Four games on Wednesday’s docket means that exploiting the right matchups will be the key to daily fantasy success. Let’s look at some of the best values…
Carey Price, MON vs. OTT ($25)
Price returned from a lower-body injury with a vengeance Saturday by shutting out the Sabres and followed that up Monday by allowing just one goal on 37 shots to the Blue Jackets. The Senators statistically present a bit more of a challenge offensively than the previous two teams, but they are riding a six-game losing streak in which they’ve scored two goals or fewer in each game, making Price a steal Wednesday.
Goalie to Avoid
Craig Anderson, OTT @ MON ($27)
The Senators’ aforementioned losing streak has in many ways been a result of Anderson’s poor play -- the veteran keeper started five of those contests and allowed 14 goals on his way to a .895 save percentage over that span. The Canadiens have scored three goals or more in three of their last four home contests and look revitalized with Price back in net. It could be another rough outing for Anderson as a result.
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Nathan MacKinnon, COL vs. WPG ($18)
It’s been a productive season for MacKinnon overall but it’s been substantially more productive for him when the Avalanche play at home -- despite playing two fewer games in Denver than elsewhere, the 22-year-old has recorded 17 of his 26 points on home ice. MacKinnon has also added 11 points in the last six games, so his Wednesday price seems like a small fee for his potential level of production.
Center to Avoid
Patrice Bergeron, BOS vs. TB ($26)
Bergeron clocks into Wednesday’s slate as the second most expensive option at the center position, though he hasn’t done a whole lot recently to deserve it, posting just two points in his last seven contests. The Lightning have been stingy against opposing offenses, especially on the road, so Bergeron is not a recommended play Wednesday, especially considering the number of injured Bruins forwards.
Brendan Gallagher, MON vs. OTT ($17)
Gallagher is willing to shoot the puck early and often, as he’s taken at least two shots on goal -- attaining as many as six -- in each of his last seven games. The Senators have struggled mightily to keep the puck out of the net lately, allowing three goals or more in eight of their last nine contests, so the door could be wide open for the 25-year-old to find the scoresheet for the second game in a row.
Alexander Steen, STL vs. ANH ($17)
Steen has come on strong after a slow start to the season that was hampered by injury, recording six points in as many games recently. The veteran winger patrols the blue line with Alex Pietrangelo on the team’s first power-play unit where the pair have combined for 12 points this season. Steen and his Western Conference-leading Blues should be able to take advantage of a Ducks team that just gave up seven goals in Chicago.
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Wings to Avoid
Jakob Silfverberg, ANH @ STL ($20)
Prior to getting on the scoresheet twice against the Blackhawks on Monday, Silfverberg had not recorded a point in six straight games and had taken just 13 shots on goal over that span. The Swede has mostly looked lost in the offensive zone with six regular Ducks forwards currently dealing with an injury, and it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll find himself Wednesday against a stout St. Louis defense that allows just 2.63 goals per game.
Yanni Gourde, TB @ BOS ($18)
Gourde went on a scoring spree at the beginning of November, but has since been less involved in the Tampa Bay offensive machine, notching just three points, nine shots on goal, and a minus-1 rating in the last six games. There are a lot of great options on the Lightning, so it’s hard to trust one as inconsistent as Gourde, especially at this price and against a solid defensive team like Boston.
Tyler Myers, WPG @ COL ($17)
Although he only occupies a spot on the second power-play unit, Myers has proven to be especially effective there this season and has recorded five of his last seven points with the man advantage. Colorado currently ranks 27th in the NHL with a 76.2 penalty kill percentage, so the Texas native and his fellow power-play teammates could very well take advantage Wednesday.
Matt Grzelcyk, BOS vs. TB ($14)
This is admittedly a riskier pick, but there are actually several factors working in the rookie defenseman’s favor here. The Massachusetts native’s small amount of ice time has thus far allowed him to attain a plus-4 rating through four games, helpful against an explosive team like Tampa Bay. Additionally, Grzelcyk is a power-play specialist, giving him upside and a real possibility to find the scoresheet against a Lightning team on the second half of a back-to-back.
Defensemen to Avoid
Erik Karlsson, OTT @ MON ($32)
Karlsson is a full $5 more expensive than the next closest defenseman Wednesday despite the fact that the usually-stellar defenseman is mired in a six-game stretch that has seen him score no points and record a hideous minus-9 rating. Price and the Canadiens have been playing much better of late, so Karlsson’s cost is just too high to justify betting that he’ll break out of his slump.
Jacob Trouba, WPG @ COL ($19)
Trouba scores sparingly here and there, but the fact is that he’s just not involved heavily enough in the Jets’ offensive scheme to deploy at his Wednesday price tag. The 23-year-old does not currently maintain a regular spot on the power play and is the holder of just eight points and 56 shots on goal through 24 games this season. He shouldn’t be trusted against a Colorado squad that has been quite stout on home ice this year.