Pepsi7's NHL Core Plays: Tuesday, March 13th
Each day, one of our NHL experts will be providing recommended player picks for your daily fantasy hockey lineups. The goal is to help you build the optimal cash game (50/50s/double-ups/head-to-head) lineup.
Tuesday, March 13th
After a very busy and exciting Monday night of National Hockey League action, we keep things rolling on this Tuesday evening with seven games on tap. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars and the Calgary Flames are tonight’s biggest favorites, and despite the fact that we only have a seven-game slate, we have five teams (Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets and the Los Angeles Kings) playing on consecutive nights.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning – Despite his recent cold streak (13 goals against in his last three games, however, the Bolt’s did win them all), Andrei Vasilevskiy remains the top option tonight in cash games. The Tampa Bay Lightning are a massive favorite tonight and they should be able to handle the Ottawa Senators with ease this evening. The Senators are not only playing their second game in as many nights, but they have also struggled all year long to win games on the road (10-19-5) and score goals (30th overall in the National Hockey League). You are paying a hefty price tag for his services this evening ($9,400 on FanDuel and $8,500 on DraftKings), but 23-year-old Russian netminder is your safest option in goal, and I would not be surprised to see Vasilevskiy shut out the Senators tonight.
Tampa Bay Lightning’s Offense – Throughout the 2017-18 season, the Ottawa Senators have been one of the weakest defensive teams in the National Hockey League (31st overall in CA/60. 22nd in HDCA/60 and 27th in SCA/60), however, in 2018, you could argue that the Senators are the worst defensive team in the game, excluding the New York Islanders of course. Since the beginning of January, the Senators remain dead last in CA/60, while ranking 27th in HDCA/60 and 30th in SCA/60. I should also mention, Ottawa is playing on the tail end of a road back-to-back, and they will be facing the most potent offense in the game. The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the league in goals per game (3.58), and their top line is the most explosive line in hockey, and I strongly suggest you get heavy exposure to them tonight in all formats. In cash games, rostering one of Steven Stamkos or Nikita Kucherov is a must, and if you can fit them both in, I would not talk you out of it. The moderately priced J.T. Miller is also in play for cash, as he seems to be skating on the Bolt’s number one line and top power play unit, and you can even dip down to their second line as well, with Yanni Gourde representing the best value. As far as tourneys go, unless you are only playing one lineup, or you are looking to go contrarian, fading the Lightning’s top line is not recommended. If you are looking to get exposure to Tampa Bay without paying up for the big boys, the Bolt’s moderately priced second line is certainly in play, with all three members skating together on the second power play unit, along with defenseman Mikhail Sergachev.
Minnesota Wild Offense – The Colorado Avalanche are having a very good season (36-24-8), and they may very well be the most surprising team in the National Hockey League this season. With that being said, we have seen some cracks in their defensive armor over the last six weeks (sitting 28th overall in CA/60, and 21st in both HDCA/60 and SCA/60), and they can certainly be exploited on the road, where they are allowing the second-most goals against per game (3.53). The Minnesota Wild are having a great offensive month (averaging 3.77 goals per game, good for fourth overall), and they have been a top nine offense on home ice this year. In cash games, I am all about Eric Staal, but I am perfectly fine going with either of his linemates (Mikael Granlund or Jason Zucker), if you are using your Center spots elsewhere. In tournament play, I am definitely going to be stacking the Wild’s number one line (while adding either Ryan Suter or Jared Spurgeon whenever possible), but we do have other options to consider. The Wild’s top line is not cheap, and they will likely see heavy ownership, but their second line has shown signs of life recently, and they (along with defenseman Mathew Dumba) make for a nice low-owned contrarian stack.
Calgary Flames Offense – The Edmonton Oilers are another team worth attacking this evening at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Not that they were a good defensive team to begin with, but since the beginning of February, the Oilers defensive game has gone in the tank, ranking 29th overall in the National Hockey League in both CA/60 and SCA/60, while allowing the most HDCA/60, which has led to them allowing 3.71 goals per game this month. Making matters worse, Edmonton has struggled all year long when short-handed, ranking dead last on the penalty kill. Simply put, the Calgary Flames should be on your radar tonight in formats. The obvious play in cash games is Johnny Gaudreau, with Sean Monahan making a fine option as well. As for GPPs, the Flames’ top line is another must stack for me, while their second line is no longer on my radar with Matthew Tkachuk out. If you are looking to correlate defense, both Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton skate with the number one line on the first power play unit.
Value Options – Despite only seven games of National Hockey League action, we have a lot of offense to like and most of it is quite expensive, so we will need to find some value. Pontus Aberg is the newest member of the Edmonton Oilers’ top line and he is dirt cheap industry wide. The Colorado Avalanche are in a tough spot this evening, but we can still roster Tyler Jost, considering he skates with the Avs explosive number one power play unit. The matchup may not be ideal, but Richard Panik now finds himself skating on the Arizona Coyotes’ top line and number one power play unit. Brad Marchand is a game time decision and if he misses tonight’s game, Danton Heinen will suit up on the Boston Bruins’ second line and he should also see ample time on the power play. Joel Armia does not get a ton of ice time, but he is currently seeing time on the Winnipeg Jets’ top power play unit. Like Armia, Devin Shore also lacks time at even strength but he is on the Dallas Stars number one power play unit. I realize Milan Lucic has done very little (just one goal and two points in his last 21 games, but he continues to skate with stud Leon Draisatlt at even strength and with both Draisaitl and Connor McDavid on the Edmonton Oilers’ top power play unit, and he remains fairly inexpensive industry wide. The Edmonton Oilers struggles on defense and on the penalty kill open the door for T.J. Brodie this evening. The Calgary Flames underrated blue liner logs huge minutes (averaging 23:50 minutes of ice time per game) at both even strength and on the Flames’ second power play unit, and he comes at a discounted price. With Oscar Klefbom out of the lineup, Ethan Bear is logging over 17 minutes of ice time per game, and he has replaced Klefbom as the Oilers’ power play quarterback.
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