RotoWire Partners

FanDuel NHL: Value Plays for the Week

Michael Clifford

Michael Clifford writes about fantasy hockey for RotoWire. He was a FSWA finalist in 2015 and 2013 for Hockey Writer of the Year. Former SportsNet hockey columnist, where he churned out four articles a week.

It is Tuesday again, which means itís time for another FanDuel bargain bin column here at RotoWire.

Last week went just fine, as Jason Demers, Teuvo Teravainen, and Leon Draisaitl all had very good games at certain points. As always, there will be misses: Riley Nash went pointless but at least he wasnít a negative Ė but those three or four points from cheap players are extremely valuable. Remember, these are guys in good situations that give salary relief, not a foundation of a lineup.

The list includes a player at each FanDuel position, and all the skaters will be (at time of writing, at least) priced $4,000 or less. There will also be a couple of cheap goalies at the end.


Cedric Paquette (Tampa Bay) - $3,400

There is a small caveat placed here. As Iím writing this, word is coming down the Lightning have called up a forward from their farm team. Paquette is listed as day-to-day, so it would seem there is a distinct possibility he may miss Tuesday nightís game. Keep an eye on RotoWireís updates for more as information becomes available.

With that said, there is another injury for Tampa Bay that has opened up a spot for Paquette. Forward Ondrej Palat will miss somewhere around a month. He left the game early on Saturday, and Paquette was in Palatís spot on the top power play unit.

Tampa Bay has Buffalo, Calgary, and Florida this week, and theyíre all home games. Those three teams are ranked by shot attempts allowed per minute while short-handed at 29th, 21st, and 25th in the NHL. It should be a good week for the Tampa power play and if Paquette is in the lineup, he can be a cheap source of power play points. Heís fine to use for any game.

Right Wing

Andre Burakovsky (Washington) - $4,000

Despite the early success, there has been a little bit of a shakeup in the Washington line combinations. Justin Williams was moved down to the third line, and Andre Burakovsky took his place on the second line beside Nicklas Backstrom.

On a points per 60 minutes basis at five-on-five since the start of the 2014 season, Burakovsky ranks fourth on the Capitals at 1.70. That mark is better than both Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Itís not elite production, but not bad for a kid that doesnít turn 21 until February.

Washington, at least at even strength, has a good schedule this week: Detroit, Philadelphia, and Calgary are 26th, 30th, and 19th in scoring chances allowed per minute. Considering the opponents will likely be focusing on the top line with Alex Ovechkin, and those in-game matchups could be very fortuitous for the Washington second line.

A final note here: in limited action (a little over 235 minutes), the Capitals average 66.87 shot attempts per 60 minutes when Burakovsky and Backstrom are on the ice together. That is a very solid mark, and again, Iím fine using Burakovsky in any of those three games as long as heís still on Backstromís wing.

Left Wing

Joonas Donskoi (San Jose) - $3,300

It is still early, so final determinations on anything arenít ideal right now. There are trends that can be used, though, and this is a good one so far: from the app developed by Emmanuel Perry, the line of Joonas Donskoi, Joe Thornton, and Joe Pavelski have managed 33.49 scoring chances per 60 minutes. For reference, thatís fifth out of 24 lines in the NHL that have played at least 100 minutes together, and ahead of such noted lines like the Jeff Carter line in Los Angeles, the Tyler Seguin line in Dallas, and the Tomas Plekanec line in Montreal.

Donskoi was drafted in 2010 by the Panthers, but played five more seasons in Finland. He was signed as a free agent by the Sharks, and now has three points in nine games with a plus-5 rating this season.

The Sharks have a home game against the New York Islanders on Tuesday, and the only team giving up a higher rate of scoring chances per 60 minutes at even strength than the Islanders are the Philadelphia Flyers. In short, the Islanders have been horrendous defensively this year. I have no issue at all using Donskoi against them on Tuesday since itís a great matchup.


Yannick Weber (Vancouver) - $3,900

This is Weberís second appearance in this column this year. For whatever reason, the Vancouver Canucks insist on using Yannick Weber on the top power play unit. He plays alongside the Sedin twins, Radim Vrbata, and Alexander Edler. In other words, Weber plays with a whole lot of talent.

Vancouver is on the road this week, playing three road games in the Eastern Conference. Those three games are against Columbus, Ottawa, and Toronto on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday respectively. The thing with those three teams is, in order, they are 29th, 28th, and 21st by penalty kill percentage, and 28th, 21st, and 6th in shot attempts allowed per minute while short-handed.

It seems like the Toronto power play should turn around as their goaltending improves. Also, Calgary doesnít take a ton of penalties. That leaves Columbus, who show no indication of turning around their abysmal penalty kill. I would use Weber on Tuesday.


Alex Stalock (San Jose) - $6,800

Stalock had a bad couple of starts to begin the year, but was very solid in his last game, stopping 31 of 33 shots in a win against Florida.

He has had an up-and-down career to date, but that is generally the nature of backup goalies in the NHL. With that said, this weekend, the Sharks are home to Detroit on Friday and Buffalo on Saturday. Considering how Stalock looked in his last game and the back-to-back situation, he should get a start this weekend. At his price, he is a great tournament option as he helps fit in more expensive line stacks.

Anders Nilsson (Edmonton) - $6,300

The Edmonton Oilers are on the road this week and have three games in four nights, starting with a back-to-back situation in Anaheim and Arizona on Wednesday and Thursday. Given the disparity of those two teams, I would imagine Nilsson gets the start against the Coyotes on Thursday.

Like Stalock, Nilsson is an ideal tournament play because of his price. When playing GPPs on that big slate, be sure to put Nilsson in at least one lineup.

Good luck this week!

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.