Sharks send Labanc to AHL
The San Jose Sharks sent forward Kevin Labanc to their American Hockey League affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda, on Sunday. Labanc (9 percent owned) is dual-eligible on Yahoo as a LW/RW and had been skating for much of the season on the first line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. He had three goals and three assists in his first six games, but had one assist in his past six games.
The Sharks have not indicated who will take Labanc's spot, but forwards Tomas Hertl (21 percent owned) and Joonas Donskoi (2 percent owned) have seen limited time skating on the first line in recent games. Hertl has prior experience skating on that line but Donskoi, who is also dual-eligible LW/RW, has been more productive lately with five points (three goals, two assists) in his past eight games. Fantasy owners of Labanc and DFS players should monitor this situation and should target his replacement as a solid-upside value player.
Low ownership studs of the week
Center Derek Grant has stabilized the Anaheim Ducks' second-line center spot with Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler sidelined with injuries. Grant (less than 1 percent owned in Yahoo) is dual-eligible at C/LW, and he's already set an NHL career-high with eight points (three goals, five assists). Grant has at least a point in seven of his past eight games.
Forward Alex Tuch continued his solid play since being called up by the Vegas Golden Knights. In four games this week Tuch (3 percent owned) had points in three, finishing with two goals, two assists, three power-play points and nine shots on goal. He's skating on the third line and second power-play unit.
Rookie forward Yanni Gourde had a big week for the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring points in all three of his games. Gourde (4 percent owned), who is dual-eligible C/RW on Yahoo, scored a goal in each of the three games; he also had one assist and seven shots on goal. Gourde is skating with Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat on the second line.
Forward Boone Jenner of the Columbus Blue Jackets finally found the scoresheet, with points in each of his three games this week. Jenner had two goals and three assists for his first five points of the season. He is skating on the second line and is seeing an uptick in ice time in his past four games.
High ownership duds of the week
Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin ended a two-game pointless streak Saturday against the Boston Bruins with his 11th goal of the season. It was his only point in three games this week to go along with nine shots on goal. Ovechkin (100 percent owned) has been struggling; he has two goals and four assists in his past nine games, with his assists coming in a two-game span.
Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin has been struggling. Panarin had one assist in three games this week; it's his only point in five games since Oct. 27. Fantasy owners should be wary of his limited production but should not look to sell on him unless his offensive struggles continue.
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith ended a four-game pointless streak with an assist Saturday against the Minnesota Wild; he figures to see plenty of ice time against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday. Keith (98 percent owned) has struggled offensively in his past five games but has gotten good category coverage for DFS purposes with 12 shots on goal and 12 blocked shots in that span.
DraftKings value picks for Sunday
All season long, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This article includes expensive and value plays and can be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
Spend up for: John Tavares ($8,100) -- The New York Islanders captain is the reigning NHL First Star of the Week and is playing well enough to back that up. He has three goals, two power-play goals, one assist and 13 shots on goal in his past two games. He has been a fantasy beast of late with 14 points (10 goals, four assists) in his past six games.
Value buy: Artem Anisimov ($4,600) -- He's a four-game point streak after extending it with a power-play goal against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Anisimov is centering the Chicago Blackhawks third line and their first power-play unit. He has a goal in all four games during his streak, including two power-play goals, an assist and 13 shots on goal.
Spend up for: Taylor Hall ($7,600) -- He has been one of the biggest reasons behind the New Jersey Devils' 9-3-0 start. He is on a four-game point streak (three goals, four assists, two power-play points, 17 SOG) and leads the Devils with 16 points (four goals, 12 assists). Hall has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his past 10 games and is averaging 5.0 fantasy points per game on DraftKings, the highest of any wing available Sunday.
Value buy: Josh Bailey ($4,500) -- He is on pace to surpass his NHL career-high 56 points (13 goals, 43 assists) from last season with 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in his first 13 games. He enters Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche on an eight-game point streak (2-12-14). Bailey is skating with Tavares on the New York Islanders' first line, is seeing ample time on their first power-play unit and has six power-play points.
