Welcome back to FanDuel NHL Blue Line Power Plays. This is the Thursday January 25th 2018 edition. We’re a daily fantasy hockey column focused on top FanDuel NHL plays for your lineups each day.
Last night’s NHL schedule only presented four teams across two games. Each game was low-scoring and ended in overtime, with the Kings beating the Flames 2-1 and the Maple Leafs beating the Blackhawks 3-2.
To have a top FanDuel NHL lineup last night, you needed to trust Frederik Andersen on road-ice, in Chicago, who had 34 saves and the win. Jake Gardiner was a solid $4.1K defensive play providing 12.8 FanDuel NHL points, and Drew Doughty was an expensive $5.8K play at defense, but he provided two helpers and totaled 22.9 FanDuel NHL points.
Sean Monahan ($7,500) was a top center pick, and Nazem Kadri was the best bargain at center with a goal, six shots, and 23.7 FanDuel NHL points on a cheap $5.3K salary. If you paid up to have Johnny Gaudreau in your lineup as a winger, stacked with Monahan, he added an assist in two blocked shots for over 14 points. Mitchell Marner, Tanner Pearson, and Micheal Ferland rounded out a top cash and GPP lineup, in the wing spots.
We wrote our last column for the more robust slate on Tuesday, somehow like tonight. Tuesday’s results may have seemed bizarre to some, but we called a few of the outcomes. While we weren’t expecting a shutout by the Sabres Lehner in Edmonton, we did point out the Oilers were fourth worst in the NHL giving up well over three goals per game at home.
So some of our top recommendations were Sabres players like Jack Eichel ($7,600) or Kyle Okposo ($5,800) who each had great nights. Eichel had a goal, but even better he had three assists. So with involvement in four of the five Sabres goals, Jack piled up 45.5 FanDuel NHL points into your lineup. Okposo had two assists, including a power play assist, and two blocked shots and added another 21.3 points. So if you stacked the two in your lineup, the gave you 66.8 FanDuel NHL points on two reasonable salaries.
With some of the top plays over the last two nights in mind, let’s take a look at the NHL schedule for Thursday, January 25th:
Predators at Devils (7pm ET)
Lightning at Flyers (7pm ET)
Wild at Penguins (7pm ET)
Hurricanes at Canadiens (7:30pm ET)
Bruins at Senators (7:30pm ET)
Blackhawks at Red Wings (7:30pm ET NBC SN)
Capitals at Panthers (7:30m ET)
Avalanche at Blues (8pm ET)
Maple Leafs at Stars (8:30pm ET)
Flames at Oilers (9pm ET)
Blue Jackets at Coyotes (9pm ET)
Sabres at Canucks (10pm ET)
Islanders at Golden Knights (10pm ET)
Jets at Ducks (10pm ET)
Rangers at Sharks (10:30pm ET)
If you’re looking at this 15-game NHL schedule and thinking, why in the world did they only schedule two games last night, you’re not alone! Having a 12-game schedule on Tuesday night, followed by only two games on Wednesday and ending the week with 15 games on Thursday, before the All-Star break seems bizarre. But, here we are.
Tonight’s slate starts at 7pm, so be prepared to lock-down then if you’re playing the main slate. The Predators have an opportunity to take advantage of the Devils regression over the last month, in New Jersey. The Bolts have been a top NHL team in the Eastern Conference all season, but they’re heading to Philly to play a red-hot Flyers team whose won eight of their last ten, and suddenly in third place of the Metropolitan division.
The hot Bruins offense, sans Brad Marchand because of a five-game suspension, will be in Ottawa taking on a Senators team who’s giving up a ton of goals at home over the last few weeks. The Bruins should be on your radar tonight. The Flames are on the road, with a hot road-ice offense, facing an Oilers team giving up way too many goals in Edmonton. So, the Flames are another team on our radar.
While we love the Panthers offense in Florida, they have the Caps in town. The Caps have played great defense and provided solid goaltending on the road. So while we may look for some value picks from the Panthers, we’re downgrading their offense tonight. The Islanders are also a top target for DFS NHL optimal lineups this season. But in Vegas against the stellar Golden Knights goaltending and defense this season, we’re likely fading the Isles tonight.
While there is an overwhelming number of options tonight, we’re going to take a different approach from Tuesday. Instead of reviewing every single top pick, we’re narrowing our thoughts further to more specific picks at each position. We may be fading some solid options, but this will allow you to quickly identify your best lineup options within a busy night of hockey.
