To say the least, The NHL is rather exciting the first two nights of the season. We have had some very high scoring games, and scoring has come from names no one could have expected. The top draft picks from this past summer's draft, are proving why they were taken so high. Auston Matthews came out and scored four goals to start his NHL career, and last night Patrick Laine (My sleeper pick) scored a goal and had an assist to open his career.
Tonight we have a very small slate of only three games for a total of six teams to try and find scoring. On short slates, I suggest playing in a GPP format. Ownership levels will be high due to the lack of options. Like any night, we need to find some depth scoring to differentiate ourselves from others. Let's get this ball rolling and look at my three top picks for tonight and my sleeper play.
Claude Giroux - Center - 7100 FD / 7100 DK - What amazed me when I first looked at Claude, is that Draftkings & Fanduel have him at the same price. Claude and the Flyers go to Los Angeles to face the Kings who will be without their top goalie Jonathan Quick. In 11 career games against the Kings, Claude has three goals and seven assists. He is the Flyers top line center and top line center on the power play unit. He should give you a goal and two assists.
Johnny Gaudreau - Wing - 7200 FD / 7300 DK - Johnny and his flames get the Edmonton Oilers at home tonight. In 11 career games against the Oilers, Johnny has six goals. Tonight, at home, He will be full of fire. He will factor into four of the Flames goals tonight, as I see them putting up five goals total.
Connor McDavid - Center- 8200 FD / 8000 DK - Connor put on a show in the season opener with two goals and one assist. He also put six shots on net. In only four career games against the Flames, he has six total points, four goals, and two assists. I see him leading the way for the Oilers tonight. With his average being what it is, I see a possible repeat of the last game.
Cappy’s Sleeper Pick
Ivan Provorov - Defense - 3900 FD / 3400 DK - Ivan is the second best defensive player no one is discussing. He was taken seventh overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. In his last two seasons in the WHL (Canadian junior leagues) he has played 122 games and scored 134 total points (36 goals / 98 assists). What will help this young kid is that he will be on the Flyers second power play unit, and he can move the puck. He has a registered one-timer shot of close to 97.5 mph on average. I can see him out playing Shayne (The Ghost) Gostisbehere, plus everyone will be on the ghost tonight, and Provorov will be a very nice pivot play.
*Note: Due to a short slate, I will give you a few plays from each position. Mainly the guys I think will be scoring goals*
Ryan Johansen - (6200 FD / 5600 DK) - In 16 career games against the Blackhawks, Ryan has Nine points (Four goals / Five assists). I know this sounds low, but most of those games came with him playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He should open the scoring tonight on a high-powered Nashville team.
Sean Monahan - (7000 FD / 6400 DK) - In 15 career games against the Oilers, Sean has Ten points (Four goals / Six Assists) of those ten points four have come on the power play. He should be a great play tonight.
Artem Anisimov - (4600 FD / 4900 DK) - Overlook the Hawks first game of the season. They have had a lot of changes on offense, and I'm chalking the first game up to jitters. I love the line of Anisimov and Panarian tonight. They should factor in two of the Hawks goals for the night.
Anze Kopitar - (7300 FD / 6300 DK) - Anze and the Kings are going to have to pour it on to help win games. Losing Quick in net is a huge loss to them. Anze assisted on the Kings only goal against the Sharks, and the best part is it was a power play assist.
James Neal (6800 FD / 6300 DK) - Since joining the Predators in the 2014-2015 season, James Neal has been on fire. In 23 career games against the Blackhawks, James has 19 total points (14 Goals / Five assists), in that same span he is averaging three shots on goal. Tonight is the night you will want him on your team.
Jakub Voracek - (6400 FD / 6300 DK) - A lot of people will overlook Voracek tonight, but I will not be one of those people. In 19 games against the Kings, Jakub has four goals and nine assists. Also, Jakub and the Flyers have seen a lot of Zatkoff (Kings starting goalie) when he played for the Penguins. Jakub should be good for a goal and two assists tonight. Also eight shots on net.
Filip Forsberg - (7200 FD / 6800 DK) - Filip will be a very chalky play tonight, but I am ok with that. He averages around three shots per game against the Blackhawks and should have a big role in tonight's scoring. He is a special teams beast and should net a power play goal.
Colin Wilson - (4900 FD / 3100 DK) - This guy is a steal on DK. He led the Predators in last year's playoffs with 13 points in 14 games. He will start the season on the Predators second line with James Neal and Mike Fisher, and I think this is the line to play tonight. He will also be on the top power play unit, which explodes his value. Wilson will be much lower owned then Forsberg in most formats.
Milan Lucic (5700 FD / 5400 DK) - Milan plays on the top line with Connor McDavid, and like McDavid, he will factor in the scoring. Tonight will be an excellent game for Milan, and most will take the Calgary side of the game so that he will be low owned.
Shayne Gostisbehere (5300 FD / 6200 DK) - Dear Fanduel, thank you for setting his price so low. Shayne is the go-to guy on the Flyers defensive core. The Ghost, as he is nicknamed, shined in the World Cup a few weeks ago. He will take that momentum into the start of the season against the Kings. He had a total of 22 power play points last season and will start this season on fire. He will be chalk in any format, but he is worth every single dollar.
Dennis Wideman (4900 FD / 4000 DK) - Dennis scored a power play goal in the Flames season opener, and had five shots on net. I like him tonight to get points on the power play again, and his price will help you get higher end players in your lineup.
Roman Josi (6600 FD / 6700 DK) - A lot of people are going to decide between Roman or P.K. Subban. I like Roman better myself, as his gameplay is much smoother. He has chemistry with the team, and P.K. will have to build it. In 23 career games against the Blackhawks, Roman has Ten points (one goal / nine assists), and averages Three blocked shots per game. He is on the top power-play unit and will shine tonight.
Drew Doughty (6000 FD / 5800 DK) - Drew is one of the defensive players you love to love. He is the reigning Norris Trophy winner (NHL Top Defensive player). In the Kings season opener against the Sharks, he logged the most ice time (28:09) and most time on the penalty kill (3:41). He should see the same if not more tonight. He will have the most blocked shots of the night in all games on the slate. They will need to protect Zatkoff in net so that he will play back a lot.
Steven Mason (8200 FD / 7800 DK) - Steve will be the chalk of chalky chalk tonight. I realize that the Flyers will be on the road tonight, but they have a better defense than last season, and he should be very solid in net. Has shutout the Kings twice in his career, and I have a feeling tonight could be his third one. Game script dictates that the Kings will play back to protect Zatkoff. Mason should see about 32 shots tonight and get the very important win.
Brian Elliott (7800 FD / 7500 DK) - People will overlook him tonight because of his horrible game against the Oilers two nights ago. I am chalking that up to nerves, the fact the Oilers were amped up playing in a new arena. Tonight Brian is at home, and I can see 38 saves out of 40 shots and the win.
Favorite Line Stack
Nashville Second Line
Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - James Neal
Favorite Two-Player Stacks
Hartmann/Kruger (Chicago third line, very contrarian)
Rookies have been gold so far, and I felt adding a few names here will help you find DFS gold in some low owned guys.
Jesse Puljujarvi (Wing)
Ivan Provorov (Defense)
Matthew Tkachuk (Wing)
Chicago +125 vs. Nashville -135 O/U 5.0
Edmonton +113 vs. Calgary -130 O/U 5.5
Philadelphia +110 vs. Los Angeles -130 O/U 5.5 - I don't trust this line. Vegas likes home teams. Line should be the other way around. Bet it before it changes.
My Favorite FanDuel Cash Game Lineup
C - Giroux - 7100
C - Fisher - 4300
W - Neal - 6800
W - Vorachek - 6400
W - Gaudreau - 7200
W - Puljujarvi - 4000
D - Gostisbehere - 5300
D - Wideman - 4900
G - Mason - 8200
800 Left over