There may be only two games on this Friday, but there is still plenty of value to consider when building your lineups. Here are some of my favorite optionsÖ
Jimmy Howard, DET vs. BUF ($8,000): Howard continues to be stout in between the pipes for the Red Wings and will look to do so at home on Friday. He has eclipsed 20 fantasy points in each of his last three starts and faces a Sabres team averaging just 2.82 goals per game on the road. Heís a solid bet to come away with a win, as the Sabres are just 3-5-3 on the road this season and heís still very affordable.
Kevin Hayes, NYR at CBJ ($4,600): Hayes has a goal and an assist in his last two games and has skated well on the Rangersí second line. Centering Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash, Hayes is able to get the puck to those guys in good scoring situations. The Blue Jackets have had some trouble with defending centers and are running a bit thin upfront of late with Alexander Wennberg out due to injury. Heís a nice bargain that generally sees solid ice time.
Frans Nielsen, DET vs. BUF ($4,600): With points in four of his last five games (two goals, three assists), Nielsen has held down his role on the third line for the Red Wings while still seeing solid minutes. Heís on the ice in all situations including on the powerplay and penalty kill where he is a notorious threat shorthanded and already has one goal shorthanded this season. Heís sees a boost in upside facing a Buffalo team that has all sorts of issues defensively.
Sam Reinhart, BUF at DET ($4,500): In a move that should have been made weeks ago, Reinhart is skating on the first line for the Sabres with Jack Eichel and Evander Kane. He came through in his last game with a goal and two assists and has been more aggressive in shooting the puck skating with the two top line players. Heís seeing power play time and his severely underpriced in this spot.
Andreas Athanasiou, DET vs. BUF ($4,500): Athanasiou has been playing some great hockey, especially of late with three goals and an assist in his last two games and 13 total shots on goal in his last three. Heís skating on the second line with Tomas Tatar and Dylan Larkin forming a trio of speedsters that can produce effectively. Perhaps his biggest asset is his speed, which makes him a breakaway waiting to happen anytime he takes a shift. Heís been skating on the second power-play unit but could move up to the top unit if he continues his strong play.
Michael Grabner, NYR at CBJ ($4,200): Grabner, who isnít your typical fourth line winger, is instant offense whenever he takes the ice. Heís produced four goals in his last five games, scored two goals in his last game against the Blue Jackets, and has lit the lamp eight times overall this season. He has tremendous speed, making him a mismatch to most and a good penalty killer who can create scoring chances with that speed. He wonít be highly owned at all but is a nice play to consider on this short slate.
Mike Green, DET vs. BUF ($4,700): I wrote up Green the other day and he rewarded big time with three assists against the Calgary Flames. The three helpers gave him 16 for the season. He has double-digit fantasy points in four of his last six games and even with all of his production, his salary is the lowest itís been all season. I like this play a lot against a suspect Buffalo defense.
Seth Jones, CBJ vs NYR ($5,100): Jones may not be cheap relative to this slate, but overall heís a value option based on his production, especially against the Rangers. In two games this season against them, he has one goal and two assists and heís hurt them in the past. Heís an offensive threat against a team that is bad against defensemen and will be productive in this spot.