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.
After a quiet two-game slate on Wednesday night, the National Hockey League schedule explodes on this Thursday evening with 10 games on tap. The Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers are tonight biggest favorites, and we have two teams (Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins) playing on consecutive nights.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs – Henrik Lundqvist and Pekka Rinne are the top overall options in net tonight on this 10-game slate, but if you are looking to go a little contrarian, Frederik Andersen fits the bill. The Toronto Maple Leafs are allowing 34 shots against per game, which is the third-most in the National Hockey League this season, which puts the Maple Leafs’ goaltender in a prime spot tonight. Andersen has seen 32 or more shots on net in six consecutive starts, and I expect another high shot total from the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. If Andersen and the Maple Leafs can pull out the win, the Danish netminder may very well end up as the highest scoring goalie on the night.
Colorado Avalanche Number One Line - The matchup against the San Jose Sharks is less than ideal, but I still have interest in Colorado’s top line tonight. The Sharks are a sound defensive team and they are also quite disciplined, but fading the Av’s number one line on home ice just feels wrong. Nathan MacKinnon (15 G and 41 PTS in 24 GP) and his linemates (Gabriel Landeskog - 25 PTS in 20 GP, Mikko Rantanen and 32 PTS in 24 GP) have been money all year long at the Pepsi Center, and I would not be surprised to see them have another big game tonight at the Sharks expense. Look for Avalanche Coach Jared Bednar to keep his top line away from Joe Thornton and the Sharks’ number one line, in order to give his line an offense edge. He’s done that throughout the 2017-18 season, and tonight that would give them the opportunity to dominate some of San Jose’s weaker lines.
Philadelphia Flyers Top Line - Since the beginning of December, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ defensive game has taken a turn for the worse, pushing them to 27th overall in the National Hockey League in CA/60, as well as 19th in HDCA/60 and 24th in SCA/60. Additionally, the Maple Leafs’ high-event style of play has them allowing the third-most shots against per game (34), and they have now lost six of their last eight contests, surrendering 25 goals against in the process. Add it all up, and this seems like a pretty good spot for the Philadelphia Flyers’ top line this evening. Philadelphia’s number one line has been inconsistent to say the least, but they have posted some monster games this season, and there is multi-goal potential for them tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers’ top line certainly has big potential this evening, however with them being hard to trust offensively, I doubt we see them highly owned in tournament play.
Value Line Stacks – We have quite a few pricey line stacks in play tonight, so here a few inexpensive line stacks I am targeting tonight. The Boston Bruins have the highest projected goal total on the night as they face a New York Islanders team that has allowed the most goals against per game this season. I expect the Bruins’ top line to be very chalky, but their second line should not be ignored, as they may be the best point-per-dollar line stack on the night. If the Bruins’ second line is not the top secondary line stack, then it is likely the Nashville Predators’ second line. The Arizona Coyotes are a defensive mess and the Predators’ second line should feast tonight at the Bridgestone Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning’s second line is also in play tonight, with two-thirds of this line also representing Tampa Bay’s top power play unit. With the Bolts’ top line getting all the attention, I think we see the Lightning’s second line fly well under the radar.
Mikhail Sergachev, Tampa Bay Lightning – The Tampa Bay Lightning have one of the highest projected goal totals on the night, and they are once again one of the top offenses to target. The Vegas Golden Knights are not a team I normally go out of my way to pick on, but the Bolts are the best team and offense in the National Hockey League, and I expect them to not only win this game, but to score at least three goals along the way. With Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman out due to injury, the young and talented Mikhail Sergachev will now step in as the power play quarterback. Sergachev may not be a house hold name, but with his moderate price industry wide, and his increased role, he does become one of the top options on the blue line tonight, and he is likely to be low owned in large field tournaments.