Connor McDavid (DK: $7600 FD: $8800): McDavid and the Oilers faceoff against Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks in what should be the highest scoring series of this opening round. Your first question is likely, “why not Draisaitl?”. That is a great question. While Leon Draisaitl did have an amazing year offensively, at the end of the day, he is no Connor McDavid. Connor McDavid is the kind of player who is not only one of the best in the world, but he even has an extra gear he can turn on to truly separate himself from the league. McDavid has one playoff appearance, 3 years ago at the age of 20, where he registered 5 goals and 4 assists through 13 games. We have watched McDavid become better and better every year, so he should be able to eclipse those playoff numbers with ease this postseason. McDavid had a phenomenal season as his 34 goals and 63 assists combining for 97 points, was the 2nd most in the league even though he missed 7 games. McDavid centers the top line and the top power play unit, resulting in him skating 22 minutes a game, which could be even higher during these playoffs. McDavid’s 22 minutes a night was the 3rd most amongst all forwards in the league. McDavid is the best skater in the league and he is facing a Chicago team where their defense is either old and slow, or young and confused people. Simply put, this Chicago defense is abysmal. At 5v5 this season, Chicago ranked dead last in expected goals against with 2.82 goals per 60 minutes. Chicago and Edmonton have a similar play style where they play very open and rely on constant rushes up the ice for offense. Who better to rely on a rush than McDavid? Noone! Emonton is the second largest favorites on the slate tomorrow at -150 and their game has the highest implied goal total at 6 goals. McDavid showed in their exhibition game against Calgary where he scored twice on Tuesday, that he is ready for playoff hockey. Feel confident locking in McDavid for the first playoff slate after a long 4 ½ months without NHL DFS.
Anders Lee (DK: $5400 FD: $6700): The New York Islanders take on the Florida Panthers in a battle of defense vs offense. The Islanders are the defense in this battle, but that doesn’t mean Anders Lee isn’t in a great spot to smash. Lee registered 20 goals this season, the 2nd most on the Islanders, while his 195 shots paced the team. Anders Lee plays on the Islanders top line and top power play unit alongside star center Mathew Barzal. This Islanders top line and Lee especially find themselves in a great spot to perform against a weak Florida defense. New York and Florida met 3 times during the season where Lee managed to score twice and notch an assist. Lee’s performance against Florida is strong solely due to his positioning on the ice. Anders Lee spots up in front of the net and loves to fire away and cause havoc around the goal. In fact, Lee actually ranked 3rd in the league this season in high danger chances at 5v5, creating 5.64 chances per 60 minutes of play. Florida, on the other hand, is notoriously bad not only defensively at stopping these, but also in net. During the season, Florida gave up 11.23 high danger chances per 60 minutes of play, the 7th most in the league. Prized offseason goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, struggled greatly with this as his -.37 high danger goals saved above average ranked 52nd out of 59 goalies to play 750 minutes this year. In Florida’s exhibition game, nothing seemed to have changed as the Panthers gave up 5 goals to Tampa who was without Stamkos or Hedman. The Florida defense struggled all season as they gave up 3.25 goals per game, the 3rd most in the league. After Wednesday’s exhibition game, we aren’t seeing any signs of change. With Lee coming at a great price on both sites and already having performed against Florida this season, we suggest you lock him in at wing for this slate.
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