NHL DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Tuesday (3/8)
Coming off of a robust Saturday slate, where all eight recommended prospects either notched a point or secured a win, I will do my best to replicate this outcome by recommending undervalued or ace players during Tuesday’s 11-game slate. Slates this size often require at least two or three players to hit or exceed their projections. The good news is that 22 teams will be competing, so there is no shortage of talent to select.
Elite goaltending is starting to separate great teams from good teams, but it’s also fleeting. Even the league’s best defenders of the crease have off nights, whether it’s due to exhaustion or being outmatched, as three of the five games on Sunday totaled seven goals or more. Let’s apply this to the 10-game slate held this past Saturday. Nine of the ten games totaled at least seven goals, while only Ilya Sorokin’s (G – NYI) prowess in the net gave the New York Islanders a 2-1 victory over St. Louis. This emphasizes the vast number of elite scorers available to roster on Tuesday night. Knowing which players to target and which ones to stay away from, whether it’s due to the schedule, opponent, or another external factor is an ongoing problem that haunts even the best DFS managers.
With this in mind, I’m here to help steer you in the right direction. Let’s create strong foundations to launch your NHL DFS lineups into the green by the end of a busy Tuesday night.
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Nico Hischier (C – NJ): $4,700
New Jersey’s second-line attack is solid, led by 23-year old center Nico Hischier, who is third in total points (38) and goals (16) for the Devils this season. He earns additional minutes on their top powerplay unit, hovering around 19 minutes average time on ice per game. Hischier enters Tuesday’s home game with a four-game point streak intact and was able to rest up on Monday after notching an assist in a 3-2 win over St. Louis on Sunday. Hischier has two goals and three assists during this four-game stretch, while his shot volume varies dramatically from seven shots on goal down to just one against the Blues on Sunday. Hischier is a highly cheap asset but provides a high floor and generates multi-point games every so often. He’ll face Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper (G – COL), who was pulled after allowing three goals in just over 21 minutes in a loss to Calgary over the weekend. He’s not playing his best brand of goaltending right now, which means Hischier’s appeal grows even stronger. At under $5,000 on DraftKings, Hischier is a salary-saving prospect who can deliver points. Add him as a great return on investment into Tuesday’s DFS lineups.
Jake Guentzel. (LW – PIT): $6,600
27-year old Jake Guentzel holds the title of point leader for the Pittsburgh Penguins this season, scoring 27 goals and netting 30 assists across 51 games played. Guentzel benefits dramatically from the likes of Sidney Crosby (C – PIT) and Bryan Rust (RW – PIT) while racking up 16 points on the Penguins’ top powerplay unit alongside Evgeni Malkin (C – PIT) and Kris Letang (D – PIT). The first-line winger has multi-point games in back-to-back performances, entering Tuesday’s home game against the Florida Panthers. Both included goals, so Guentzel is riding a serious momentum wave after facing juggernaut opponents like Tampa Bay and Carolina. The next leg of this brutal stretch will see the Penguins face Sergei Bobrovsky (G – FLA) and the Panthers. Bobrovsky has had some fantastic performances and forgettable ones, but he’s coming off of his second shutout against Ottawa, and another strong 23 save win against Detroit. This year, Bobrovsky has gone 1-1 against the Pens, allowing Guentzel to score once on 13 collective shots on goal. He’s a solid investment in a potent offense, so make sure to add Pittsburgh’s top scorer as a strong foundational piece to your lineups.
Jacob Trouba (D – NYR): $5,700
An integral piece of the New York Rangers offense resides in its defensive lines. Second-line defenseman Jacob Trouba has been a reliable source for assists all season, netting 19 in 56 games. However, he’s also a capable goal-scorer, notching his ninth goal in their most recent win against Winnipeg on Sunday. This ended a 13-game goal drought, but Trouba also stays busy in the defensive zone, racking up seven blocked shots across his last two games. This raises his floor substantially, as the 28-year also attempts at least a couple of shots on goal in most matchups. The Rangers will travel to play a Minnesota Wild team that has dropped two straight games, mainly due to the lack of goaltending by Cam Talbot (G – MIN). Talbot has allowed four goals in each of his last four starts, going 1-3 during this stretch. The Rangers’ second-line comprises a talented offensive attack, including Trouba, so rostering him at $5,700 against a shaky goaltender is a wise decision.
