When the chalk hits with authority, it’s just real difficult to find success in GPPs when you’re doing the right thing and hitting at lower ownerships.
I mean, we had our three-man Stars stack all at 2% or less. A goal was taken away from Roope Hintz and credited elsewhere, but he still recorded an assist and a shot while John Klingberg notched an assist and a block. Joe Pavelski scored a power-play goal and fired six shots on goal at 1.3% owned for a cool 22.1 FanDuel points.
The came out Montreal mini-stack. Jeff Petry assisted on all three Montreal goals while added a shot and a pair of blocks for 29.3 points at 5.4% owned. Tyler Toffoli scored a goal with a pair of shots at 3.7% owned. Can’t argue with that.
That said, it was our Senators stack and goaltending that hurt us. Igor Shesterkin came in at 1-2% owned, but he struggled in allowing five goals despite Alex Ovechkin taking just one shift in that one. Drake Batherson notched an assist, but otherwise Josh Norris and Brady Tkachuk flopped in a low-scoring game.
It was a fine start to the night, but as the evening wore on more and more chalk hit and our super low-owned players did not stand a chance. That’s life in the GPP universe.
We’ll look to get things turned around with some more GPP picks (yup, a Connor McDavid fade) on this five-game main slate!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – May 4, 2021
C – Sidney Crosby (PIT) – $8,100 vs. PHI
He’s not the most GPP of plays (you’ll see that later), but with the likes of the big boys on the Oilers, Bruins, