Today’s NHL Cash Game Breakdown goes over Thursday’s (14) game slate that has a roster lock of 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT.
UPDATE 4:10 PM ET: Adding Conor Garland and Jesse Puljujarvi as additional Cash Options due to the STL/VGK cancellation. Garland more so as a FD value if you are limited on funds. I wouldn’t play Gibson if you play Garland, and vice versa. Also, below, you’ll see I added Ullmark and Price as cash viable Goalie plays.
UPDATE 1:15 PM ET: Due to some positive COVID-19 tests, the STL/VGK game has been postponed. This is rough because Pacioretty would have been a great target for cash, and even guys like Theodore and Stephenson were very viable for me. There should be plenty of value available at wing to be able to field a very competitive lineup tonight.
As a reminder, this is going to be our content schedule throughout the season:
*Projections by Ryan Clifford for every slate (available for download AND uploaded into the optimizer)
*Lineup Coach in chat 1 hour before lock each slate
1 Games: Showdown Article for the last game
2 Games: Slate Breakdown (Last minute change)
3-4 Games: Cheat Sheet and GPP Breakdown
5 Games or More: Cash Game Breakdown, Cheat Sheet, and GPP Breakdown
1 Game: Showdown Breakdown
2 Games: Slate Breakdown (unless one early NBC game and one late game, then it would be a Showdown Breakdown)
3 Games or More: Cheat Sheet and GPP Breakdown
Additionally, you can keep an eye on late news by looking at our NHL Team Beat Writers lists on Twitter by clicking here.
After a short little break for me, I’m back in the thick of things with a MONSTROUS 14 game slate.
In theory, big ass slates like these should be GREAT for cash. But it can absolutely be overwhelming to sort through all of the possibly plays, and land on one final lineup with eight skaters and a goalie.
I am going to give you guys solid cash games plays from top to bottom. Just because I rank one player at 3 and another player at 7 doesn’t mean 7 is significantly worse than 3.
Also, with a slate this big, you definitely can feel free to tweak my Core 4 lineups if you need to as well. For me to narrow down a big player pool full of good plays to just four players is tough enough as it is. Sometimes you’re going to be able to build a better lineup by swapping one of my Core plays with another good cash play.
Lastly, I know I’ve said a few times earlier this eason to just play the best players and don’t worry about stacking. I have to say, with a slate this big, I highly recommend not stacking more than 2 players from one line. 3 would be super aggressive for a slate this big, and I might only reserve that for extremely lopsided situations that tend to present themselves closer to the end of the season due to injuries/tanking.
Positional Cash Game Rankings
- Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche (DK: $8600, FD: $8500)
- Auston Matthews, Leafs (DK: $8400, FD: $8200)
- Kevin Hayes, Flyers (DK: $6100, FD: $6000)
- Nazem Kadri, Avalanche (DK: $4600, FD: $5800)
- Brayden Schenn, Blues (DK: $4900, FD: $5700)
Chandler Stephenson, Golden Knights (DK: $4100, FD: $3600)
- The league leader in iCorsi (total shot attempts) this season is not Auston Matthews or Max Pacioretty, it’s actually Nathan MacKinnon. The Avs absolutely destroyed the Sharks on Tuesday and while I don’t expect a four plus goal victory, it’s just never out of the question when it comes to the Avs. The blowout victory actually did not help MacKinnon because he only played 16 1/2 minutes, and didn’t have to do as much as he usually does offensively. Still, with the high shot volume plus upside thanks to the weaker opponent (especially when it comes to goaltending), I think I have to rank Mac higher than the rest of the stud centers tonight.
- I am very tempted to consider McDavid, but again, we are playing CASH GAMES, and ultimately, the safe play in this spot, as always, is Mr. Auston Matthews. He rarely ever puts up a woeful performance considering his lowest DK point total this season, outside of a 5.8 outlier performance against the Senators, was a ridiculous 16.8 points, and a lot of that is because of shot volume combined with the significant role he plays on offense.
- If you’re going cheaper at C, I have included four other players in very good situations, and all at reasonable values.
