FanDuel NHL: Friday Targets
FanDuel NHL: Friday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

The Avs' unbeaten-in-regulation streak can be extended against the Panthers, who can move above .500 for the first time this season with a win. The start was messy, but the Panthers have allowed eight goals in their past three games compared to 14 in their first three. Remember that Joel Quenneville was picked by many to win the Jack Adams.

The Stars' only win this season came in OT and it's game three of their four-game road trip, so the Penguins, who are 4-1-0 since losing Evgeni Malkin, have arguably the easiest matchup on the slate. Sidney Crosby as 12 points while Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov have combined for 10.

The Jackets and Hawks will be an interesting matchup with both teams still trying to figure out if they're playoff contenders. John Tortorella's squads plays everyone tough, and over the past four seasons have always managed to split the season series. This will be their first meeting this season.

The 2-0 start may be merely just an illusion after summer of change for the Rangers, who have now lost two straight and must face the Caps in the second half of a back-to-back. Defensively, the Rangers have been okay, but it's their puck possession and lack of secondary scoring that's killing them.

The Oilers will look to ride the McDraisaitl train for as long as they possibly can. The two forwards are dominating teams in ways not seen since Lemieux and Jagr, and the Red Wings are quite dreadful at defending. The Caps and Oilers are the heaviest favourites tonight.

The Ducks have been an interesting matchup this season and it's very encouraging their only losses this season are to the Pens and Bruins on the road. The Hurricanes, first in their division and looking very much like a contender, are the slight favourites.

GOALIES

If the Caps and Oilers are favoured heavily, then Mike Smith ($7,700) is the better value option than Ilya Samsonov ($8,100), who will likely get the start ahead of a struggling Braden Holtby. Even contrarians should find it difficult to back an aging Henrik Lundqvist ($7,500) or any goalie facing the Oilers right now.

The Panthers are playing better but still not quite good enough to trust Sergei Bobrovsky ($8,600), who allowed four goals against the Devils. Philip Grubauer ($8,100) has been just good enough for the Avs to win, and a misplay by Gabriel Landeskog in OT is the only reason why took the L in Pittsburgh.

Matt Murray ($8,900) is a great option because the Stars stink and there's little reason to think they can turn it around. Banking on Corey Perry's return to turn things around was a precarious plan to begin with. John Gibson ($8,700) is the best goalie in the league but the 'Canes can be pretty terrifying, and streaky goalie Petr Mrazek ($7,600) is coming off a 31-save shutout.  

The Hawks have not announced a starter but both Robin Lehner ($7,500) and Corey Crawford ($7,300) could be good options on a team where the starting job is still up for grabs. The Jackets may be difficult to beat but when they win games it's usually not because of their offense.

VALUE PLAYS/ONE-OFFS

Jared McCann ($4,100) has begun practising but remains a game-time decision. If he dresses, he'll slot in right behind Crosby and he's a potential value play against a very weak opponent. That will bump Sam Lafferty ($3,000) down the lineup, but at least we know that if McCann can't play, Lafferty will get first crack after playing 16 minutes against the Avs.

Drake Caggiula ($3,300) was promoted to the top line and skated with Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat. He's been mostly a bottom-six forward in the NHL, but he's a former NCAA Tournament MVP and all-star so he definitely has some offense to give. He's a tricky proposition because Jeremy Colliton might mix up the lines mid-game, but if Caggiula sticks there's no better value play.

Darren Helm ($3,700) is in a similar situation. With three goals in four games he's replaced Tyler Bertuzzi on Dylan Larkin's wing as Jeff Blashill evens out the lines, but I'm skeptical that Helm will stay there beyond a few shifts or even a game or two. The 32-year-old's career high is 15 goals.

Zack Kassian ($4,400) remains a decent value play as long as he plays on the top line, which he is and without much internal competition. It may be hard for him to get points because it's all Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but hockey is generous and two of Kassian's three helpers were secondary assists.  

The Hurricanes have gotten awesome production from Erik Haula ($5,600), who has six goals already this season. He's a "third-line" center by name only, as his salary and production both exceed Jordan Staal's, not to mention he has the better linemates overall.

FORWARD LINE STACKS

Carolina Hurricanes (TOTAL: $13,900)
C – Erik Haula ($5,600)
W – Martin Necas ($3,500)
W – Ryan Dzingel ($4,800)

They're cheap and super effective with facing Gibson as the only drawback. Still, the Ducks defense isn't deep enough (top prospect turned journeyman Michael Del Zotto played 19 minutes last game) to handle all three of their forward lines. This "third line" has 17 points so far this season.

Edmonton Oilers (TOTAL: $22,500)
C – Connor McDavid ($9,400)
W – Leon Draisaitl ($8,700)
W – Zack Kassian ($4,400)

Thanks goodness for Kassian keeping the price of this line stack low. Is there really any confidence in Jonathan Bernier being able to keep the puck out of the net?

Washington Capitals (TOTAL: $21,200)
C – Nicklas Backstrom ($6,300)
W – Alex Ovechkin ($8,500)
W – T.J. Oshie ($6,400)

Lundqvist has played just two games but it's the fourth straight season his save percentage has declined and he's 0-1-3 with 17 goals (!) allowed in his last four games against the Caps.

DEFENSEMEN

John Carlson ($6,700) logged 28 minutes in his last game and may not have his usual partner Jonas Siegenthaler for this game. He's been brilliant for the Caps so far and he's getting tons of ice time, making him an ideal elite pick.

Few are bigger analytics darlings than Dougie Hamilton ($6,300), who's getting an unprecedented amount of ice time and showing that in the puck possession era whatever his off-ice proclivities are, his skills are nearly unmatched. He has five goals and nine points, on pace for close to 300 shots (that's rare for a D), and according to HockeyViz the Ducks bleed shots in their own zone, allowing 10 percent more unblocked shots at even strength than the average team.

The Hawks have the second-worst PK in the league so that makes Seth Jones ($5,700) a viable play, but it's been difficult to generate offense without elite forwards and his power-play numbers took a huge dip last season. He has yet to register a point with the man advantage this season even though he gets more PP time than any other Jackets defenseman.

Oscar Klefbom ($5,600) is also his team's PP QB, but he gets to play with McDavid and Draisaitl and that's pretty much all you need to know. Cale Makar ($4,500) remains a good value play as well at this price with so much scoring talent on the Avs and facing a still-shaky Bobrovsky.  

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Chen
Jason joined RotoWire in 2013. In 2014, he was a finalist for the FSWA Hockey Writer of the Year award. Jason has also written for Yahoo Sports, CBS Sports, The Hockey News, The Hockey Hall of Fame's Legends Magazine, and Centre Ice Magazine.
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