DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown

DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

Thursday's NHL slate will feature plenty of action, with 10 games on tap after 7:00 p.m. EDT. Below, you'll find a breakdown of the action and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.

SLATE PREVIEW

Two teams stand out as Thursday's biggest favorites — the Oilers in Arizona and the Jets at home against Anaheim. While the latter's expected to be more of a defensive battle (over/under 5.5 goals), the former has an over/under of 6.5 goals, and it's no secret which players are most likely to provide that offense. Other offense-friendly matchups in this slate are the Avalanche-Panthers and Capitals-Devils, both of which have over/unders of 6.5 goals, while the remaining contests are split between lines of 6.0 and 5.5. With a number of pricey scorers in favorable matchups to choose from, the three major keys to building a successful lineup will be choosing which star(s) to build around, which bargains to fill out your lineup with, and as always, not messing up your pick in net.

GOALIES

Frederik Andersen, CAR at MON ($7,800): The Canadiens simply haven't been able to score, as losing Phillip Danault and Shea Weber in the offseason seems to have hit Montreal much harder than anticipated. Montreal has mustered just three goals through four games en route to an 0-4-0 start, while Andersen's 2-0-0 with a 2.50 GAA and .926 save percentage to begin his Hurricanes tenure. Advantage: Andersen.

Igor Shesterkin, NYR at NSH ($7,700): The Rangers dropped their season opener in regulation behind a forgettable performance from backup Alexandar Georgiev, but they've wisely ridden Shesterkin since. New York's top netminder has gone 2-0-1 with a 1.62 GAA and .949 save percentage, including a stellar 40-save effort to steal a 2-1 overtime win in Toronto in his last start. A Predators team that's mustered just seven goals in a 1-2-0 start will have a hard time beating the locked-in Shesterkin.

Connor Hellebuyck, WPG vs. ANH ($8,500): A visit from the Ducks could be just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Hellebuyck, who's 0-2-1 with a 4.66 GAA and .856 save percentage after consecutive elite seasons. It will take some bravery to lock him in given his form through three starts, but Hellebuyck will almost certainly bounce back at some point, so why not against an Anaheim team that scored a league-low 2.21 goals per game last season.

Thomas Greiss, DET vs. CGY ($7,300): Greiss is an enticing bargain option, as he's 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .969 save percentage while the visiting Flames have averaged just two goals per game en route to an 0-1-1 start. Alex Nedeljkovic would also have upside at $7,300 given his success in Carolina last year (15-5-3 with a 1.90 GAA and .932 save percentage), though he got off to a less than ideal start in the Motor City, allowing seven goals on 48 shots in an overtime loss to Tampa Bay.

VALUE PLAYS/ONE-OFFS

Timo Meier, SJ at OTT ($6,900): Meier's off to a monster start, with a 1-3-4 line and 15 shots through just two games. His point total dropped in each of the previous two seasons after a breakout 30-36-66 line in 2018-19, but the Sharks winger is still just 25 years old and appears ready to challenge his career-best numbers this season. The Sharks are playing free and loose with the weight of Evander Kane's controversial presence gone for at least the next 21 games, and Meier should continue to lead the way against a Senators team that surrendered 3.38 goals per game last season — tied with New Jersey for fourth-most league-wide.

J.T. Miller, VAN at CHI ($4,800): Miller finds himself in a familiar spot as the Canucks' points leader thanks to a 1-4-5 line through four games, yet he remains valued below four other Vancouver forwards. Back at center for the moment, the versatile forward should continue to outperform his $4,800 valuation against a Blackhawks team that's off to an 0-3-1 start while being outscored 17-8.

Anthony Duclair, FLA vs. COL ($4,100): Duclair's upside has been limited by his bottom-six role on a deep Panthers squad, but that hasn't stopped him from opening the season on a three-game goal-scoring streak, prompting a move up the lineup. Projected to skate on the top line here, the two-time 20-goal scorer has a great opportunity to keep his goal streak going on home ice against an Avalanche team that has struggled defensively so far, allowing 13 goals through three games.

Tyler Bertuzzi, DET vs. CGY ($7,200): Bertuzzi has quickly compiled a 5-1-6 line through three games, sharing the league goals lead with Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar. He also has a remarkable plus-7 rating, as Detroit's top line has surprisingly skated circles around the competition. The visiting Flames have been outscored 8-4 through two games, so the Red Wings, and Bertuzzi in particular, are primed to build on their hot starts.

