It’s a massive 13-game slate in the NHL tonight as we approach the All-Star break. There’s not a ton of injury news tonight, but a couple of names to keep an eye on are Brendan Gallagher (head) and Oliver Bjorkstrand (ribs) who both could return to action tonight for Montreal and Columbus. Their return could bump other players down the depth chart so be sure to double-check those team’s news feeds before lock.
TOP OPTIONS TO CONSIDER
Set your lineups here: NHL $50K Twine [$10K to 1st]
Top Line Stacks
Islanders vs. Rangers
Mathew Barzal ($6,500) – Anders Lee ($5,300) – Jordan Eberle ($4,400)
The Islanders and Rangers played against each other a couple of nights ago and the Rangers won in blow-out fashion, 6-2. The Islanders are the home team tonight, though, and are coming in off an 8-2 win, which was precipitated by that embarrassing loss. More revenge could be on the minds of the Islanders and, regardless, their top line looks to be in a good spot for fantasy purposes. Barzal looks on the verge of breaking out and had a monster game against Boston a week ago. His linemates have also looked solid of late, with Anders Lee producing games of 18.0 or more DKFP in three of his last five starts while the inexpensive Eberle may be the hottest member of this line with three goals and five points in his last four games. The Rangers allow the second-most SOG per game and feature the 11th worst power-play making this a good spot for a breakout from the Islanders affordable L1.
Panthers vs. Kings
Alex Barkov ($6,700) – Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,700) – Evgenii Dadonov ($6,000)
Targeting the Florida L1 when they are all under $7K in salary is often a good strategy and that idea makes even more sense tonight considering the opponent. The Kings will be the road team here and bring in an awful 7-15-4 road record into this matchup. LA’s a juicy target for several reasons, but poor goaltending and the fifth-worst penalty-kill in the league makes them an upside matchup for any team’s first line, but especially this Panthers’ trio, who have produced the most goals of any line in the league coming into the game. With the team coming off two decisive victories and this line has produced 10 points between them in their last two games, stacking the Panthers tonight is certainly a viable way to begin your GPP lineups.
Superstar to Target
Nikita Kucherov ($7,900), TBL at MIN – Kucherov has been semi-quiet of late, as the Lightning’s star winger has only one point in his last three games. Still, there’s been a notable jump in Kucherov’s step of late, who has now matched or exceeded five shots on goal in four straight games. The increased shot volume is notable and shouldn’t be ignored for fantasy purposes, especially with Tampa Bay coming into this matchup with Wild having won 11 of its last 12 games. Minnesota sets up as a perfect opponent for an explosion game from the more aggressive Kucherov as it features the fifth-worst GAA average and sixth-worst penalty-kill. With the Lightning in cruise control, getting a piece of their best forward makes sense.
Value on Offense
Tyler Toffoli ($4,400), LAK vs. FLA – Toffoli’s been quite productive for fantasy purposes over the last month or so, as he comes into this game averaging three SOG and 9.7 DKFP over his last 10 games — nearly two points more than his season average. The Kings’ first-liner has been getting tons of ice-time of late and it’s led to more consistent production. More of a shoot-first, ask questions later type player, Toffoli’s in a spot to potentially put up a ceiling-type performance against Florida who allows the 10th most SOG per game and has the third-worst GAA in the league.
Jesper Bratt ($3,400), NJD vs. WAS – With Kyle Palmieri injured, Bratt has been promoted to first-line duties for the Devils. While that means less for Bratt because he’s on the Devils, than it would if he were on any other team in the league, it’s still significant that a player this cheap will be getting first-line power-play exposure. Bratt’s played over 17 minutes per night in each of his last two games and recorded a power-play assist in his last outing. At $3,400, he won’t break the bank but provides some decent upside at a price point where he won’t have to do much to pay off.
Petr Mrazek ($7,500), CAR at CBJ – Mrazek is coming into this game off a 2-0 loss in his last outing but has been strong over his last couple starts. The Carolina netminder has stopped 60 and of the last 62 shots he’s faced and remains quite affordable tonight, despite Carolina entering this game as (-135) favorites. With Columbus currently attempting the 11th-most SOG per game in the league, Mrazek should have a decent shot at putting up a big save total here and certainly has flashed good enough recent form to trust him against a weaker team like Columbus.
Andrei Vasilevskiy ($8,000), TBL at MIN – Despite winning nine games in a row coming into tonight, Vasilevskiy remains only the sixth-most expensive goalie on the slate. Tampa Bay remains big favorites, even in this road game against the Wild, at (-165) on the puck line. The Russian hasn’t just been riding the coattails of his teammates either, as he’s now stopped 35 or more SOG, and achieved the DK-save bonus, in three of his last eight games, as well. Until something changes with Tampa Bay or Vasilevskiy, consider this price point a bargain for a goalie who has failed to put up 22, or more, fantasy points just once in his past six games.
Value on Defense
Adam Fox ($3,700), NYR at NYI – The Rangers have been rolling with youth all season and Fox is one player who has benefited from New York being in a clear rebuilding mode. The 21-year-old comes into tonight’s rematch with the Islanders averaging over two minutes per game of power-play exposure and has now racked up nine points over his last 10 games. While he’s not likely to keep producing at that rate, his power-play exposure means his nightly upside remains solid at his current price tag and he gets a decent matchup tonight against the Islanders, who have slid all the way down to 17th in the penalty-kill rankings. Fox is more of a boom-or-bust play, as he doesn’t block a ton of shots, but his power-play exposure and overall skillset make him a good tournament target at this price.
Shea Theodore ($5,100), VGK vs. OTT – With plenty of superstars on the slate at forward that you’ll be wanting to stack, looking for a good value on defense may be the key to unlocking tonight’s slate. While Theodore isn’t quite as consistent as some of the other studs at his position, he’s certainly flashed solid upside at various points of the season and comes in averaging 11.1 DKFP over his last 10 starts. Theodore comes into this game averaging a healthy 3 minutes and 11 seconds per game of power-play time per game and will face a Senators team who has the third-worst GAA average in the league here. A big game for the Golden Knights power-play specialist wouldn’t be shocking at all in this spot.
Erik Karlsson ($5,400), SJ vs. COL – Karlsson hasn’t been the fantasy stud he used to be with Ottawa this year, but he’s certainly been consistent of late, having scored points in each of his last six games, and has been a good value target over his last 10 games when priced under $5,500. Facing the Avalanche tonight, who have now lost four games in a row and feature the 10th-worst penalty-kill in the league, Karlsson’s a sneaky target on defense tonight who won’t break your salary constraints at other positions.
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