Every day of the NHL season, we'll present insight on players skating that night in terms of their matchups and expected production. We'll also split them up into salary tiers, to offer up best value plays at each level. Finally, we'll identify a forward stack of the day, and one top best buy each for DraftKings and FanDuel.
The associated notes will discuss whether the player is best suited for a cash game, GPP or both, as well as whether he's a relatively stronger play on a particular DFS site. Generally speaking, steadier performers are more desirable for cash games, while the more volatile players should be used in tournament play.
Here are the best buys in daily fantasy hockey for Feb. 19.
Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers (at MON): Tuesday’s win in New Jersey will go towards restoring Neuvirth’s confidence after a recent shaky run. Otherwise, the netminder has been generally superb most of the season. Plus, the Canadiens appear a mess, on and off the ice, and the Flyers rediscovered their scoring touch against the Devils earlier his week.
Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus Blue Jackets (vs. BUF): He’s giving his club a realistic shot to win every night. Averaging less than two goals-against in his last half-dozen games, Korpisalo is 4-0-2. Solid since the new year, he’s only lost twice in regulation in 13 starts. And he’s facing a ton of shots.
John Tavares, New York Islanders (at NJ): The Islanders’ captain has hit a higher gear since the start of February, collecting six goals and seven assists in nine games. Plus, Tavares scored on Cory Schneider – who was far from solid in this week’s earlier appearance against the Flyers – last time out on six shots (Dec. 13).
Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers (at MON): Philly’s leader in goals and PIM, Simmonds has nine goals in his past 11 games, including two (one power-play/one even-strength) on eight shots against the Canadiens Feb. 2. The dynamic top-line winger also scored in this season’s earlier contest against Montreal (Jan. 5). He’s one of Friday’s obvious cash-game gems in both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks (at CGY): Barring roster changes, with Karri Ramo (torn ACL) on the injured shelf for the remainder of the season, the Flames are stuck riding the Jonas Hiller/Joni Ortio tandem. Hiller has allowed four goals in each of his last three games, while Ortio has surrendered 10 in this season’s grand total of two starts. Calgary’s ‘D’ is sporting significant holes with Dennis Wideman suspended, plus Kris Russell and Ladislav Smid considered day-to-day with minor injuries. Oh, and the Flames own the worst penalty kill in the league. The table is set for the Canucks’ best to bust forth with an explosive showing in Alberta. We’re additionally keen on the Daniel Sedin/Henrik Sedin stack this Friday.
Evander Kane, Buffalo Sabres (at CLS): The Sabres’ sniper appeared both apologetic and determined following his team-issued one-game suspension for missing Monday’s practice. "It was 100 percent my responsibility to make sure I'm at the rink and I'm on time," Kane said Thursday. "I take full responsibility for my actions and I'm accountable for those. I paid the consequences. For me, it's a lesson and it's something I'm not going let happen again." Entering Friday’s tilt with three goals in his most recent couple of games – five in his last six, plus 36 shots – Kane will do his darndest to make it up to his club on the ice. He’s our top candidate from Buffalo’s side versus a hot Korpisalo.
Jordan Staal, Carolina Hurricanes (vs. SJ): While we altogether appreciate the Hurricanes’ points leader – alongside bargain linemate Andrej Nestrasil – for his recent productive run, we absolutely adore Friday’s matchup with the Sharks if goalie Alex Stalock is indeed starting in place of Martin Jones. San Jose’s No. 1 has been superb in recent starts. The club’s backup has not. The younger Staal brother is especially underpriced for only $4,100 in DraftKings competition.
Joseph Blandisi, New Jersey Devils (vs. NYI): Situated on a scoring line with Adam Henrique and Lee Stempniak, and power play with Kyle Palmieri, the rookie forward will feel extra motivated to make up for this week’s embarrassing, and much-discussed, dive against the Flyers. Plus, Blandisi scored a power-play goal in each of his two previous games. And the Islanders are starting Jaroslav Halak, who has been mostly awful this month, since Thomas Greiss played Thursday.
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks (at CAR): Averaging nearly 28 minutes/five shots per game this month, the Sharks’ top defenseman appears poised to break his goal-less streak – 16 games and counting – at any moment. With several other modestly-priced assets boasting promise in other positions, we’re willing to wager the high-priced risk any moment goes down in Carolina Friday night.
P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens (vs. PHI): With the pressure turned up on the entire squad, the subject of Coach Michel Therrien’s recent public criticism could come out guns-a-blazin’ this Friday. Subban is very much that type of player. Even during this ugly spell for the Habs, the team’s top defenseman hasn’t let up.
Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens (vs. PHI): Those interested in a cheap asset in GPP’s might give the Canadiens’ veteran defensemen a thought, following Tuesday’s goal/four-shot showing in Denver. Markov also scored a power-play goal in Philadelphia earlier this month (Feb. 2). His comparatively-low FanDuel salary of $3,800 is expressly attractive.
Forward stack of the day
Brandon Saad/Alex Wennberg, Columbus Blue Jackets (vs. BUF): Saad has two goals and 11 shots in his past three contests, while his young centerman has a goal and two helpers. Including veteran winger Scott Hartnell (also stack-worthy), this Blue Jackets scoring line sports reasonable potential against the visiting Sabres, even in the face of recent solid play by goalie Robin Lehner. Plus, Saad and Hartnell each scored a power-play goal in Buffalo during their first meeting, back in October.
DraftKings best buy
Brayden Schenn, C, Philadelphia Flyers (at MON): Competing on a top line and power play with Simmonds and Claude Giroux, Schenn has three goals, two assists, and 14 shots in his most recent quartet of contests. He’s a total steal in DraftKings for only $4,500 -- either solo, or in conjunction with Simmonds or Giroux.
FanDuel best buy
Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Philadelphia Flyers (at MON): Anchoring a Flyers’ top power play and riding a 13-game point streak, Gostisbehere sports a high fantasy ceiling versus goalie Mike Condon and the Canadiens. And for the modest cost of only $5,200.