After an exciting Friday night of hockey, the climactic NHL night of the week has arrived with a 10-game slate. With some teams playing on a few days rest and some playing their second game in as many nights, there promises to be some interesting results. Consider some of these value options when building your lineups:
Jimmy Howard, DET vs CBJ ($7,800): Howard has been steady between the pipes for the Red Wings this season with a 6-5 record, save percentage of .927, and goals against average of 2.48. He has the luxury of facing a Blue Jackets team that has to travel to Detroit after an underwhelming home performance Friday night. While a risky play against an offense with plenty of firepower, Howard should see a good amount of shots as the Blue Jackets average the fourth-most shots in the league at over 35 per contest. If Howard’s on – and I believe he will be – he offers a lot of upside at a bargain.
Ryan Johansen, NSH vs PIT ($5,500): The Predators host the Penguins on Saturday after a four-day lay off. The break might have been exactly what Johansen needed as he’s gotten off to an extremely slow start. Conversely, the Penguins are playing their second road game in as many days and have struggled against centers. With Johansen at a discounted price, look for him to produce skating on the top line and power-play unit.
Jordan Staal, CAR vs CHI ($5,200): After two goals on Friday, Staal has now lit the lamp six times while dishing out three assists. Consider pairing him with one of his linemates Teuvo Teravainen or Sebastian Aho in cash games, or stacking the full line in tournaments as all three skaters feature on the club’s first power-play.
Jason Zucker, MIN at PHI ($5,300): The keys to the Wild have belonged to Zucker over the last two games as he has been on fire. Over that span, he has five goals – one on the power play and one shorthanded – with 12 shots on goal. He’s skating with a lot of confidence right now and showed last season that he can be very streaky. At just $5,300, look for him to produce in a big way in a game that could see a lot of scoring.
Vladimir Sobotka, STL vs NYI ($4,200): The Blues hosted the Coyotes on Thursday night and didn’t show up until the third period rolled around. They should come out more inspired on Saturday when they host an Islanders team that were decimated last night in Dallas. Sobotka is a skilled young winger skating on the second line and seeing some power-play minutes. He’s gone scoreless in his last two, but does have three goals and four assists on the season at a very friendly price tag.
Evgeny Dadonov, FLA at NJ ($5,300): One of the chalk darlings from Friday night was Dadonov, who was as high as 45% owned in some FanDuel contests. He rewarded those who selected him by notching a goal, an assist, and five shots on target. I mentioned him as a play in yesterday’s article and definitely recommend him tonight based on his salary and his linemates Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, who have formed one of the league’s better lines.
Mattias Ekholm, NSH vs PIT ($4,300): While paying up for Roman Josi or P.K. Subban is always an option, Ekholm presents as a nice value play on the blue line. With points in three of his last five games, he draws a juicy matchup against the Penguins squad who have allowed a ton of fantasy production to defensemen. Ekholm also sees a boost in upside skating a little over two minutes per game on the power play.
Marco Scandella, BUF at MTL ($3,600): When Rasmus Ristolainen went down with an injury, the massive void in ice time had to be filled and Scandella has stepped in and done most of the heavy lifting. He’s now on the Sabres’ top pairing and power-play unit and has averaged around 25 minutes of ice time in his last four games. At just $3,600, the matchup is solid as the Canadiens are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing defensemen.