Ryan Clifford brings you his top stacks and goalies for your NHL DFS GPP 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 Breakdown Podcast
I’ll be doing podcasts to go along with my write-ups this season. I can cover a whole lot more this way…
A Refresher On My GPP Process
Full disclosure…I am a DraftKings and SuperDraft player. I do not play at all on FanDuel. I will include FD pricing and will do my best to give you guys the best advice that I can for FanDuel lineups, but I don’t play there myself; please keep that in mind when reading my content or asking questions in chat.
On DraftKings, scoring remains the same for 2021. That means “bonus chasing”. Players receive a 3-point bonus for finishing with 5+ shots on goal, 3+ blocked shots, or 3+ points (goals+assists). While correlation is nice when a line scores 3 or 4 goals in a night, jamming in as many of those far more predictable shot/block bonuses offsets the need for correlation on DK, in my opinion…especially for players entering multiple lineups.
I generally enter at least 150 lineups per night on DK. There is so much variance in this game, and the more lineups you use, the less you are going to be affected by it overall. I want to cram as many shots on goal into my lineups as possible, hoping to find those few diamonds in the rough each night that can hit the peripheral bonuses as well as light up the scoreboard.
My process is extremely volatile. I don’t mind hitting the lock button on one or two players that will almost certainly come close to value with peripherals alone. I also have no problem having zero ownership on some of the guys that don’t shoot as much, but often wind up with multiple goals/assists.
The good nights are going to be very good, and the bad nights will be very bad for me. Many nights, I’m either cashing all 150 lineups or going 0-for. I believe in my process though, and if you can handle the ups and downs, I definitely suggest you use the same process on DK.
In the weeks ahead I’ll be detailing more on exactly how I do what I do, and how to implement the strategy yourself using our optimizer. For now, here are my favorite GPP stacks for tonight’s slate.
Let’s Talk Chalk
Highest Owned Stack: NYR1 – Zibanejad/Kreider/Buchnevich
Best Leverage Play: NYR2 – Panarin/Strome/Lafreniere OR Mackenzie Blackwood (NJ) in goal
Highest Owned Defensemen: Kris Letang (PIT)
Best Leverage Play: John Marino (PIT) OR Ilya Samsonov (WAS) in goal
Highest Owned Goalie: Alexandar Georgiev (NYR)
Best Leverage Play: NJ1 – Sharangovich/Palmieri/Hughes OR Mackenzie Blackwood (NJ) in goal
Top GPP Stacks
NYR: Mika Zibanejad/Chris Kreider/Pavel Buchnevich
We’ll start again with the chalk. High ownership here and for good reason. I have this game projected to have the highest pace on the slate. I have the Rangers projected for the most shot attempts and scoring chances tonight. Zibanejad has started off slow in the Rangers first two games against the Isles, but I have no worries moving forward. We know what this line is capable of. High floor on DK through SOG, high upside everywhere against what should be a bad Devils team. Adam Fox fully correlates with this line at 5v5 and on the power play, making him an excellent addition, especially on FanDuel where he remains priced under $4k.
WPG: Blake Wheeler/Mark Scheifele/Andrew Copp
Winnipeg struggled to get anything going against the Leafs last night. Scheifele and Wheeler looked very good against Calgary in their season opener, though, and the duo has piled up 16 combined shots on goal in just two games. Andrew Copp looks to be moving up top tonight after spending the second half of last night with Scheifele and Wheeler. He makes the stack much more affordable, and actually projects pretty well tonight; I wouldn’t suggest leaving him off of the stack at just $3,700. Josh Morrissey correlates with Scheifele and Wheeler at 5v5 and the top power play, making him a solid and cheap stacking option with the forwards.
WAS: Alex Ovechkin/Nicklas Backstrom/Tom Wilson
Tom Wilson is back up with Ovechkin and Backstrom. For ~$5k, I think you can probably leave Wilson off of this stack and hunt for better value elsewhere. Ovechkin and Backstrom have each started the season with 4 points in three games, and honestly, I’ve watched all three games and they don’t even seem to really be clicking yet. John Carlson is always a high upside GPP play, and he correlates nicely with those two at 5v5 and on the PP.
