The NHL has four games on tap for us to enjoy on Friday’s slate. It’s enough to build high-production DFS lineups while still acquiring value, it’ll just take a bit more digging and adds a bit more risk-reward into the decision-making process. The playoff race is in full swing for teams in contention, with the Eastern Conference featuring at least five juggernaut rosters ranging from Boston and Carolina to Tampa Bay and Toronto, while the new-look New York Rangers are gaining momentum after enduring a bit of a slump. Even the New Jersey Devils have proven to be a tough out in most matchups, while the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders are clinging onto their Wild Card seeds ahead of a surging Florida Panthers offense.
The Western Conference is less loaded from top to bottom but they are consistently scoring goals and generating high-octane offense. Edmonton, Los Angeles, and Vegas lead the Pacific, while Dallas is trending downward on a two-game losing skid, staying one point ahead of Minnesota and three points ahead of Colorado for first place in the Central Division. Seattle and Winnipeg occupy the two Wild Card seeds currently, but Calgary and Nashville are only a couple of wins behind jumping the Jets, so there is a lot of pressure on these teams during the final 13-15 games of the regular season.
My recommended plays from Tuesday delivered monster production across the board, so hopefully, you tailed! Leon Draisaitl (C – Oilers) and Jake Guentzel (LW – Penguins) each scored a pair of goals, while Rasmus Andersson (D – Flames) netted a point and Stuart Skinner (G – Oilers) allowed three goals during a 6-3 Edmonton win over Ottawa. Evgeni Malkin (C – Penguins) and Jamie Benn (LW – Stars) both logged multi-point outings that included a goal, while only Moritz Seider (D – Red Wings) was held without a point amongst all six skaters. Ilya Sorokin (G – Islanders) couldn’t execute in between the pipes against a high-flying Kings offense, allowing four goals in a 5-2 road loss. Outside of Seider and Sorokin, all other six plays were successful and should’ve helped you cash contests with any combination in DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
Despite the lighter slate, I’m here to give you eight of my favorite recommended plays ahead of Friday’s four-game NHL slate, so without further ado, let’s jump into why each of these players deserves a spot in DFS lineups. Good luck and let’s cash out to start the weekend off with a bang!
Check out today’s One-Timer contest from FanDuel
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Pavel Buchnevich (C – Blues): $6,200
St. Louis may not have much left to play for but Pavel Buchnevich continues to deliver in the offensive zone. The 27-year-old second-line center logged a hat trick during Wednesday’s chaotic 8-5 loss to Minnesota, but Buchnevich has recorded at least one point in five straight games entering Friday’s road contest against the Washington Capitals. Darcy Kuemper (G – Capitals) has been a solid addition in D.C. but he did surrender four goals to the Rangers in his last start, so Buchnevich shouldn’t have much difficulty extending his point streak against the Capitals, making him a solid value addition into DraftKings lineups at $6.2K.
Alex Ovechkin (LW – Capitals): $8,100
Staying in the Blues vs. Capitals matchup, I’m willing to pay up and rock chalk for veteran goal scorer Alex Ovechkin. He has at least one point in four of his past five games played, which includes four goals and three assists while attempting anywhere from two to five shots on goal. Ovechkin is a pricey play at $8.1K, making him the most expensive winger to roster on DraftKings, however, he offers a floor of 11 DK FPPG and an enticing ceiling as well, reaching 24 and 32.3 DK FPPG in two of his previous five outings. The Capitals are only five points behind both Wild Card seeds in the Eastern Conference, so there is plenty of motivation facing a bad defensive team like the Blues, so pay up to land Ovechkin.
Cam Fowler (D – Ducks): $4,900
One of the more under-discussed defensemen in the league has to be Cam Fowler. The 31-year-old has 33 assists for the Ducks this season and has at least one point in eight of his previous ten games played. You aren’t rostering Fowler for his goal-scoring prowess, but he gets a top-three matchup against Columbus at home on Friday night, facing a raw goaltender and a team that ranks 30th in goals allowed (3.8) and shots on goal (35.1), making Fowler a splash play and an immense value addition into DraftKings lineups at a mere $4.9K salary.
Frederik Andersen (G – Hurricanes): $7,900
Frederik Andersen has been solid and reliable in between the pipes for Carolina this season, entering Friday’s matchup against Toronto as the expected netminder. Andersen has a 2.40 GAA and hasn’t allowed more than three goals in any of his previous seven starts for the Hurricanes. Yes, Toronto is a difficult team to beat with the amount of offensive firepower that it rosters, however, Andersen has only surrendered one goal in his past two starts. Carolina is 6-4 SU in their last ten games played, while Toronto is a on a two-game losing skid, scoring four combined goals against Buffalo and Colorado. We happen to be getting a discount on Andersen too at a $7.9K salary on DraftKings, so don’t hesitate to plug him in with confidence.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Robert Thomas (C – Blues): $6,200
I’m going back to the Blues and investing in their first-line center, Robert Thomas. He’s only $6.2K on FanDuel and has a six-game point streak intact entering Friday’s road contest in Washington D.C. While he hasn’t scored a goal in three consecutive games, Thomas has two assists in two of his previous three games played, which counters the relatively low shot volume (1-3 SOG) that he tends to produce. Treat Thomas as a high-floor play with a nice ceiling at a solid discount, making him a good investment in FanDuel lineups.
T.J. Oshie (RW – Capitals): $5,700
Washington has been getting a lot of contributions from veteran winger T.J. Oshie lately, as he’s logged at least one point in four consecutive games. The Capitals still have plenty of motivation left in the tank with the regular season winding down, trying to chase the Islanders and Penguins for the final two Wild Card seeds, so expect this pace to be sustained by Oshie against a Blues team that allows 3.7 goals per game and 32.5 shots on goal on average, creating plenty of opportunity for Oshie to be a valuable addition into FanDuel lineups.
Brady Skjei (D – Hurricanes): $5,300
Typically I try to avoid spending up on defensemen in DFS, as it’s a volatile position that is better treated as a floor play than seeking the home-run hitter who will wind up with a pair of goals. Brady Skjei fits the billing for the player I’m seeking in DFS lineups at just $5,300. Skjei endured a three-game point drought but came back with a goal and an assist during Carolina’s 5-3 win over Winnipeg earlier in the week. Hopefully, we see Skjei active enough on both ends of the rink to hit double-digit FD points, but he has the talent and usage to reach 15-20 points, which would help propel lineups into the green.
Ilya Samsonov (G – Maple Leafs): $8,000
The goaltending isn’t superb on Friday’s slate but Ilya Samsonov is one of the best candidates to target. The 26-year-old will be a quality anchor in lineups, as he has a 2.36 GAA and three shutouts this season while boasting a .916 save percentage. Samsonov struggled against Edmonton and New Jersey but had a bounce-back effort against Colorado, allowing only one goal on 29 shots before ultimately losing in a shootout. He’ll be motivated to help the Maple Leafs get back in the win column against a good team like Carolina, so I’m willing to pony up the money to pay his salary at $8K on FanDuel.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio
View daily consensus odds from all major sportsbooks for the NHL at BettingPros
Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.