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
COL: Gabriel Landeskog/Nathan MacKinnon/Andre Burakovsky
McDavid or McKinnon? That’s the question tonight for most cash game players. For GPP’s, we look at things a little differently. I’d expect McDavid to get more ownership tonight, and for me, that’s a good way to pick a favorite when you’ve got two evenly matched players to make a decision on. With the better linemates and the higher projected team total, the case is closed for me tonight, and it will be MacKinnon and the Avs top liners I’ll have the most exposure to. For single entry players, you may want to look at a stack with lower ownership to avoid the group think, but I can’t find myself getting away from these three in multi entry builds. St. Louis has lost four of their last six to Colorado this season, allowing 24 goals against in those meetings. My model has Colorado projected just below that 4 goal per game average tonight, but still at a respectable, and slate-high 3.7. The Blues have the NHL’s third-worst PK rate, so Cale Makar makes a nice addition to this stack, fully correlating with all three skaters on the Avs top power play.
STL: Brayden Schenn/Ryan O’Reilly/Jordan Kyrou
How about a little game stack action tonight? With Jonas Johansson starting in net for Colorado, and a slate-high 6.4 total by my model; that’s just what I’ll propose to kick things off here. While it’s just a one-game sample size, two of the Blues goals in Saturday’s 5-3 win against the Avs came with this trio on the ice at 5v5. Toss in another O’Reilly empty netter and a power play assist, and it was a massive night for the Blues captain. For the third time in five days, these teams will meet again in St. Louis. With all the same matchups, don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on O’Reilly and Schenn in hopes of a repeat performance. Kyrou hasn’t done much with the time he’s been given in the top six this season. There is probably better value to be found elsewhere if you want to leave him off of the stack. Torey Krug is the defenseman that is skating with O’Reilly and Schenn on the PP1, so he would be my preferred add-on at defense if you want some more St. Louis exposure.
ARI: Michael Bunting/Nick Schmaltz/Clayton Keller
I was hoping to avoid the matchup against Anze Kopitar when I wrote these three into Saturday’s slate breakdown. That didn’t happen, and while the Coyotes won the game 4-0, we didn’t see much of this trio. Tonight, though, they’re back on the ice, and this time will face a San Jose Sharks team that doesn’t have an Anze Kopitar or Drew Doughty there to shut them down. I project Arizona as one of the slate’s highest scoring teams (tied with Ottawa for second highest team total). The Sharks have lost nine of ten, allowing over 4 goals against per game in this stretch. Josef Korenar starts for San Jose tonight. He’s 0-3 with a 3.05 GAA and 89.4% save percentage in this, his first season in the NHL. Bunting and Schmaltz get PP1 time, and it’d be either Jakob Chychrun or Alex Goligoski that I’d suggest adding on to the stack at defense…both skate on that top unit.
OTT: Brady Tkachuk/Josh Norris/Drake Batherson
While the Senators are currently priced as slight underdogs, I not only have them winning this matchup against Vancouver tonight, but I have them projected with the second-highest total on the slate (3.23). Ottawa has been a much better team on home ice this season, while Vancouver has been one of the worst in hockey on the road . The Canucks have allowed nearly 3.5 goals against per game away from home in 2021, so if there was ever a time to back the Sens; tonight is the night. Josh Norris is having a low-key Calder candidate-like rookie season, registering 13 goals and 17 assists in 48 games. Norris was a first round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2017, and together with fellow first-rounder Brady Tkachuk and 22-year-old Drake Batherson, gives this Ottawa team a much-needed scoring line moving forward. All three of these forwards get PP1 time, with Thomas Chabot manning the point on that unit. Vancouver has had the league’s second-worst PK since March 1, so consider Chabot a priority add-on here.
DAL: Jason Robertson/Roope Hintz/Joe Pavelski
Robertson continues to close the gap between he and Kirill Kaprizov. He’s now registered at least a point in seven straight games, totaling 6 goals and 7 assists in his last ten. It’s not an easy matchup against the Hurricanes tonight, but Dallas is on home ice, and this line has shown some serious chemistry recently.
FLA: Frank Vatrano/Aleksander Barkov/Nikita Gusev
Gusev continues to look good with his new team, yet he’s still not found the back of the net yet. It’s got to be coming soon and his DFS price tag is low enough for him to pay off handsomely when it happens. Barkov and Vatrano are both high event players that should push the pace for Florida tonight as they take on the Preds.
SJ: Evander Kane/Tomas Hertl/
Kevin Labanc (UPDATE: Labanc won’t play)
The Sharks have shook up their lineup a bit, with Tomas Hertl taking over for Couture between Evander Kane and Kevin Labanc. Arizona has lost seven of their last nine, so something’s got to give here tonight. Full power play correlation here against the league’s worst PK over the past month. Erik Karlsson would be the preferred add-on.
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: D Haydn Fleury
Arizona: C Nick Schmaltz, D Jakob Chychrun
Colorado: C Nathan MacKinnon, C Nazem Kadri
Dallas: W Jason Robertson
Edmonton: D Ethan Bear
Florida: W Nikita Gusev, W Frank Vatrano
Los Angeles: C Anze Kopitar
Nashville: D Mattias Ekholm
Ottawa: C Colin White, W Brady Tkachuk, W Tim Stützle, W Drake Batherson, D Erik Brannstrom
San Jose: C Tomas Hertl, W Evander Kane,
W Kevin Labanc
St. Louis: D Jake Walman
Vancouver: W Tanner Pearson, D Nate Schmidt
Winnipeg: W Kyle Connor, D Logan Stanley
Cash Core Four
- C Nathan MacKinnon (COL)
- W Brady Tkachuk (OTT)
- W Nikita Gusev (FLA)
- D Erik Brannstrom (OTT)
Here are my top goalies:
- Mike Smith (EDM)
- John Gibson (ANH)
- Marcus Hogberg (OTT)
- Juuse Saros (NSH)
- Darcy Kuemper (ARI)