The seven-game slate Thursday to close November provides ample opportunity for daily fantasy success, but only if you can find the best values. Here are some ideas.
Jonathan Quick, LA at WSH ($30): Quick's pricing puts him in the bottom half of goalies playing Thursday, and you would think that's because of Washington's supposedly dangerous offense. In actuality, the Capitals rank 16th in the NHL with 2.88 goals per game, a figure that drops to 2.75 at home. Quick is coming off consecutive wins that saw him allow just one goal in each game, so he should be considered a bargain.
Goalie to Avoid:
Devan Dubnyk, MIN vs. VGK ($32): It's been quite the season of ups and downs for Dubnyk – after shutouts in three consecutive games, the Saskatchewan native allowed at least four goals in four straight, including the six-goal barrage he endured in his last outing. Vegas has been one of the most potent offenses in the league this season and kept it up in November by averaging 3.33 goals per game, which does not improve Dubnyk's outlook.
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Dylan Larkin, DET vs. MON ($17): When considering forwards in daily fantasy, ice time and opportunities to score are paramount, which is what makes Larkin such an intriguing option at this relatively cheap price. The University of Michigan product has fired 18 shots on goal and averaged 20:40 of ice time, including 2:48 on the power play, in the last six games. The Canadiens could roll out Antti Niemi on the second half of their back-to-back, making Larkin all the more appealing.
Center to Avoid:
Nicklas Backstrom, WAS vs. LA ($23): Since rejoining Alex Ovechkin on the top line, Backstrom's productivity has picked up, as he now has four assists in the last three games. That said, the Swedish pivot has not lit the lamp himself since Oct. 14 and might find it difficult to against the proficient Jonathan Quick and a solid Kings defense. At Backstrom's price, goals should be more likely.
Filip Forsberg, NSH vs. VAN ($25): Forsberg has found the scoresheet at least once in every home game this season, as he's now totaled nine goals and 17 points in just 11 games at Bridgestone Arena. It's also nice that the 23-year-old has a plus-6 rating in his last eight games. His Thursday fee is a bit on the pricey side, but if you can fit him into the budget, he's a great bet to give you some offensive production.
Mitch Marner, TOR at EDM ($17): Marner has fallen into something of a sophomore slump, but Thursday's matchup is quite advantageous and could allow him to break away from his downward trend. The Oilers are the worst penalty killing team in the league, finding success only 73.2 percent of the time, and will send out the mediocre Laurent Brossoit in goal Thursday. Marner, a power-play specialist who has taken 15 shots in the last four games, could very well break through.
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Wings to Avoid:
Jamie Benn, DAL at CHI ($27): Benn is riding a four-game scoreless streak that has seen him record eight shots on goal and record a minus-1 rating. The Stars' captain seems a bit out of sorts centering the first line and running without Tyler Seguin, so a trip to Chicago, where the home team has been stout, allowing just 2.45 goals per game, is probably not what the doctor ordered.
Brock Boeser, VAN at NSH ($18): The back end of the Canucks' six-game road trip has been a disaster for Boeser – the second-year winger has not record a point and has a minus-4 rating in his last two games. The stretch serves as a microcosm for the 20-year-old's season, as he has recorded a minus-3 rating and half of his points on the road despite playing in six more games than at home. Nashville's hostile environment probably won't help Thursday.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI at CGY ($18): Ekman-Larsson has been on an offensive rampage lately, scoring four goals and adding three helpers in his last six games. In fact, OEL has been so hot that he now ranks second on the Coyotes in points. He'll have a good chance to keep the party going against a Calgary team that allows 3.25 goals per game at home.
Jan Rutta, CHI vs. DAL ($14): Rutta continues to carve out a nice role in his rookie season, as he's averaged 21:57 of ice time over the last eight games and has managed six points and a plus-2 rating over that span. The 27-year-old has also been comfortable on home ice this season, posting a plus-9 rating and seven points in 11 games at United Center. His low price makes him a nice value Thursday.
Defensemen to Avoid:
Oscar Klefbom, EDM vs. TOR ($19): Klefbom has not recorded a point in six consecutive games and shows a horrific minus-8 rating over that span. The Swedish defenseman hasn't shown a lot of offensive prowess in general this season, and the fact that Brossoit is getting the start against a high-powered Toronto offense could continue to sink Klefbom's plus-minus to even lower depths.
Nikita Zaitsev, TOR at EDM ($19): Zaitsev found the back of the net in each of his last two games to match his career high, but there's no reason to think that he'll keep up that sort of production despite the decently cushy matchup – the Russian blueliner does not operate with either power-play unit and has taken just 29 shots on goal this season. There are better options at a similar or lower price Thursday.