lineups.
Carter Verhaeghe (LW – FLA): $5,500
In just his third season in the NHL, 26-year old Carter Verhaeghe is developing right before our eyes. Skating on the Panthers’ second-line attack, Verhaeghe earns roughly 16 minutes average time on ice despite not being featured on either powerplay unit. He has encountered a goal drought but did end it with a score against Minnesota on February 18th. Verhaeghe followed up that performance with an assist and three shots on goal during a road contest against Marc-Andre Fleury (G – CHI) and the Chicago Blackhawks. Nashville is a formidable opponent, but goaltender Juuse Saros (G – NAS) has been slipping lately, allowing four goals in three of his previous four starts. This is excellent news for Verhaeghe’s upside, as he has a two-game point streak intact and gets plenty of help from linemates like Sam Bennett (C – FLA). At $5,500, Verhaeghe is a good value and is positioned for success against a Nashville team that is just 4-5-1 in their previous ten games.
Mark Giordano (D – SEA): $5,800
Seattle has not had the inaugural season many expected, but they still have a few solid pieces throughout their depth chart. One of them is their veteran defenseman, Mark Giordano, who is fifth in total points (22) thanks to the 17 assists he’s generated through 40 games played. Giordano earns additional minutes on the top powerplay unit for the Kraken, affording him good opportunities to either score or set up a scoring possession. The 38-year old has four points across his last five games, notching his fifth goal of the season in his previous game against Vancouver. His floor gets raised due to his consistent involvement in the defensive zone, averaging two to three blocked shots per game. The Islanders have excellent goaltending, but Giordano did manage to finish with an assist in his previous matchup against them back on February 2nd. He’s got enough juice to be considered a value play, so plug Giordano into lineups with confidence.
Sergei Bobrovsky (G – FLA): $8,300
Sergei Bobrovsky is making a case for a run at the Vezina Trophy with his recent play in the net for the Florida Panthers. The 33-year old netminder has 26 wins and has allowed just two goals in each of his previous three starts entering Tuesday’s home game against Nashville. The Predators are amid a four-game losing skid, and they have only managed to score three goals twice during this stretch, setting Bobrovsky up for easy success defending the crease. This will be his first matchup against the Preds this season, and Bobrovsky is playing his best brand of hockey right now. With the Predators lacking all momentum and the Panthers going 8-2 and entering Tuesday on a three-game winning streak, Bobrovsky should return value even at the high price point he’s going for on FanDuel.