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 week 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
Matt Murray (PIT) – If you haven’t heard of him by now, there’s still time to jump on board! Murray has taken over for Marc-Andre Fleury in net, who is out for the foreseeable future with a concussion. Murray is a highly-rated prospect who has not disappointed in his brief tenure, with a .933 Sv% in his first 10 NHL games. This is in conjunction with his .931 Sv% in the minors this season, showing this is not simply a blip, but some real talent. He is also the beneficiary of a Penguins offense that is quite frankly the best in the NHL, bar none. Taking on the Ottawa Senators, the Penguins should have no problem picking up a win. As the season comes closer to the finish, the Penguins might rest their stars, so keep an eye on the news, but I don’t expect it to come into play until this weekend’s games, as the Pens only have a three point lead on the Rangers (with 3 games to go) for home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The best thing about Murray is that the DFS sites don’t seem to have moved Murray up in salary much, leaving him as the cheapest starter on most nights. Getting a bonafide NHL starter with a top win expectation for bare-minimum is just a no-brainer, so lock him in so long as he’s in for Fleury.
Nikita Nesterov (T.B) – With Anton Stralman and Steven Stamkos out for the playoffs, the Lightning have had some serious value plays open up, chief among them being Nesterov. Although Victor Hedman is clearly the top option on the T.B blue-line (and is probably cheaper than he should be), Nesterov is the point guy on what on paper is the most lethal T.B PP unit. Unfortunately, Jon Cooper doesn’t seem to agree, playing a unit featuring Jason Garrison and Valtteri Filppula over Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, and Tyler Johnson (with Nesterov). This split is about 60/40, however, meaning there is still an opportunity present. Nesterov should be safe for about 18 minutes in this matchup with the Rangers, who have played at a very high pace as of late, with nearly 10 shot attempts per game above the average, split equally between offense and defense. Nesterov is a solid offensive player, known for his heady play in the offensive zone. With his minutes projection and the high-paced nature of this game, I like Nesterov as a cash game value D-man, with PP upside for your GPPs.
Teuvo Teravainen (CHI) – When Artem Anisimov missed a couple games last week, Teravainen stepped in to center the Kane-Panarin line. With Anisimov back in the fold, Quenneville must have liked what he saw enough to give Teravainen PP1 time, as he has taken Duncan Keith’s spot as he serves a 6-game suspension for his “high stick” (read: face slash) against Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle. Teuvo isn’t new on the NHL scene, but he is also a highly talented young player who has only had small bits of TOI alongside Chicago’s elite players. His price still has his 3rd line minutes and surrounding talent baked into it, but he saw 2:50 of PP time alongside the NHL’s point-leader in Patrick Kane in the Hawks’ last game. Teravainen is a fantastic value option, and makes for an interesting stack if you want to differentiate yourself from the masses, who will probably stack Kane with Panarin against the lowly Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.
Marcus Johansson (WSH) – Niklas Backstrom is out again tonight, and in his absence Johansson has stepped up to center Oshie and Ovechkin, the latter of whom is chasing the 7th (!!!) 50-goal season of his career. Coach Barry Trotz doesn’t seem to have any intentions to rest him, or any of his non-injured stars, on Tuesday, meaning Johansson has a very nice price point across the industry given his PP1 and EV1 status alongside Ovi. Johansson is the prototypical net-front presence on the Caps PP, meaning he might be able to get a deflection or rebound goal while Ovi fires from all angles in pursuit of fifty. Johansson is not a necessity, but makes for an interesting play if you want some exposure to the league’s best goal scorer for a cheaper price than you typically get out of Backstrom.
Hopefully this brief rundown of some things to be aware of on Tuesday 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:
Thanks for reading!