As always, we’ll look to update our picks and final lineups prior to lock on our twitter account @FantasyCPR so make sure to give us a follow for all the late breaking lineup news.
Now let’s start building our NHL DFS optimal lineup by looking at the top centers for this slate…
Top FanDuel NHL Centers: Jan 25th
Aside from a few close losses, Carter Hutton has been a dominating goaltender for the Blues this season. We’re currently high on Nathan MacKinnon ($8,300), as he’s been red-hot over the last two months. The Avs offense continues to steam-roll this week. But with MacKinnon potentially running into a Hutton-wall in St. Louis, we’re fading the Avalanche tonight.
There are several other top players, all expensive, on the slate for tonight. We’re fading many of them as well. Instead, we’re focused on Patrice Bergeron ($8,100) and Jack Eichel ($7,800). Bergeron has four goals and three assists in the last four games. His offensive productivity may take a hit with the five-game suspension Brad Marchand now has to serve. But the B’s have a great offensive match up against the Senators defense giving up too many goals in Ottawa.
Eichel’s productivity is less dependent on his line. The 21-year-old Boston, MA native is the best player on the Sabres, and is a dominating force for the Canucks to handle on defense tonight. While the Canucks have played well on the road recently, they’re worse at home. Vancouver is only giving up three goals per game on the road, but at home it climbs to 3.35, fifth worst in the NHL. Eichel has at least one goal or assist in each of his last seven games, and a goal and three assists in Edmonton on Tuesday.
We mentioned Sean Monahan ($7,300) at the start of the article. Last night, Monahan fired eight shots on goal, finally slipping one in past the crease. The Flames seem to have a knack for scoring on the road, now with 2.86 per away game, tenth best in the NHL. And the Oilers can’t stop opposing scoring in Edmonton, giving up 3.54 per game, second worst in the NHL. Clearly, Monahan and the Flames are set up well for scoring tonight.
William Karlsson ($7,000) is also set up well for scoring in Vegas against a horrendous Islanders road defense. The Isles are giving up 3.73 goals-per-game on the road, the worst in the NHL. Karlsson now has four goals in his last four games, including two against his former team in Columbus on Tuesday. In fact, William is quietly tied for second in the NHL with 27 goals.
The Hurricanes have only won three of their last ten games. Tonight, they travel to Montreal to hopefully take advantage of the Habs season-long struggles and bounce back with a win. But they shouldn’t count on it. The Canes are giving up 3.07 goals per game on the road, while only scoring 2.67.
That bodes well for the Canadiens top line center Paul Byron ($4,300). In the last seven games, Byron has six games with a goal or assist. In that time, Paul has three goals and four assists, consistently developing offense during his roughly 16 minutes of ice-time per game. Tonight, Byron is a sneaky off-the-radar value pick. Any one of our top-four center picks with Byron is a great way to afford a high-value FanDuel NHL lineup tonight.
Now let’s take a look at the wings we want to stack along with our centers…
Top FanDuel NHL Wings: Jan 25th
We know Brad Marchand is off the board due to the five-game suspension. That opens the door for David Pastrnak ($7,400) to have a big game, or not. There’s risk playing anyone on the Bruins top line without Marchand, who’s top-form right now. But Pastrnak is an incredible young offensive talent playing in a favorable offensive situation. Over the last four games, David has three goals and three assists. It’s likely his point streak continues.
If you’re playing Monahan at center, consider stacking Sean with Johnny Gaudreau ($8,100). In the last four away games for the Flames, like tonight in Edmonton, Gaudreau has two goals and six assists. With such a favorable match up and Johnny tied for fourth in the NHL with 56 total points, in only 48 games, Gaudreau is a top play at wing. He’s expensive, but there are value plays at wing, and we already identified value at center.
A cheaper wing option from the Flames, but also a great stacking pick with Gaudreau, is Matthew Tkachuk ($6,600). In his last six games, Tkachuk has four goals and two assists. Most of Matthew’s offensive production has developed away from Calgary, in a scenario like tonight.
Whenever the Islanders are on the ice, we target their opponent for offense, especially on the road. With Karlsson scoring often and a wonderful offensive match up for the Knights tonight, stacking Jonathan Marchessault ($7,200) and Reilly Smith ($5,300) at wing is an awesome opportunity.