Juuse Saros (G – NAS): $7,800
Nashville is coming out of an impressive 8-0 rout of the San Jose Sharks, where Juuse Saros defended the crease to perfection while facing 20 shots. This was Saros’ third recorded shutout for the Predators, and he desperately needed it. The 26-year old netminder had previously surrendered seven goals in a two-game stretch against Tampa Bay and Seattle, leading to an 0-2 record. The Predators are neck-and-neck with Dallas and Minnesota for the final two playoff seeds in the Central Division, so there is plenty of motivation for Saros to continue stonewalling opponents. He’ll face a Dallas Stars team riding a four-game winning streak, scoring at least four goals in every game during this stretch. However, the last time Saros faced the Stars a couple of weeks ago, he allowed only one goal and racked up 27 saves en route to a 2-1 victory. He’s cheap, coming off two days of rest, and just blanked the Sharks. Take Saros at a discount in a game that the Predators desperately need to win.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
John Tavares (C – TOR): $7,000
It feels like John Tavares was leading the New York Islanders into the playoffs only yesterday. Yet, it’s been four years since the 31-year old was traded to Toronto, where he’s been a heavy contributor, scoring at least 50 points every season. This season, Tavares has 18 goals and 34 assists for the Maple Leafs, ranking second in terms of total assists on the team. Tavares skates on the second-line attack but earns additional minutes on Toronto’s top powerplay unit, where he’s scored seven goals and nine assists. Toronto did win a 5-4 road contest in Columbus on Monday so that the exhaustion could become a factor against the Maple Leafs. Yet, the Seattle Kraken are a plus-matchup in every situation. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer (G – SEA) has a 3.17 GAA and has allowed at least three goals in each of his previous four starts. Tavares has increased his shots on goal across the last two games and has three assists and a goal in his last four games. He is pricey, but it’s a plus-matchup, and he’s increasing his involvement in the offensive zone, so invest in Tavares and watch the points pile up in your DFS lineups at home against Seattle.
Tyler Toffoli (RW – CGY): $5,900
One of the most notable trades leading up to the trade deadline has been Tyler Toffoli’s arrival in Calgary. He’s an incredibly talented winger who led Montreal despite their lack of depth and goaltending, but he’s now arguably the best third-line winger in the league. Toffoli is currently playing for his third franchise in four seasons, but he’s fitting right in with the Flames, coming off a two-goal performance against Edmonton on Monday. Once again, exhaustion is a factor to note when looking at Toffoli and the Flames, as they will play their third game in four days at home against Washington. Thankfully, the Capitals plan to start reserve goaltender Ilya Samsonov (G – WAS), who is notably worse than Vitek Vanecek (G – WAS). Samsonov has surrendered at least three goals in three of his previous four starts and is returning from an upper-body injury that he suffered last week in practice. Toffoli and the Flames should dispose of Samsonov quickly, making Toffoli a valuable asset to acquire at under $6,000 on FanDuel.
Jakob Chychrun (D – ARI): $5,400
It’s certainly been a season to forget for Arizona, but they aren’t quitting any time soon. The Coyotes have won three of their last four games, including an 8-5 rout of the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. With two days to rest and prepare, their road contest in Detroit should be closer than many anticipate on Tuesday night. Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (G – DET) has been playing better as of late. However, he still possesses a 3.08 GAA and has more losses (16) than wins (15) after being traded from Carolina to Detroit this offseason. Third-line defenseman Jakob Chychrun has the talent and opportunity to take advantage of this matchup, earning additional minutes on Arizona’s second powerplay unit. He raises his floor with a couple of blocked shots per game and has increased his shot volume in the offensive zone lately, attempting nine shots on goal across his last three games played. Chychrun had four assists and a goal before ending his three-game point streak during the 8-5 win over Ottawa on Saturday. This shows his involvement and ability to produce on a limited team, so invest in Chychrun at a reasonable salary against the vulnerable Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
Robin Lehner (G – VGK): $7,900
Somehow, Robin Lehner is available to roster under $8,000 on FanDuel. The 30-year old netminder has been playing exceptionally well as of late, surrendering one goal in two of his previous three starts, including a 39-save performance in a 2-1 win over Ottawa on Sunday. With a day to rest, Lehner should be able to defend the crease with ease against the hapless offense of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have had difficulty establishing offense all season and have only two wins in their last ten games played. Lehner will face the Flyers on the road for the first time this season, but the Golden Knights remember their 4-3 loss in December. Expect them to avenge this loss and stay active within the offensive zone, allowing Lehner to be comfortable against one of the lesser offensive attacks in the league. He’s a solid value at under $8,000 salary on FanDuel, so plug Lehner into lineups with confidence.