Hockey Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings 10/6/18
It has been an exciting start to the 2018-19 hockey season and it continues tonight with the first Saturday night slate or like we call it North of the border, Hockey Night in Canada. Let's dig in and take a look at some of the top options at each position.
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Andersen was my top goalie on opening night and while he didn't get the shutout like Holtby in Washington, he was still very good. The Habs outplayed the Leafs early on and Andersen stood on his head all game making 34 saves and allowing just two goals as the Leafs ended up winning in overtime. That is one of the top reasons I always consider Andersen is that he faces a ton of shots which helps his overall floor and ceiling making it possible to deal with a few goals against especially this season when it appears the Leafs have a very dynamic offense in front of him. Tonight, he gets another terrific matchup against a Sens team that will likely be offensively challenged this season after shipping Erik Karlsson out of town in a trade. Andersen is safe in all formats on both sites but his best value comes on FanDuel where he is the seventh most expensive option(most expensive on DK).
On FanDuel, I think I prefer Andersen in cash at an $800 discount but on DraftKings Vasilevskiy makes the decision a little tougher. He is coming off a fantastic 2017-18 season where he set career-highs in wins(44), save %(.920), and shutouts(8). Tonight the Bolts will open their season at home against the Florida Panthers who were no more than a middle of the road offense last year and were slightly worse on the road as well. Vasilevskiy faced over 30 shots per game a year ago and the Panthers ranked second in shots for per game(34.4) and if that trend continues, that gives the Bolts tender a high floor and ceiling tonight and then add that they are -192 favorites and you have yourself a terrific option in all formats.
Also Consider: Carter Hutton(BUF) for a GPP pivot in the value range
Auston Matthews FD - $7900 DK - $7600
Opponent - OTT
Proj Pts FD - 14.72 DK - 5.65
You can't go wrong going with either of the Leafs top two centers in cash games tonight. They had nearly identical per game numbers a year ago averaging over 18 minutes, three shots, and over a point per game. For me, I lean Matthews slightly as he comes a bit cheaper and adds a bit of floor as he also blocks shots(1.0 per game last year). He started the season in style on opening night scoring a powerplay goal to put the Leafs up 2-1 and then ended it in overtime with his second of the game while also adding three shots and three blocks. Pair him with one of his linemates in cash games or with Tavares, Kadri, and Marner in a high-upside GPP stack.
Stack with: Patrick Marleau, Tyler Ennis, Mitch Marner(PP), John Tavares(PP), Nazem Kadri(PP)
Brayden Point FD - $6500 DK - $5200
Opponent - FLA
Proj Pts FD - 11.28 DK - 4.19
Point got a ton of added opportunity last season for the Bolts as he averaged just over 19.5 minutes of ice-time and he didn't disappoint playing all 82 games posting 66 points with 12 game-winning goals. Not only did he give us upside on a lethal offensive team but he also provided a nice PTS/$ value for cash games averaging over 2.5 shots per game. The Lightning open the 2018-19 season against a Panthers team that finished in the bottom half of the league in goals against a year ago and didn't make any additions to the back end. Point is in play in all formats tonight.
Stack with: Ondrej Palat, Yanni Gourde
Adam Henrique FD - $5200 DK - $5100
Opponent - ARI
Proj Pts FD - 8.52 DK - 3.38
If you are looking for an upside GPP play on the cheap tonight consider Adam Henrique. The floor is pretty low as he averaged under two shots per game a year ago but did put up 50 points(13 on the PP) and started the season with a goal and an assist in an opening night win against the Sharks. He is back on a lien with Jakob Silfverberg who he showed strong chemistry with a year ago and they are now joined by rookie Maxime Comtois who is coming off an 85 point season with Victoriaville in the QMJHL and also scored a goal in his first career game on Wednesday night. Fire up the Ducks value second line in GPP formats.
Stack with: Jakob Silfverberg, Maxime Comtois
Nikita Kucherov FD - $8400 DK - $7900
Opponent - FLA
Proj Pts FD - 17.2 DK - 6.4
If you are paying up at the position tonight, there is one name that stands out above the rest. Nikita Kucherov has been improving every season in the show and took things to another level a year ago finishing third overall in points(100). Not only did he give us huge upside on a nightly basis but he also provided a very high floor averaging 3.5 shots per game while getting just under 20 minutes of ice-time per contest. Tonight he faces his a Panthers team that allowed over three goals per game on the road a year ago. I fully expect the Bolts offense to be Top 3 once again so getting exposure to multiple players in these plus matchups is a great way to go.
Stack with: Steven Stamkos, J.T. Miller
Alex Debrincat FD - $5700 DK - $5100
Opponent - STL
Proj Pts FD - 8.94 DK - 3.49
It is going to be hard to avoid playing Debrincat in any format with a price in the sub $6K range on both sites. I mentioned his impressive rookie season in my last article and also his growing role this year as he stepped up to the top line with Jonathan Toews. He didn't disappoint in his first game scoring the opening goal and recording four shots on over 18 minutes on ice-time. The matchup isn't as enticing tonight against the Blues which should help keep his ownership in GPP formats and at these prices I will be looking to him in cash games as well.
Stack with: Jonathan Toews, Dominik Kahun, Patrick Kane(PP)
Jimmy Vesey FD - $3500 DK - $3900
Opponent - BUF
Proj Pts FD - 6.15 DK - 2.61
For value at the position, I will be turning to Jimmy Vesey of the Rangers who is skating on the second line and should see some added opportunity this season. After back to back years where he averaged just over 13.5 minutes of ice-time, he opened the 2018-19 season skating over 16 minutes and while he didn't record a point he totaled four shots on goal with a block. The matchup tonight is much better for the Rangers as they face a Sabres team that ranked 29th in goals against(3.39) a year ago. Vesey is in play in all formats.
Stack with: Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes
Also Consider: Brock Boeser(VAN)
Kevin Shattenkirk FD - $5700 DK - $4800
Opponent - BUF
Proj Pts FD - 8.28 DK - 3.36
Shattenkirk is listed on the Rangers second unit but he is their most offensive-minded D-man which is also why he runs with the top powerplay unit. The Rangers had a tough matchup to open the season against the Predators and while Shattenkirk didn't record a point he crushed value with seven shots on goal and four blocks. Tonight he and the Rangers get a much better matchup against the Sabres who ranked 29th in goals against last season and struggled in their opener losing 4-0 to the Bruins. From a PTS/$ perspective, Shattenkirk is a great play in all formats.
Erik Gustafsson FD - $3800 DK - $3500
Opponent - STL
Proj Pts FD - 5.04 DK - 2.19
For value, I will be turning to 26-year-old Erik Gustafsson tonight who comes at a sub $4K price tag on both sites. After spending the past two seasons splitting time between the NHL and AHL for the Blackhawks organization he will try to make a permanent home in Chicago in 2018-19. At even strength, he runs on the teams third defensive unit but is also listed on the second powerplay which adds a ton of value. In the opener, it was not his assist that impressed but more the balance of shots(3) and blocks(3) while skating over 17 minutes. While I don't expect the offensive output to be there every game, the floor appears to be high enough for him to pay off these prices.
Also Consider: Victor Hedman(TB) if you can afford him, Patrik Nemeth(COL) for value
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- Auston Matthews: (AP Photo/Nick Wass)