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Fantasy buzz: Turris shines in Predators debut

Center makes immediate impact in win against Penguins

by James Harding / Fantasy Correspondent

All season long,'s fantasy hockey staff will have you covered with daily lineup news, production trends and injury notes from around the League. We will identify how these developments affect fantasy owners in year-long (Yahoo) and daily (DraftKings) formats.

5 p.m.
DraftKings value picks

Derek Grant, ANA ($3,900) -- With Ryan Getzlaf (facial surgery) out, Grant is in prime position to see production for the Anaheim Ducks, slotting in as the first line center between Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell. Grant has already set an NHL career-high with nine points (three goals, six assists) in 16 games this season. He has a tough matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but at this price and with the offensive potential of his linemates, Grant has massive upside as a value play.

Spend up for: Anze Kopitar, LAK ($6,800 vs SJS)

Video: ANA@CAR: Grant beats Darling five-hole after turnover



Tomas Hertl, SJS ($4,400) -- Hertl ended a four-game scoreless streak Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks with a goal and two assists. One of his assist was shorthanded. Hertl is skating on the second line with Logan Couture, who scored twice on Saturday, and Melker Karlsson. Hertl has one goal and five assists in his past 10 games and is averaging 3.2 DraftKings points per game in 15 games this season.

Spend up for: Nikita Kucherov, TBL ($8,200 at ANA)



Cody Franson, CHI ($3,400) -- Franson has looked very good for the Chicago Blackhawks in eight games and his good play has been rewarded by being moved up in the lineup. He is skating on the first defense pair with Duncan Keith at even strength and is running the point on the second power-play unit. In three home games, Franson has two of his three assists, with five blocked shots and 10 shots on goal, and is a good pick against the New Jersey Devils.

Spend up for: John Carlson, WSH ($5,700 vs EDM)



Corey Crawford, CHI ($7,600) -- Crawford has lost his past two starts but remains one of the best fantasy goaltending options this season and is a great candidate to start Sunday. Despite a 7-6-0 record Crawford is second in the NHL among qualifying goaltenders with a 1.87 goals-against average and .942 save percentage. He'll start at home against the Devils and is 4-3-0 with a 1.44 goals against average and .957 save percentage at United Center this season.

Spend up for: Jonathan Quick, LAK ($8,300 vs SJS)

Video: CHI@PHI: Crawford denies wraparound, rebound chance


2:24 p.m.
Low-ownership studs of the week

New York Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich is quickly trending toward must-own territory in all fantasy formats, and fantasy owners should pick him up quickly. 

Buchnevich (45 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) had a stellar week for the Rangers with five points (three goals, two assists), three power-play points and 11 shots on goal in three games. 

The dual-eligible (LW/RW) forward has seven goals since Oct. 26, which are tied for the most in the NHL in that time frame. Buchnevich is skating on the Rangers first line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider and has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in his past nine games.

Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker had at least one point in each of his four games. Zucker (41 percent owned) is also a dual-eligible LW/RW and finished the week with seven points (six goals, assist) and 17 shots on goal, including a hat trick against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. 

Zucker leads the Wild with 14 points (nine goals, five assists) through 16 games. With Zach Parise (back surgery) out long term, Zucker will be in line to see a lot of playing time with Minnesota's top-six forwards.

Video: MIN@PHI: Zucker pots opening tally early in the 3rd

Center Alexander Kerfoot (8 percent owned in Yahoo), who is a dual-eligible C/RW, slotted into Matt Duchene's former role as the Colorado Avalanche's second-line center and had back-to-back multipoint games against the Ottawa Senators. He scored a goal and an assist in each game and combined for four shots on goal. He has a four-game point streak and points (four goals, four assists) in five of his past six games.


High-ownership duds of the week

Fantasy owners and DFS players are beginning to worry about Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, who has struggled the past few weeks. 

Crosby (100 percent owned) started the season on fire with 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his first eight games, but has three assists in his past 11 games. He was held scoreless in all three games last week. Expect a turnaround for Crosby, but with the Penguins offense struggling this season, those in single-season leagues could look to sell high on Crosby before his slide potentially continues.

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom ended a seven-game point drought with an assist against the Penguins on Friday but his play of late should be concerning to fantasy owners. Backstrom has been separated from Alex Ovechkin at even strength, though the pair is still together on the power play, and fantasy owners should be wary of his struggles away from Ovechkin.

Backstrom has 29 shots on goal and 12 blocked shots, and six of his seven power-play points came in his first five games. Fantasy owners should be patient with Backstrom, but DFS players should wait for him to get going before trusting him in lineups.

Defenseman Shea Weber looked like he was turning things around for the Canadiens after a slow start to the season, but his struggles returned last week. He was held scoreless in three games and missed one with a lower-body injury. Normally a source of great category coverage, Weber had six blocked shots and five shots on goal. 

Video: FLA@MTL: Weber blisters home his second goal

Weber has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) this season, but seven points came in a four-game span. With the Canadiens offense struggling (28th in the League at 2.50 goals per game), fantasy owners should consider moving on from Weber sooner than later, especially if his struggles continue.

10:57 a.m.
Turris stellar in debut with Predators

Center Kyle Turris made an immediate impact in his Nashville Predators debut with two points (goal, assist) in a 5-4 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. 

Acquired by the Predators in a three-team trade that sent Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche to the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 6, Turris had his first multipoint game since getting three points (two goals, assist) for the Ottawa Senators against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 14.

Turris (66 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) played 21:38 against the Penguins, his second-highest total this season (22:36 in Ottawa's season opener against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 5), but 1:18 on the power play. Fantasy owners, however, should expect that power-play usage to increase going forward. Turris skated with Craig Smith, who also had a goal and an assist with four shots on goal, and Kevin Fiala on the Predators second line. He has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 12 games this season and looks to be in line for heavy usage in Nashville. He should be targeted by fantasy owners in all formats and will be a very good DFS option going forward.

Video: PIT@NSH: Turris pots snap shot off Salomaki's feed


Zucker, DeBrincat continue to produce

A couple of low-ownership fantasy players, Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker and Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat, have put themselves on fantasy radars going forward. 

Zucker scored the only goal in the Wild's win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and had three shots on goal. The goal extended his point streak to four games and his goal-scoring streak to three. Zucker (40 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) has six goals, one assist and 17 shots on goal during the streak and is playing on the Wild's second line with Eric Staal and Nino Niederreiter. He's dual-eligible LW/RW in Yahoo fantast formats. 

DeBrincat has bounced around the Blackhawks lineup and that was demonstrated in their 4-3 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. He scored two goals on two separate lines, one assisted by Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik and the other by Patrick Kane and Tanner Kero, and assisted on Brandon Saad's game-winner in overtime. DeBrincat is owned in eight percent of Yahoo leagues and has 10 points (five points, five assists) in 17 games. He ($3,700 on DraftKings vs NJD) has six points (four goals, two assists) and 13 shots on goal in his past six games and is a great value pick for DFS contests Sunday.

Video: CHI@CAR: DeBrincat hits the post, notches second goal

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