Thursday’s NHL slate features seven (7) games and a 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT roster lock. As a reminder, my GPP articles this season will include three types of stacks: Projected High-Ownership (chalky), Projected Mid-Level Ownership and Projected Low-Ownership. On top of that, every once in a while, I will also throw an Extremely Low Ownership dart throw as well…
Update (12:20 PM ET): It looks like Pontus Aberg is going to replace Luke Kunin on the 3rd line. I LOVE HIM. Give him a bit of a revenge narrative against a team he should know very well. Apparently, he'll also be on the top power-play unit, which makes him an interesting value play too.
Thursday’s NHL slate features seven (7) games and a 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT roster lock.
I am pretty pumped right now, considering I am coming off of a big night after taking down the $333 Top Shelf on DK for $5,000, and I’m definitely looking ahead to tonight with some ambition. I am honed in on five stacks in this original writeup, but don’t be surprised if I add one or two more later in the day.
As a reminder, my GPP articles this season will include three types of stacks: Projected High-Ownership (chalky), Projected Mid-Level Ownership and Projected Low-Ownership. On top of that, every once in a while, I will also throw an Extremely Low Ownership dart throw as well.
While GPP lineups often focus on stacking, there will be plenty of times where you need to insert a value play, so I will also include a few of my favorite value plays in each of these GPP focused write-ups. I wouldn’t want your lineups to be scattered with value plays, but I do know that you will end up needing to play a cheap option or two every now and then.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to read my DFS NHL Frequently Asked Questions article. This article goes through some important information about what you need to know as a Guru Elite NHL Subscriber. This article will continue to be updated throughout the season. If I haven’t answered your question yet, don’t sweat it, because I promise you I will.
Also, please check out the following important information…
Please be sure to keep track of the LINES (who plays with who) and goalie confirmations (who are the starting goalies). Here are the resources I recommend to keep an eye on any developments:
This information comes straight from writers who follow each of the NHL teams closely. If anything important ever comes up, they are surely the first to know and will know earlier than any DFS or NHL website. Following this list will make it easier for you to keep an eye on all types of changes throughout the day (e.g. line changes, goalie confirmations, and late scratches).
If a goalie gets confirmed as the starter throughout the day, this is where you’ll want to go to make sure they are locked in.
This resource is very good to check on line combinations from the previous game and the projected lines for the next game. Be aware that lines may update as they come in, so if a team holds a morning skate, there’s a good chance that the lines that are updated from the morning skate are going to be used in that night’s game.
(Stacks are not listed in order of preference)
Projected High-Ownership Stacks
NYR1: Chris Kreider/Mika Zibanejad/Mats Zuccarello with Kevin Shattenkirk
I feel like this play is so obvious, it’s making me uncomfortable. To start, no duo in hockey has allowed a higher high-danger scoring chance RATE in the month of January than Strome and Kane (playing mostly with Anisimov). When you add the fact that NYR1 was absolutely unstoppable against Carolina on Tuesday, I think it’s pretty clear that the Rangers top line SHOULD be high-owned and will be high-owned.
CHIPP1: (in order of preference) Patrick Kane/Erik Gustafsson/Dylan Strome/Alex Debrincat/Jonathan Toews
Even though we love the Rangers A LOT tonight, we should not forget about the Hawks. Henrik Lundqvist is going to be in net; he has statistically been the worst goalie in hockey in the month of January and has a team in front of him that has taken the most minor penalties this month. Not exactly a good combination when you’re matching up against the league’s 2nd best power-play this month. Simply put, ever since Erik Gustafsson took over the point on the top PP unit, they’ve been rolling. Add the fact that Patrick Kane is basically playing like he doesn’t give a f*** anymore (basically meaning, he’s turning up the aggression), I think we’re gonna see plenty of offense tonight.
