Welcome to the latest installment of News Worth Knowing, where we cover the new names in the league, and continue to monitor injury situations. With the NCAA and Canadian Junior Hockey seasons coming to a close, we are in the midst of several prospect call-ups, and some are making an immediate impact. I will also touch on important injuries, line changes, and other impactful tidbits that will help you achieve DFS success.
The normal caveats apply, so be careful to consider pricing on the DFS site you play on, as well as their scoring, and the options around that player’s price range. With that said, here are some players who have recently come onto the scene, and may (or may not, as sometimes may be the case) be fantasy relevant in the closing weeks of the season
Stats are gathered from War-On-Ice.com, Corsica.Hockey, and Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com
Lines and Player Matchups are gathered from LeftWingLock.com and HockeyViz.com
Casey Nelson (BUF) – It’s really difficult to find value defensemen seeing PP time, at this point in the season many teams have their back-ends figured out, and those who are seeing PP time tend to produce their way out of the deep value section. Nelson unfortunately isn’t on the DK slate still, however is present most other places around the industry. A signee out of Minnesota State, Nelson has been outstanding in his first three NHL games, racking up 4 assists and working his way onto the PP. Taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs (who have a plethora of AHL players shuffling in and out of their lineups) I can see Toronto scrambling quite a bit defensively, giving Nelson an opportunity to shine on the PP yet again. Playing with Mark Pysyk, one of the steadiest defensemen on the Sabres, +/- should not be a concern (remember, DK is out of the question as he is not listed there), and he gives you great savings to spend up on Burns, Tavares, Crosby, and whoever else you want tonight, with multi-assist potential.
Nathan Beaulieu (MTL) – Due to a vast number of injuries, Beaulieu has been forced into taking up PP1 time for the Canadiens, skating over 20 minutes a night and being relatively productive. He is still reasonably priced across the industry, however his matchup on the road with the Lightning leaves much to be desired. Of the two defensemen, I would tend to lean towards Nelson if I had to choose, but Beaulieu definitely has a higher floor and equal upside, at a bit of a price increase. Beaulieu is a great DK play on a night where stars in great matchups are abundant.
Hunter Shinkaruk (CGY) – With Johnny Gaudreau sidelined for the past couple games, Shinkaruk has stepped in and filled his role on the first line and first PP unit. He has points in each of his games as a member of the Flames, and even if Gaudreau returns tonight, might have earned the spot on the left wing over Derek Ryan, the other winger with Monahan at the moment. This is another tough matchup, as the Kings are stout defensively, but Shinkaruk scored in a similarly tough matchup against the Ducks last night. At a very, very cheap price, he’s worth a look at the W position.
Mike Fisher (NSH) – Center is predictably loaded on a 10 game slate, but Fisher has a unique situation in this matchup against the Penguins. I am predicting for the Pens to try to negate the Preds’ top two lines with their top two lines in some fashion, leaving Fisher’s 3rd line to fend off the Pens bottom 6. This is a great matchup for a guy who has chipped in double digit goals and assists on the season, and also receives a majority of the Preds PP time alongside James Neal and Ryan Johansen. I personally would try to grab a couple of the high end Centers on tonight’s slate first, but if you’re in a bind and need a cheap C, Fisher should fit the bill, and has a nice matchup tonight.
Hopefully this brief rundown of some things to be aware of on Thursday night’s slate helps you make your lineups. If you have any questions, or want to talk hockey, or prospects, or anything at all, hit me up on Twitter @Mattman1398. Good luck tonight, and as always: