DraftKings Daily Fantasy Hockey Helper for 2/18/21

We've got a good, nine-game slate on Thursday, with lots of interesting spots. Let's take a look at two high-salary skaters, two value plays, and a goalie that will help us build lineups tonight.

High Salary Skaters

Auston Matthews ($9,000): Matthews has hit rarified air at the $9,000 salary tag, but it's tough to say it isn't warranted. He has 11 goals in his last 10 games, and 38 shots on goal in that time. When spending this much of your salary on a player, there are a few things to look for. You want someone who will shoot the puck, and Matthews is third in the league in shots on goal. You also would like a lot of ice time, and Matthews is fourth in the league among forwards in that category. You also need upside for the three-point bonus. The Toronto Maple Leafs' implied team total of 4.07 and the fact that Matthews got three points against these Ottawa Senators on Monday suggests that he could do it again. Matthews is a staple of cash game lineups and is a great tournament play as well.

Brad Marchand ($7,900): It's hard to say Brad Marchand does anything quietly, but some other storylines in the league have at least made him less-talked-about this season. Perhaps it's because we've been lacking in his typical antics so far this season, but his production on the ice has not been lacking. He's tied for tenth in the NHL with 18 points, including 14 in 10 games. He also has 30 shots in those 10 games. Tonight, his Boston Bruins are in a good spot against the New Jersey Devils. New Jersey has allowed the second-most expected goals per 60 minutes and the most high danger chances per 60, according to Natural Stat Trick. Marchand has three points in the two previous meetings between these two teams, and could easily fill the scoresheet again tonight.

Value Skaters

Jesper Bratt ($2,500): Due to his early-season absence and the Devils' layoff due to COVID, Bratt has been at the minimum salary the entire season. He's a better player than that salary suggests, with at least 30 points in all three of his years in the league. Now, due to some players missing, he's slid up to the first line and the first power play. He has an assist in his last two games and multiple shots in all four of his outings. It's not a great matchup against the Bruins, but you won't find a player for this salary who should see around 18 minutes, so he definitely can be rostered tonight.

Anthony Beauvillier ($2,500): Beauvillier returned from injury on Tuesday and DraftKings had him at the minimum salary. He is certainly a better player than that, with at least 18 goals in three straight seasons. He was also one of the best players for the New York Islanders in the bubble last season, with 9 goals in 22 playoff games. The only issue with Beauvillier is that he has slid down to the third line, but with Michael Dal Colle ($2,500) not really delivering in Beauvillier's role so far, it wouldn't be surprising to see them flip flop. Beauvillier still saw 16 minutes because of how the Islanders like to roll their lines, so he should see ice time no matter where he is in the lineup.

Goalie to Target

Elvis Merzlikins ($7,800): Merzlikins hasn't started since January 31st, but gets his chance tonight. He impressed in his rookie season last year, with a .923 save percentage and the ninth best goals saved above average in the NHL. He gets a good matchup against a Nashville Predators team that has struggled to score goals all season long. They are only averaging 2.33 goals per game, the fourth worst number in the league. Nashville has one of the lower implied team totals on the night at 2.65. The Columbus Blue Jackets are favored in this game as well, so Elvis has a good chance of leaving the building with a win tonight.

Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.