Hockey Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings 10/3/19
Welcome back hockey fans. The second night of action is also the first bigger slate of the season with eight games so let's jump in and take a look at some core plays at each position.
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The first full slate of the season brings us eight games and a ton of viable goalie options. I would be doing a disservice if I didn't start out by mentioning the reigning Vezina Trophy winner. While he tallied five fewer wins(39) than the previous year(44) he posted a career-high .925 save %(6th best) with six shutouts(4th most). He and the Lightning will open the season as big -175 home favorites facing the Panthers who finished 10th in the conference a season ago and averaged 33 shots per game adding to the floor and ceiling for Vasi. The pricing is a lot closer on DraftKings making Vasileviskiy the top play but on FanDuel he is more of a GPP option with some much better PTS/$ options leading to a more balanced cash game build.
The Predators also open up their season at home tonight as -175 favorites in a matchup against the Minnesota Wild in one of the best matchups of the night. The Predators are coming off seasons where they ranked 3rd and 2nd in defense and in large part to Pekka Rinne who has now posted a .918% or better in three straight seasons and looking deeper at the advanced he was terrific in the high danger areas last year with a .851 save %(league avg - .818). On the flip side, the Wild took a big step back offensively falling to 27th scoring just 2.6 goals per game in a season where there was a big increase in offense league-wide. On DraftKings, Rinne is a close second to Vasilevskiy in the same price range but on FanDuel, he is my top choice at a $900 discount.
Darcy Kuemper FD - $7400 DK - $7300
Opponent - ANA
Proj Pts FD - 16.54 DK - 13.49
If you are looking to go the value route and stack some of the big lines tonight, Darcy Kuemper is in a great spot. He is coming off his first career season as a full-time starter and impressed in a huge way by posting the 6th best save %(.925), recorded five shutouts, and was a major reason why the Coyotes posted a Top 5 defense(2.7 goals against per game) and finished just four points out of the playoffs. The risk here is that the Coyotes start the season out on the road but the game is a pickem and the Ducks are coming off a terrible season where they ranked dead last in offense and didn't have much turnover in the offseason. I would be tempted to consider Kuemper in cash if there weren't so many good options at home up top. Either way, Kuemper is in play on both sites tonight.
Nathan MacKinnon FD - $8700 DK - $7300
Opponent - CGY
Proj Pts FD - 18.63 DK - 5.53
There is no shortage of options tonight and while Crosby has arguably a better matchup, I am leaning MacKinnon as my top option overall. It comes down to MacKinnon checking every single box as he finished last season playing every game, recording a career-high 99 points(37 on the PP) and provided a very high floor averaging 12.1 shots and 19.5 Corsi per 60 overall. The Flames were one of the best road defenses in the league last year but I still see the Avs winning this game and scoring 2-3 goals minimum and I will take the high floor with MacKinnon tonight, at least in cash games.
Stack with: Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen
Tyler Johnson FD - $5800 DK - $6800
Opponent - FLA
Proj Pts FD - 10.27 DK - 7.16
I will definitely be paying up for Point, MacKinnon, or Crosby on DratKings for just a few hundred more but the reason Johnson makes the article and will be a part of my FanDuel player pool is the sub $6K price tag. He doesn't provide a high floor looking at the stats(7.7 shots/60, 12.6 Corsi/60) but will start the season centering two elite players in Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. They also open the season as big home favorites against the Panthers who ranked 28th in offense last year allowing 3.3 goals per game(3.7 per game on the road). Exposure to the Bolts is right at the top of my list tonight and Johnson is in play in all formats on FanDuel(GPP only on DraftKings).
Stack with: Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos
Also Consider: Matt Duchene(NSH) coming off his second career 70-point season and now in Nashville centering the second line and will get time on top powerplay unit
Blake Wheeler FD - $7600 DK - $6300
Opponent - NYR
Proj Pts FD - 16.23 DK - 11.75
Nikolaj Ehlers FD - $4500 DK - $5800
Opponent - NYR
Proj Pts FD - 12.59 DK - 8.91
From a value perspective, the Jets are probably my favorite team to target tonight. Let's start with Wheeler who is one of the best playmakers in the league finishing third in assists(71) and 14th in points with 91, tying his career-high from the year prior. It also makes perfect sense to pair Wheeler with the winger projected to start opposite him, Nikolaj Ehlers, especially on FanDuel where he sits in the mid $4K range. He is coming off a down season where he only played 62 games and tallied a career-low 37 points but the good news is the floor was there as he averaged 9.8 shots and 16.3 Corsi per 60 overall. Both players are in play in all formats and one of my top two-player stacks and add Mark Scheifele at center to complete the full line stack for GPP formats.
Stack with: Mark Scheifele
Victor Olofsson FD - $4100 DK - $3500
Opponent - PIT
Proj Pts FD - 7.13 DK - 6.54
He wasn't a high draft pick(7th round) back in 2014 and after playing four years in Sweden he joined the Sabres AHL club in Rochester and impressed in a big way recording 30 goals and 33 assists over 66 games. He then made a brief appearance for Sabres at the end of last season picking up four points in six games. He will not only start the season with the big club but has been skating on the top line with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart making him a terrific PTS/$ value play in the sub $4K range on both sites.
Stack with: Jach Eichel, Sam Reinhart
Also Consider: Patric Hornqvist(PIT) who provides a high PTS/$ floor with an 11.1 shots/60 and 17 Corsi/60 last season. He has is also projected to skate top line with Crosby and Guentzel
Roman Josi FD - $6300 DK - $6000
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 14.25 DK - 10.9
Mark Giordano FD - $6600 DK - $5800
Opponent - COL
Proj Pts FD - 13.94 DK - 11
At the top of the salary on defense tonight it seems like everyone has a plus matchup so I will go with the two cheapest options of the four I am looking at targeting. When paying up for a D-man I am looking for opportunity and production in almost every area and both these players offer that tonight. They both skated over 24 minutes per game, both averaged over three minutes on the powerplay and both provided a high floor as Josi averaged 5.1 shots and blocks per game while Giordano averaged 4.6 per game. Calgary finished the season ranked 2nd in offense while Nashville was 19th and if that trend continues this season, Giordano will once again have the edge in terms of upside. For tonight, however, both players are in play in all formats.
Ryan McDonagh FD - $5000 DK - $4500
Opponent - FLA
Proj Pts FD - 10.82 DK - 8.02
McDonagh is coming off his first full season with the Tampa Bay Lightning and while he was generally known for his defense, he posted career-high offensive numbers with 46 points on the season to g along with an outstanding +38 rating. He comes in the mid-range of pricing tonight and in no way am I expecting GPP winning upside from a player who plays few minutes on the powerplay but what he does offer is a nice PTS/$ floor as he finished Top 10 in blocks last season and he provides us a route to a more balanced lineup throughout.
Also Consider: Jakob Chychrun(ARI) as a value play who has yet to break out in the NHL but gets a ton of opportunity on the powerplay
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