Projected Mid-Level Ownership Stacks
MIN1: Jason Zucker/Mikko Koivu/Mikael Granlund with Ryan Suter
Based on Ownership numbers from this past Tuesday, I’m not so sure if the world understands how poorly the Ducks have played this season. Sure, it did not work out, but I’m starting to think that this team is going to completely crumble, and I think it’s mainly going to be due to management. Management is going to give Randy Carlyle every opportunity in the world to lose 20 consecutive games, and they’re also not shy about dealing some of their better players, regardless of how highly regarded they are (dealing both Cogliano and Aberg was quite a surprise in my opinion). With that said, Minnesota hasn’t looked to hot themselves, but they have shuffled some lines together, and I thought the new top line featuring Mikko Koivu centering Jason Zucker and Mikael Granlund was pretty impressive against the Kings on Tuesday. They are a trio that has gotten A LOT of playing time together in the past but have not seen much time together this season. In 2017-18, these guys were able to generate 83 high-danger scoring chances while giving up just 49, and that’s even though they see an incredibly low-percentage of offensive zone faceoffs and tend to face their opponent’s top line.
TB1: Tyler Johnson/Brayden Point/Nikita Kucherov
With both teams in the top 10 in terms of pace, I have the Maple Leafs/Lightning game graded as the highest paced game tonight. Even so, I’m a little surprised that this game currently has the highest projected game total considering the Lightning’s team defense has actually been very locked in, and Andrei Vasilevskiy has graded out as the BEST goaltender in hockey this season (even in terms of analytics, which has his goals saved above average as the highest in the league). Given the escalated pace, I feel the best bet for production (and I’m not going out on a limb at all) is going to be Tampa Bay’s top line featuring Nikita Kucherov with Tyler Johnson and Brayden Point. Despite the lack of production recently, these guys continue to lead the team in high-danger scoring chances and generally don’t mind going for the home run. Even so, they play a smart enough where they do end up limiting the opposition’s high-quality chances, and that’s why I’m not as ecstatic about TOR1.
Projected Low Ownership Stacks
MIN3: Zach Parise/Charlie Coyle/
Luke Kunin Pontus Aberg
The overall lack of production combined with the lack of name value involved is the primary reason why the Parise line isn’t going to get much love at all tonight. Still, I think they’re going to get a lot of matchups against lesser competition, and when I mention “lesser” competition, it’s going to be even “lesser” than usual with Cogliano, Aberg, and now Kesler and Silfverberg out of the lineup as well. Parise is arguably the team’s best player this season and he has stayed aggressive AND productive through all of the line changes, having generated nine 5v5 goals in eight games in January, which leads all Wild forwards.
*I am now separating the value plays by site because there are so many drastic differences in value. Also, keep in mind that none of these value options are “must plays.” They are all values for a reason.
DraftKings Value Plays
Oskar Sundqvist (C-STL): $3,500
Bryan Little (C-WPG): $4,100
Dominik Kahun (W-CHI): $3,200
Nino Niederreiter (W-MIN): $3,500
Tyler Toffoli (W-LA): $4,200
Peter Cehlarik (W-BOS): $2500
Will Butcher (D-NJ): $3100
Adam McQuaid (D-NYR): $2,700
Matt Grzelcyk (D-BOS): $3,100
FanDuel Value Plays
Oskar Sundqvist (C-STL): $3,500
Travis Zajac (C-NJ): $4,300
Dylan Strome (W-CHI): $4,400
William Nylander (W-TOR): $4,100
Pontus Aberg (W-MIN): $3100
Luke Kunin (W-MIN): $3,400
Cam Fowler (D-ANA): $3,900
Tony DeAngelo (D-NYR): $3,500
*Make sure your goalie is starting. I would generally recommend just correlating your goalie with a stack that you are using (as long as it’s not a game stack), but if not, these are my favorites…
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning (DK: $8,100; FD: $9,400)
Juuse Saros, Predators (DK: $7,600; FD: $8,100)
Colin Delia, Blackhawks (DK: $7,500; FD: $7,900)