I’m taking more of a cash game/single entry approach to my articles from here on out so there could be a better understanding of how to construct lineups with the information provided. Check out the podcast on today’s slate as we give a lot of thoughts on tonight’s slate as well as some lineup construction thoughts.
*Note: All pricing references are based on DraftKings pricing.
Key Three Skaters
My top three skaters on the slate
Patrik Laine (WPG)
Laine has gotten his game back together it appears as he's buried three goals in his last two games. Moving up to the top line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler looks to have given him some more open ice opportunities and could be the confidence boost that the young sniper needs as we come down to the final 20 or so games of the season. The Wild have allowed 10 goals to left-wingers over their last 13 games. Assuming that Laine stays on the Scheifele line tonight, he'll skate on left-wing with Wheeler positioned on right-wing. If Laine should move down to the second line, potentially skating with Nik Ehlers and new acquisition Kevin Hayes, he'd be slotted in on right-wing which is also a good matchup against Minnesota (10 goals, 15 assists last 13 games.)
Artemi Panarin (CBJ)
Now that Panarin know's he'll be with Columbus for the remainder of the season, he'll be looking to boost his free agency value and continue his tremendous season. Artie leads the Jackets in points (68) and assists (44) while coming in third on the team in goals lighting the lamp 24 times, second to only Cam Atkinson and Matt Duchene. Panarin has nine goals and five assists in his last nine games against Pittsburgh and the Pens have allowed 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) to left-wingers over their last 14 games. I'll take the $400 discount of Panarin over Atkinson tonight and expect a multi-point effort out of him.
Jack Eichel (BUF)
While Buffalo may be on a back to back on the road, Jack has been playing great with points in each of his last five games (three goals, four assists) on 23 shots. In his last six games against the Flyers, the Sabre captain has six goals and three assists on 21 shots. Over the last four weeks, the Flyers have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to centers, including 14 goals, 21 assists, and 168 shots over the 14-game span.
Top Positional Plays
Outside of the Key Three highlighted above
Mark Scheifele (WPG) - Scheifele has four goals in his last five games against Minnesota.
Matt Duchene (CBJ) - Some very high-priced options at the center spot tonight, Duchene is in a great spot against the Pens who have been very generous to the position.
Dylan Larkin (DET) - Red-hot with points in six of his last seven games including three goals and six assists over that span. Montreal has allowed 18 goals and 21 assists to centers over their last 11 games.
Tomas Hertl (SJ) - Hertl has scored 17 of his 28 goals on the road this season to go along with 16 assists in 33 games.
Claude Giroux (PHI) - Points in each of his last four games against Buffalo including two goals and six assists. The Sabres have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to centers over the last four weeks.
Boone Jenner (CBJ) - Good matchup for centers here as the Pens have allowed the most fantasy points to the position over the last four weeks. Jenner is a good value and has had success against the Pens in the past.
Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) - Being more aggressive with the puck of late with four shots in each of his last three games resulting in two goals. The Caps should have their way with Ottawa tonight and Backstrom is part of a second line that holds some good value.
Vinnie Trocheck (FLA) - His legs look to finally be under him after missing so much time early in the season. He's skated at least 19 minutes in eight of his last 11 games and his speed should be to his advantage in this matchup with Arizona.
Jordan Staal (CAR) - Returning tonight and is a supreme value play against the Kings who have been generous to centers.
Evander Kane (SJ) - Boston's defense has been solid against wingers this season and they're a good home team, but Kane's salary has dropped $500 since Sunday, I'm not sold on the Bruins' goaltending situation, and the Sharks are one of the better road teams in the league.
Mike Hoffman (FLA) - Continued to perform well on the road last night with his 16th goal in 29 road games while adding two assists and firing seven shots.
T.J. Oshie (WSH) - Ottawa has allowed 22 points in their last 14 games to right-wingers. Oshie is a great value play and pairs up well with Backstrom at even strength and on the power play.
Alex Ovechkin (WSH) - He'll cost you an arm and a leg, but if you like the value elsewhere and want to pay up at a wing spot, it's tough to ignore Ovie who has seven goals in his last 11 games against Ottawa and six goals in his last six games overall.
Anders Lee (NYI) - Goals in three of his last four games and is among the leaders at the forward position in high-danger scoring chances per 60. $5,100 seems too cheap in this spot.
Nick Foligno (CBJ) - Foligno's net-front presence will give the Jackets trouble and his value makes him easy to consider with time on the top power-play unit as well.
Anthony Mantha (DET) - Six points in his last three games and has 15 shots over his last four games.
Evgenii Dadonov (FLA) - Points in each of his last six games with at least three shots in three of those contests.
Micheal Ferland (CAR) - Skating on the second line with Jordan Staal. Good value here, Kings have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to left-wingers over the last four weeks.
Thomas Chabot (OTT) - One of the only players remaining on Ottawa worth noting, Washington has allowed the second-most fantasy points to defensemen over the last four weeks.
Zach Werenski (CBJ) - Points in back to back games, Werenski still remains underpriced and draws a home matchup against the Pens who have allowed more fantasy points to d-men than anyone over the past month.
Jacob Trouba (WPG) - Minnesota has allowed more goals (11) than any other team over the last four weeks.
Ryan Ellis (NSH) - Second among all defensemen over the past month in points per 60 at 5 v 5.
Dougie Hamilton (CAR) - On the season, Hamilton averages more shots per 60 than any other d-man.
Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) - Buffalo has allowed 32 points (five goals, 17 assists) to defensemen over their last 14 games.
Keith Yandle (FLA) - Four points in his last two games and the Coyotes have allowed 10 goals to defensemen over their last 12 games.
Value ($4,500 or less)
Shea Theodore (VGK)
Jaccob Slavin (CAR)
Matt Niskanen (WSH)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI)
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (SJ)
Center – Wing Combo’s
My favorite Center-Wing combos, listed in order to consider starting your cash/single entry contests with.
Winnipeg Jets: Mark Scheifele - Patrik Laine
Columbus Blue Jackets: Matt Duchene - Cam Atkinson
San Jose Sharks: Tomas Hertl - Evander Kane
Secondary/Value Center - Wing Combo's
Center-Wing combo's that will come after you've identified your top center-wing combo, ideally, this combo will be less expensive.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Boone Jenner - Nick Foligno
Washington Capitals: Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Detroit Red Wings: Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha
Florida Panthers: Vinnie Trocheck - Evgenii Dadonov
Carolina Hurricanes: Jordan Staal - Micheal Ferland
Connor Hellebuyck (WPG)
Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK)
Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ)
Petr Mrazek (CAR)