NHL Grind Down: Wednesday, December 5th

The RotoGrinders NHL Grind Down article will give you an in-depth analysis into the NHL schedule. This article will break down the numbers for every single game and give you analysis on which trends you can exploit. While matchups are a major factor in daily fantasy hockey there are plenty of other factors to consider such as injuries, salaries, and more.

The analysis should point you in the right direction, but it is still up to you to decipher the information and make your own selections. Hockey is an extremely high variance sport. The best choice is not always the right choice but following the trends will win you money over time.

Remember, these writeups are done prior to lineups being released, so make sure to check our Starting Lineups page to ensure the recommended options are playing.

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Edmonton Oilers at St. Louis Blues

Edmonton Oilers St. Louis Blues
Cam Talbot Jake Allen
Record Record
13-12-2 9-13-3
Team Stats 2.63 njd 29.63 77.27 Team Stats 2.96 3.40 28.21 78.13

Game Overview

The St. Louis Blues were embarrassed in a 6-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes over the weekend and it looks like they may be getting ready to waive the white flag on this extremely disappointing season. They’ve now dropped eight of their last 11 games and, to make matters worse, were just hit hard with the injury bug as tonight they’ll likely be without the services of Carl Gunnarsson and Alex Pietrangelo on the blue-line, and Jaden Schwartz and Alex Steen up-front. Tonight, they’ll return home to face an Oilers team that has played pretty well on their home-ice this season (7-4-1 record). On a larger slate, I’d be comfortable fading St. Louis given their current condition, but we don’t have that luxury on a small, three-game slate. If all of the above didn’t make you cringe a bit when selecting players from St. Louis, Craig Berube’s new lines might seal the deal, as he’s now separated his two most dangerous offensive weapons of Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko. O’Reilly will now center Zach Sanford and rookie Robert Thomas on one line, with Tarasenko skating alongside Tyler Bozak and Patrick Maroon on the other. While this can’t be viewed as great news for O’Reilly or Tarasenko, they’re both simply too offensively gifted to downgrade significantly. O’Reilly leads the team with 28 points in 25 games and Tarasenko’s 21.77 iCF60 is ranked sixth in the entire NHL and highlights his offensive agressiveness. As for the other options, this new opportunity makes Robert Thomas an interesting value option as the former first-round pick has put up huge offensive numbers at every stop on his way to the NHL. Tyler Bozak will also benefit from playing alongside a sniper as dangerous as Tarasenko. Alternatively, Brayden Schenn centers a very capable third line between David Perron and Jordan Kyrou. They’ve been a bit too inconsistent for cash games this season, but the upside exists. On defense, Vince Dunn continues to do a fine job as the quarterback of the top power-play unit and will be forced into huge minutes with Pietrangelo and Gunnarsson sidelined. The same can be said for Colton Parayko workload and he’ll also now see a healthy dose of playing time on the point of the #2 power-play unit. With Edmonton owning an ugly 75.6% penalty kill, they’re both in play this evening.

For Edmonton, they may just be the easiest team in the NHL to target from a DFS perspective. Connor McDavid is the best player on the planet and has his hands in on such a high-percentage of their offense that you almost have to roster him if you’re targeting Edmonton. After missing Monday’s game with an illness, McDavid will return tonight owning 35 points in 26 games this season and is the obvious focal point of the top line alongside Leon Draisaitl and Alex Chiasson. Draisaitl is extremely talented and his production ticks upwards when given an opportunity to play alongside McDavid. Meanwhile, Alex Chaisson has somewhat quietly tallied 11 goals in 21 games this season and remains very reasonably priced across the industry. Given St. Louis’ trouble this season in their defensive end and between the pipes, all three players will be very popular. If you’re digging a bit deeper, then Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the next man that should be on your list. His production has slowed since dropping to the second line, but he does still grab some exposure to McDavid as a member of Edmonton’s dangerous #1 power-play unit. On defense, Oscar Klefbom is their top DFS option. He’s tallied 14 points in 27 games and has uncorked 85 SOG, giving him the nice floor you should be targeting in cash games. He’ll facilitate things from the point of the top power-play unit and, even though he’s always posted a rather low shooting percentage, this season’s 2.4% SH% is bound for some improvement. Darnell Nurse and Matt Benning share the duties on the point of the second power-play unit, but neither has provided much offense yet this season.

Top Value: Alex Chiasson

Goalie Rankings:

Cam Talbot: 6/10
Jake Allen: 5.5/10

About the Author

  • John Britt (jmbwngfn)

  • One of the top baseball and hockey analysts in the DFS industry, John Britt aka jmbwngfn is a full-time accountant and family man hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. The proud graduate of the University of Missouri, John’s passion is hockey but he excels at multiple DFS sports. He has made his way to a live final and led the now defunct Daily Joust in NHL wins. He’s also been nominated multiple times for awards for his written work including 2014 Best Fantasy Baseball Ongoing Series, 2015 Hockey Writer of the Year, 2016 Hockey Writer of the Year & 2018 Hockey Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA). John can be found on Twitter at the username JMBWngFn.


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