Hockey season is back and with it comes a great opportunity to cash in with daily fantasy sports on FanDuel and DraftKings. Here at RotoPros, we got you covered with picks articles, strategy articles, live videos, cheatsheets, and one on one coaching to help you become a better DFS NHL player.
the season starts off with a smaller four-game slate that includes the Washington Capitals raising their Stanley Cup banner. In this article, I will be going over some of my top picks at each position with a mix of cash and GPP plays. Then make sure to get your copy of my cheatsheet where I highlight even more plays and list my top stacks of the night with a ton of advanced stats. Let’s get started.
Frederik Andersen (DK - $8,400 FD - $8,400)
The Leafs are huge -250 favorites on home ice to open the season and is my top goalie on this small slate. He gets a terrific matchup against a Canadiens team that lost Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty to offseason trades and star defenseman, Shea Weber, is out until at least December after surgery. Andersen was prone to giving up some goals last year(.918 save %, 2.81 GAA) but faced a league-high 33.5 shots per game giving him a high floor and ceiling and in this matchup he has a great shot at the win so lock him into your lineups in all formats.
Also Consider: Martin Jones(SJ) for GPP formats only
Sean Monahan (DK - $5,900 FD - $7,300)
While I like the thought of loading up with one of the two Leafs superstar centers, they are expensive and face one of the best goalies in the game in Carey Price. For me, at least for cash games on this smaller slate, I will turn to Sean Monahan who gets a much better matchupas the Flames open on the road against a Canucks team that ranked 26th in defense last season allowing 3.16 goals per game and don’t appear to have gotten any better in the offseason. Monahan is coming off a career-best 64 points while averaging just under 19 minutes per game and early indications are he will be centering the top line and powerplay unit with Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm. Monahan is my top PTS/$ center on the slate and also makes a terrific GPP stack with his linemates.
Joe Thornton (DK - $4,300 FD - $5,700)
Thornton will enter his 21st season in the NHL and while the 80-100 point seasons are behind him, he still provides value for us in daily fantasy. He is still one of the best setup men in league history(12th in all-time assist with 1,030) and is still getting a ton of opportunities to add to those numbers skating on the top line and powerplay unit with Joe Pavelski and Evander Kane. on FanDuel, he is a little more expensive and is best used in GPP formats only but on DraftKings at just 8% of you salary cap, he makes an excellent value to help build a more balanced cash game lineup on this small slate.
Also Consider: Rookie, Elias Petterson(VAN) who will center the Canucks second line and also get powerplay time at a mid $4K price tag on both sites
Mitch Marner (DK - $6,000 FD - $6,600)
The Leafs are huge favorites(-250) tonight in their season and home opener and while they face a tough goalie in Carey Price, they should be able to put up some goals. I talked about Tavares and Matthews at center being expensive so to get exposure to both of them tonight in cash games, I will turn to Mitch Marner. He has spent time with both elite centers in the preseason showing terrific chemistry with Tavares and the top powerplay unit appears to include all three of them. At his price, Marner is an excellent cash play on both sites and for GPP formats, you can stack him with both Tavares and Matthews.
Brett Connolly (DK - $3,500 FD - $3,500)
To get some of the high priced players into your lineups, especially on small slates you are going to have to find some value. The best way to do this is finding players who obviously cheap but also skate along side superstar players. Enter Brett Connolly who will start the season on the top line beside Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov and will also play on the second powerplay unit. He doesn’t give us much upside but does provide a ton of salary relief to fit Ovi in cash or to stack a teams top powerplay unit.
Also Consider: Danton Heinen/Ryan Donato(BOS) who were sharing time on the Bruins second line in pre season and Donato also skated on the top powerplay unit.
Alexander Edler (DK - $5,200 FD - $5,000)
Paying up for Brent Burns or Erik Karlsson in cash games is going to be very tough on a smaller slate so I will turn to a value approach tonight in that format. When looking for value at defense, I love to look at players who get lots of ice-time and get shots or blocks or both. Edler provides all three as he averaged over 24 minutes per game last years with right around 2.5 shots per game and finished third overall with 203 blocks(2.9 per game). He has a high floor for cash games and is my top PTS/$ play at the position tonight.
Victor Mete (DK - $3,400 FD - $3,700)
This is nothing more than an upside punt play to help balance out your lineups tonight as Mete is in the mid $3K range on both sites. What I like here is that the 20-year-old spent Tuesday’s practice skating on the top unit with Jeff Petry and with Weber out for awhile should see a huge uptick in ice-time from last season(15 min per game). At these prices, it is worth the risk in all formats for the opportunity he is about to get.
Also Consider: Marc-Edouard Vlasic(SJ) for cash