Happy Saturday, Razzball Puck Pals! It’s me, MarmosDad, once again coming back with some names and numbers for your DFS plays today. Don’t have enough time to research line combinations? Aren’t sure who may be lining up with whom because of injuries or healthy scratches? Not to worry…I’ll be there for you…(sorry, I had to do it). Speaking of which, someone else that could be there for you today is Vegas C Chandler Stephenson (DK: $3,800).

Stephenson is currently slotted in as Vegas’s 2C with Brett Howden and Mark Stone as his wingers. Although he isn’t getting 5-on-5 time with the big line of Reilly Smith, Jack Eichel, and Phil Kessel, he is slotted in on PP1 which should bode well for some great scoring chances and the majority of the time on ice with the man advantage. Stephenson has 3 assists in 4 GP, and although he only has 5 SOG so far, he’s averaging over 18 minutes of ice time in those prime spots. At $3,800, he’s a bargain priced ‘pivot!’ that could pay off today.

As it will be almost every week, the Saturday schedule is pretty close to a full one. 26 of our NHL teams play today across 13 games, with the earliest of 4 afternoon starts beginning at 1:00 PM ET in Boston (vs Minnesota) and New Jersey (vs San Jose). After a couple of 4:00 PM ET starts, the evening slate of 9 games run from 7:00 PM ET start times all the way through 3 west coast games.

For these first few weeks, I’ll treat each DFS writeup as a daily list but also pay attention to things that might help you for sleepers or targets for those that play in fantasy leagues too. It’s probably too early to pick up on hot streaks this week, but we can look at the line combinations and PP time to help us supplement small sample sizes.

C: Claude Giroux, DK: $5,600 – To say that the Senators rebuild is going well might be an understatement. With Jake Sanderson and Thomas Chabot on the back end and emerging stars like Tim Stuetzle and Drake Batherson, the Sens are loaded with up and coming talent. Assuming we can’t choose the Alex DeBrincat trade as the summer’s biggest slam dunk, Ottawa’s signing of Claude Giroux could be the best move of their offseason. Giroux brings a wealth of experience and talent with him to Canada’s capital and if anyone in your league was focused on his underwhelming 65 points from last year, they’re making a mistake. Solid linemates, PP time, and a proven track record make this one an easy pick. And if his effort against the Bruins last Tuesday is any indication of what is to come, the hometown hero is set to return to some lofty point totals this season. 

EDIT : I fell victim to assuming Giroux was eligible at center today, so you can try to fit him in as a winger or go with his equally impressive and underpriced Tim Stuetzle (DK: $4,500) today or the Habs Nick Suzuki if you want to keep the salary the same (DK: $5,600).

W: Nick Robertson, DK: $2,700 – I was going to go with Michael Bunting (DK: $4,100) here, but I figured we could save some dollars and go with someone that’s just as likely to put up some FPTS. Similar to my MLB write-ups, I’ll often try to get in on a rookie or a new call-up while they’re reasonably priced. At $2,700, Robertson certainly checks that box. Playing on either of those top two lines in Toronto absolutely ticks off any other ones. Robertson isn’t exactly 1994 Gino Odjick clearing space for Pavel Bure either. He comes with the prospect pedigree, has 2 assists in his first two games, and is getting PP time along with his regular 14+ even strength minutes. No matter which of those top 6 forwards he lines up with, he should be able to run with the big dogs and get you some points today.

W: JJ Peterka, DK: $3,300 – Being a fan of another team in this division, I hate to admit it…but the Sabres not only have some players worth watching, they look like they’re on the right track for fantasy relevance too. Part of today’s selection was to rectify the spelling mistakes from last week (I’m sure he’s reading this, so all apologies Mr. Peterka). Another plus in Peterka’s column is that Buffalo is playing against a Vancouver squad with less than encouraging results from Thatcher Demko through the first two weeks. More importantly though, Peterka has not looked out of place on a line with Dylan Cozens and either Vinnie Hinostroza (spell checked that one 3X) or Peyton Krebs. He’s still on the third line, and PP time is almost non-existent, but recording points in 4 straight games is a good way to prove that you should move into a better role at some point. Apologies to Mr. Daigneault, but this is the best JJ for your squad today!

