The NHL has four games on tap for Friday’s slate following a hectic double-digit game slate on Thursday night. We saw some surprise wins across the league on Thursday, including Columbus over Philadelphia and the New Jersey Devils extending their winning streak to eight games in a 4-3 overtime win against Ottawa. All of the offseason shuffling has created a much more parity-driven league with new personnel generating production for their teams.
Tuesday’s recommended picks were absolutely on fire. Let’s start with the disappointing duds, which include Alec Martinez (D – Golden Knights) and Brady Tkachuk (LW – Senators), who are both crucial pieces on their team but failed to produce a point. Netminder Ville Husso (G – Red Wings) allowed two early goals against Montreal, which wound up sinking his production in DFS and costing the Red Wings a win on home ice. Outside of these three players, the other five delivered. Whether it was Bo Horvat (C – Canucks) scoring two goals for Vancouver, Filip Forsberg (LW – Predators) scoring the lone goal for the Predators, or Dougie Hamilton (D – Devils) pouring in two points on six shots, there was plenty of production to tap into if you tailed my picks. Even Mika Zibanejad (C – Rangers) had an assist, while goaltender Semyon Varlamov (G – Islanders) held strong in the crease during a 4-3 win over the Rangers.
Friday’s slate is shallow compared to Tuesday, which makes it more difficult to find value based on increased salaries due to limited puck drops. I’ve found eight players who project to have big outings that will translate into DFS lineups cashing out and setting the tone for a great weekend. Let’s explore their outlook ahead of Friday’s four-game slate.
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
John Tavares (C – Maple Leafs): $7,000
Toronto is tied for second in the Atlantic division and has plenty of talent throughout its attack lines. Veteran center John Tavares earns his minutes on the second-line attack and first powerplay unit, where he’s been effective, scoring four goals in his last four games played. This includes a hat-trick and an assist against Philadelphia, so Tavares offers a massive ceiling but a low floor depending on his performance. He’ll face struggling Pittsburgh netminder Tristan Jarry (G – Penguins) on Friday night in a game expected to go over 6.5 total goals, so fire Tavares up in DraftKings lineups.
Jason Robertson (LW – Stars): $7,200
Dallas is tied for first in the Central division thanks to a plus-15 goal differential. 23-year-old winger Jason Robertson is a top contributor on offense for the Stars, scoring at least one goal in five consecutive games while adding five assists during this stretch. He’s available at a relatively low salary based on his recent hot streak and will face the San Jose Sharks, who are riding a five-game losing slump. The Sharks have allowed 54 goals through 15 games, which is bottom-five in the league, so add Robertson into as many lineup builds as possible ahead of Friday night.
Mikhail Sergachev (D – Lightning): $6,200
Typically, you don’t want to pay up to acquire defensemen in DFS since they have a low floor, but Mikhail Sergachev has a promising upside against Washington. The 24-year-old has three points in his last five games, and he’s been held without a point in back-to-back outings entering Friday’s road trip to D.C., but Sergachev will do enough with a few shots on goal and a couple of blocked shots to avoid falling out of the green in DFS contests. Pay up to land the big-bodied defenseman on a Tampa Bay team that is 6-3-1 in its last ten games.
Martin Jones (G – Kraken): $7,500
Martin Jones’ landing spot in the Pacific Northwest has revived his career. The 32-year-old netminder has a 7-3-1 record as a starter for Seattle in the crease this season and currently has a 2.45 GAA. In his last three starts, Jones has won every game, allowing a total of three goals across this three-game stretch, which includes a shutout against Minnesota back on November 3rd. Goaltending is difficult to hit in DFS on a shallow slate, so you’re getting great value with Jones available to roster at $7,500 on DraftKings.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Sidney Crosby (C – Penguins): $8,700
Pittsburgh is reeling a bit to start its season. Star veteran Sidney Crosby continues to lead the Penguins with his high motor and finesse in the offensive zone, stacking four points in his last four games played. His shot volume is down between two to four per game, but Crosby is hyper-efficient and will be going up against Toronto netminder Erik Kallgren (G – Maple Leafs), who has a .890 save percentage and just surrendered four goals on 20 shots during a 4-3 loss to Vegas on November 8th. Crosby is still extremely talented and warrants a spot in FanDuel lineups despite the high $8,700 salary.
Mitch Marner (RW – Maple Leafs): $7,000
Toronto is led by point leader Mitch Marner, who has eight points across his previous five games played. Seven of these points are assists, but the 25-year-old winger has three multi-point finishes during this stretch as well, meaning Marner is delivering high-ceiling performances in most matchups. Facing Pittsburgh and Tristan Jarry, who is averaging 3.38 GAA in seven starts this season, creates a perfect scenario to get Marner into lineups, especially at a relatively low salary on FanDuel.
Vince Dunn (D – Kraken): $4,900
Defensemen typically aren’t highly effective in the offensive zone and Vince Dunn fits this bill. However, the 26-year-old Kraken defenseman has a nice floor due to blocking a few shots in the defensive zone per game, while adding a couple of shots on goal on counters. He has scored a goal and an assist in his previous five games but was held without a point against Nashville in his most recent outing on November 8th. Dunn is a fine salary-saving prospect to roll into lineups.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (G – Lightning): $8,200
It’s been tough to watch Tampa Bay’s struggles, which can be attributed to Andrei Vasilevskiy struggling to defend the crease in the early portion of the season. He has allowed three goals in four consecutive starts for the Lightning, but they are matched up against Washington on Friday, who plans on having Darcy Kuemper (G – Capitals) in the net. After winning the Stanley Cup in Colorado, Kuemper signed a lucrative contract with the Capitals but he’s also allowed three goals in consecutive starts entering Friday’s home game against Tampa Bay. The Lightning still have a better offense than Washington, which makes me value Vasilevskiy a bit higher than his previous performances suggest. It’s a risk but I like a proven veteran like Vasilevskiy more than the other goaltending options on Friday’s slate.