This may be the first time we’ve featured Montreal in any capacity in this column since the first month of the season. The Canadiens have finally started to show some of the spunk that allowed them to make a run to the Stanley Cup Finals last season. Montreal has won three in a row and outscored opponents 11-6 in that span, grabbing huge upsets over St. Louis and Toronto in the process. This is also a revenge spot against a weak Sabres team who defeated them 5-3 just a week ago. Buffalo has been outscored 15-7 in their last three games and has just eight road wins in 25 road appearances this season. The line is a pick-em but Montreal (for once) looks undervalued in this spot.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Buffalo Sabres
Nick Suzuki ($5,700) — Cole Caufield ($3,700) — Josh Anderson ($3,300)
As mentioned above, the Canadiens’ offense has been hot (for them) of late and a lot of their recent production has come from their newly formed top-unit. With Tyler Toffoli out of the mix, Cole Caufield has seemingly found new life and comes into this game with six points in his last three games. Caufield was expected to challenge for Rookie of the Year this season but went through a prolonged shooting slump. He’s due for more positive regression to the mean in the short-term and both he and linemate Josh Anderson are incredibly cheap today.
Anderson himself has seen his ice time rise in the short term as well, and is now averaging over 17 minutes played over his last three games. The shoot-first winger has 11 shots in that same span and should keep pushing for 3+ shots per game in this top-line role. Center Nick Suzuki is going to keep benefitting as a playmaker from these two shooters playing so well, and on a slate where we have expensive centers to pay up for with the Oilers and Avalanche, the savings this trio provides becomes even more valuable. Buffalo is a bottom-10 team in terms of penalty-kill and shots and makes for a perfect opponent to see more continuation from Montreal’s top-line.
Superstar to Target
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche at Detroit Red Wings ($8,500)
Editor’s note: Nathan MacKinnon (lower body injury) has been ruled out tonight.
MacKinnon is sandwiched in between the Oilers’ top two centers today in the price structure but looks like the clear best value among that higher-end group. While the Oilers have to deal with the stifling defense/goaltending of the Tampa Bay Lightning, MacKinnon gets a date with Detroit, who has allowed the fourth-most quality scoring chances this season.
MacKinnon put up six shots on net and a goal the last time Colorado played Detroit, and that line likely could have been bigger considering the Avalanche scored seven times that game. The Avalanche’s top center should also be steaming after his team got embarrassed their last time out against Boston on President’s Day in a 5-1 loss. Pay up for Nate the Great today in an A+ matchup.
Value on Offense
Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Edmonton Oilers ($4,200)
Killorn comes into this game with 43 points in 48 games this season. He’s averaging 10.3 DKFP over his last 10 games and remains a fixture on Tampa’s top power-play unit and in their top-six where he plays alongside Steven Stamkos ($6,200). It’s a high-end role and he continues to produce good numbers for fantasy purposes while in it. At under $4,500—while in a plus matchup with the Oilers—Killorn again rates out as a top value target among the forward group.
Kailer Yamamoto, Edmonton Oilers at Tampa Bay Lightning ($2,500)
While the Oilers are big underdogs today at +185 on DraftKings Sportsbook, it doesn’t mean we have to ignore their offense completely. Injuries have seen Kailer Yamamoto move up to a top-line role with Connor McDavid ($9,200) and the diminutive winger will again skate on his side in this game against the Lightning. Opportunity is everything in daily fantasy sports and while Yamamoto has been struggling most of the season, he’s also landed three points in his last four games and averaged over 17 minutes played in his last two starts. If you need a cheap punt to round out the forward position, there are really no better options on this slate.
Sam Montembeault, Montreal Canadiens vs. Buffalo Sabres ($7,600)
Note: Montembeault is now questionable with a sore wrist. Andrew Hammond ($7,600) would be the Montreal starter if he can’t go and played well in his first start of the season three days ago.
We are obviously very high on the Canadiens’ chances today and Sam Montembeault will mark the third time their team has popped up in this column. Montreal’s goaltenders have been a disaster this season right from the get-go, but lately, we have seen the 25-year-old Montembeault do enough to pop up on your radar for daily fantasy hockey purposes today.
Montembeault has allowed two goals or less in three of his last four starts and has also produced 16.0 or more DKFP in three of his last four starts. The former Panther is at an age where goalies often start hitting their prime and he’s looked the part of a solid NHL netminder over the last two weeks. The Sabres remain a good matchup for any goalie in NHL DFS, and at well under $8,000, Montembeault sets up as a good value to target for today’s slate.
Value on Defense
Mikhail Sergachev, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Edmonton Oilers ($4,200)
The Lightning are -220 home favorites in a game with a 6.5 over/under today, so we should not feel uncomfortable in the slightest in targeting the best values from their offense. Like Killorn above, Sergachev rates out very well as a target in this spot as the defenseman comes in well under $4,500 in price, yet has produced an elite 12.3 DKFP per game over his last 10 starts.
The Russian defenseman still plays second-fiddle to Victor Hedman in terms of minutes and special teams assignments, but Sergachev has seen his minutes rise in a big way this season and he’s really upped his shot volume and blocked shot totals this season as well. He’s averaging 5.1 blocked shots + shots on goal per game over his last 10 starts and is still averaging over 0.5 points per game this season. This is an elite fantasy defenseman by every metric who continues to be underpriced at well below $5,000. With the Lightning coming in with a big implied goal total, targeting him on defense is almost a necessity today.
Power Play Defensemen
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings at Arizona Coyotes ($6,300)
The Kings come into this game flying high offensively, having averaged 3.8 goals per game over their last six starts. The offensive surge comes at the right time for the Kings, who are challenging for a playoff spot and get Arizona on the schedule today, a team who remains bottom-five in shots per game allowed and penalty-kill.
Drew Doughty has been going through an offensive resurgence of late as well, as the defenseman—who plays over 25 minutes a game on the regular—has scored points in six straight games. Doughty has been a solid fantasy producer all season though and continues to average well over 4.5 blocked shots + shots on goal per game. Doughty has averaged over 17.0 DKFP over his last five games and seems likely to continue his trend of producing good upside for your daily fantasy hockey lineups today against a weak opponent in the Coyotes.
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