Look to Carolina, Tampa Bay for Daily Fantasy success Thursday
There are nine games in the National Hockey League Thursday, Jan. 9, with the Washington-Tampa Bay (7:30pm ET) game nationally televised on NHL Network.
I'll be taking my boys to the Maple Leafs-Hurricanes game at PNC Arena in Raleigh tonight. My three-year-old is quite the hockey fan - and especially a fan of the Hurricanes. I've been a Maple Leafs fan since I was a teen, so we'll be on opposite sides. Generally, I like to pick a player or two from games I attend. Below you'll find a couple of very useful options from that contest, as well as the others.
(DraftKings.com salaries in parantheses)
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Ryan Miller, G, Buffalo ($9600 vs FLA): Miller is a bit pricey, but considering the Sabres have won five straight home games, he is well rested, and Miller faces a favorable matchup, he is worth the money. Miller and the Sabres had a couple of extra days off after Tuesday's game against Carolina was canceled due to blizzard conditions in western New York. The Panthers have managed just 102 goals this season, second-worst in the Eastern Conference (to Buffalo, actually), and third-worst in the league. Miller should shine, win or lose.
Jeff Skinner, LW, Carolina ($8300 vs TOR): Skinner has been playing out of his mind. We suggested him Tuesday, but that game was snowed out in Buffalo. 'Skinny' has nine goals, four helpers and an average of 4.9 Fantasy points per game over his past 10 outings. He'll be looking to atone for a minus-4 rating last time out against the Maple Leafs in Toronto Dec. 29. He still had an assist and five shots on goal (SOG) to salvage his stat line.
If you spend big up top, you're going to need some fillers to bring down your average per player salary. Check out these steals from the bargain bin:
David Backes, C, St. Louis ($5500 at CGY): Backes has a goal and three points with a plus-2 rating, six hits and four blocked shots over his past two outings. He faces another favorable matchup against the Flames, a team which has yielded the third-most goals in the Western Conference this season.
Martin St. Louis, RW, Tampa Bay ($5600 vs WAS): St. Louis has averaged 4.0 Fantasy points per game through 20 games at home, and just 2.8 Fantasy points per game through 23 games on the road. Good thing Thursday's game is in Tampa. He had a goal, two assists and a plus-2 rating for 8.8 Fantasy points in the first meeting with the Capitals back on Dec. 10.
Cory Schneider, G, New Jersey ($5800 vs DAL): Schneider is the projected starter against the Stars, and he could be a sneaky Fantasy play. The Stars are just 1-6 in their past seven trips to New Jersey, and the home team has been victorious in 10 of the past 12 meetings between these sides.
Jaden Schwartz, LW, St. Louis ($5000 at CGY): Many might be surprised to see Schwartz has performed at a point-per-game clip over the past 10 outings, but that's exactly what he has done. He has seven markers, three helpers and an impressive plus-10 rating during the span, averaging 3.9 Fantasy points per game. Ride him while he is red hot.
Andrej Sekera, D, Carolina ($4800 vs TOR): Sekera has emerged as a useful Fantasy option most nights, and he should enjoy another solid stat line against the Maple Leafs Thursday. In the last meeting in Toronto Dec. 29, he did have a minus-2 rating in the loss, but he posted an assist, four hits and three blocked shots to finish with 3.8 Fantasy points.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Phoenix ($3800 vs MIN): Ekman-Larsson (upper body) was sidelined for the past two games due to an undisclosed upper-body ailment, but the team's official website reports that he will ready to return against the Wild. He has struggled of late, posting just one assist with a minus-1 rating over the past nine games, but he has 11 hits and 10 blocked shots with 21 shots on goal (SOG) during the stretch. Overall, he still has a respectable four goals and 22 points with a plus-6 rating, and he has averaged 2.4 Fantasy points per contest. At this price level, if he lives up to his seasonal average, he is a steal.
Tim Gleason, D, Toronto ($3000 at CAR): Gleason will be playing in his first game in Raleigh since being traded to the Maple Leafs Jan. 1. Look for Gleason to be very active, blocking shots and dishing out plenty of hits against his former teammates.
Radko Gudas, D, Tampa Bay ($3900 vs WAS): Gudas has managed just four points (1G, 3 A) over his past 10 games with a plus-2 rating, but he has 18 PIM, 34 hits and 15 blocked shots during the span, helping him average 2.5 Fantasy points per contest. He is a reliable Fantasy option because of his physicality and bad behavior, rarely dipping into the negative in points.
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