There are only three games on tap for Wednesday, so choosing the right matchups is imperative for fantasy success. Here are some options…
Corey Crawford, CHI @ STL ($33)
Crawford has looked Vezina-worthy to start the 2017-18 campaign, leading the NHL in save percentage and GAA. The price is a bit high, but he’s actually way more affordable than the highest offering and is a good bet for a solid game against a St. Louis team that currently ranks 17th in the league with 2.83 goals per game.
Goalie to Avoid
Jake Allen, STL vs. CHI ($33)
On the other side of the ice we find Allen, who is coming off two poor showings that saw him allow seven total goals on his way to losses in both contests. With the Blues playing a back-to-back Wednesday and Thursday, Carter Hutton could get the nod over Allen in Wednesday’s contest, but neither option would be advisable against a Blackhawks offense that has so far been one of the league’s best.
Tyler Toffoli, LAK vs. MON ($17)
Toffoli has established himself as a power-play specialist thus far (2:55 of average ice time), notching a goal and an assist along the way. Add in the fact that Toffoli has 19 shots on goal total, and he makes for a nice value play against a Montreal defense that has struggled mightily and is playing the second game of a back-to-back Wednesday.
Center to Avoid
Auston Matthews, TOR vs. DET ($30)
Matthews has been absolutely superb to start the campaign, but his lofty Wednesday price is a full $8 higher than the next closest center. The sophomore sensation would need to score significantly higher than everyone else to make it worth it, which is a risky venture with the Maple Leafs on the second half of a back-to-back.
Richard Panik, CHI @ STL ($18)
Panik has enjoyed the Blackhawks’ offensive burst, as his presence on the first line with Jonathan Toews and especially Brandon Saad has proven beneficial to his DFS stats. The Czech winger’s consistent pairing with Saad at even strength and on the power play makes the two players an attractive stack Wednesday.
Justin Abdelkader, DET @ TOR ($14)
Abdelkader has been a reliable presence on this Red Wings team during its good start, logging 18:03 of average ice time, including 2:51 on the power play, and taking at least two shots on goal in every game but one. It’s not inconceivable that the Michigan native and his power-play unit could crack the Toronto defense and beat backup Curtis McElhinney for at least a couple of scores Wednesday.
Wings to Avoid
Max Pacioretty, MON @ LAK ($26)
Even with the miserable season he has had to this point, Pacioretty continues to be priced as a premium option, as he enters Wednesday’s slate with the third highest price tag among wings. It’s only a matter of time before the Connecticut native breaks out of this slump, but don’t count on it coming against Jonathan Quick and a Kings team that has been excellent defensively thus far.
Anthony Mantha, DET @ TOR ($18)
Mantha has been great at times this season, but his overall stat line screams inconsistency, which is the last thing you want when looking for an option in DFS or even full-season formats. The 23-year-old’s ice time in each game, both at even strength and on the power play, has varied wildly and he’s been basically a hail-mary each game in terms of point production, making him a risky play Wednesday.
Alec Martinez, LAK vs. MON ($17)
After missing the first three games of the season to a lower-body injury, Martinez has been solid in his first two contests, recording an assist, five shots on goal and five blocked shots while averaging 23:48 of ice time — including 2:52 on the power play. His pairing with Jake Muzzin, who is having a productive season, should only continue to be beneficial, but the price is most right for Martinez on Wednesday.
Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. DET ($16)
Rielly has been an integral piece of Toronto’s stupendous season to this point, occupying spots on the top defensive pairing and with the top power-play unit. The 23-year-old has managed five assists and no goals to start the campaign, but his high shot volume (20 through five games) suggests that that first one could be coming. At this value, it’s worth potentially finding out.
Defensemen to Avoid
Shea Weber, MON @ LAK ($24)
Weber and Alex Pietrangelo carry the highest price tag for defensemen Wednesday, though the latter has been significantly more productive than the former to this point in the campaign. Weber finally found twine Tuesday night, but didn’t even take a shot on goal in Saturday’s loss to Toronto. The goal totals we’ve come to expect will come eventually, but the odds aren’ good against Jonathan Quick on Wednesday.
Duncan Keith, CHI @ STL ($21)
While Keith’s role in the Blackhawks’ good start should not be understated, the veteran defenseman’s contributions have mainly been on the defensive end of the ice. Although there’s plenty of potential for Chicago to score in St. Louis on Tuesday, the Blues are solid enough on both ends of the ice to make Keith a non-factor and, therefore, not worth his relatively high price.