Welcome to NHL DFS FanDuel Power Plays. We’re a fantasy hockey column focused on top lineup plays each day. This edition is focused on the Main slate for Tuesday, December 11th 2018.
Last last week we had mixed results. We were on a hot DFS NHL FanDuel run winning almost daily, pegging the right fantasy hockey picks daily. However, our results faded into the weekend, as we began to realize some of the top plays were fading, and new top plays were emerging.
After playing NHL DFS for many years, fantasy season-long hockey for even longer, that wasn’t a surprise. In fact, it was expected and we were on the look-out, but it’s hard to predict. Now, we know who some of the top plays are, and we’ll focus on many of those for our FanDuel NHL lineup on Tuesday night, depending on the right match ups.
Before we get there, a reminder to never take a NHL DFS optimal lineup as ‘bible’ for your personal lineup each day. Use the suggestions as guidance. Also, make sure you follow final lineup thoughts throughout the day on our twitter account @FantasyCPR or me @MattyMcMatt17 look for late breaking lineup news.
Here’s a look at the NHL schedule for the Main slate on Tuesday, December 11th 2018:
Coyotes at Bruins 7pm ET
Kings at Sabres 7pm ET
Maple Leafs at Hurricanes 7pm ET
Canucks at Blue Jackets 7pm ET
Red Wings at Capitals 7:30pm ET NBC Sports Network
Panthers at Blues 8pm ET
Senators at Predators 8pm ET
Canadiens at Wild 8pm ET
Blackhawks at Jets 8pm ET ESPN+
Oilers at Avalanche 9pm ET
As we typically see each year, Tuesday and Thursday are big fantasy hockey nights this week. Tuesday’s slate boasts ten games. The Capitals are hosting the Red Wings on NBC Sports Network and the Blackhawks are traveling to Winnipeg to face a tough Jets team on ESPN+. There are tons of great DFS NHL match ups to consider for Tuesday night.
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So, let’s start building our NHL DFS optimal lineup by looking at the top centers for this slate…
Fantasy Hockey: NHL DFS FanDuel Power Plays Top Centers
The most exciting match up on Tuesday night will be Connor McDavid ($9,200) facing off against Nathan MacKinnon ($8,800) in Colorado. I get it, you have two players who nearly lock in 20 points every time they’re on the ice, with ceilings in the 40 to 60 FanDuel NHL point range.
But paying up for either one, or both, of these top center plays really caps your ability to spread the FanDuel NHL point wealth around your lineup. And on Tuesday, there are just too many great options across the board.
In fact, if you’re going to spend over $8K on a center pick, I would rather go with Auston Matthews ($8,500) against the Hurricanes. Since coming back onto the ice after an extended month-long injury, Matthews has at least one point each game, or six goals and four assists over just five games. This is a chalky play, but Auston will be in a lot of winning fantasy hockey lineups on Tuesday night.
But, with Matthews as eye-candy for many FanDuel NHL players, I really like Jack Eichel ($7,700) on home ice against the Kings instead of Auston. Eichel has fired off at least six to eight shots per game, over the last three straight games, and he has four goals in the last two games, and four assist in the last five games.
With such a favorable match up on home ice Tuesday, and the urge to redeem themselves after getting blown out by the Flyers this past weekend, Jack is set up well to continue to roll against a slow Kings team in a big way.
Typically, I like to go with a value play for my second center pick. However, with so many good, and hot, offensive teams on the board Tuesday, it’s worth considering what other mid-salary range to plays we have available.
Also, for the same reason, there are plenty of other value plays at the winger and defense positions, leaving enough salary left over to spend another $6,800 or less with a second center pick.
That’s perfect, by I was watching Dylan Larkin ($6,700) against the Kings on Monday night and he appears to be locked-in on the ice right now. Hosting the Kings, Larkin scored a goal with two shots and blocked three shots for 20 FanDuel NHL points on Monday.
That’s not unlikely what we’ve been doing since the start of December. And we’re not talking about because of great match ups like against the Kings. Dylan has over 20 points against the Leafs, Bolts, and Islanders. Larkin is hot right now, and I like him even in Washington, D.C. against an unpredictable Holtby, on Tuesday.
Fantasy Hockey: NHL DFS FanDuel Power Plays Top Wingers
Before we get into the rest of the winger options, I’m locked Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,000) into my top wing spot of every lineup I build on Tuesday night. Not just because the Blues, and Jake Allen, have been atrocious this season, but mostly because Huberdeau is having one heck of a season already.
If you’ve followed hockey over the last two years, we’ve seen flashes of greatness from Huberdeau each year, but something, typically an injury, seems to derail the progress he makes throughout each season.
This year, so far, appears to be different. In seven of the last eight games, Huberdeau has at least TWO points (so two goals and/or assists) in seven games. That’s an incredible run. In just 28 games, Jonathan has 34 points and is tied for 16th in the NHL. Especially with this match up, I love Huberdeau on Tuesday.
Before I find a mid-salary range pick at winger, I looked through the value plays. Fortunately, there are three I love. You could either go with two and get a mid-salary range pick, or go with all three and pay up for a more expensive center or defensive option.
The most expensive option of the three is Caps second line, regular and power play, winger Brett Connolly ($4,100). In the last four straight games, Connolly is averaging around 15 minutes of ice time per game, and has a goal and four assists, or at least a one point per game.
