Cam Talbot, EDM vs. STL ($7,400) – The Blues are playing the second half of their back-to-back in their road trip through Western Canada, and a vaunted offense has suddenly lost its oomph; they’ve been shut out twice in their past five games, and managed to score just four goals in their past four. Talbot, meanwhile, is gunning for his sixth straight win. He should be fresh after being tested just 21 times in a win against the Sharks. There are a lot of good options in net for Thursday’s slate, but Talbot can provide good returns for a relatively inexpensive price.
Nathan MacKinnon, COL at LA ($6,300) – MacKinnon’s on pace for a 90-point season when his career high is just 63 (set in his rookie season), and his dominant performances on the road are also a good sign. He’s starting to emerge as an elite player, and he presents a lot of upside.
Ryan Johansen, NSH vs. CAR ($5,600) – Carolina’s goaltending has been so terrible that Scott Darling is still considered the No. 1 without much debate, even after allowing eight goals against Toronto. Johansen is frustratingly inconsistent, but he’s starting to get hot with four assists in his past four games, and Carolina doesn’t really have anyone who can shut him down one-on-one. Linemates Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson are highly productive, as well, which aligns Johansen for success every game.
Viktor Arvidsson, NSH vs. CAR ($6,500) – He shoots a lot, so that already makes him a valuable fantasy winger. But now he’s facing a team that has arguably one of the worst goaltending tandems in the league. Filip Forsberg ($7,200) is the less risky bet, but both of them play on the top line.
Brock Boeser, VAN at SJ ($6,200) – Did you see what he did to Carey Price? Canucks fans have been treated to a show with one of the league’s most dangerous snipers. He has that rare ability to find the soft spots on the ice, and his ability to finish is also making the Sedins much more effective and productive playmakers. If the Sharks start Martin Jones, Boeser is a must-have.
Gabriel Landeskog, COL at LA ($5,300) – He extended his point streak with an assist following a five-point game against the Lightning, and he’s played well against the Kings throughout his career. That might be because Landeskog plays the way the Kings like to play, and so a tight-checking game with a lot of hits and battles plays to Landeskog’s strengths. Landeskog and linemate Nathan MacKinnon have been one of the best duos this season, and don’t forget about Mikko Rantanen ($4,400), who’s on a four-game scoring streak and averaging close to a point per game.
Victor Hedman, TB vs. OTT ($6,600) – If all goes well for the Senators, they might escape this game with a little dignity. The Lightning are overwhelming favorites against a team that’s getting headlines for all the wrong reasons, and among elite defensemen, Hedman has the best matchup. The big Swede is on a four-game point streak, including a three-point effort against Vegas, and plays over 25 minutes a night.
Seth Jones, CLS at PIT ($5,000) – Jones will be put to the test against Sidney Crosby, especially after playing 25 minutes Wednesday; John Tortorella is really leaning on him with Zach Werenski out of the lineup. But Jones is just 23, so playing a back-to-back shouldn’t affect him much, and he’ll have Sergei Bobrovsky behind him. His ability to create plays at both ends can be a boon, and the Pens haven’t been as formidable as usual this year.