On the cusp of the first weekend of the season, and things are getting into full swing. Last night we had some big wins in our prognostication. Winnipeg’s top line performed as advertised with Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers leading the way. Their performance was equaled by the Rangers first line with Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, and Jacob Trouba highlighting a strong offensive performance against the Jets. Also, notably, Tampa Bay looks like a well-oiled machine with a thrashing of the Panthers 5-2 in last night’s tilt. Players mentioned in yesterday’s article such as Kucherov and Sergachev led the way in the Bolts dominant win.
With each slate that goes by, we are formulating expectations of this season compared to last, and Friday day/night will have no lack of material for dissection. Some interesting stories will be how the Devils look with the new additions of P.K. Subban and Jack Hughes in addition to a healthy Taylor Hall. Can Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews continue their legacy of success in their opener against the Islanders. We will also get a follow up to a strong performance by Toronto’s juggernaut offense against a Panarin-less Blue Jackets this evening. All this and more will be on display Friday. My mission is to advise you to what potential plays are the best…..Challenge accepted!
TOR1 : Kapanen – Tavares – Marner
DraftKings: $ 18,700 (37% of Salary) | FanDuel: $ 19,600 (36% of Salary)
Another case of spending big to win big. Last night was Winnipeg’s first line and that paid off pretty well, eh? Tonight’s edition should be even more profitable for you. It features the top line of the juggernaut offense of Toronto. It appears it could be the perfect storm. You have an elite top line going against a career back-up in Joonas Korpisalo. Also, factor in that this line was the second most dominant in game 1. In the ebb and flow of the game there is usually a balance such as one line is dominant one game and gets keyed in on the next so then the other line takes up the mantle. What better line to pick up the scoring, if that is even a thing for Toronto, than TOR1? Kapanen is the cheap portion of this stack but the speedy Finn is not cheap on talent. With 0 points in the first game, Kapanen who scored 44 points last year will look to get off the schneid. John Tavares needs no introduction. The newly minted captain grabbed a point last game and should be good for a multi-point game tonight as he is good for a little over a point per game averaging 86 points the last two seasons. Last but not least is recently re-signed Mitch Marner. It’s a difficult task deciding who the best player on the Leafs is, but Marner should be in that conversation this season with 94 points scored last year and a goal already to his name in 2019. Counting on Marner for a multi-goal output in this game is not out of the realm of possibilities either.
NJ 1: Hall – Hischier – Palmieri
DraftKings: $18,500 (43% of Salary) |FanDuel: $18,900 (34% of Salary)
The Devils top line is fully healthy after less than a half of year together due to Taylor Hall’s injury. Taylor Hall is the proverbial straw that stirs the drink on this line. His last full season on the line he had 93 points in 76 games, for well over a PPG, and won the MVP award. He should look to continue that success with the same linemates. Nico Hischier has averaged about 50 points a season in his first two seasons since coming over from Switzerland. He should only get better this year with a full season to go with both Hall and Palmieri. Palmieri is the unsung hero of this line. All he has done since coming to the Devils from Anaheim is average over 50 points a season, and in his prime years, he should continue that effectiveness. One of the key reasons this line is so desirable in this game is that Winnipeg has a untested defense that was scorched by a potent but not elite Rangers offense last night. Laurent Broissoit should get the call for the second game of the back to back games for the Jets. He may be an improvement from Hellebuyck but with a weak D in front of him it may not be enough. Look for the Devils to take advantage of this deficiency and provide you elite level DFS production tonight.
NJ | W | Nikita Gusev | DraftKings: $4,100 | Fanduel: $ 4,200
The 27-year-old rookie from the KHL has been long awaited since his drafting by the Tampa Bay Lightning. All Gusev has done the past 3-4 seasons is average well over a point per game in arguably the second best league in the world, the KHL. Gusev is getting a tremendous opportunity being paired with super rookie (and #1 overall pick) Jack Hughes and talented Swede Jesper Bratt on the Devils third line. Gusev is also slated for PP Unit 2 time with both of his NJ2 linemates. Also, as stated earlier, the Devils face a defensively vulnerable foe in the Jets. Grab Gusev for only 8% of your total salary in DraftKings and FanDuel. He is a great low price pivot play to the members of NJ1 in DFS tournaments.
VGK | C | Cody Glass | DraftKings: $3,500 | Fanduel: $ 4,500
Let’s go to the well once more. We had previously suggested Cody Glass in his first game of the year against the Sharks as our value play of the day, where he scored a goal in his debut. Who does he face tonight…..The Sharks? Go to the well again….heck yeah?! With Glass drawing second line even strength and first line power play time this is almost a no-brainer. Take advantage of Glass’ low price because it likely won’t be that way for long.
WPG | D | Ville Heinola | DraftKings: $3,000 | Fanduel: $3,500
The talented young Finn was not on many people’s fantasy radar going into this season. He was a first round pick of the Jets this past draft after excelling in the SM-Liiga as a 17-year-old rookie holding his own against men. With the dearth of talent on the blue line on the Jets Heinola has grabbed second D pairing and second PP unit duty. And he scored a point in his first game, so snatch this young Finn up for a steal of a price and take some shots with him in tournaments stacking with one of his WPG2 linemates (Connor/Laine) or Nikolaj Ehlers who accompanies him on WPG PP2.
Blue Line Special
TOR | D | Tyson Barrie | DraftKings: $ 5,600 | FanDuel: $6,300
Tyson Barrie got off to about as good of a start as one could hope for with his new team. Barrie grabbed 2 assists against the Senators on Wednesday in the Leafs 5-3 victory over the Sens. Moving forward, there can be a contentious point of who is better, Barrie or Reilly? A tough call no doubt, but whatever the consensus may be, both should find the scoresheet plenty. Barrie has averaged 58 points the past 2 seasons with the Avs and could possibly see an increase this season as he is on an equally talented, if not more so, team in the Leafs. Grab Barrie with confidence and a stack with TOR Line 1 would work nicely.
NJ | D | PK Subban | DraftKings: $5,100 | Fanduel: $5,600
Same Subban, different uni! We all know what we are getting with Subban. Tons of charisma and scoring production. The only thing that hasn’t been healthy in Subban’s career has been his health. He is healthy going into this season and when he is healthy he scores in the mid 50’s – low 60’s point range. With a new team and top line duty across the board, Subban has tons of potential and incentive to produce in his first game especially against the Jets.
VGK | G | Marc-Andre Fleury | DraftKings: $8,100 | FanDuel: $8,600
The Flower has been blooming in the desert the past 2 seasons. This year should be no different. With only 1 goal allowed in his first game against the Sharks, Fleury should be able to duplicate that as the Knights complete the second leg of a home and home with the Sharks as -120 road favorites. Even if Fleury were to let in a goal or two more with the Sharks shaky goaltending via either Jones or Dell, Fleury should stop more than they score for the win. Pick a flower for your team.
NYI | G | Semyon Varlamov | DraftKings: $ 7,500 | Fanduel: $7,700
Varlamov hasn’t had the most consistent career to this point, but has played well the past 2 years in Colorado. He has a lot of incentive to perform early on because he has a more than capable back-up in Thomas Greiss that could steal starts if Varla doesn’t manage to perform. Varlamov has a coach, Barry Trotz, who always seems to get the most out of his team’s goaltenders from Pekka Rinne to a resurgent Robin Lehner. This pick is a little bit of a gamble, but with a good price tag, and a motivated player, Varlamov could turn into a nice sleeper goalie at low ownership.
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