5 NHL FanDuel Values to Target on 10/3/19
It is finally the first day of the NHL regular season and, although there are only four games, there is a lot to like on this slate. With so many expensive skaters playing tonight, we're going to have to find different ways in which we can save some money to afford all the big guns. This article will typically feature three players on small slates (five games or less) and five players on larger slates (six-plus games), but given that this is the first night of the season, I've given you a bonus player considering the slate is just four games.
Nick Schmaltz, Center, Arizona Coyotes
FanDuel Price: $4,800
This is not a game I have much interest in focusing on, especially from a scoring standpoint, but Nick Schmaltz does seem way underpriced.
He is expected to center the second line for the Arizona Coyotes but will also see time on the top power-play unit. While the Ducks have an absolutely elite goaltender in John Gibson, their roster doesn't look very good on paper, so there could be some scoring opportunities for Schmaltz and his linemates.
After being acquired by the Coyotes last season, Schmaltz put up 14 real-world points in 17 games before a season-ending knee injury, and he will look to build on that in his first full season on his new team.
Victor Olofsson, Winger, Buffalo Sabres
FanDuel Price: $4,100
In his first season in the AHL, Victor Olofsson potted 30 goals and 63 points in 66 games for the Rochester Americans. In his very short stint in the NHL last season, he managed two goals and four real-world points in six games.
Olofsson is going to be playing on the Buffalo Sabres' top line with franchise leader Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. His price is very cheap, so we can look past Olofsson not being on the top power-play unit with these two skaters. The Sabres take on a Pittsburgh Penguins team that could be missing a few key players tonight as both Sidney Crosby and Alex Galchenyuk are game-time decisions.
Our models have Olofsson as the top point-per-dollar play today.
Nick Suzuki, Winger, Montreal Canadiens
FanDuel Price: $3,500
Another cheap rookie is Montreal Canadiens youngster Nick Suzuki. He is incredibly cheap and expected to play on the Habs' second line with Max Domi and Jonathan Drouin -- a heck of a pair of linemates for your first NHL game -- though he reportedly practiced with Domi and Artturi Lehkonen today.
Suzuki has a great track record. He put up 34 goals and 94 real-world points in 59 regular season games in the 2018-19 season, which is impressive in its own right. However, he took it to another level in the playoffs as he put up 16 goals and 42 points in 24 games en route to the OHL Championship and postseason MVP award.
While he won't skate on the top power-play unit, Suzuki should be on the second unit, which still gives him plenty of upside.
Cale Makar, Defenseman, Colorado Avalanche
FanDuel Price: $4,600
Cale Makar is one of the favorites for the Calder Trophy heading into this season, and there are plenty of reasons why the hype train is real.
He put up a ridiculous 16 goals and 49 points in 41 games in the NCAA last season -- leading his team in points and tying for second in goals. He came into the NHL last year playing his first career game in the postseason and managed to put up a very solid six real-world points in 10 games. H
e should continue the upward trend with Tyson Barrie off to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Makar acting as the power-play quarterback on the top power-play unit, which is compiled of ridiculous talent, including Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog.
Darcy Kuemper, Goaltender, Arizona Coyotes
FanDuel Price: $7,300
Darcy Kuemper was fantastic last season, putting up a .925 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against average. The Coyotes finished just four points out of the playoffs despite plenty of injuries. One issue they are likely going to have this season is scoring, but their defence is actually very underrated, led by Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jason Demers.
While they're on the road tonight, Arizona is taking on an Anaheim Ducks team that doesn't score very often. The Ducks had just 196 goals last season -- 2.39 goals per game -- which ranked dead last in the NHL. They also put forth the least shots per game at 27.7, which could limit Kuemper's upside, although it's still a nice spot for him if you're looking to pay down at goalie.
Ryan Sheppard is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan Sheppard also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username donkshow_. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.