A three-game slate in on tap as the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs gets underway this weekend. Here’s a full breakdown of today’s NHL DFS options for your DraftKings, FanDuel, and SuperDraft lineups.
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
VGK: Jonathan Marchessault/William Karlsson/Reilly Smith – I’ll be all over the Golden Knights in DFS today, and likely throughout the entirety of the playoff season. This matchup against the Wild is especially enticing to me. Vegas will have a huge edge in terms of possession in this series. They ranked No. 6 in the league in Corsi For % at 5v5. Minnesota, on the other hand, ranked third-worst in terms of possession, with a 46.2% CF. There is a ton of playoff experience here, as these three forwards were the cornerstone of the 2018 Cup run for the Golden Knights. Alex Pietrangelo skates with these three on the power play, making him a nice addition to this stack for more Vegas exposure.
VGK: Mark Stone/Chandler Stephenson/Mattias Janmark – Max Pacioretty is considered a game-time decision for tonight’s Game One. If he’s in, I consider this to be my No. 1 ranked stack on the slate. If he’s out (which I’m kind of assuming he will be), I still like these three very much, but would probably consider the Karlsson line my No. 1. Cam Talbot has been good this season, but I see Vegas pouring it on in these first couple of games on home ice. Shea Theodore correlates with the forwards on the power play; he’s an elite option for DFS purposes. I am strongly considering a Vegas mega-stack tonight…I like them that much.
FLA: Carter Verhaeghe/Aleksander Barkov/Anthony Duclair – Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos return to the Tampa Bay lineup for tonight’s Game One in Sunrise…but is that a good thing for the Lightning? Sure, the compilation of talent added to the roster is massive, but this is hockey; players generally need some time to find their footing, get into a groove, and develop chemistry with the others they’ll be skating alongside. I will not be surprised in the least to see Tampa come out flat in this one. I’m a show-me-first kind of guy, so I want to see how Kucherov and Stamkos perform after long layoffs before joining in on the 20+% of the field that will be clamoring to get the Lightning studs into their lineups. I see Florida rolling tonight, and the Barkov line is my favorite Panther stack.
PIT: Jeff Carter/Jared McCann/Kasperi Kapanen – The Islanders have one of the league’s top defensive rosters. Their 2.2 goals against per game ranks them second in hockey behind only the Vegas Golden Knights. They also rank inside of the top 10 in shots against per game. I don’t see enough scoring in this series to justify paying the high-end salaries of Crosby, Guentzel, and Rust. Instead, I’ll focus on the secondary guys for Pittsburgh, because I do think they win here. Carter, Kapanen, and McCann rank No. 1, 2, and 4 on the Pens in points per 60 minutes at even strength. Carter and McCann are 1 and 2 in both attempts and shots per 60, as well. Carter is tops on the team in terms of individual scoring chances, goals, and expected goals. Though I think you can also consider PIT1 too, there’s a lot of talent being overlooked here on PIT2 for the bigger names on the roster…don’t make that mistake.
Cash Plays and 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.
Florida: C Aleksander Barkov, W Anthony Duclair, W Frank Vatrano, W Carter Verhaeghe, D Gustav Forsling, D Mackenzie Weegar
Minnesota: C Joel Eriksson-Ek
NY Islanders: W Oliver Wahlstrom
Pittsburgh: C Jeff Carter
Tampa: D Jan Rutta
Vegas: C William Karlsson, W Jonathan Marchessault, W Reilly Smith, W Mark Stone, W Mattias Janmark, D Shea Theodore, D Alex Pietrangelo, D Nicolas Hague
Cash Core Four
- Aleksander Barkov (FLA)
- Jeff Carter (PIT)
- Jonathan Marchessault (VGK)
- Shea Theodore (VGK)
- Sergei Bobrovsky (FLA)
- Tristan Jarry (PIT)
- Cam Talbot (MIN)/Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) – both are GPP options that should see a high shot volume if you aren’t using any Golden Knights or Panthers in your lineups.