Sunday's evening NHL slate is a modest one, with just eight teams in action. There figures to be plenty of high quality hockey nonetheless, with all but two of those teams ranking among the top 11 in the league standings. The two outliers (Detroit and Dallas) are naturally the best candidates to stack against, but there's value to be found across the board if you know where to look.
Antti Raanta, NYR at DET ($31): With Henrik Lundqvist out for two to three weeks with a strained hip, Raanta is expected to man the Rangers crease for the foreseeable future. The affordable backup has outplayed his price all season with a 13-6-0 record, 2.32 GAA and .922 save percentage. He's facing the only bottom-10 offense in action, so it's safe to expect Raanta to continue excelling here.
Goalie to Avoid
John Gibson, ANH vs. WAS ($37): Gibson looked shaky Friday in his first outing following a six-game absence, as he allowed four goals in a loss to the Blues. Getting back on track won't be any easier against a Capitals team that ranks third in the league with 3.23 goals per game.
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Devin Shore, DAL at SJ ($12)
: Shore's role on the second line and second power-play unit makes him a strong value play at the minimum price, especially with Sharks goalie Martin Jones
likely sitting for the second game of a back-to-back. Using Shore allows you to maintain maximum flexibility throughout the rest of your lineup while also separating from the pack with an uncommon pick. Those with a little more money to spend should also give serious consideration to New York's Mika Zibanejad
Center to Avoid
Evgeny Kuznetsov, WAS at ANH ($21)
: Kuznetsov has unsurprisingly failed to get on the scoresheet in his past three games heading into the weekend, as he's skating on a line with a slumping Alex Ovechkin
and unskilled grinder Tom Wilson
. Getting back on track will be difficult against the league's seventh-stingiest defensive team.
Jannik Hansen, SJ vs. DAL ($16)
: Hansen's stock should skyrocket with his new team, but his price still hasn't changed since the two-way forward was shipped from the lowly Canucks to the contending Sharks at the trade deadline. His first two games with San Jose have yielded an assist and a plus-1 rating, and things should only get better for Hansen as he gets acclimated to skating on the top line with Joe Thornton
and Joe Pavelski
. This matchup with a Stars team that has surrendered 3.21 goals per game should help ease that process.
Pavel Buchnevich, NYR at DET ($12)
: Regardless of Rick Nash
's (upper body) status, Buchnevich is expected to skate on the top line for this favorable matchup with a Red Wings team that has allowed 3.00 goals per game. The Russian rookie's 17 points in 31 games translate to a 45-point pace for a full season, showing that he's more than capable of holding his own in that role. It's not every day you can find this combination of skill, opportunity and opponent for the minimum price.
Wings to Avoid
Jordan Eberle, EDM vs. MON ($17)
: There's some merit to the idea of using Oilers players with Canadiens goaltender Carey Price
either playing through the flu or sitting entirely, but Eberle is going to have trouble living up to his $17 price regardless of who's manning the Montreal crease. He has struggled badly when separated from superstar center Connor McDavid
, and has once again lost his top line right wing spot to Leon Draisaitl
. Eberle suffered through a stretch in which he went without a point in 22 of 27 games the last time he was separated from McDavid, and there's little reason to believe he'll be any more productive this time.
Jamie Benn, DAL at SJ ($27)
: Benn has come up short of his season ice time average in six consecutive contests, seeing fewer than 18 minutes in four of those. That's not the trend you want to see from such an expensive winger heading into a matchup with the second-stingiest defensive team in the NHL.
Shea Weber, MON at EDM ($25)
: Weber's 21 power-play points are tops on his team and third among NHL defensemen, and he has a golden opportunity to add to that total here against an Oilers team that ranks 23rd on the penalty kill at 79.5 percent. Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot
has also struggled in matchups with the Eastern Conference, having posted a 2.71 GAA against such foes this season. Weber won't come cheap, but his strong potential for offensive contributions makes the star blueliner worth his $25 price tag.
John Klingberg, DAL at SJ ($17)
: Klingberg is another Star in position to take advantage of Jones' absence. The surging defenseman has three goals, five assists and a plus-5 rating in his past seven games, and is primed to capitalize on the power play against a surprisingly middling Sharks penalty kill that has operated at only 81.7 percent. Klingberg's offensive upside makes him a worthy gamble at just $17.
Defensemen to Avoid
Kevin Shattenkirk, WAS at ANH ($20)
: Shattenkirk's power-play prowess is his biggest asset, but that aspect of his game will be limited by a fourth-ranked Ducks penalty kill that has denied 85.0 percent of opposing opportunities. Wait for a more favorable matchup to use the high-scoring blueliner, as his defensive zone deficiencies make Shattenkirk a risky play otherwise.
Brady Skjei, NYR at DET ($17)
: Skjei has scored at least 1.1 fewer fantasy points per contest than every other blueliner with a salary of at least $17. Making up that gap will be difficult despite this plus matchup. Given the skill possessed by some similarly-priced alternatives, Skjei simply isn't worth this investment.
The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.