Elias Lindholm, CGY at DET ($6,000): On the other side of the Flames-Red Wings clash, Lindholm has been one of the few early bright spots for the Flames, notching identical lines of a goal on three shots in each of Calgary's first two games. He's a bona fide first-line center coming off a 19-28-47 line in 56 games after flirting with 30 goals in each of the previous two seasons. If Detroit turns back into a pumpkin and reverts to its customary bottom-feeding form from recent years, Lindholm's as likely as any Flames player to capitalize.

FORWARD LINE STACKS

Oilers at Coyotes

Connor McDavid (C - $9,500), Leon Draisaitl (W - $8,800), Jesse Puljujarvi (W - $5,700)

The sky's the limit when the league's most productive line takes on the league's worst defensive team. McDavid and Draisaitl need no introduction after occupying the top two spots in the league scoring race last season, and Puljujarvi's nearly keeping pace with them so far this season; through three games, McDavid has a 4-4-8 line, Draisaitl's at 2-6-8 and Puljujarvi's at 2-4-6. Meanwhile, the Coyotes are winless through three games, having already allowed an eight-goal outburst to Columbus and seven goals to St. Louis. Paying up to stack this entire trio should be worth it, even though you'll have to hunt for bargains elsewhere.

Capitals at Devils

Evgeny Kuznetsov (C - $5,900), Alex Ovechkin (W - $8,200), Tom Wilson (W - $4,100)

It's been no Backstrom, no problem for the Capitals' top line thus far, as Kuznetsov has filled in admirably for the injured Swede with a 2-4-6 line through three games. The Russian center is in the early stages of a bounce-back season, but countryman Alex Ovechkin has been even more productive in the early going, with a 4-2-6 line and 13 shots. Wilson's known more for his physical presence, but he's chipped in four helpers in the past two games and has more skill than he's given credit for, with a 56-65-121 line in 181 appearances since the start of the 2018-19 campaign — a 25-goal, 55-point pace per 82 games. New Jersey's off to a 2-0-0 start, but the Devils have beaten the Blackhawks and Kraken, who have combined for one win in nine games. A date with the 2-0-1 Capitals will likely reveal that New Jersey's still a bottom-two team in the Metropolitan Division.

Blackhawks vs. Canucks

Kirby Dach (C - $3,600), Patrick Kane (W - $7,400), Brandon Hagel (W - $2,900)

Both of these teams struggle to keep the puck out of their net, but the most intriguing line from either side here is Chicago's top line, which features a mix of productivity and affordability. Kane's the straw that stirs the drink, and the 32-year-old winger's showing no signs of slowing down. After comfortably eclipsing a point per game in each of the previous three seasons, Kane has a 1-3-4 line and 18 shots through four games. Dach's in the early stages of a breakout campaign at age 20 with a 2-1-3 line and 11 shots. The third overall selection in the 2019 draft should only get pricier from here. Hagel has held his own on this line with a pair of helpers, and including the affordable winger in the stack could pay off against a Canucks team that's been outscored 14-9 en route to a 1-2-1 start.

DEFENSEMEN

Cale Makar, COL at FLA ($6,400): Makar's off to a slow start, with just one assist through three games. He has managed to buoy his value somewhat with three shots in each game, but last year's point-per-game output suggests the young stud is capable of much more. Colorado's starting to get back some of its previously unavailable top players, which should help Makar thrive in a fast-paced battle with the Panthers that perfectly suits his elite mix of skill and skating prowess.

Erik Karlsson, SJ at OTT ($4,800): Karlsson's poised for a strong homecoming to Ottawa, where he spent the first nine seasons of his career. While he's no longer the dominant offensive blueliner he was with the Senators, a diminished Karlsson is still very dangerous, as evidenced by his 1-3-4 line through two games this season. Given Ottawa's defensive shortcomings and Karlsson's prominent role on the Sharks' power play – three of his four points have come with the extra man – the one-time point-per-game producer has a great chance of marking the scoresheet in this one.

Kevin Shattenkirk, ANH at WPG ($4,400): If Hellebuyck's early struggles continue, look for Shattenkirk to take advantage. The five-time 40-point scorer hasn't topped that mark since 2016-17, but Shattenkirk seems to have regained his top form, having opened the season with a 3-2-5 line through four games. He's a terrific value at $4,400 against a Jets team that has allowed the most fantasy production in the league to defensemen thus far.

Evan Bouchard, EDM at ARI ($3,700): Stacking Edmonton's top players won't be cheap, but adding Bouchard to the stack can open up a bit of cap space given his affordable $3,700 valuation. Those who did so in the Oilers' last game came away ecstatic, as he stuffed the stat sheet with a goal, an assist, six shots and seven blocks en route to 37.6 fantasy points. Even half of that production here would make Bouchard an elite value play.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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