Today’s NHL Cash Game Breakdown goes over Thursday’s (8) game slate that has a roster lock of 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT.
UPDATE (4:20 PM ET): With Subban likely getting the start instead of Lankinen for the Hawks (not confirmed, but “likely”), I am going to elevated Necas in my cash ranking ahead of Gallagher and Hornqvist (this is based on $ per point). I am also making him a Core 4 play on FD ahead of Hyman. Hyman is still a good play to me, but not as good as Necas considering the value and matchup. I am also willing to play Reimer in net if you want, but hard not to just play Price if you want to go for the safe W.
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.
Please be aware, the Canadiens are going to be MASSIVE chalk and POSSIBLY to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s 3-4 Habs in most lineups on FanDuel and perhaps 3-6 Habs in most lineups on DraftKings. Is that the way to go? I honestly doubt going more than 3 is going to be too optimal. I’ll expand below.
Positional Cash Game Rankings
- Auston Matthews, Leafs (DK: $8500, FD: $8700)
- Nick Suzuki, Canadiens (DK: $5700, FD: $5900)
- Vincent Trocheck, Hurricanes (DK: $5900, FD: $4800) // only play on FD in cash
- Elias Pettersson, Canucks (DK: $6100, FD: $6700)
- Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Canadiens (DK: $4000, FD: $4800)
- Joe Pavelski, Stars (DK: $7000, FD: $6900)
- Even though Nick Suzuki would be on top of this rankings list more often than not facing the Senators, I just can’t rank him below Matthews. Matthews, at this point, is a cash game lock. Again, outside of an outlier pitiful performance in Ottawa’s only win of the season, he has generated a minimum of 15.8 points on DK. A MINIMUM. The crazier thing about it is that he hasn’t had any crazy performances. He has only put up 2 points in one game TWICE, and every other game was a simple one point performance. Shooting the puck matters, and if you don’t roster Matthews in cash games, you’re asking for trouble.
- I loved Nick Suzuki against the Canucks, so why would I not absolutely love him tonight against the lowly Senators. I’ve noticed that he’s definitely a guy who gets overlooked in cash games, and I’m not sure why. It’s possible that the mid-tier players at C don’t get much love because people are generally needing to pay up for a stud or two, but by doing so, you’re also missing out on one of the most consistent players in hockey. He is smart, fast, and a great playmaker. And probably most importantly, he is one of the primary facilitators on the Habs top power-play unit.
- You can consider playing Kotkaniemi in this spot as well, but I’m probably not okay with playing him if you’re going to roster Toffoli. Too many eggs in one basket here, and if we are stacking in cash games, doing so with the Habs is definitely different than the Oilers because the scoring is quite balanced. The Oilers scoring is truly, no joke, all connected to either McDavid or Draisaitl. The scoring for the Habs can extend across four lines if we really want to be real. If you play 3+ forwards, I would probably recommend for it to be across a minimum of two lines, and possibly three if it makes sense (though, an expensive price for Gallagher might make that difficult).
- Joe Pavelski’s line with Benn and Radulov were absolutely dominant against the Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their series. They controlled possession the majority of game. scoring three goals on three high danger scoring chances, and destroyed CBJ with the man advantage. The problem with playing Benn is that he isn’t on the top power-play unit. The problem with playing Radulov is that he hardly ever shoots the puck. The problem with Pavelski is that he’s super expensive, but, is that solely based on reputation? He usually does not shoot the puck as much as he does now, but 2021 is a new year and a new version of the former Sharks Captain. People might scoff at this play, but I think it’s a) safer than most would think, and b) comes with some upside. I do think he’s more of a FD play though given the discount you’re getting on a site where there’s more salary to work with in the first place. Still, this is going to be a very aggressive play if you decide to go with it. He’s going to have virtually no ownership.
- Tyler Toffoli, Canadiens (DK: $6500, FD: $6400)
- Zach Hyman, Leafs (DK: $4500, FD: $4800)
- Martin Necas, Hurricanes (DK: $3500, FD: $4100)
- Brendan Gallagher, Canadiens (DK: $6400, FD: $7200)
- Patric Hornqvist, Panthers (DK: $5900, FD: $5400) // better FD value but still playable on DK
- Conor Garland, Coyotes (DK: $5500, FD: $4800)
- Viktor Arvidsson, Predators (DK: $5100, FD: $5700)
- Alex Ovechkin, Capitals (DK: $8000, FD: $8400)
- Teuvo Teravainen, Hurricanes (DK: $5100, FD: $5800)
- Brock Boeser, Canucks (DK: $5700, FD: $7200) // cash on DK only
- Josh Anderson, Canadiens (DK: $5000, FD: $4300)
- Toffoli is having himself the best start of his career, and arguably the best start of anyone in hockey. He’s going to come down to Earth at some point simply because of the law of averages, but also because of the fact that the man is going to eventually NOT get all these damn breakaways. I mean for crying out loud, what in the blue hell have the Canucks been doing? He’s gotten breakaway after breakaway and it does seem like he converts them all. With that said, I’m not really looking to see if he comes back down to Earth today. I’m going to play him in cash, and you probably should too.
