This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
There are five games on tap but only four will be available for play with the Blackhawks and Flyers opening their seasons in Prague. The Jets get first look at the new-look Devils, the Leafs will try to keep their mojo going in Columbus after thumping the Senators in their home opener, and the Capitals will try to do the same on Long Island after an overtime win against the defending champion Blues. The Knights drew first blood against the Sharks on Wednesday and they're must-watch TV again tonight, averaging 6.44 goals per game through nine meetings during the regular season.
Frederik Andersen ($8,800) will be a popular pick because the Jackets no longer have Sergei Bobrovsky, but the safer play may be Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,600), who improved to 4-1-0 against Sharks in a Knights jersey after Wednesday's tilt. Nate Schmidt (lower body) will not play but Erik Karlsson (personal) may also miss the game, though the Knights have more quality depth and smaller skates to fill.
One of the two most intriguing plays will be Cory Schneider ($7,300), who had a .921 save percentage in his last 17 games to close out last season after battling hip and groin injuries, though the Jets offense is very scary.
The other is Ilya Samsonov ($7,500), a highly-regarded prospect who won the backup job after splitting starts and carrying a veteran Hershey squad to the AHL division finals. The Islanders offense struggled last season, ranking 22nd in goals scored (223) and 29th on the power play (14.5%), but they chose not to bolster their forward ranks in the offseason and face a Caps defense that limited the Blues to just 22 shots.
Lars Eller had two assists, including one on the power play, four shots and a blocked shot in over 17 minutes of ice time in Evgeny Kuznetsov's absence. He is a good value play again, and the Islanders' goaltending isn't expected to be as good as last season after deciding not to re-sign Robin Lehner.
Cody Glass is also a good value play again, who will continue to center the second line with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone on his wings after scoring a goal and an assist in his first NHL game. Glass played just 15 minutes, but logged the second-most minutes on the power play among forwards.
Columbus folk hero Alexandre Texier ($3,700) is also a great value play, and he will open the season on the top line. The 20-year-old's rise has been meteoric; just one year after being drafted in 2017, he finished the regular season as KalPa's top scorer, scored seven points in eight games for AHL Cleveland and became a key player in a historic upset of the Lightning in the playoffs with three points in eight games.
Danil Yurtaikin and Lean Bergmann didn't register any points in their NHL debuts, but both showed well, especially Yurtaykin, who saw some power-play time with the second unit next to Joe Thornton. They're the only forwards at the minimum price who present notable value.
Jack Hughes ($5,500) will be a popular pick, but Nico Hischier ($5,200) is the better value play as Taylor Hall's center on the top line and both will play on the second power-play unit. The Jets are coming off a 6-4 loss to the Rangers last night and will likely be starting backup Laurent Brossoit.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Texier was a top scorer in the Liiga, Atkinson was a 35-goal scorer even without Artemi Panarin, and Dubois' 13.9 percent career shooting percentage and 61-point performance in his sophomore season indicates elite talent. It may be the cheapest top line but it's still a very good one.
The Jets allowed six goals last night and lost their entire right-side defense over the summer, which is also the side that will have to face Hall. Palmieri is an underrated finisher with four straight 20-goals seasons and a shooting percentage that has never dipped below 12 percent (that's good) as a Devil.
The trio combined for two goals and five points in Vegas in a brilliant debut for Glass. The Sharks defense, especially without Erik Karlsson, is a little thin and goaltending continues to be worrisome. It is slightly cheaper than William Karlsson's line but presents more upside.
Ehlers had three helpers, Wheeler almost single-handedly staged a comeback against the Rangers, and along with Scheifele combined for six points and 21 shots on net. The Devils defense won't be as porous but they're still not great, which makes the premium for this high-octane trio palatable.
Brent Burns ($7,400) is going to play a lot of minutes again if Karlsson doesn't play, and like anything he does it's all about volume. He played 26 minutes on Wednesday when no other Sharks defenseman cracked 20, and also led the team with six minutes of power-play time and four shots on goal. However, this matchup will be difficult and there's not a lot of value at this price.
Seth Jones ($6,200) is one of the safer value picks because he can score and contributes in every category, and the Leafs' juggernaut offense will definitely give him plenty of chances to block shots. He led all Jackets defensemen in points, shots and blocked shots last season, and he's also the only one to play on both the top power play and penalty killing units.
Both Nicolas Hague and Jimmy Schuldt, who scored a power-play goal against the Sharks in their final preseason game, can run the second unit, but Shea Theodore ($5,000) will still likely hog all the minutes with the man advantage. He did just that on Wednesday against the Sharks, skating all but 17 seconds of the power play, contributing three shots and blocking two more.