A three-game slate in on tap as the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs continues tonight. 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
BOS1: David Pastrnak/Patrice Bergeron/Brad Marchand – Anytime you’ve got a chance to roster these three on a three-game slate at 10-15% ownership, they’re going to be a great tournament play. With so many superstar stacks on the slate, I think Boston’s top line slots in behind EDM1 and COL1 in terms of ownership tonight. For me, it’s either these guys or Ilya Samsonov in goal tonight. If I’m only entering one lineup, BOS1 will be my primary stack and I’ll work from there. How about this stat: Pastrnak, Marchand, and Bergeron have combined for 53 shots on goal in the first four games of the series. Add in some blocked shots from the trio, and the full stack is averaging about 20 DraftKings points alone based on peripherals. Boston’s power play has enjoyed some early success, converting on over 30% of their chances with the man advantage, so adding Charlie McAvoy onto this stack gives some even more upside with full correlation on the top unit.
WSH1: Alex Ovechkin/Evgeni Kuznetsov/T.J. Oshie – A similar story here, with a couple of the league’s top scorers getting relatively low ownership on a small slate. It’s an elimination game for the Caps, so while I prefer the Bruins based on my projections, Washington is going to leave it all on the table here. This is a team just two years removed from a Stanley Cup, with a ton of playoff experience…they were built for situations like this. Ovechkin has a point and 4 shots on goals in each of the first four games of the series. He scored in back-to-back games on home ice. Although the Caps are back on the road here, I’ll be shocked if Ovechkin doesn’t make it three games in a row…either that, or he’ll die trying with about 10 shots on goal. John Carlson correlates fully with all three on the top power play unit. Unfortunately, I see tonight as a night where we want to find cheap value to fill our D spots, with so many high upside forwards in action.
STL1: Ivan Barbashev/Ryan O’Reilly/Jordan Kyrou – When building for a three game slate with such concentrated ownership on just a few guys, it’s important to hunt for that cheap value stack that can actually win you a GPP with low single-digit ownership. I’m taking that swing with the O’Reilly line in St. Louis. Here’s another team on the ropes, facing a sweep on home ice at the hands of the Avs tonight. O’Reilly is another one of those gutsy players with a Cup and heaps of playoff experience. He’s been held to just one assist in three games, while averaging less than 7 DK points per game. What I like here are the low salaries, high minutes, and good recent form that’s come from his young wingers, Jordan Kyrou and Ivan Barbashev. Kyrou has scored 3 goals in his last four games, and when broken down to a per 60 basis, he led all Blues forwards in goals, points, scoring chances (both regular and high danger), and expected goals at 5v5 in 2021.
STL3: Mike Hoffman/Tyler Bozak/Robert Thomas – Whether you start your build with BOS1, WSH1, or the Colorado, Edmonton, or Winnipeg studs, you’re going to need some cheap secondary stacks to pair with. I do prefer the O’Reilly line, but Hoffman and Bozak give you more exposure to the Blues top power play than the top line does (only O’Reilly works with the PP1). Torey Krug is the point man on that unit; I have no problem if you want to replace Thomas with O’Reilly and stick Krug onto the stack for big exposure to the St. Louis power play. I hate rostering guys against Grubauer, who is one of the league’s best net minders, but it’s tough to be different on these small slates, so I’m willing to get behind a team like St. Louis that will be giving it everything they’ve got to avoid being swept in their own barn.
Also consider: COL2 (Donskoi/Compher/Burakovsky) and WSH2 (Mantha/Backstrom/Wilson).
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.
Boston: C Patrice Bergeron, W David Pastrnak, W Brad Marchand, W Craig Smith
Colorado: C Nathan MacKinnon
Edmonton: D Tyson Barrie, D Darnell Nurse
St. Louis: C Ryan O’Reilly, W Vladimir Tarasenko, D Steve Santini, D Colton Parayko
Washington: C Evgeni Kuznetsov, W Alex Ovechkin, D Dmitry Orlov
Winnipeg: W Kyle Connor, W Andrew Copp, W Pierre-Luc Dubois, D Logan Stanley
Cash Core Four
- Nathan MacKinnon (COL)
- David Pastrnak (BOS)
- Logan Stanley (WPG)
- Steve Santini (STL)
- Mike Smith (EDM)
- Ilya Samsonov (WSH)