- Kevin Fiala, Wild (DK: $6300, FD: $6300)
Max Pacioretty, Golden Knights (DK: $7100, FD: $8200)
- James van Riemsdyk, Flyers (DK: $4000, FD: $5500)
- Denis Gurianov, Stars (DK: $6200, FD: $5400) // better FD play
- Mikko Rantanen, Avalanche (DK: $8200, FD: $7900) // prefer to play MacKinnon over him if you can help it, but still fine
- Carter Verhaeghe, Panthers (DK: $3700, FD: $4300)
- Patric Hornqvist, Panthers (DK: $4700, FD: $5600)
- Brendan Gallagher, Canadiens (DK: $6000, FD: $7100)
- Evgenii Dadonov, Senators (DK: $3600, FD: $4800)
Jordan Kyrou, Blues (DK: $3400, FD: $3900)
- Jeff Carter, Kings (DK: $4900, FD: $4900)
- Zach Parise, Wild (DK: $5200, FD: $6000)
- Ryan Donato, Sharks (DK: $2800, FD: $3600)
- When it comes to targeting lines against the Kings this season, and let’s face it, the last few seasons, it’s clear that the line to AVOID is Kopitar’s top line. With Eriksson Ek’s line doing an amazing job against LA1 on Game 1, I think there’s going to continue to be a ton of opportunity for Kevin Fiala to produce. He has the highest iCorsi among wingers this season and arguably the worst puck luck considering he has only lit the lamp twice this season across 53 shot attempts and 10 high-danger opportunities. If Quick gets the start, like he probably should, I like him a lot more.
- JVR is playing some of the best hockey in his career, but more importantly, he is one of the centerpieces of a very good Flyers power-play unit that took advantage of the Devils on Tuesday. The Devils PK is the 2nd worst unit in hockey.
- I would say the only thing I hate about Hornqvist right now is his lack of ice time. 13-14 mins for someone in his role is very underwhelming, but he has been able to produce in limited playing time, so it’s tough to fade him. He’s the more aggressive between he and Carter Verhaegue, but Verhaegue’s line with Barkov and Duclair is definitely the more complete line right now, and they’re getting 25% more ice time.
- Gallagher’s going to continue to be one of our favorite DFS targets due to his aggression. I like his situation tonight because he’ll likely be matched up against the Monahan line, which is a much better line to target because of the likely pace that they will drive compared to the Lindholm line and the Backlund line. While I think MTL2 and MTL3 might actually drive some pace themselves, I think this situation just makes a ton of sense as a direct target.
- Darnell Nurse, Oilers (DK: $4500, FD: $4800)
- Justin Schultz, Capitals (DK: $3300, FD: $4000)
Shea Theodore, Golden Knights (DK: $6800, FD: $6200)
- Adam Fox, Rangers (DK: $6400, FD: $4300) // FanDuel only in cash
- Ivan Provorov, Flyers (DK: $5200, FD: $5300)
- Quinn Hughes, Canucks (DK: $5900, FD: $5500)
- Thanks to Tyson Barrie’s lackluster start, Darnell Nurse has jumped into the PP QB role on the Oilers top power-play unit. You can view him as a dink and dunk type of QB thanks to the superstars on that top unit, but that’s all it really takes to be productive in that role. Add that with his solid history of accumulating peripheral stats, and reasonable salary, I think he’s a slam dunk #1 option.
- With no Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, the Capitals have had to figure things out on the go, and one of the things they were able to figure out is that Justin Schultz is a weapon they need to use to their advantage. Schultz has been elevated to the top power-play unit, playing the top of the umbrella while Carlson shifts over to Ovi’s spot on the left side.
- There are a lot of ways you can go if you pay up past $6k at D, but my lean is to go with Shea Theodore. He has been able to generate a super higher floor thanks to his unbelievably high shot volume from the D position. He’s also able to do so under any circumstances (high pace, slow pace, etc.)
- There are certainly options for you to go cheaper at D, but I wouldn’t go cheaper than anyone I’ve listed on FD. If you need to go cheaper than Schultz on DK, I recommend using Ryan’s projections in the Optimizer.
- Philipp Grubauer, Avalanche (DK: $8500, FD: $8400)
Anton Khudobin, Stars (DK: $8400, FD: $8200)//Gettinger starts, and I’m not in on him
- John Gibson, Ducks (DK: $7900, FD: $7400)
Adding Ullmark as a cash play if he starts. I would not be in on Hutton.
With Rittich in for Markstrom, I am also adding Carey Price as a cash play. Also, if you’re wondering why I’m targeting goalies that may not have the highest upside, it’s because we’re doing cash games and with 14 games, we need a goalie with a win.
DraftKings: Nathan MacKinnon, Kevin Fiala, Darnell Nurse, Justin Schultz
FanDuel: Nathan MacKinnon, Kevin Fiala, Denis Gurianov, Justin Schultz