Every Tuesday and Thursday I will be providing my recommended player picks for your daily fantasy hockey lineups. The goal is to help you to the top of the leaderboards in FanDuel and DraftKings tournament play.
As we near the end of the week we get another big night of National Hockey League action with nine games on deck. The Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators are tonight’s biggest favorites, and we have two teams (Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues) playing their second game in as many nights.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets - Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is capable of being the highest scoring goalie each and every time he steps on the ice, and he should be busy in the crease tonight, as he faces a very good Tampa Bay Lightning team. The Lightning own one of the best offenses in the National Hockey League and they should provide Bobrovsky with plenty of save potential in this game. The Blue Jackets rely heavily on their Russian netminder and if they are going to win this game tonight, Bobrovsky will need to be the best player on the ice. The Blue Jackets’ goalie has been brilliant to start the season (1.47 GAA and a .952 SV%) and I think we see him stay hot tonight at Nationwide Arena.
John Tavares, New York Islanders - The New York Rangers were supposed to be a playoff contender this season, but they have not looked good in the early going, losing four straight contests, resulting in a 1-5-1 record. The Blue Shirts have struggled mightily in their own end, giving up the second-most SCA/60 and allowing the ninth-most goals against per game (3.71). When on the road, the New York Islanders’ top line rarely sees much traffic in large field tournaments and I expect them to be low owned again this evening. John Tavares is capable of going off at any point and this line is very reasonable priced across the industry, making them easy to stack up. If you are looking for an under the radar line stack with multi-goal potential, the Islanders’ top line certainly fits the bill.
Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers - The New York Rangers may not be all that popular in tournament play tonight, but I think we see them score four or more goals. The New York Islanders are a below average defensive team, and goaltender Jaroslav Halak has not looked good to start the year, generating a 2.62 GAA and a .907 SV%. The Rangers have struggled to score so far this season, but this is a team that scored the fourth-most goals per game a season ago, and the goals will come, starting tonight at Madison Square Garden. With multiple scoring lines, the biggest problem with the Rangers’ offense is predicting where the scoring will come from. With that being said, I am focusing in on their top line tonight, featuring Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello. With all three members also skating on the Rangers’ top power play unit, this is the line to target tonight in what she be a productive game.
Kailer Yamamoto, Edmonton Oilers - The Edmonton Oilers may have lost four straight contests, but this team is still producing offensively. Despite the slow start (1-4), the Oilers continue to pace the National Hockey League in SCF/60 and CF/60, while sitting second overall in shots per game (41.2). Despite the offensive output, Edmonton has averaged just 2.20 goals per game, good for 28th overall. In other words the Oilers have had a ton of bad luck and that should change, starting tonight at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks will be playing their second game in as many nights and they have struggled on the back end this year, ranking 29th overall in both CA/60 and SCA/60, which has led to them allowing the third-most shots against per game (36.0). Considering the Oilers’ current losing streak and the fact that most fantasy owners look at Chicago as a tough matchup, I expect Kailer Yamamoto and the Oilers’ top line to fly a little under the radar tonight in large field tournaments. Yamamoto continues to skate alongside Connor McDavid on the Oiler’s top line and on their number one power play unit, and he just might be the best point-per-dollar play on the entire slate.
Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues - With the Colorado Avalanche off to a decent start and with the St. Louis Blues playing on the road on the tail end of a back-to-back, it is unlikely we see much traffic on Blues’ power play quarterback Alex Pietrangelo. In 2016-17, Colorado was one of the National Hockey League’s most penalized teams, while toting the 29th ranked penalty kill. So far this year, very little has changed, as the Avalanche continue to play undisciplined hockey (second-most minor penalties), while ranking 29th overall while short-handed. The Blues should have their fair share of power play chances tonight and that provides Alex Pietrangelo with plenty of opportunities to hit the score sheet tonight at the Pepsi Center.