Connolly has a great match up against the Red Wings. That makes it hard to avoid playing Brett with a hot, and cheaper, Andrew Shaw ($3,700) on the ice for the Habs and Andreas Johnsson ($3,600) for the Maple Leafs.
You’ve heard/read me talk about Shaw before, but Johnsson is new to the winger value list. Andreas is now playing often on the Maple Leafs second line, and has a power play goal, two total goals, and two assist in the last two games.
In the last five games, Andreas has two goals and five assists. Maybe the fire ends soon, but right now Johnsson is one of the best value plays in NHL DFS. If you go with the two value plays, have at least Johnsson in your lineup.
With Johnsson and either Shaw or Connolly in your lineup, we have enough salary left over to use Sam Reinhart ($5,800) to create a big-value Sabres mini-stack. While Eichel has been hot lately, Reinhart has a goal and/or assist in each of the last six-straight games. In total, Sam has five goals and four assists in that time. If they both stay hot Tuesday, we have a potential 40+ point play with this mini-stack.
Alright, let’s look at a few top picks on defense…
Fantasy Hockey: NHL DFS FanDuel Power Plays Top Defenders
Frankly, my two favorite defenders on Tuesday are John Carlson ($6,800) and Morgan Rielly ($6,500). If you’re going with three value plays at the winger spot, it’s more likely you can play at least one of these two. Of the two, I like Carlson the most. Unfortunately, he’s the most expensive.
However, if you’re going with Reinhart and two value plays at winger, and the fairly expensive center picks, you need to target some better value from two great mid-salary range picks on Tuesday night.
Neither Seth Jones ($5,700) or Keith Yandle ($5,800) are a surprise to anyone who’s been following these posts. We’ve used Jones a lot lately, but he’s only been in more recent posts. Still, Seth has been one of our favorite DFS NHL plays over the last couple of years because of his long-standing offensive streaks that carry his defensive play well into the 20+ FanDuel NHL point range.
Yandle is a similar player to Jones, but has been more consistent. In fact, it’s interesting that Jones is now averaging 14.65 FanDuel points-per-game, while he’s been on an offensive surge. Meanwhile, Yandle continues to hum just below 15 points per game, and has an outstanding match up against a bad hockey team on Tuesday night. I love this combination again.
Fantasy Hockey: NHL DFS FanDuel Power Plays Top Goalies
One of the hardest picks to make for Tuesday night was the goalie position. Braden Holtby ($8,900) is awfully expensive and a streaky player, but he just shut out the Blue Jackets in Columbus a few days ago, saving all 28 shots on goal.
Holtby will be a popular pick, for that reason, on Tuesday night. I was tempted to go that route, but I don’t like how well the Red Wings offense has played in the last couple of weeks. Also, we’re also strongly considering Larkin for a center pick, a clear conflict of interest with Holtby then as a goalie option.
Pekka Rinne ($9,000) is also always at the top of my list each time he’s starting, but I don’t love the match up against an unpredictable set of young offensive players from Ottawa. One match up I do love is the struggling Blackhawks, still trying to find their identity, while traveling to Winnipeg to take on a very good Jets teams.
With that in mind, it’s likely the Jets start a red-hot Connor Hellebuyck ($8,500) in net tonight. If they do, I love this pick. In his last three starts, Hellebuyck is 2-1-0, but has only given up a total of three goals and is averaging around 30 saves per game. In fact, this is nearly a slam dunk for 30 to 40 points, with the possibility for more if he can pull of a shutout, which isn’t out of the question Tuesday.
Fantasy Hockey: FanDuel Power Plays December 11th 2018 Summary
At goalie, I like Rinne and I think Holtby could stay hot, but I’m getting a better value, and could even get a better overall return, from a Hellebuyck pick against the Blackhawks on the Jets home ice.
At defense, I’m tempted to play Carlson if I go with three value wingers in one of my lineups, but in most cases I’m playing Jones with Yandle in hopefully locking in 20 to 40 picks with those picks.
At wingers, I love the Caps Connolly, Habs Shaw, and Johnsson as value plays. If I play just two, then I’m going to do a mini-stack of Reinhart with Eichel in my lineup. If I play all three, I’m likely paying more for a bigger play at center or playing Carlson at defense, as I just pointed out.
And finally, at center I love Eichel to stay hot against terrible Kings defense. I’m tempted to pay up for Matthews, McDavid, or MacKinnon tonight, but Larkin gives me great value and even with Holtby having a great start last game, he’s a streaky net-minder playing a hot offense on Tuesday night.
With that summary in mind, here’s a look at a sample lineup for the NHL DFS FanDuel Main slate on Tuesday, December 11th 2018:
C Jack Eichel ($7,700)
C Dylan Larkin ($6,700)
W Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,000)
W Sam Reinhart ($5,800)
W Brett Connolly ($4,100)
W Andreas Johnsson ($3,600)
D Keith Yandle ($5,800)
D Seth Jones ($5,700)
G Connor Hellebuyck ($8,500)
Remaining Salary: $100
Note: This is a recommended lineup after discussing our top options for the slate. You should use this as a guide, and provide your own input when building NHL DFS FanDuel lineups. We are not telling you, or selling you, to use this lineup.
Best of luck in your NHL DFS FanDuel contests and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR for all your DFS news and analysis across College Football, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, EPL, PGA, and NASCAR this fall!