A nine-game slate Tuesday presents a number of opportunities to excel for the right price. Letís take a look at some of the best values.
Robin Lehner, BUF vs. OTT ($27)
Despite pulling out just one win in the last three games, Lehner has managed an excellent .940 save percentage over that span despite seeing an astounding 133 shots on goal. The high volume of shots leads to gaudy fantasy point totals, and on Tuesday, the Swede gets to face an Ottawa team that has been shutout in three of their last four games, making him a great value at this price.
Goalie to Avoid
Cory Schneider, NJ vs. LA ($32)
Schneider gave up five goals to the Blue Jackets his last time out, but other than that heís been mostly serviceable. However, the Massachusetts native ends up in this section of the article because heíll have to face a Los Angeles team Tuesday that has won eight straight games while scoring three goals or more in all but one of them. Because his chance of getting a win is so low, Schneider isnít worth the coin.
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Jonathan Toews, CHI vs. FLA ($18)
Prior to being held off the scoresheet Sunday, Toews had managed a point in four consecutive contests and is averaging three shots on goal per game including Sundayís win over Arizona. The Blackhawksí captain is still seeing significant time with the teamís first power-play unit, averaging 3:42 of ice time per game on the season, and will have the chance to feast on a poor Florida goalie corps on the second half of a back-to-back.
Center to Avoid
Sean Couturier, PHI vs. TOR ($23)
The Flyers have certainly not struggled as much recently as they did while they were on their 10-game losing streak, but Couturierís individual play has not been up to snuff of late anyway -- the 25-year-old has been held goalless with two assists and 10 shots on goal in the last five games, and he has taken more than two shots in a game just once over that span. Those arenít great odds, so you can pass here.
James Neal, VGK vs. CAR ($20)
After a five-game pointless streak, Neal seems to be back on track, posting two goals and two assists while launching 17 shots on goal in the last three contests. The veteran winger, like the rest of his nascent team, has very much enjoyed playing at home, as he now has 12 points in 13 games in Las Vegas. Heíll look to stay hot against a Carolina team that has allowed 18 goals in the first five games of December.
Marian Gaborik, LA @ NJ ($14)
Perhaps itís just a coincidence that the Kings have won eight straight games and Gaborik returned from an offseason knee injury nine games ago, but the 35-year-oldís numbers speak for themselves -- Gaborik has six points and a plus-5 rating and has already established himself as a power-play specialist serving with the first unit. Heíll look to attain his first power-play point Tuesday against a New Jersey team that has been just okay while down a man.
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Wings to Avoid
Taylor Hall, NJ vs. LA ($25)
Hall is on a point-per-game pace to this point in the campaign, but his daily fantasy metrics have mostly been boom-or-bust due to his tendency to get burned on defense -- the 2010 #1 draft pick has a minus-4 rating in his last six contests, which has led to negative fantasy points in four of those outings. The Kings should provide a tough matchup on both ends of the ice, so you canít count on Hall at this price.
Milan Lucic, EDM @ CLS ($18)
Lucicís five goals, including two on the power play, in the last four games have pushed him into a tie for second on the team in points. That said, his prominent role with the man advantage isnít likely to help him Tuesday, as the Blue Jackets are one of the most adept teams at killing penalties in the league, finding success 85.7 percent of the time in that regard. Donít count on Lucic here.
Aaron Ekblad, FLA @ CHI ($17)
Ekblad has emerged as an offensive powerhouse for the Panthers, converting his 22 shots on goal into three goals and adding an assist along the way in the last five games. If this Florida squad is going to put up points on a solid Chicago defense, itís going to have to start on the stick of the 2014 first overall draft pick. At this price, itís worth the bet to find out if they can.
Matt Niskanen, WSH vs. COL ($17)
Niskanen presents an affordable option on the blue line Tuesday. Prior to a down game in Mondayís loss to the Islanders, the 31-year-old had recorded five points and a plus-9 rating in the seven previous games. He sees time on both the power play and the penalty kill, and may be able to take advantage of a Colorado defense that allows 3.32 goals per game on average.
Defensemen to Avoid
Victor Hedman, TB @ STL ($24)
Hedman, a 72-point scorer last season, is stuck in a seven-game pointless rut despite averaging a ridiculous 26:48 of ice time over that period. Things arenít bound to get better for the Swedish blueliner Tuesday, as he will face one of the stouter defenses in the league, as St. Louis is allowing just 2.52 goals per game and has allowed three goals or fewer in their last five contests.
Mark Giordano, CGY @ MIN ($19)
Giordano contributes offensively here and there, but continues to be a defensive liability in his own zone, as his minus-6 rating in the last seven games will attest. The Wild have been decently effective on home ice, managing 3.00 goals per game, so Giordano and his heavy dosage of ice time could continue to sink that plus-minus rating even lower Tuesday.