Spend up for: Shea Weber ($6,300) -- He's coming off a great game Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets with two assists, each on the power play, one blocked shot and six shots on goal. He has points in three of his past four games and all three games have been multipoint efforts. Weber has 10 points (three goals, seven assists), 28 blocks and 34 SOG in his past 10 games, and is averaging 5.4 fantasy points per game on DraftKings in that span.
Value buy: Tyson Barrie ($4,600) -- He's been one of the more underrated but productive defensemen in the League this season. He has points in 10 of his 13 games this season, and enters Sunday against the Islanders on a three-game point streak (0-3-3). He has power-play points in back-to-back games and six power-play points this season.
Spend up for: Thomas Greiss ($8,000) -- He starts for the Islanders after allowing six goals in his last start against the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 26. Greiss has been solid at Barclays Center this season (2.41 goals-against average, .924 save percentage) in two starts. He'll face the Avalanche, who are playing the second of a back-to-back, at home.
Value buy: Keith Kinkaid ($7,400) -- The Devils backup hasn't put up great numbers but he has been picking up wins. Kinkaid has three wins in four appearances this season (3-1-0). He faces the Calgary Flames on the road, and his road splits in two games are great (1.48 GAA, .950 save percentage).
Boeser's hat trick powers Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks are a surprising 7-4-2 (16 points) in their first 13 games. One reason is rookie forward Brock Boeser, who had the best game of his NHL career against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
Boeser scored his first NHL hat trick and assisted on Bo Horvat's goal, and had seven shots on goal in Vancouver's 4-2 win. Owned in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues, Boeser leads the Canucks with 13 points (five goals, eight assists).
Boeser's linemates also had great games. Horvat (32 percent owned in Yahoo) scored his fifth goal and had three assists, and Sven Baertschi (7 percent owned) added three assists of his own. All three members of this line are the only Canucks players who have more than 10 points this season and they are all available in the majority of leagues. Fantasy owners will want to target all three, Boeser especially in keeper formats.
Low ownership goalies have big nights
Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom also had a big night against the Penguins with 37 saves. Markstrom is owned in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues and is tied for sixth among qualifying goaltenders with a 2.23 goals-against average. He is competing with Anders Nilsson for playing time but the Canucks net is his right now and he should be on the fantasy radar in DFS contests and for any owners that are in deeper leagues and in need of goalie depth.
Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta earned his first win of the season win an impressive showing against the Carolina Hurricanes. He made 36 saves and stopped two of three skaters in the shootout for a 2-1 victory. Raanta (26 percent owned in Yahoo) bounced back after a poor outing (five goals against) in his return from a lower-body injury Thursday and showed fantasy owners what he is capable of with this effort. If Raanta remains healthy, he will be the workhorse starter for the Coyotes and is a goalie that fantasy owners will want to watch and target.
Canadiens beginning to turn things around
The Montreal Canadiens got off to a 1-6-1 start and many owners were wary about the fantasy prospects of some of their biggest names performing well. Those big names are starting to turn things around and fantasy owners should begin to trust rolling those players in fantasy leagues and DFS lineups again.
Forward Max Pacioretty (95 percent owned) and defenseman Shea Weber (99 percent owned) each had five points this week to lead the Canadiens. Pacioretty struggled to score early with two goals in his first 10 games but has come on strong as of late and has a four-game point streak (3-3-6, 18 SOG).
Weber had two multipoint games this week and has three multipoint games in his past four. He had two power-play assists against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, and 12 shots on goal and 13 blocked shots in his past four games.
Forward Jonathan Drouin, who is tri-eligible in Yahoo as a C/LW/RW, has points in four of his past six games and is second on the Canadiens with 10. Forward Alex Galchenyuk, who is dual-eligible C/LW and is owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues, has been very good as of late, especially on the power play. He is skating with Drouin on the Canadiens' second line and on their second power-play unit. Galchenyuk has points in four of his past six games with power-play points in three of them.
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