A large, 10-game NHL DFS slate is upon us on Tuesday, Dec. 5, and it features a turbo (two games) and late (three games) option. We're loaded across the board with potential value picks for DraftKings and FanDuel contests, plus more daily fantasy hockey strategy advice that can help you tonight. As always, advanced stats, matchups, Vegas odds, and potential points per dollar are all factors into our suggestions.
Vegas odds project several games tonight with an over/under of six, but be careful about always trusting Vegas. Several seemingly favorable matchups between top-six teams and lower-tier teams didn't meet expectations on Sunday and Monday. Tuesday night won't necessarily be about "stars and scrubs"; rather, how a player maximizes value with spending.
Because of the volatile nature of goalies (and other reasons), there will be more information on social media coming closer to roster lock. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are looking for even more advice and insight, please check me out on Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. Let’s get into tonight’s value picks after a visit from the RotoQL optimizer.
Tuesday NHL DFS Picks: Center values
Pierre-Luc Dubois, Columbus vs New Jersey (DraftKings $4,000, FanDuel $3,900)
Tuesday features plenty of higher-profile options. Dubois has been on fire, exceeding value in six of his past seven games. He has points in four straight, but most importantly, he will draw against depth matchups against New Jersey. The Devils allow the fifth-most daily fantasy points to centers and got freight trained by Arizona late on Saturday. Historically, New Jersey has had trouble with Columbus and their power game.
With the 10-game slate, there is still room to set up a few different lineups that are outside the limits of being safe. This can even be a nice one-off if needed. Expect Columbus ownership to be a good bit lower than those top teams (PIT, DAL, Tampa, etc.). Dubois is a center who has not seen his price skyrocket. This will help in price relief.
The good news is there are several other options as far as value on Tuesday night. Adrian Kempe and Phillip Danault will be nice shelter even with their slightly rising DraftKings prices. Vegas's and Tampa’s first lines will have some ownership potential. Remember, extreme chalk can be used as long as you know what to expect. How high does Tyler Seguin ownership get? It is a great question.
Other Options: Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin (very chalky), Anze Kopitar, , Henrik Zetterberg (high risk), Kyle Turris, Nathan MacKinnon (watch Colorado kid line also), Matthew Barzal, Mikko Koivu.
Crazy Value Possible: Frans Nielsen, Erik Haula (DraftKings only – miderate risk), Travis Zajac (punt play and little else), Patrik Berglund (price has not risen much yet).
Tuesday Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks: Winger values
Brendan Gallagher, Montreal vs. St. Louis (DraftKings $5,200, FanDuel $6,400)
Gallagher is on a bit of a roll, as he has exceeded value in three of his past four games. Montreal has won five straight games overall. The concern is when does the party stop. Montreal has scored 24 goals during this streak. Gallagher quietly has 13 goals on 87 shots this year. He is shooting the puck more and being rewarded for it.
Montreal could be a decent choice because of the Blues slumping penalty kill. Understand however that the Canadiens have had their own issues there (both teams around 77 percent). Gallagher’s price is high on FanDuel, so it does carry risk. However, his DraftKings price is a bargain given his production in general (not just of late).
Alex Tuch, Tyler Johnson, and Alex DeBrincat (again!) are all nice low-price options on DraftKings tonight. With this slate, even these riskier plays are viable. On a few lineups, these forwards may be worth a shot. Watch the second and even third lines of some teams. Even an Andreas Athanasiou one-off play may be worth a flier. Monday night featured some bottom-six scoring that was unusual. Expect that to continue on Tuesday.
Other Options: Taylor Hall (lower owned than usual), Mikael Granlund (Minnesota), Nikita Kucherov and Jamie Benn (chalk), Jonathan Marchessault, Tyler Toffoli, Brock Boeser, Viktor Arvidsson/Filip Forsberg, Anthony Mantha (high risk GPP flier). More plays will be on social media.
Crazy Value Possible: Trevor Lewis, J.T. Compher, Andrew Cogliano, Loui Eriksson, Sam Gagner (dangerous risk).
Tuesday NHL DFS Advice: Defensemen picks, values
Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo @ Colorado (DraftKings $4,600, FanDuel $4,600)
Choices are abundant among defensemen on Tuesday night. Ristolainen shoots at moderate to higher levels typically, and has block potential of two or three shots a game. That sounds a bit risky, but Buffalo’s metrics (particularly Corsi for and against) have been at the bottom of the league. This means more chances for points in a variety of ways.