W: Mikko Rantanen, DK: $8,000 – Well, with the dollars we save in some of our other underpriced forwards, I think we can head to chalk city for one of the hottest starts in the NHL this season. Heading into Friday’s games, Rantanen was second to only Artemi Panarin (and some guy named McDavid) in scoring with 9 points in 4 games. This kind of writes itself and isn’t too tough to reason through. Playing on line 1 with Nathan MacKinnon should be enough to seal the deal, but centering that PP1 line also means an embarrassment of riches and a high probability of adding to some already healthy numbers. 

D: Calen Addison, DK: $3,300 – Addison was a sleeper D pick that seemed to pop up on a lot of lists this fall…and with good reason. Addison (originally a 2nd round pick in Pittsburgh) averaged close to a point a game in the WHL and followed that up with some good numbers in the AHL too. 3rd pairing even strength minutes don’t help, but Addison is the lone D-man on PP1 with some pretty productive forwards. Averaging 18 minutes of 5-on-5 time is fine, but it’s the 5 minutes of PP time per game that can help this pick pay off. This is an early game, so maybe mix it in if you play an afternoon lineup. Choose Calen today? Add this, son!

D: Rasmus Dahlin, DK: $6,700 – I looked through the schedule today and had originally decided on Neal Pionk or Josh Morrissey for our second rearguard. Winnipeg is home to Toronto for ‘Hockey Night in Canada’, and I think some Winnipeg players could score some points tonight. But for some reason I can’t get away from those Sabres. Dahlin looks like a guy that is out to prove himself, and watching him score a late goal then get angry at the end of a 4-3 loss to Florida last Saturday night must have been music to Buffalo fans ears…or eyes? On Thursday night, Dahlin set an NHL mark (you read that right) becoming the first defenseman in league history to score in each of the first four games of a season. The only other Sabres defenseman to score 4 in a row at any point in a season? Phil ‘Wowie’ Housley. Not a bad guy to be compared to if you’re looking to become a top offensive defenseman in Buffalo, that’s for sure.

G: Juuse Saros, DK: $8,500 – Our G pick for the day might be a bit of cherry pick. Saros and the Preds are at home to one of the most over-achieving teams to start the season in the Philadelphia Flyers. Carter Hart is 3-0 on the year with a very good .943 GAA, but I think it’s only a matter of time before the Flyers’ fear of John Tortorella wears off and they start to come back to earth. This may be more of a ‘hunch’ play today than one backed up with actual statistics, but I’d be surprised if we didn’t get a juicy start from Saros at home today. 

UTIL: Gabriel Vilardi, DK: $3,100 – I had a few different names in here before I settled on Vilardi. Pretty much anyone with bottom 6 minutes but still a decent level of production that could see an increase in ice time is the good play here – especially if you’re looking to save some salary and spend elsewhere. Vilardi is kind of self explanatory too. A top prospect, (drafted #11 in 2017 entry draft), Vilardi is off to a hot start with 7 points in LA’s first 6 games. He’s been slotted on the third line for regular play, but like a lot of others on this list he’s getting PP1 time so he’s worth a gamble at this price.

With these names and dollar values, we managed to find some really well priced talent and have a bunch left over ($5,000 if you went right by the letter here). Feel free to sub out a guy like Peterka for a Kucherov, or even upgrade Vilardi for Stamkos (DK: $7,800) or Ovechkin (DK: $7,700) if you wish!

For other bets each week, I’ll give you a few plays for prop or team bets based on odds posted at the time of edit.

The Wayne Gretzky : (Favorite)

The biggest moneyline favorite is Ottawa at home to Arizona today. As I said above, if Ottawa is firing like they did at home against Boston last weekend the -250 will pay out against a sad sack Arizona squad.

The Happy Gilmore : (Underdog)

Keeping with what I mentioned above in the Peterka blurb, I like the Sabres moneyline at +145 out west tonight against a struggling Canucks squad.

The Claude Lemieux : (Turtle/Flop)

The puck line on Winnipeg at home vs Toronto is (+1.5) -195. With Matt Murray hurt, the Jets could have some players that record FPTS against shaky Leaf goaltending, but I don’t know about them winning or even coming within a goal here. Any bet against the Leafs and that forward group isn’t necessarily a smart one, even if the odds look this good.

That’s it for this week! I hope everyone enjoyed it. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below or give me a shout @MarmosDad.