NHL Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 1/19/21

Elvis Merzlikins is an elite option at goalie tonight. Which other players should you consider for your lineups?

Hockey is officially back! The NHL season returns tonight with a 10-game slate to kick things off. NHL DFS is similar to MLB in terms of how you build lineups, how you view stacking, and how to value players.

Two main points to always focus on in NHL DFS are what lines the players are on and making sure the goalies you are rostering are confirmed as the starters. Two of the best resources for that are LeftWingLock.com or DailyFaceOff.com. That is where you can find updated forward and power-play lines for each team, along with which goalies are confirmed as the starters.

Let's jump in to take a look at today's slate and some players to consider for your lineups.

Goalie to Target

Elvis Merzlikins ($7,000): With the Columbus Blue Jackets on the second night of a back-to-back, we should see Merzlikins in net since Joonas Korpisalo was in goal yesterday. Given that Merzlikins' salary is so low and the Blue Jackets are -184 road favorites against the Detroit Red Wings, he should be very popular tonight in all formats.

To start the season, the Red Wings are holding a 42.45 Corsi For (Shot Attempts Created) per 60 minutes in five-on-five situations, which is the fourth-worst in the league. What does this mean for Merzlikins? He shouldn't be under too much pressure at any point. But it also means he probably won't be racking up a ton of saves. You are rostering him for his salary and the win equity he brings to your lineup.

High-Priced Skaters

Artemi Panarin: ($8,200): Although the New York Rangers-New Jersey Devils game has an over/under set at only 5.5, a lot of goals wouldn't be a shock. Over the last 10 games these two teams have played each other, the over has hit eight times, with one under and one push. If we are going to be seeing plenty of scoring, you certainly want some exposure to this game, and the DFS options on both sides.

One of the elite options in this game is Artemi Panarin, who skates on the second forward line and the first power-play unit for the Rangers. There's not much we can take from a two-game sample size this year, so if we look back to last season, we see that Panarin averaged more than 3.00 shots per game along and 1.37 real-world points per game in slightly more than 20 minutes of ice time per night.

Mark Scheifele: ($7,500): Despite it being a new season, some things never change for the Ottawa Senators. The Senators are holding a 63.66 Corsi Against, which is the second-worst clip in the league. Last season, the Sens finished with the fifth-worst Corsi Against. So, yeah, we're going to continue to attack Ottawa's defense. This gives the Winnipeg Jets a 3.28 implied goal total tonight, which is the fourth-highest on the slate and a clear reason to roster their top skaters. We get Scheifele on the top forward line and the top power-play unit, which should give him plenty of chances to rack up fantasy points in a soft matchup.

Value Skaters

Carter Verhaeghe ($3,300): At his salary, Verhaeghe could be one of the best values on the entire slate. He is skating on the first forward line and the second power-play unit, which we don't get very often for a player this cheap. The Florida Panthers are at home and holding a slate-high 3.63 implied goal total against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Panthers should be a very popular squad in all formats tonight. With the Blackhawks being so weak on defense, Verhaeghe gives you plenty of upside at a nice salary.

Mikhail Grigorenko: ($3,200): Grigorenko is in the similar spot as Verhaeghe is -- on the first forward line and on the second power play -- and is also listed at a modest salary. The Blue Jackets have a 3.09 implied goal total against a very poor Red Wings team, one which should continue to allow plenty of fantasy potential.