Tuesday's NHL docket features only two games, but just because there are fewer options available that doesn't mean you should be less diligent in setting your lineup. The key to maximizing production on a night like this is to identify the teams you believe will win, and to stack your lineup with players from their rosters. Additionally, it is important to mix in some top value plays from the underdogs so as to gain separation from the hordes of people filling their lineups with favorites. You can afford to be a bit more conservative in your approach to cash games than GPPs, but the players listed below make for a solid core regardless of format.
Karri Ramo, CGY at ANH ($31) - Ramo is the cheapest goaltending option and makes for an enticing play against the lowest-scoring team in the Western Conference. His counterpart, Frederik Andersen, has been absolutely atrocious in four of his last five appearances, which means Ramo is in a decent position to extend his winning streak to three games Tuesday in Anaheim.
Goalie to Avoid:
Craig Anderson, OTT at DAL ($34) - The Stars rank first in wins and second in goals, making them a terrible opponent for fantasy netminders. Many will be tempted to use Anderson coming off back-to-back shutouts, but the opponent and Anderson's middling 2.61 GAA dictate otherwise.
Ryan Getzlaf, ANH vs. CGY ($23) - Getzlaf put up just one point in eight games prior to his appendectomy, but has returned with a vengeance since, registering eight points in his last nine appearances. His plus-3 rating in the latter span is indicative of Anaheim's better play as a team recently, and playing at home against the NHL's worst defensive team will present the superstar with an excellent opportunity to improve even further on his recent impressive production.
Center to Avoid:
Vernon Fiddler, DAL vs. OTT ($15) - Fiddler has been a productive fourth-line center for the Stars this season, but a fourth-liner nonetheless. It was only a matter of time until his output declined due to a lack of playing time, and, sure enough, Fiddler has just 3.0 total fantasy points in his last four outings combined.
Patrick Eaves, DAL vs. OTT ($14) - Eaves has been thrust into a second-line role since returning from a lower-body injury, and he can be expected to start scoring now that he's had three games to get his legs back under him. The veteran winger recorded 27 points in 47 games with the Stars last season, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him get back on a similar pace as long as he continues to skate alongside talented center Jason Spezza.
Mason Raymond, CGY at ANH ($12) - Raymond strangely found himself on Calgary's top line in his return to the lineup Friday after serving as a healthy scratch for six games. He is expected to reprise that role if Jiri Hudler (illness) still isn't fit to play, and anyone skating alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan is worth a look, especially at the minimum price. Raymond managed 6.0 fantasy points Friday against Chicago, and Anaheim is a much less formidable foe.
Wing to Avoid:
Michael Frolik, CGY at ANH ($18) - Frolik has struggled lately, topping 4.0 fantasy points just once in his last six games. His playing time has coincidentally dropped a bit during this drought, making it tough to pay $18 for the scuffling winger.
John Klingberg, DAL vs. OTT ($26) - The price isn't cheap, but it's hard to justify leaving the red-hot defenseman out of your lineup. Klingberg has two goals, six assists and a plus-7 rating during Dallas' five-game winning streak, and has found his way onto the scoresheet in nine of his last 10 home games. Roll the NHL's leading point-getter among blueliners out with confidence against a Senators team that ranks in the bottom half of the league defensively.
T.J. Brodie, CGY at ANH ($18) - Brodie's six points through 12 games have him playing at a 41-point pace if extrapolated to a full season, and it's easy to make the argument that he has been Calgary's best defenseman during his time in the lineup this season. The Flames have won three of their last four games, and Brodie has been a big part of that success with two points, nine shots and 10 blocks in that span. His all-around ability is what makes Brodie such a valuable hockey player, both in real life and in fantasy.
Defensemen to Avoid:
Chris Wideman, OTT at DAL ($17) - Wideman's three goals on the season are the result of a 15.8 percent shooting percentage that he never approached at the AHL level, suggesting regression is in order. Considering Wideman's lack of playing time (15:14 time on ice per game), and matchup against the team atop the NHL standings, it's best to leave him off your roster Tuesday.
Dougie Hamilton, CGY at ANH ($17) - It's tough to justify investing $17 in Hamilton when teammate T.J. Brodie can be had for just one dollar more. Hamilton has one less point than Brodie despite playing nine extra games, and his unenviable minus-5 rating is part of the reason that the former Bruin toils on Calgary's second pairing while Brodie and the more expensive Mark Giordano get the premium minutes.