We have three games today with some high-flying offensive teams. Minnesota and Calgary are going to be popular, but can we find some value elsewhere? Will the New York Islanders be able to score goals? Can St. Louis win games on back-to-back nights? You can build daily fantasy hockey lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo Fantasy for Friday, December 16th, but before you build those NHL daily fantasy lineups, don’t forget to check out our NHL DFS projections, the NHL Value Finder, and the NHL DFS lineup generator. Let's now take a closer look at the daily fantasy hockey top plays for tonight's NHL DFS slate.
Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Minnesota Wild
The Chicago Blackhawks are not a very good team, so we should see a lot of DFS players gravitate towards Minnesota. Chicago has lost five in a row and a 1-8-1 in their last ten games. The Wild have won three games in a row and are 7-3 in their last ten games.
Kirill Kaprizov is a no-brainer on this slate, but who do we pair him with? There was a time when we could play Sam Steel for literally nothing, but he’s $4000 now, which isn’t a ton, but still more than I’d like to pay for him. He doesn’t shoot the puck much, so playing him is more of a salary-saving strategy. If you want to move off Kaprizov, Matt Boldy is the next best option. He’s $5800 and offers a ton of upside.
Minnesota’s entire defensive core just doesn’t excite me. They aren’t bad, but no one really stands out, so we should save our salary and focus our attention elsewhere. If you do want a piece of their defence, Jared Spurgeon is the way to go.
In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury is confirmed to get the start. He’s going to want to show his former team that he still has what it takes to be an elite goalie in the NHL at 38 years old. Chicago isn’t a threat to score a ton of goals, so Fleury will be quite popular.
On the Chicago side, Patrick Kane is having a difficult season, but he has 47 shots on goal in the last ten games and has finished with five or more in each of the last four games. When Kane is shooting the puck, good things are bound to happen. He’s also a cool $5900, so I love him as a single-bullet in a GPP.
On the back end, Seth Jones is $6000, but he is worth his price tag. We know that he is the only offensive threat on that blue line, but he can also block shots. He sees a ton of ice time at five on five and on the power play, so this gives him a really good chance at hitting value. If you don’t want to spend that much, Jack Johnson could a solution. He has finished with three or more blocked shots in two of the last five games and is under $3K on DraftKings. He’s a risky option, but one that could pay off.
St. Louis Blues Vs. Calgary Flames
The St. Louis Blues are playing their second game in as many nights and will (most likely) be rolling with Tomas Greiss in goal. St. Louis was able to pull off some magic yesterday and escape with a win against the Edmonton Oilers, but I don’t see them doing the same tonight.
Calgary’s top line is always a popular play, but today, we are going to move down one spot and look at Nazem Kadri. His $6900 is up there, but he finished last game with six shots on goal and continues to see a healthy amount of ice time. Elias Lindholm is a good player, but he just doesn’t shoot the puck. If you can afford Kadri, he’s worth playing.
Jonathan Huberdeau has been moved down to the second line with Kadri, so that’s a mini-stack to consider. Dillon Dube has moved up to the top line and finished with two assists last game. Both players are worth considering on this short slate.
On defence, Noah Hanifin continues to be one of the better DFS options when he’s in action. He has an offensive side to his game, but he can also block shots. He has eight in the last two games and is reasonably priced at $5700. If you can’t afford him, MacKenzie Weegar might be the next-best option. He isn’t putting up many points this season, but he is playing over 20-minutes a night and we know that he can block shots.
Jacob Markstrom is confirmed to start for the Calgary Flames and I really don’t know how I feel about this. He’s been a mess since the beginning of the season, but he has played much better of late. He’s lost his last two starts in overtime and hasn’t gotten much goal support. Considering the Blues played last night, this spot could work for him. Just be ready to be disappointed by him.
For St. Louis, Jordan Kyrou and Vladimir Tarasenko are the two best forwards on the team, but they are both pretty expensive tonight and don’t have a great matchup on paper. You could play one if you want to get some exposure to St. Louis, but the better route would be to play someone on defence. Justin Faulk is on the same level as Noah Hanifin, but he’s more expensive. That could help keep his ownership low tonight. Colton Parayko is another player with some upside. He did absolutely nothing against Edmonton, but in the game before that, he finished with five blocked shots. I think he can improve from his subpar performance from last night and at least hit value.
New York Islanders Vs. Arizona Coyotes
This game just makes me want to projectile vomit everywhere for multiple hours. The Islanders aren’t a great offensive team, but they have a matchup with the Arizona Coyotes, so we can’t completely ignore them. We should have some exposure to them, but very little.
Usually, I would look to play someone like Mathew Barzal or Brock Nelson, but tonight, we are looking at Anders Lee and Noah Dobson. Lee finished with ten shots on goal against the New Jersey Devils just over a week ago and is only $5700 tonight. He only has four shots on goal in the last two games, but those games have been against Carolina and Boston. The Coyotes are bad, so I’ll take my chances with him. As for Dobson, he’s a good puck moving defenceman who can rack up points. He hasn’t been all that consistent over his last five games, but I think he can certainly hit value tonight.
We don’t know who is going to start for New York and it’s unlikely we find out before lock. Ilya Sorokin is likely to start, and if that is the case, he’s by far the best goalie option on the slate. Arizona doesn’t generate a ton of chances and Sorokin is an elite goalie. He will cost you a pretty penny, but it’s going to be hard to fade him.
For Arizona, Matias Maccelli is a kid I really like. He’s skating on the second line and has 20 points this season. Two of those points are goals, but at $2800, a point and a couple of shots on goal are enough for him to hit value. He’s my favourite bargain play on the slate.
It’s going to be hard to sell most of you on Jakob Chychrun and his $7300, but hear me out for a moment. He has nine points in 11 games this season. He’s also added a nice 41 shots on goal in that span, so he’s racking up points and shooting the puck a ton. His matchup against Sorokin isn’t ideal, but we could get him at under 10% tonight in most GPPs. I love his upside if you’re willing to swallow the inflated price tag.
There are a lot of things wrong with Arizona, but their goaltending isn’t an issue. Karel Vejmelka has a 3.07 GAA, but a .913 SV%. In short-- he’s giving up a decent amount of goals, but he’s also facing way too many shots. The Islanders are middle-of-the-pack when it comes to shots on goal, which is actually unfortunate because it means Vejmelka may not be able to hit the save bonus. As good as Sorokin has been this season, he’s 10-9 on the season. Again, we know that the Islanders don’t score a ton of goals and their forwards don’t really scare me. Vejmelka isn’t a bad play by any means.