NHL DFS Lineup Advice – January 26, 2021

After an extremely quiet evening in the NHL on Monday, a monstrous 13-game slate is getting dropped on us tonight. With 26 teams in action, it will be impossible to get exposure to everyone.
We are a couple of weeks into the season now, which means we have more concrete data to go off of. While there is still plenty of uncertainty in how things are being handled with COVID, DraftKings continues to pump out big contests for us to take down. Let’s dive into it.

Center

Connor McDavid (EDM) $8,500 @ WPG
– Edmonton is the only team ranked in the top five at xGF (22.24), who are playing a team ranked in the bottom five for xGA (17.71), on tonight’s slate
– McDavid has a new winger (Jesse Puljujarvi) who is much more skilled and offensive than veteran, Zack Kassian
– Coach, Dave Tippett, has no concerns about double shifting his captain throughout the game to generate scoring chances
– Best player in the NHL who has the highest fantasy production floor and ceiling

Joe Pavelski (SJ) $6,100 vs. DET
– Has recorded three goals and four assists through just two games
– Averaging 20 minutes of ice-time, playing on the top power-play unit
– Hosting Detroit, who is averaging 3.3 goals against per game and rank in the bottom half of the league in all defensive stats
– Dallas has only played two games, much more rested than any other team in the league

Max Domi (CLB) $3,100 vs. FLA
– Is now slotted in as the top line center after the Pierre Luc-Dubois trade
– Will log play on the second power-play unit
– Far too cheap for a top line center who should begin averaging significantly more ice-time
– On home ice, should avoid tough matchup against the Barkov line to see more offensive opportunities

Wing

Mikko Rantanen (COL) $7,700 vs. SJ
– Averaging over a point-per-game, with five goals and two assists through six games played
– Part of the top line in the NHL and will log additional ice-time on the top power-play unit
– Has recorded 24 shots on goal, an average of four per game, to start the season
– Playing at home, which will allow the Avalanche to line-match against the Sharks weaker defensive forward lines
– San Jose ranks eighth in xGA (16.96)

Kirill Kaprizov (MIN) $5,200 vs. LA
– Leads all rookies with six points in six games
– Plays on Minnesota’s top forward line and PP1, averaging 19 minutes of ice-time to start the season
– LA ranks seventh in the NHL in xGA (17.48)
– Scored four points in two games against the Kings to start the season

Jason Zucker (PIT) $2,900 @ BOS
– Off to a very slow start, but way too cheap for a guy who plays with Evegni Malkin
– Kasperi Kapanen expected to slide up to second line which will provide an upgrade to the offensive output on this second line
– Patrice Bergeron will likley be line-matched against the Crosby line, leaving Malkin, Zucker, and Kapanen facing off against either Krejci or Coyle – both are far less skilled
– Zucker will play on second power-play unit

Defense

Alex Pietrangelo (VGK) $6,700 vs. STL
– Didn’t take long to see revenge game against his former team – who he won a cup with, just two years ago
– Averaging well over 20 minutes per game
– Pietrangelo will play on top pairing, PP1 and penalty kill – this exposes the all-star defenseman to shots on goal and blocked shots as well as points
– St. Louis ranks 27th in CF%, while Vegas ranks 8th

Alec Martinez (VGK) $5,400 vs. STL
– While I do not recommend playing two defensemen from the same team in your lineup, Martinez offers salary relief to Pietrangelo
– Martinez is not an offensive player, however provides upside with his ability to block shots, achieving at least three (DraftKings offers a bonus at three BS) 50% of the time
– He is popping off in projections tonight, as the second highest fantasy scorer (next to Pietrangelo)

Goalie

Alexandar Georgiev (NYR) $7,300 vs. BUF
– If you want to pay up, Anton Khudobin and Philipp Grubauer are both better options, but saving at the goalie position is far more optimal in tournaments
– Buffalo ranks fifth in the NHL at Shots For (SF), yet only 15th for Goals For (GF)
– This suggests that the Sabres fire a ton of shots on net, but do not have a high success rate of scoring – perfect for rostering a DFS goalie
– Georgiev is one of the cheaper starting goalies on the slate
– While the Rangers are not favoured on the road tonight, a win is not imperative for a ceiling game if he can hit the 35 save bonus
– Medium risk, high reward play

Good luck tonight. As always, if you have any questions or comments, reach out on twitter @j_maw.

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