NHL DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Friday (1/27)
It’s Friday night in the NHL and we’re getting a rare eight-game slate to begin the weekend. The 2023 All-Star Game in Miami, Florida will begin a week from now, so the schedule is getting jam-packed with games to compensate for the upcoming lull in action. For now, we benefit from a slew of prospects to target when constructing DFS lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel, as players who have a pivotal role in manufacturing points are designated much cheaper salaries than what we’d typically get on a two or four-game slate.
Tuesday’s recommended players returned massive value via their production on the ice. Let’s start with the dud performances first, which goes to Moritz Seider (D – Red Wings) and Kyle Connor (LW – Jets), who were the only two skaters held without a point. Connor has been on fire at times this season, so it was a bit surprising to see him come up short, while Seider did the dirty work in the defensive zone to help Detroit get a key overtime win at home against San Jose. Linus Ullmark (G – Bruins) wound up sitting in favor of Jeremy Swayman (G – Bruins) as one of my two recommended goaltenders. Everyone else dominated. Elias Pettersson (C – Canucks) had two assists, Carter Verhaeghe (LW – Panthers) scored twice in a 6-7 loss to Pittsburgh, and even Jakob Chychrun netted an assist for the Coyotes. Jack Hughes (C – Devils) netted two assists, and Alexandar Georgiev (G – Avalanche) saved 37 of 39 shots en route to a 3-2 win over Washington. It was more than enough production to get your lineups boosted into the green by the end of most DFS contests.
After numerous upsets occurred across the league on Thursday’s slate, we can expect more funky outcomes on Friday, where the slate is bigger than normal and features plenty of good matchups, including Vegas Golden Knights at the New York Rangers, the New Jersey Devils at the Dallas Stars, and Seattle hosting Calgary. Let’s jump right into my top eight prospects to target when constructing builds ahead of Friday night’s puck drops and cash some more contests!
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Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
John Tavares (C – Maple Leafs): $6,800
We’re landing a high-volume shooter by rostering veteran John Tavares on DraftKings. He’s available at a valuable salary and will face the Ottawa Senators at home, who rank 20th in goals allowed, surrendering 3.3 per game on average. Tavares has three points in his last two games combined against the Rangers and Islanders, so a matchup at home against the Senators should allow him to extend his point streak to three games on Friday night. Tavares has attempted six to eight shots on goal in three of his past five games played, so don’t hesitate to pay this price to insert him into lineups.
Patrik Laine (RW – Blue Jackets): $7,200
Patrik Laine is tied with Boone Jenner (C – Blue Jackets) as Columbus’ goal leaders with 14 goals a piece through 33 and 37 games played respectively. The 24-year-old winger has two goals and five assists across his past four games played, generating momentum on one of the league’s most anemic offenses. Laine has two multi-point outings during this four-game stretch entering Friday’s road contest against Vancouver, who has lost four of its past five games in lopsided fashion. The Blue Jackets just stole one on the road against the Oilers, who are a much better team than the Canucks, so Laine is a solid investment to make despite playing on a bottom-feeding team.
Drew Doughty (D – Kings): $4,900
Defensemen are typically cheaper in DFS for a reason. They contribute less in the offensive zone, at least the players who are priced below $5,000 on DraftKings. However, veteran Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty has five assists in his previous five games played and gets a decent matchup against Florida netminder Sergei Bobrovsky (G – Panthers), who is coming off of a lower body injury and last allowed five goals in a 5-4 loss to Toronto. The Kings are flying under the radar only one point out of first place in the Pacific Division, so add Doughty at a fraction of the cost that other defensemen are going for on DraftKings.
Frederik Andersen (G – Hurricanes): $8,500
Frederik Andersen suffered an upper body injury in Wednesday’s game against Dallas, exiting the game early. However, he’s in line to start, but I’m willing to roll any Carolina netminder out in DFS lineups against the San Jose Sharks at home on Friday night. The ‘Canes are -285 to win outright on the moneyline and the Sharks have lost three consecutive games, scoring five total goals during this slump, so Andersen is worth every penny of your salary ahead of Friday’s 7 p.m. ET puck drop.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Boone Jenner (C – Blue Jackets): $7,400
This is the first time all season that I’ve recommended two players from Columbus but it’s the perfect time to invest. The Blue Jackets are 2-1 SU in their last three games played, including an overtime loss at Calgary, so they are playing some of their best puck of the season without any expectations from opponents. Boone Jenner is the experienced veteran on Columbus doing his part, scoring a goal in three consecutive games, while attempting anywhere from one to seven shots on goal. The shot volume may fluctuate but Jenner has a nose for lighting the lamp, leading the Blue Jackets with 14 goals alongside Laine, so against a leaky Canucks defense that has allowed four or more goals in four of its past five games, Jenner is an asset in FanDuel lineups.
Claude Giroux (LW/C – Senators): $6,900
Ottawa landed veteran Claude Giroux this offseason after he split time with Florida after departing Philadelphia last season, where he had previously spent all 15 years of his career. Giroux has been a consistent contributor for the Senators this season, racking up 16 goals and 42 total points, including three points across his previous two games played entering Friday’s road contest in Toronto. The Senators are streaky with their scoring but Giroux is almost always involved, so take the discount at under $7K on FanDuel and plug the veteran into lineups against Matt Murray (G – Maple Leafs), who has allowed at least four goals in each of his previous two starts in the net.
Aaron Ekblad (D – Panthers): $6,700
Florida has a lot of talent embedded in its personnel but Aaron Ekblad has emerged as a streaky, high-upside defenseman at times for the Panthers this season. The 26-year-old defenseman is fresh off of a three-point night against Pittsburgh, where he scored a goal and two assists, while attempting five shots on goal. Ekblad has taken four to six shots on goal in three of his previous four games played and finds himself frequently involved in the offensive zone for the Panthers. A couple of days to rest ahead of Friday’s home game against the Kings will give Ekblad a boost in FanDuel lineups, offering a high floor and the potential for a ceiling performance.
Martin Jones (G – Kraken): $7,700
Seattle has been a nice surprise this season, currently occupying the top seed in the Pacific Division along with Vegas, boasting the biggest goal differential in the division at +27. The Kraken are 7-2-1 in their last ten games and Martin Jones is a big reason for this hot streak. Jones is 9-1 as a starter in his past ten games, holding Vancouver to one goal in his last start, blocking 19 of 20 shots. Despite playing Calgary twice already this season, Jones will make his debut against the Flames at home on Friday night, catching a team struggling to beat lower-tier teams lately. Jones is available at a huge discounted value and should be prioritized accordingly.
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Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.