Ryan revisits his NHL DFS Showdown rules and breaks down tonight’s Game One matchup between Boston and Washington.
Just one game in the NHL tonight as the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs get underway. That means it’s time for some Showdown!
I’ve got data on nearly 200 NHL Showdown slates, and have developed a set of rules to follow when building lineups:
Rule #1 – No defensemen at CAPT (85.6% of optimals)
Rule #2 – Use a max of 1 goalie (86.9% of optimals)
Rule #3 – Set a minimum salary of $43,000 (87.5% of optimals)
Rule #4 – Remove third and fourth line forwards from CAPT pool (88.1% of optimals)
Rule #5 – Do not use any full-line stacks (97.5% of optimals)
Rule #6 – Use a max of 2 players from opposing team when using a goalie CAPT, and max 3 players from opposing team when using a UTIL goalie. (~92% of optimals)
Now on to today’s game!
Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals
- 7:15 pm EST
- Implied Odds: Boston 53% | Total: 5.5
- Game Projections:
T.J. Oshie is a game-time decision for the Caps…we’ll need to keep an eye on pregame skate tonight to see if he’s in and where he’ll slot, if so.
Boston’s top line is one of the most dominant in the league at 5v5, but they’ll also need to overcome the shut down abilities of guys like Lars Eller, Michael Raffl, Tom Wilson, and Conor Sheary. I think Washington matches up well against the Bruins here on home ice. If you can keep the “Perfection Line” off of the scoresheet, Boston isn’t a really scary team depth-wise.
Combining the tough matchup with what is sure to be slate-high ownership and salaries, I’m heading into game one with a hard fade of Bergeron/Marchand/Pastrnak. The Caps also ice one of the league’s top PK units, so I’m having a hard time seeing any of the Boston studs hitting value here.
Instead, I’ll focus on Boston’s second and third-liners. I really like the way Taylor Hall has played since coming over at the trade deadline. 8 goals in 16 games is not a pace I thought I’d see from the guy that managed 2 goals in 37 games with the Sabres to start the season. He’ll be skating with David Krejci and Craig Smith. Hall will be one of my favorite CAPT’s on the slate, and makes for a nice mini-stack with Krejci.
Sean Kuraly is a guy that has always raised his level of play in the postseason. He registered just 4 goals and 5 assists in 47 regular season games in 2021, but this is a guy with 9 goals and 10 assists in 46 career playoff games for the Bruins. As a one-off, or a mini-stacking option with Nick Ritchie, Kuraly is a guy I will look to for salary savings tonight.
For the Caps, we need to see T.J. Oshie’s status, but assuming he dresses tonight, I have a lot of interest in him. Oshie finished the season strong, with 15 goals in his final 20 full games played. I would assume he skates on a separate line, avoiding the Eller line and matchup against BOS1. We’ll have to keep our eyes peeled during pregame and adjust on the fly here.
Alex Ovechkin is a no-brainer against a pretty weak Bruins defensive corps. Whether as a one-off, or a mini-stack with Nicklas Backstrom or Anthony Mantha, Ovechkin will be in just about every one of my Showdown lineups when this series in in Washington.
I’m not a fan of Boston’s defensemen this season. Charlie McAvoy is a solid player, but not a great DFS option, especially when it’s Matt Grzelcyk that’s getting the PP1 time. If McAvoy fits, I think he’s the best option on the Boston blue line. If not, maybe look elsewhere for your value plays.
For the Caps, we actually have a CAPT candidate in the D pool. John Carlson has averaged nearly a point per game pace over the past few seasons, and he was an instrumental part of Washington’s Cup run in 2018. Carlson also provides a nice floor, averaging about 4 shots + blocks per game this year. He’s another favorite option of mine on tonight’s slate, along with his defensive partner Dmitry Orlov. I’ll likely look to use either Carlson or Orlov in most lineups tonight, depending on how much salary I am working with.
Tuukka Rask is out of my player pool tonight. I do like Vitek Vanecek, but likely won’t have a lot of him without much shot volume projected to come his way.
CAPT pool: BOS – Hall; WAS – Ovechkin, Backstrom, Mantha, Oshie, Carlson
Favorite mini-stacks: BOS – Hall/Krejci, Krejci/Smith, Hall/Smith, Kuraly/Ritchie; WAS – Ovechkin/Backstrom, Ovechkin/Mantha, Mantha/Backstrom
Favorite one-offs: BOS – Hall, Krejci, Smith, Kuraly, Ritchie, McAvoy; WAS – Ovechkin, Backstrom, Mantha, Oshie, Carlson, Orlov, Vanecek
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