The “Value Picks of the Night” series will be a periodic “these are guys I like from tonight’s slate” type of article. While I will most often look towards value options — choosing stars is the easy part — there will occasionally be higher-end players listed, particularly on nights where there aren’t a lot of games.
C – Jordan Weal (Philadelphia) – $3,100 DK, $3,300 FD
Weal has averaged .83 expected goals per 60 minutes of 5v5 play over the last two seasons, which ties him with the likes of Joe Pavelski, David Pastrnak, and Patrick Marleau, among others. He’s been an efficient scorer in that time, too. If he gets opportunity, the points should be there. That won’t be a problem opening night as he’ll play with Nolan Patrick and Wayne Simmonds at evens and also skate on PP2.
W – Kevin Labanc (San Jose) – $3,100 DK, $3,000 FD
Labanc will get the first crack at riding shotgun alongside San Jose’s two best forwards, Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, on the top line. Rarely do you get exposure to elite talents at this price point, which makes Labanc a pretty easy guy to roster.
D – Brian Dumoulin (Pittsburgh) – $2,900 DK, $3,700 FD
Dumoulin may be my favorite punt player of the day. He plays for a high-event team and will skate on the top pairing, which alone makes him an attractive option. When you factor in a) he has exposure to elite talent at 5v5 (he’s partnered with Kris Letang and the Penguins are loaded up front) and; b) will see time on PP2, he’s almost a must-play (on DK, especially).
D – Josh Morrissey (Winnipeg) – $3,300 DK, $3,600 FD
The Leafs and Jets are two of the more high-event, high-powered offensive teams in the league and Morrissey will be a prime beneficiary of that as he’ll see no shortage of ice alongside Jacob Trouba on the top pairing. He may not see power play time, but he’ll be one of the game’s most utilized players at even-strength and will not only have opportunities to pick up points, but also blocks as the Leafs put a lot of pucks towards the net.
G – Brian Elliott (Philadelphia) – $7,000 DK, $7,800 FD
I like Elliott for a few reasons. One, ownership is likely going to be *very* low. Two, the Sharks put a lot of pucks on net (they finished 7th in 5v5 attempts per 60 last season) and Elliott has actually been one of the better 5v5 goaltenders in the league over the last handful of years. Three, the Flyers do a nice job of keeping shots to the outside as they were 8th best at suppressing chances at 5v5 a season ago. Four, I think the Flyers are much improved and have a good chance of winning the game outright.