The 2016-17 NHL season is still young, but we have already seen some amazing performances in the first two nights of the season. On Wednesday, it started with a four-goal NHL debut for Auston Matthews, followed up by a great night from Connor McDavid. On Thursday it continued with a five-point performance from the red-hot Brad Marchand, so who will it be tonight?
Tonight there are only three games on the NHL schedule. Two teams, the Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers are getting their season underway, while the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings look to bounce-back after opening night losses. We also have a rematch between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers—a game that produced 11 goals on Wednesday.
Below I have listed my favourite centres, wingers, defensemen and goalies for tonight’s slate of Daily Fantasy action. Each player is listed with their prices from both of the Daily Fantasy giants—DraftKings and FanDuel.
You will also find my “ideal” lineup for tonight on both of these platforms.
Sean Monahan – vs. EDM – (DK-$6,400 / FD-$7,000)
The Flames season did not get off to an ideal start. They were outmatched by the Oilers on the road, but they return home tonight and should be ready to give a much better effort. Monahan played 20-plus minutes in the opener and fired three shots on goal. Even if the Flames aren’t better defensively, this could be another high-scoring game and we shouldn’t see Monahan left off of the scoresheet again.
Ryan Johansen – vs. CHI – (DK-$5,600 / FD-$6,200)
Two years ago, Johansen was a fantasy monster, but last year was a bit of a disappointment. However, he finished the year with an impressive 15 points (3G / 12A) in the final 13 games and tonight he starts the 2016-17 season on a line with Filip Forsberg and Kevin Fiala—a line that has no shortage of speed and creativity. They’ll also take on a Blackhawks team that is in the middle of a transition and that we saw get out-shot 34-19 in the opener. There should be a lot of opportunity for this top line.
Travis Konecny – @ LA – (DK-$3,700 / FD-$3,500)
The Flyers first round pick (24th overall) in 2015 will get a great chance to showcase what he can do in the NHL right away. With Brayden Schenn suspended for the first three games of the season, Konecny will start on the Flyers’ second line with Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek tonight. Because it is his NHL debut he is extremely cheap on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The 19-year-old is coming off of 30 goals and 71 assists (101 points) in 60 OHL games with the Ottawa 67’s and Sarnia Sting.
Note: Konecny is a centre on FanDuel but a winger on DraftKings.
Johnny Gaudreau – vs. EDM – (DK-$7,300 / FD-$7,200)
Shockingly, Gaudreau was also held off of the scoresheet despite there being 11 goals scored on Wednesday. We can chalk his slow start up to his contract holdout and limited practice time with the Flames. With a game and few practices under his belt now, expect big things from Gaudreau tonight. He registered four shots in the opener and had four goals in five games vs. Edmonton last year.
Filip Forsberg – vs. CHI – (DK-$6,800 / FD-$7,200)
Forsberg has 63 and 64 points over the last two seasons and is on the heels of a 33-goal year. This year he will move to Johansen’s wing to start the season and the two could become one of the most dangerous duos in the NHL this year. Add Fiala on the other wing (and your stack) and you have an extremely formidable top line against an unusually exposable Blackhawks team.
Jakub Voracek – @ LA – (DK-$6,300 / FD-$6,400)
Voracek isn’t playing with Claude Giroux or Wayne Simmonds, but remains a great option while playing with Konecny and Couturier. The Flyers will be heavily targeted because Jeff Zatkoff is starting for the Kings, but look for Konecny and Voracek to be less owned than Giroux and Simmonds.
Kevin Fiala – vs. CHI – (DK-$3,600 / FD-$3,400)
Fiala was the 11th overall pick in 2014 and possesses game-breaking talent, especially when he’s paired with the likes of Johansen and Forsberg. He is extremely fast and has great hands, making him the perfect linemate for those two. If you are looking for a way to save some money on a winger, look no further than Fiala, who’s price is bound to go up in the coming weeks.
P.K Subban – vs. CHI – (DK-$6,000 / FD-$6,400)
While Roman Josi is also an intriguing option on the Predators blueline, Subban is cheaper on both DraftKings and FanDuel ($700 on DK, $200 on FD). Tonight will be his Predators debut and it comes on home ice, so he should be amped up to make an immediate impression on his new fans. Subban is an elite offensive-defenseman and his newest partner, Josi, should help him put up huge numbers this year, starting tonight.
T.J Brodie – vs. EDM – (DK-$4,800 / FD-$4,600)
Brodie wasn’t an option on opening night because he was paired with Deryk Engelland, basically an anchor. However, he still picked up and assist and three shots and tonight things get even better. He will move back to the top pair with Mark Giordano, someone he is very familiar with. Last year the pair played 890:02 minutes together and just 443:15 of Brodie’s even-strength minutes came away from Giordano.
Ivan Provorov – @ LA – (DK-$3,400 / FD-$3,900)
Like Konecny, Provorov is a rookie who will immediately step into a huge role in Philadelphia. Michael Del Zotto is injured, so Provorov will start on the second pair with Mark Streit and is also expected to see time on the second power-play unit. If you can’t fit Shayne Gostisbehere in your lineup, Provorov is a great, cheap alternative.
Brian Elliott – vs. EDM – (DK-$7,500 / FD-$7,800)
Will starting Elliott tonight be terrifying? Yep. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that he doesn’t come with some inherent risk. However, there isn’t a goalie out there that doesn’t. The Blackhawks didn’t look good on Wednesday and the Predators are great, making Crawford risky. The Blackhawks have Patrick Kane, making Rinne risky. Cam Talbot was just as shaky as Elliott in the opener and Jeff Zatkoff just isn’t on the same level. I expect a bounce-back from the Flames which will help Elliott immensely. In addition, a lot of people are going to be scared off here, keeping his owned percentage.
Michal Neuvirth – @ LA – (DK-$7,400 / FD-$7,900)
I don’t think a lot of people realize that Neuvirth was one of the best goalie in the NHL a season ago and this matchup is a juicy one. The Kings are depleted. Tanner Pearson is suspended, Marian Gaborik is hurt and Jonathan Quick is on IR. The Flyers should have their way with the Kings tonight and Neuvirth should walk away with the W.
C – Ryan Johansen ($5,600)
C – Sean Monahan ($6,400)
W – Johnny Gaudreau ($7,300)
W – Travis Konecny ($3,700)
W – Jakub Voracek ($6,300)
D – Ivan Provorov ($3,400)
D – P.K Subban ($6,000)
Util – Kevin Fiala ($3,600)
G – Michal Neuvirth ($7,400)
C – Sean Monahan ($7,000)
C – Travis Konecny ($3,500)
W – Filip Forsberg ($7,200)
W – Jakub Voracek ($6,400)
W – Johnny Gaudreau ($7,200)
W – Troy Brouwer ($5,300)
D – P.K Subban ($6,400)
D – Ivan Provorov ($3,900)
G – Michal Neuvirth ($7,900)