Ryan Clifford brings you his top stacks, goalies, and cash game plays for your NHL DFS lineups tonight.
As always, you’ll find at least one of us in chat in the hour leading up to lock. Please join us there for any late scratches, goalie changes, or other DFS news.
We also have an NHL dedicated Twitter account where you’ll find important news and updates, as well as curated beat writer lists broken down by team.
Also new this season, my personal NHL projections and models are available for download under the projections section of the NHL tab. Of course, you can still access all player projections in our Fantasy Cruncher powered optimizer.
Slate Preview: Game/Team Projections
Top GPP Stacks
CAR: Sebastian Aho/Andrei Svechnikov/Dougie Hamilton (Proj Own: 15-25%)
Probably one of the chalky stacks of the night, I go right back to targeting the Carolina power play, and the build starts with Aho, Svechnikov, and Hamilton. This is the league No. 1 rated power play that will be on the ice against a Detroit PK that’s killed just about 75% of their opponent’s chances with the man advantage. Maybe the power play has another off night (as they did on Saturday against the Red Wings)…no problem! Aho and Hamilton each netted goals at 5v5 and all three are incredibly dangerous in all facets of the game. I think you can go three routes with this stack to make it a 4-man. 1) Jordan Staal. Staal gives some you additional 5v5 exposure, while correlating with these three on the power play. 2) Vincent Trocheck. Same as Staal, but will cost you significantly more. 3) Jesper Fast. No power play correlation with Fast, but he skates with Aho and Svechnikov, and makes the stack much more affordable than either of the aforementioned two.
CAR: Nino Niederreiter/Vincent Trocheck/Martin Necas (Proj Own: 2-4%)
While I wouldn’t recommend chalk chasing if you’re playing single entry GPP, I still like the idea of building your lineup around Carolina tonight. The second line features three guys who have combined for more than 40 goals this season, and while Trocheck is the only one giving you power play time on the big unit, Necas and Niederreiter still get time with the PP2, and this matchup against the Red Wings should lead to bunches of goals once again. You’re also saving some cash with this stack (as opposed to the top line + Hamilton), so building out the rest of your lineup should come easier. My model projects Carolina for a slate-high 4.23 goals, so the moral of the story here is to go ahead and start your GPP lineups with some Canes tonight.
COL: Mikko Rantanen/Nathan MacKinnon/Gabriel Landeskog (Proj Own: 7-14%)
Just behind the Hurricanes in terms of projected goals at the team level…the Colorado Avalanche. If you watched last night’s Avs game, you probably came away a bit surprised that they were only able to manage 4 goals. They annihilated the Ducks from whistle to whistle, and it was this top line that unsurprisingly shined once again. MacKinnon has registered multiple points in six of his last eight games, with at least a point in 16 of his last 17; totaling 11 goals and 17 assists during what has become one of the best stretches of his career. Landeskog and Rantanen have been along for the ride, too, and I certainly don’t see the Arizona Coyotes coming in and slowing them down. Have I mentioned the Yotes look to be starting Ivan Prosvetov? The rookie goalie has allowed 6 goals against in just 32 shots faced thus far.
CBJ: Patrik Laine/Max Domi/Oliver Bjorkstrand (Proj Own: 12-18%)
It’s been awhile since the Blue Jackets have been on my radar for GPP purposes, but I really like this matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks, and love the DFS salaries for the trio on Columbus’ top line. Patrik Laine had been stone cold before finally breaking the slump on Saturday, so we’re still looking at a sub-$5k price tag for the Finnish sniper on DraftKings. Oliver Bjorkstrand is well on his way to a third straight 20-goal season, and is always in the mix for me when he’s getting top six minutes. Chicago’s PK has been brutal in 2021, ranking second-worst in hockey, just behind the New Jersey Devils. We don’t have a ton of power play correlation here, as Bjorkstrand and Domi skate on one unit, with Laine on the other. However, it’s Seth Jones that gets the big PP minutes on the blue line, so he’d be the addition to this stack on defense if you’re looking for some more oomph.
ANH: Jakub Silfverberg/Adam Henrique/Danton Heinen (Proj Own: 2-4%)
The Ducks will be playing back to back tonight, after a tough loss to the Avs last night on home ice. They had to travel up to San Jose for this one, but I’m still leaning towards the Ducks in this matchup. It’s been just 6 days since Martin Jones gave up 4 goals on 33 shots against Anaheim in this same building. With Devan Dubnyk moved to Colorado, there’s no doubt it will be Jones in goal again. Only Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Ottawa have allowed more goals against per game than this Sharks team in 2021. Their defensive play has been turnstile-like, and the Ducks will look to take advantage once again. While most of the few that look Anaheim’s way for their GPP lineups will probably default to Getzlaf/Rakell/Comtois, it’s this trio that I like for cheaper, and with much less ownership. You’ve also got full correlation on the team’s top power play unit here, with Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler becoming nice additions to the stack as the blueliners on PP1.
MIN: Kirill Kaprizov/Victor Rask/Mats Zuccarello (Proj Own: 6-12%)
UPDATE: Tonight’s game between St. Louis and Minnesota has been postponed.
Kirill Kaprizov is running away with the 2021 Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. With 6 goals and 3 assists in his last ten games, the 23-year-old Russian continues his near point-per-game pace in his first season in America. Thankfully for the Wild, Mats Zuccarello is back in the lineup, whom Kaprizov played his best hockey of the season with. They’ll have another matchup against the Blues tonight. Although they’ve lost two straight to St. Louis, this Blues team has lost seven of their last ten, and the games shift to Minnesota now, where the Wild have excelled in 2021, going 14-4. Here’s another stack that gives you full PP1 correlation, with all three of these guys on the ice first when the Wild get the man advantage. Jared Spurgeon skated with them on the power play last game, and would be the preferred addition on defense.
Cash Plays or GPP One-Offs
I use a composite projection for cash plays and GPP one-offs (one in the same for me). This projection factors in projection, projected shots on goal, and floor.
Anaheim: C Adam Henrique, W Danton Heinen
Carolina: C Sebastian Aho, W Andrei Svechnikov, W Martin Necas, D Dougie Hamilton
Chicago: C Pius Suter
Colorado: C Nathan MacKinnon, C Nazem Kadri, W Valeri Nichushkin
Columbus: C Max Domi, W Cam Atkinson, W Zac Dalpe, W Oliver Bjorkstrand
Detroit: W Filip Zadina, D Filip Hronek
Los Angeles: W Dustin Brown, D Sean Walker
Minnesota: W Kirill Kaprizov
Ottawa: W Brady Tkachuk, W Tim Stützle, W Drake Batherson, D Erik Brannstrom
Toronto: W Nicholas Robertson
Vegas: D Alex Pietrangelo
Cash Core Four
- C Nathan MacKinnon (COL)
- W Danton Heinen (ANH)
- W Brady Tkachuk (OTT)
- D Dougie Hamilton (CAR)
Here are my top goalies:
- Jack Campbell, TOR
- Connor Hellebuyck, WPG
- Calvin Petersen, LA
- Ryan Miller, ANH
- Robin Lehner, VGK
- James Reimer, CAR