- One guy who I’m on that’s going to be very little unorthodox is Zach Hyman. I just don’t envision many people really getting the nerve to play a guy who has four points in 10 games, but hear me out here. He’s going to play with Matthews and Marner, which is going to help ALL of them. He’s going to get a great matchup against VAN1, who we have been targeting ALL season. And guess what? He’s facing this same damn Canucks team who I’ve been screaming about being idiots for giving Toffoli BREAKAWAY AFTER BREAKAWAY. Hyman is one of the best forecheckers and penalty killers in the league. It would not shock me if he ends up putting away a breakaway while shorthanded. If that happens, just ship us all the money right now.
- The Predators penalty kill is absolutely atrocious and it goes beyond those terrible games they played in Dallas. Still, it’d be a bit of a risk to pay up for Barkov or even the cheaper Huberdeau. The cash play here is Patric Hornqvist, who isn’t getting as many shots as he used to get, but is still aggressive enough to be 2nd on the team in iFenwick per game. He’ll also get plenty of shifts against the NSH bottom six, which the data suggests are the best lines to target against.
- Necas is quietly and I mean quietly having himself a hell of a season from an advanced statistics perspective. He is playing very good two way hockey and generating a ton of peripheral stats not only from shooting, which he’s doing more of this season, but also blocking shots. He has at least one blocked shot in every single game he’s played this season. Not only that, even though we were conditioned to expect him to see limited minutes in every game he played, his ice time has increased to the point where he has played back-to-back 20+ minute games, which is a number he didn’t even reach ONCE last season. As for this play, the reason we want him in our lineups is because he’s getting a lot of shifts against the Kane line, which does play with slightly more tempo than the other Hawks lines, and in Tuesday’s contest, his line with Trocheck and Niederreiter ended up controlling possession against Kane over 85% of the time (Necas’s line generated 20 shot attempts to Kane’s 3).
- Jeff Petry, Canadiens (DK: $6500, FD: $5500)
- Adam Fox, Rangers (DK: $6000, FD: $4300) // cash on FD only
- Brett Pesce, Hurricanes (DK: $3100, FD: $3500) // cash on DK only
- Josh Morrissey, Jets (DK: $4300, FD: $4000)
- Jakob Chychrun, Coyotes (DK: $5100, FD: $4000) // cash on FD only
- Shea Weber, Canadiens (DK: $5900, FD: $5900)
- I don’t know what has gotten into Jeff Petry, but it’s profound enough to make him a possible top play considering he’s priced higher than he has ever been in his career. The matchup certainly helps, but if we think that the Habs top power-play unit is going to produce again tonight, he’s actually more likely than anyone on the team to generate points because he is truly the power-play quarterback at the top of the umbrella.
- Fox remains stupid cheap on FD. Don’t feel like it’s a failure if he doesn’t generate points. Doing so at the defense position is never going to be as much of a lock as it would be at center or forward. He’ll remain popular for $4300 and should provide a good amount of salary relief.
- Pesce is definitely my favorite punt D play on DK. I generate a stat that combines iFenwick and blocked shots per game, and Pesce is somehow 11th on the list among defensemen tonight. He provides a very solid floor for DK players, which at his $3100 price tag, is 5.6 points that you’ll take any day of the week if it opens up room for the big boys.
- Morrissey is STILL the defenseman on the Jets PP1. While his production is very inconsistent, that role is going to put him in a prime spot to produce every single night, yet somehow, his price tag has been dropping.
- Carey Price, Canadiens (DK: $8500, FD: $8600)
- Vitek Vanecek, Capitals (DK: $7900, FD: $7800)
Kevin Lankinen, Blackhawks (DK: $7000, FD: $7200)
- James Reimer, Hurricanes
- Price = super super safe for the win, but upside is limited unless he gets a shutout, or the Habs uncharacteristically allow a lot of shots/Senators lose their minds and start throwing pucks on net from everywhere.
- Vanecek and even more so Lankinen are risky in the sense that they aren’t even close to a lock for a win, with Lankinen VERY likely to lose, but they’re going to see a ton of shots. In Lankinen’s case, I think it’s more than a 50% chance that he sees more than 35 shots on goal. Lankinen has consistently performed well, even in losing performances, so he may be the right play here as long as he doesn’t get shelled, which is always a possibility, especially when you’re the Hawks.
DraftKings: Auston Matthews, Nick Suzuki, Tyler Toffoli, Martin Necas
FanDuel: Auston Matthews, Nick Suzuki, Tyler Toffoli,
Zach Hyman, Martin Necas