DraftKings Daily Fantasy Hockey Helper for 1/13/21
Opening night is always exciting in the NHL. Not only is hockey back, but we get a nice five-game slate with some of the best teams in the league in action.
A lot of times early in the season, teams haven't figured out how they are going to play in their defensive system, which leads to a lot of goals. With all the craziness going on and the lack of preseason games, that could be even more true this year. So let's take a look at some high-salary players, some values. and a goalie that we can build around on DraftKings.
High Salary Skaters
Connor McDavid ($8,400): With all the centers with high salaries tonight, it will be difficult to parse through which one is better than the others. McDavid could be the best for a few reasons. He could get the most ice time out of them. Last season, his teammate Leon Draisaitl led the league in ice time for forwards, but with McDavid on the top line, he should take that mantle. McDavid will face a Vancouver Canucks team that had the fourth-worst expected goal rate and allowed the fourth-most shots per game, according to Natural Stat Trick. McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers had a power play that scored at a 29.5% clip last season, four percentage points better than any other power play in the NHL. With Vancouver having lost goalie Jacob Markstrom and their leading penalty kill defenseman Chris Tanev, the 16th-best penalty kill from last season could get worse. McDavid is at the top of our projections tonight and should start the season off on the right foot.
Brayden Point ($7,000): If you watched the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs, you saw how good Point can be. He had 14 goals and 33 points in 23 playoff games, and went up against some stiff competition, as Tampa's four playoff series were against some of the toughest defenses in the league. Now, he gets back to easy matchups in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks were a poor defensive team that was propped up to be respectable by goaltending, but now will be starting Malcolm Subban. Subban has allowed -23.9 goals saved above average in his career and has never shown to be a starting-caliber netminder. Point has nearly as much upside as the top tier of centers but comes at a discount of $1,000-plus.
Mike Hoffman ($3,200): If you've played daily fantasy hockey on DraftKings over the past three to four seasons, you've likely played Hoffman when his salary was in the $5,000-$6,000 range. Well, the St. Louis Blues signed Hoffman to a Professional Tryout a few weeks ago and then to a real contract on Monday for salary cap purposes, and it appears to have helped all DFS players stay under the salary cap as well. Hoffman scored 36 goals in 2018-19 and would have scored over 30 again last season if the season did not get paused. He is one of the games best snipers, and had the sixth highest shot rate in the league last season. He is going to slot in on the Blues' second line and first power play unit, according to Daily Faceoff. Our projections have Hoffman for 11.4 points, so at $3,200, he is the best value on the board.
Alexander Romanov ($2,500): A lot of times when building lineups, you're going to need a punt on defense. Romanov fits that bill tonight. I'd be lying if I said I knew a ton about this player, but he won the best defenseman at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, per Wikipedia. He is in line to get some power play time for the Montreal Canadiens on a unit with net front pest Brendan Gallagher, so it's not crazy to think that he could get an assist off a rebound. Early in the season is the best time to take shots on these unknown players, because the salary and popularity could be the lowest we see all season if they are a hit.
Goalie to Target
Andrei Vasilevskiy ($8,400): Vasilevskiy played every game for Tampa in the playoffs last season, and posted a .927 save percentage. This is after he won the Vezina trophy in the 2018-19 season, so he is proven to be one of the best goalies in the league. He will play this Blackhawks team that is without Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach, their top two centers. This is one of the reasons that Chicago has the lowest implied goal total of just 2.61 and Tampa is the biggest favorite on the slate at -250. The next biggest favorite is the Colorado Avalanche at -150, and Philipp Grubauer is $8,200. You could make the case that Vasilevskiy's salary is too low given the gap in those odds, as that tells us he is much more likely to get the win tonight.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.