Colorado allows a ton of daily fantasy points to defensemen. As a matter of fact, they allow the second most in all of hockey. The Avalanche have allowed 16 goals over their past five games while Buffalo has done anything but score (just four goals). There is a law of averages that makes playing Ristolainen intriguing enough on Tuesday. Very few will own him given the fact that like Dustin Byfuglien, he has no goals.
Kris Letang could be a semi-chalky-yet-good choice because the Rangers will give up some quality chances (bottom third). Their goaltending can give up goals in small bunches. Expected goals for is up tonight for some defensemen, and value is higher than usual as seen below with our recommendations. Watch injury reports for not just injury but illness. The latter has been on the rise.
Other Options: Mike Green, Seth Jones, Roman Josi (nearly chalk), Jake Muzzin (less risk), Shea Theodore (will be moderately owned), John Klingberg (CHALK), Tyson Barrie (could surprise tonight), Nick Leddy (higher risk and price is UP), Brandon Montour.
Crazy Value Possible: Matthew Dumba (Spurgeon still out), Joe Morrow, Noah Hanifin, Josh Morrissey, Colin Miller.
Tuesday Daily Fantasy Hockey Advice: Goalie picks, values
Jimmy Howard, Detroit vs Winnipeg (DraftKings $7,000, FanDuel $7,500)
Howard has been horrendous in net, giving up four or more goals in five of his past seven starts. He has posted negative points in his last two outings. Detroit was pasted 10-1 by Montreal over the weekend. Detroit vowed changes would be made. Winnipeg is a team that will exchange chances like we mentioned above. The difference is their goaltending (Connor Hellebuyck) has been more consistent.
Howard is an extremely risky GPP option on DraftKings and FanDuel. That leaves the dilemma of who else to play. Confirmations are just coming out, so the best course of action may be to wait a bit. There are also some low team totals tonight. For as many bullish predictions as there are from Vegas, there are some bears, as well. Howard is priced so low that he is worth at least a flier somewhere. People forget that in November, the Detroit goalie had seven quality starts in a 10-game stretch. A quality start is a result where a goaltender allows two goals or less.
The emphasis will be to wait until closer to lock (7 p.m. ET) for any line shifts and goalie changes, etc. Also, watch for injuries and returns tonight as some projections may be impacted.
Other Options: Carey Price (Cash play), Ben Bishop (mostly cash), Jonathan Quick, Henrik Lundqvist (GPP – DraftKings but risky). More choices will come closer to lock.
NHL DFS Picks for Tuesday: Top Lines to Stack
These are based on RotoQL lineup optimizer projections. Coming soon, this will be a space where we dive into even more of what the optimizer spits out.
· PIT 1 – 1 will be owned at a moderately high rate but not chalk like some are predicting. PIT 2 can be used but double-center stack is risky.
· DAL 1 – Is not bad but watch to see who draws Josi assignment, pivot to DAL 2 if needed for price relief. Several options with Dallas including John Klingberg.
· TB 1 or 2 – Both can be used but the second line may have more potential tonight. Check updates to make sure lines stay the way they are.
· COL 1 – One of the better lines in the league and still pretty cheap stack wise. Buffalo could be a risky contrarian play but more as a mini-stack (Kane-Ristolainen, perhaps.?)
· LAK 2 (Some think LAK 1 will be higher owned – can use parts)
· WPG 1 is expensive but can use a defenseman for some price relief as a third player. Detroit is not going to allow 10 goals again and could be another semi-contrarian play. Winnipeg is 27th in high danger chances allowed per 60 since Nov. 1.
· VGK 2 – Line one could be higher-owned and some may even attempt part of the first-unit power play here. Anaheim is still allowing chances in waves.
· NYR 1 – Arguably projected to be a bit of a surprise on Tuesday. Pittsburgh defensively has been better of late which should drive ownership away. This will be low owned.
· VAN 1 – Very risky because of Carolina.
These are just a few lines. As updates become more available, there will be more on social media. Watch to see who plays. That will swing ownership a little bit. Start trusting the numbers and get your one or two scoops. Our spotlight picks feature more value which can mean more inherent risk.
NHL DFS Strategy: Reviewing what went wrong
This is always going to be a section full of “hindsight is 20/20”. However, Monday’s four-game slate was interesting. If you did not play Phillip Grubauer or Brian Elliott, there was trouble. If one played San Jose, that really hurt. Calgary chalk went pan flat. Even the Florida-New York game featured more spread out scoring. Scores were lower than usual as they can be on some short slates. When mid-to-high 30’s cashes on DraftKings easily, that is a sign. Calgary flamed out at home, but even Nashville nearly blew a three-goal lead. That hammered anyone who completely faded (stayed away) from Boston.