Despite Connor Hellebuyck (illness) looking very doubtful for this game, the over/under on remains at an even 6.0 goals. It’s surprising considering both of these teams have allowed over 3.2 goals per game on the season and the fact the Jets’ offense has been so prolific of late, scoring four or more goals in five of their last seven games. The Blackhawks finally got Patrick Kane back a couple of games as well and long term he’s certainly going to help Chicago’s goal rate, which sits third-last in the league (but the Blackhawks have scored eight times in their last two games with Kane). With two sub-par defensive teams and a backup goaltender looming for the Jets, the over looks well worth attacking.
Top Line Stack
New York Rangers at Edmonton Oilers
Mika Zibanejad ($7,300) — Chris Kreider ($6,100) — Barclay Goodrow ($2,600)
The Oilers have allowed the 13th most scoring chances this season and continue to allow over 34 shots on net per game, which is the worst mark in the league. Eventually, this kind of defensive play will mean a few shootouts will develop with the other team scoring four or five goals, and that’s definitely a high-probability outcome today with the Rangers on the slate.
New York has the firepower in their top-six to stay with the Oilers and I specifically like using their top-line duo of Zibanejad and Kreider here, with a nice value play in Barclay Goodrow mixed in for good measure. Goodrow has been more than adequate for fantasy lately since joining the top-line and landed himself a goal and an assist two games ago against the Kraken. He’s unlikely to see a ton of power-play time but the Oilers have good special teams, so taking the value with him to complete the even strength line stack makes sense. Both Kreider and Zibanejad will be locked at the hip all night too and give us good exposure to that Rangers PP1.
Krieder has averaged 3.0 shots on goal this season and has hit the DraftKings shots on goal bonus twice in his last five outings. Zibanejad is coming off a slow stretch offensively but still ranks out with the third-best goal rate (0.42) and shots on goal rate (3.0) per game in long-term form on this slate. In this matchup, using the Rangers’ top-line gives us good value and a stack easily capable of paying off their salary considering the opponent.
Superstar to Target
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets ($6,700)
As mentioned above, this spot is potentially a juicy one for some goals. The Jets rank dead-last in penalty-kill percentage and that should make this a great spot for Patrick Kane to break out with a monster game. Kane returned from IR two games ago and already has six points and 14 shots on goal to his credit, while the Hawks as a team have scored eight times in their last two games.
On top of Winnipeg having the worst penalty-kill in the league, you also have the looming backup netminder for the Jets. Kane isn’t going to be a sleeper pick by any means as his price to output is ridiculously good. He ranks on top in shots on goal per game and time on ice at his position in long-term for this slate. You can always find lower-owned plays elsewhere and this Jets-Blackhawks game is not one you should be fading tonight.
Value on Offense
Troy Terry, Anaheim Ducks vs. Arizona Coyotes ($5,200)
The Coyotes are still looking for their first win and carry one of the league’s worst defenses and penalty-kill into this game. Terry and the entire Ducks top-six have been a nice surprise for fantasy purposes thus far as he heads into this game averaging over a point per game with five goals in his last four outings. This kind of hot scoring isn’t going to last, but it is the Coyotes we’re talking about. While I’d stay away from stacking the entire top line (just given how well Karel Vejmelka has played of late), using Terry as a one-off option is completely fine. He’s clearly taken a step forward in goal rate this season and is going to have plenty of chances on the first power-play unit against the Coyotes’ weak special teams.
Dawson Mercer, New Jersey Devils at Los Angeles Kings ($4,400)
With Jack Hughes out, the Devils have elevated Dawson Mercer into their top-six and the results for fantasy have been decent enough that we should be looking to him for some value on this shorter slate. He heads into this game having hit the shots on goal bonus twice in his last four starts and has played well over 16 minutes per game over his last two starts. The Kings are the walking dead on defense right now with injuries and carry a bottom-five penalty-kill into this game. With Mercer taking first-unit power-play time right now, he’s a savvy value target at well under $5K here.
Karel Vejmelka, Arizona Coyotes at Anaheim Ducks ($7,400)
The win for the Coyotes will happen at some point but rostering Vejmelka is less about trying to play tarot card reader and more about backing a goalie with great recent form. The rookie comes into this game having stopped 98 of his last 103 shots faced and with a .950 save percentage over his last three games. Despite the Coyotes being really bad, they’re only +150 underdogs in this spot which tells us something about the Ducks too, whose shooters are most likely due for some short-term regression after starting the season red hot. Vejmelka is playing out of his mind and eventually it will lead to a massive DFS night and a win. Backing him in GPPs here makes sense. against a weak opponent.
Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators at Vancouver Canucks ($7,200)
The other underdog on this slate I like, who might be easier to get behind because he’s not a Coyote, is Predators starter Juuse Saros. Saros has been terrific this season thus far and has an average save percentage of .950 over his last three games as well. The Canucks’ offense is hardly one we should fear as this team ranks ninth-last in power-play efficiency and has the second worst xGF% (expected goal rate) in the league. Backing Saros tonight in any format makes a lot of sense given the setup.
Value on Defense
Damon Severson, New Jersey Devils at Los Angeles Kings ($4,800)
With the Devils down their best defenseman, I like turning to Severson for some value tonight. He’s now played 21 minutes or more in each of his last three games and should continue to see more power-play ice time with Hamilton out. That’s a big selling point too as the Kings are depleted on defense right now and carry the third-worst penalty-kill in the league into this game. Severson isn’t as good of a point producer as Hamilton but his blocked shot rate has sprung way up and he’s averaging 3.6 blocked shots + shots per game this season. With his probability of grabbing us a point/goal in this spot heightened, I like grabbing him if you need some salary relief on defense—or just want to go with a Devils power-play stack.
Seth Jones, Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets ($5,600)
I'm all about loading up on the Blackhawks in this spot as the prices on their main skill players don’t seem to be factoring in the matchup against one of the league’s worst penalty kills. Seth Jones is still looking for his first goal as a Blackhawk but is averaging well over 4.0 blocked shots + shots on goal per game and has already picked up five power-play assists. The goals will eventually come for Jones, who averages well over 25 minutes per game and is available at under $6,000 for the first time all season.
Again, it’s a smaller slate so there’s no need to get fancy at every position. Taking the discount on the Hawks’ two most prolific players in a great matchup might be a popular move but with other studs to pay up for on the Oilers and Rangers, their prices give us flexibility elsewhere. Jones and the aforementioned Patrick Kane are in great spots tonight and make for a great way to start lineups.
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