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 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: EDM1 – Nugent-Hopkins/McDavid/Puljujarvi (15-20%)
Best Leverage Play: EDM2 – Yamamoto/Draisaitl/Kahun (10-15%) or Marcus Hogberg (OTT) in goal (1-2%)
Highest Owned Defensemen: Roman Josi, NSH (20-25%)
Best Leverage Play: Ryan Ellis, NSH (10-15%)
Highest Owned Goalie: Mikko Koskinen, EDM (20-25%)
Best Leverage Play: OTT1 – Tkachuk/Norris/Dadonov (10-15%) or Marcus Hogberg (OTT) in goal (1-2%)
Top GPP Stacks
EDM: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins/Connor McDavid/Jesse Puljujarvi
We’ll start here with the chalk. And yes, they will still be chalk, even after flopping last night in this same spot. The chances were there, though, and Marcus Hogberg likely starts tonight for Ottawa. The Sens backup may very well be the worst goaltender in the NHL. He’s allowed 4 or more goals against in each of his last five starts, including 9 goals against in two games against these same Oilers. Now, if you’re single entering, I would recommend pivoting to something a bit lower owned. If you’re 3-max or anything more, though, you’ll want to at least match the field on these three (25%); the upside is endless.
DAL: Jamie Benn/Joe Pavelski/Joel Kiviranta
Kiviranta is a game time decision, so we’ll need to pay attention to pregame line rushes if we go this route. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a full-on shuffling of forward lines by Dallas. After scoring in three straight, Jamie Benn was kept off of the score sheet by Chicago on Sunday. They’ll get a chance at redemption tonight, and this team is still projecting really high, both at a team level, and individually. Dallas is at home, and will continue to be able to dictate matchups. Best of all, we’ll likely get some cheap line combos, and ownership that should be in the low single-digits.
VGK: Max Pacioretty/Chandler Stephenson/Mark Stone
This trio is on fire. Stephenson is coming off of a 2-goal game, Pacioretty has 7 points (3G 4A) in his last three games, and Stone has scored 3 goals and recorded 11 assists in just nine games thus far. Anaheim has allowed 20 goals against in their last six games, will be on the road here, and also look to be without Ryan Getzlaf once again. If there’s a stack on the slate that can come close to matching Connor McDavid and company’s upside, it’s these three, and they’ll only hold about 40% of EDM1’s ownership.
LA: Alex Iafallo/Anze Kopitar/Dustin Brown
Kopitar’s hot start continues. He’s scored or assisted on 14 of the Kings’ 31 goals this season, totaling 2 goals and 12 assists. What if I told you Kopitar is due for some positive regression, though? It’s true. The 33-year-old is shooting at just an 8% clip to start the season, just about half of the 15.8% shooting percentage he’s owned from 2017-2020. Tonight’s opponent, the San Jose Sharks, rank No. 28 in both shots and goals per game allowed. Martin Jones starts tonight, coming in with a 3.87 GAA and a save percentage of just .876 to start the season. Drew Doughty would be a nice stacking option on defense, correlating fully with Kopitar and Iafallo in all three phases of the game (5v5, PP, PK).
NSH: Filip Forsberg/Matt Duchene/Viktor Arvidsson
I absolutely love the look of these three on the ice together; they compliment each other perfectly. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best of matchups for Nashville. Tampa Bay enters tonight allowing under 2 goals against per game, good for No. 1 in the league in that category. Still, I’d like to take a few swings here in the hopes that John Hynes can get these three on the ice in positive situations, with the Preds being the home team tonight.
TB: Steven Stamkos/Brayden Point/Ondrej Palat
On the other side of this one, Tampa Bay has lost just one game in regulation thus far. They’re not only excelling on the defensive side, but they also rank No. 4 in goals scored per game and No. 3 in shots on goal per game. Nashville is not the daunting defensive stalwart they once were on home ice, entering tonight’s game allowing 3.3 goals against per game. With these three on the ice in Nashville last night, Tampa Bay controlled over 85% of the Corsi share! Get Victor Hedman into this stack if at all possible.
OTT: Brady Tkachuk/Josh Norris/Evgeny Dadonov
The Sens top line was a popular leverage play last night. Those that rostered these three quickly regretted their actions, which should send their ownership back into the single digits again tonight. That’s when I like to pounce, of course. Amongst skaters with at least 80 minutes of ice time this season, Tkachuk remains in the top 10 at 5v5 in attempts per 60, shots/60, chances/60, high danger chances/60, and ixG/60. He’s a threat to score every time he’s on the ice. Dadonov remains criminally underpriced on DraftKings, while Norris is a bigger value on FanDuel.
CGY: Matthew Tkachuk/Elias Lindholm/Dillon Dube
Lindholm continues his hot start, now with 3 goals and 9 assists in 11 games. Dillon Dube is finally getting onto the score sheet, with a goal and 2 assists in his last three. He remains just $3,200 on DraftKings, and projects out as one of the top values on the slate for me. Matthew Tkachuk, meanwhile, has scored 3 of his 5 goals this season against the Jets. I have this game projected for nearly 7 total goals tonight, which tops the slate, and only Vegas projects for more scoring chances and high dangers than Calgary tonight.
One-Offs and Defensemen
Anaheim: Derek Grant, David Backes
Calgary: Sam Bennett, Mark Giordano, Chris Tanev (DK)
Dallas: Denis Gurianov
Detroit: Filip Zadina, Robby Fabbri
Edmonton: Darnell Nurse
Florida: Carter Verhaeghe (FD), Anthony Duclair (FD), Patric Hornqvist
Los Angeles: Jeff Carter, Kale Clague
Nashville: Nick Cousins, Ryan Ellis
Ottawa: Mike Reilly
San Jose: Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier
Tampa Bay: Erik Cernak
Vegas: Reilly Smith, Alex Tuch, Alec Martinez, Nic Hague
Winnipeg: Nikolaj Ehlers, Neal Pionk
Here are my top GPP goalies:
- Juuse Saros, NSH
- Jonathan Quick, LA
- Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB
- John Gibson, ANH *lock if no VGK in lineup