FLA: Aleksander Barkov/Anthony Duclair/Carter Verhaeghe
A ~$7k center flanked by two wingers near min-price again tonight. The trio was held off of the scoreboard against the Blackhawks in their season opener, but the Panthers did score with them on the ice at 5v5. It’s right back to the same matchup tonight. Florida scored five goals against Chicago in the first meeting. I have them projected for 3.64 tonight, with a slate-high 36.6 shots on goal. Aaron Ekblad is the defenseman you’ll want with this stack, correlating both at 5v5 and on PP1 with Barkov. In fact, a Barkov-Ekblad mini-stack could be a nice way to differentiate tonight, as most everyone playing these guys will not want to leave off the min-priced guys.
FLA: Jonathan Huberdeau/Patric Hornqvist/Alexander Wennberg
Once again, a great matchup for the Panthers against Chicago tonight. Hornqvist scored a goal and added an assist and three shots on goals in the first meeting, yet DraftKings continues his egregious pricing, raising him up to just $3,300. He’s more reasonably priced on FanDuel, so I’d probably recommend FLA1 over FLA2 there. Another option for the Panthers would be a big PP1 stack, using Barkov/Huberdeau/Hornqvist/Ekblad. This gives you exposure to both of Florida’s top two lines as well as the top power play in what could be another blowout.
PIT: Sidney Crosby/Jake Guentzel/Kasperi Kapanen
Crosby has been playing brilliant hockey to start the 2021 campaign. He’s scored in two of three, yet probably had his most impressive game against Washington on Sunday. The Penguins wound up generating a ton of scoring chances with their top line on the ice, and now the unit gets an upgrade with Kasperi Kapanen due back. He’ll take Evan Rodrigues’ spot at right wing, and although he’ll cost a bit more than Rodrigues, his talent is at another level, too. Kris Letang will be chalky, but he’s the defenseman you’ll want to add to this stack for correlation purposes, playing with Crosby and Guentzel at 5v5 and on the top power play.
NJ: Nikita Gusev/Andreas Johnsson/Pavel Zacha
I have the Rangers and Devils projected for over 125 combined shot attempts tonight, the highest on the slate. Most look to be gravitating towards the Rangers, and specifically the Zibanejad line. I do like those guys, but I think there is a lot of upside in playing Devils instead. And while Sharangovich, Palmieri, and Hughes give you big leverage over the field that will be high on NYR1, the Devils second liners give you even more. Expect low single digit ownership here on three guys that will cost you just $11,500 on DK and $11,100 on FD, and give you a nice peripheral floor in a high event matchup.
NJ: Yegor Sharangovich/Kyle Palmieri/Jack Hughes
The Devils top line, of course, gives you a bit more upside, but they come along with higher ownership and a higher cost, too. Hughes has started off his sophomore campaign with three points in two games, while Sharangovich has also impressed. Palmieri provides the nice peripheral floor, with some scoring upside to go along with it. With a top power play that includes Palmieri, Hughes, Zacha, and Gusev (along with P.K. Subban), putting together a Devils mega-stack is not out of the question in the event of a Devils blowout.
One-Offs and Defensemen
After you’ve got your stacks plugged in, here’s a list of my favorite high-upside and value one-offs and defensemen.
Buffalo: Taylor Hall, Viktor Olofsson (DK)
Chicago: Alex DeBrincat, Dominik Kubalik, Pius Suter (FD)
Columbus: Max Domi, Cam Atkinson (DK)
Detroit: Bobby Ryan
New Jersey: Damon Severson (FD)
New York Rangers: Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba
Ottawa: Brady Tkachuk, Evgeny Dadonov (DK)
Philadelphia: Kevin Hayes, Travis Konecny, James van Riemsdyk
Pittsburgh: Bryan Rust
Winnipeg: Nikolaj Ehlers, Paul Stastny
Here are my top GPP goalies:
- Jonathan Bernier (DET)
- Philipp Grubauer (COL)
- Alexandar Georgiev (NYR)
- Mackenzie Blackwood (*lock if fading NYR)