Smith has been cold since the recent road trip from Vegas, but prior to that Reilly had three goals and seven assists in just six games. And with Marchessault and Karlsson likely having a great night on Smith’s top line tonight, Reilly should at least have some helpers. Meanwhile, Marchessault continues to maintain his healthy 16+ FanDuel NHL point-per-game average with a goal and four assists over his last four games.
Finally, as we dig through the cheaper wing options among the thirty teams playing tonight, we keep coming back to Brendan Perlini ($3,400). While he’s only averaging 8.86 FanDuel NHL points-per game, his average has been climbing lately, while playing on the Coyotes top line.
Over the last five games, Perlini has three goals and one assist, scoring a goal in each of the last three Yotes games. The Blue Jackets are, surprisingly, giving up 3.17 goals per game on the road, 12th worst in the NHL.
Top FanDuel NHL Defenders: Jan 25th
Yes, Brent Burns ($7,400) is back on the ice, along with the rest of the Sharks, in San Jose tonight. The Sharks offense has struggled this season, but gained some steam since December. The Rangers are giving up 3.33 goals per game on the road, seventh worst in the NHL. So while Burns is expensive, the decision is simple. If you can afford to play Burnsy at defense tonight, play him. Especially in cash games.
We were high on John Klingberg ($6,800) in December and he continues to provide a dominating performance eon the ice for the Stars it late January. In his last ten games, John only missed the ten FanDuel NHL point, or more, mark once (9.6 points). Klingberg is piling up blocked shots and shots on goal, but also has 15 assists in his last two games, along with two goals. That type of production can easily continue at home in Dallas, against the Maple Leafs defense.
Seth Jones ($6,000) has an incredible nine blocked shots in his last two games. Since January 7th, Jones has provided 19+ FanDuel NHL points in five of six games, only falling short with 11.2 points against the Stars on the 18th. Seth is seeing 25 to 30 minutes of ice time each game, and is on the ice against the terrible Coyotes defense tonight. He’s a great pivot from Burns and Klingberg for more affordability.
Finally, instead of digging for value, a pick like Alexander Edler ($5,400) for example, we’ll grab Mark Giordano ($5,900) to keep stacking Flames tonight. Edler is actually a great play too, but with the Flames likely having a great offensive night, the Flames captain is sure to be involved. With value picks at both wing and center, it’s feasible to afford Burns, Klingberg, or Jones with Giordano. If you must, drop down to Edler.
Top FanDuel NHL Goalies: Jan 25th
There are so many great goalies on the ice tonight, it can be overwhelming. Until you look at the match ups. Many of our favorite goalies have rough match ups against great, or currently hot, offenses tonight. So we’re fading goalies like Tuuka Rask and Carter Hutton on Thursday night. Even Sergei Bobrovsky ($8,500) could be risky in Arizona.
Instead, our two favorite goalies tonight are Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,400) and Casey DeSmith ($7,400). Fleury is only giving up 1.75 goals per game and has the .944 save percentage this season. That’s the best among all goaltenders in the NHL. Yet, for some reason FanDuel continues to price Fleury well below the top, and mid-range, goalies. That may be due to the lower amount of shots from the solid defense in Vegas, but he’s almost a lock every night for 20+ FanDuel NHL points.
Meanwhile, the Penguins are in need of help at goalie, with Matt Murray dealing with a very personal matter. Casey DeSmith appears to be filling in just nicely. In his last three starts, all in January, Casey is 2-1, giving up a total of only four games on 100 shots. During that time, DeSmith is averaging nearly 30 FanDuel NHL points-per-game. The Wild have some offense lately, but they’re only averaging 2.61 goals per game on road-ice, eighth worst int he NHL.
So, after reviewing all of our favorite options, here’s an example of a lineup we put together for Thursday, January 25th:
C Eichel (BUF $7,800)
C Byron (MON $4,300)
W Marchessault (VGK $7,200)
W Tkachuk (CGY$6,600)
W Smith (VGK $5,300)
W Perlini (ARI $3,400)
D Jones (CLS $6,000)
D Giordano (CGY $5,900)
G Fleury (VGK $8,400)
Note: This is a recommended lineup after discussing our top options for the week. You should use this as a guide, and provide your own input when building FanDuel NHL lineups. We are not telling you, or selling you, to use this lineup.
Best of luck in your FanDuel NHL contests and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR for all your DFS news and analysis across NHL, NBA, EPL, and NFL this fall!