NHL Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 10/4/19

Brent Burns is one of the most consistent players in NHL DFS. Does that mean he is a must-play on a small four-game slate?

A good chunk of you played daily fantasy football this year, and I'd be willing to bet a significant portion have also tried out daily fantasy basketball and baseball. But hockey? Hockey?

It's time to give it a try over on FanDuel because it's a ton of fun.

And our analysis and projections can help you win. To help, let's take a look at some goalies, high-priced skaters, and lower-priced players to target for today's slate.

Goalie To Target

Cory Schneider ($7,300): The New Jersey Devils will host the Winnipeg Jets, who are on the second night of a back-to-back and will have their backup goalie in net. Schneider has been confirmed as the starter for tonight and comes in as a -145 home favorite, which is the largest home favorite on the slate. Targeting home favorite goalies is nothing new in NHL DFS, but this time we are getting Schneider at a very reasonable price tag. There is no doubt that there are other goalies on this slate who are better or more consistent compared to Schneider, but they are on the road or in tough matchups tonight. I'm not expecting a 40-save shutout performance from Schneider -- he will 100% let in a goal or two -- but the win equity with him is massive tonight.

High-Priced Skaters

John Tavares ($7,700): The newly named captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs had a rather quiet opening night -- with only one assist -- despite the fact they posted five goals in a win. Not every night is the top player going to be posting massive numbers, but he has a chance to grab the spotlight tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Toronto is on the road but they come in with a slate-high 3.49 implied team total, so it's natural to target them for some offense tonight. Tavares is on the first forward line and the first power-play, giving you plenty of equity in their offense. He only managed two shots in the first game, but as mentioned, the rest of the offense was clicking and he didn't need to add a whole lot. I'm expecting Tavares to find the back of the next tonight and outscore his teammate Auston Matthews -- hot take of the night.

Brent Burns ($7,400): I say with no hesitation and legitimately zero sarcasm, when you have the salary to afford Burns in your DFS lineups, you should be playing him as much as you can -- it's really as simple as that. Over the past few seasons, Burns has shown to be one of the elite options any time he is on the slate, and you should pay up for defense. It might seem natural to pay up for an elite goal-scorer because that's where the upside comes from, but Burns is the exception. Last season, Burns played all 82 games and racked up 300 shots, 105 blocked shots, and 83 points. Averaging over three shots per game, one real point per game plus a blocked shot, and you are looking at 15-plus FanDuel points on a nightly basis. That's his normal production, and if he happens to add a goal on top of that, or reach for five or more shots, it's a level of production which can be hard to match.

Value Skaters

Travis Zajac ($4,200): The New Jersey Devils have a solid 3.48 implied team total tonight along with being the largest home favorite on the slate, so we should be looking to them frequently tonight, and they will be very popular. Zajac is on the second forward line and the first power-play, the latter is where his potential upside comes from. At just over $4K tonight, he should be able to slot into most lineups regardless of format. That upside comes from the fact he will be surrounded by Taylor Hall, P.K. Subban, and Kyle Palmieri, who are better players than he is. This isn't to take anything away from Zajac, but being on the ice with those players could find him with a bit of open space or simply falling into an assist, which will help him reach value at that price tag.

Ryan Pulock ($3,900): Pulock is the defender on the first power-play for the New York Islanders, who are at home and facing a backup goalie. That backup goalie is Ilya Samsonov of the Washington Capitals, who is making his first career NHL start. At under $4K tonight, Pulock doesn't need to do much in order to reach value, which can come without scoring a real NHL point. Last season, Pulock averaged over two shots per game and nearly two blocked shots per game. If he can replicate that tonight, he should be worth the roster spot on a slate we are starved for value. The New York Islanders aren't an amazing offensive team by any means, so just know a multi-point performance likely isn't in the cards for him tonight.