Throughout the year the DFS Datalytics Team will be giving you our “Stars of the Night”. These are the guys we feel will exceed expectations and provide value to your lineups regardless of their price.
Stars of the Night
Adam Daly: C – Connor McDavid (EDM)- $8,400 DK, $8,600 FD
Is it cheating to pick arguably the best player in the league for DFS purposes? No, because Connor McDavid’s extravagant price of $8400 should repress his ownership on a 9-game slate, and he’s in a great spot. Yes the Sabres have Jack Eichel back which should help them on the offensive side, but the Sabres have given up the fourth most Shots Against per game (10th on the season) and have had struggled immensely at killing penalties (third worst at 76.83%). The Sabres sit right on the middle of the league in terms of power plays given, but in only 127 minutes of penalty kill hockey, the Sabres have allowed 127 Scoring Chances Against which is the worst SCA/60 in the league. What that all means for McDavid is some prime opportunities with the man advantage.
One of the oddities about Connor McDavid is his supremely low shooting volume on the power play, taking only 6.3SOG/60 which has given him a whopping 0 PP goals on the year. With the playmaking skill that McDavid possesses however, he’s already racked up nine PP assists in 85 minutes with the man advantage. Unfortunately the referee matchup isn’t a juicy one with two veterans wearing the stripes in Eric Furlatt and Fredrick L’Ecuyer, the 21st and 32nd ranked refs in terms of PP/Gm respectively.
With Buffalo being at home, Sabres’ coach Dan Bylsma will most likely look to match Ryan O’Reilly against McDavid’s line, which will make it tough on McDavid as ROR is an above-average possession center: the Kyle Okposo-ROR pairing has combined for an EV CorsiFor of 55.48%. That being said, the possibility exists that Bylsma again looks to the line of Marcus Foligno – Johan Larsson – Brian Gionta; last season in the one Oilers-Sabres meeting in Buffalo, that trio saw the bulk of Connor McDavid.
One of the main factors in targeting McDavid tonight is the opposition goalie, Anders Nilsson. Anders Nilsson isn’t a bad goalie per se; he makes a serviceable backup (0.905SVP through 60 career games), and is having a great year in Buffalo with a 0.934SVP in eight GP. Nilsson also has a GSAA of 4.96, but it’s important to look at the sample size here – the bulk of his career so far (48 games) he amassed GSAAs of -9.78 in 2013-14 and -10.82 in 2015-16. It’s lucky then that the Edmonton Oilers get to walk into KeyBank Center tonight to face Nilsson and the Buffalo Sabres, and even luckier that Nilsson is on a small cold streak. In his last three games, Nilsson has allowed three goals in each and only stopped 77 of 86 shots (0.895SVP).
McDavid works as a single bullet, or stacked in a full line with Milan Lucic and Leon Draisatl. They’re expensive as a group which makes the rest of the lineup a little tougher to put together, but they play together at EV and stay together on the PP. McDavid could also work paired up with defenseman Andrej Sekera who’s averaged 22:51 over the last six games and is the sole defenseman on the first power play.
Chris Morais: G – Cory Schneider (NJ)- $8,000 DK, $9,100 FD
Let’s keep this section short and sweet, okay? Cory Schneider is the best goalie on this slate, period. Sure, you could entertain other goaltending options, but why would you move off a goalie who doesn’t lose at home.
Schneider’s record doesn’t look appealing at first glance (8-6-4/ 2.63/ .912), but his record at home is absolutely phenomenal (7-0-1/ 2.31/ .920). The difference is really quite something.
The Devils don’t lose at home when Schneider is in goal, and to make it even easier tonight, the Vancouver Canucks are in town. The Canucks are a below average scoring team and Schneider is an elite NHL goalie. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
He is a pricy option to consider, but that shouldn’t scare people off him. The Devils are a better offensive team with Taylor Hall and Mike Cammalleri in the lineup, so this is an easy New Jersey win if everything goes according to plan. On a nine-game slate, there will be plenty of bargain options to choose from up front and on defence, so plug Schneider into your lineup and work around him. You’ll thank yourself later.
Adam Jazdzewski: W – Filip Forsberg (NSH)- $6,300 DK, $6,700 FD
I’m not going to mention the super chalk today and go back once again to #ForsbergTuesday. Nashville is a heavy favorite but I dont necessarily see them as the highest owned team. I’m presuming the Kane/Panarin combination will have heavy ownership, along with some combinaton of Devils against the Canucks and McDavid against a guy he probably shot alot of pucks at least year.
That leaves Forsberg and the Preds to be around the fourth highest owned line/mini-stack for tonight’s slate. With the health of James Neal in doubt and Forsberg split from RyJo and Arvidsson, I can see Preds ownership being split as well. No matter how slow Forsberg started the season, looking at his home splits, they are exactly where we’d expect them to be this time of year.
Through 12 games, Forsberg has 12 points (2G, 10A) to go along with 29 shots. I’d still like to see a few more shots, but after a disappointing weekend where the Preds dropped back to back games, I can see them coming out with good pace in this one against an Avs team that is still one of the worst CF and score-adjusted CF teams in the league.
The Preds project to have the highest amount of power-play chances for this evening, and for a CF of right about 57. The Preds project for 3.16 goals tonight, which is the third highest on the slate. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Prince Filip come out of this one with 4+ shots and multiple points. Here’s to some low ownership!
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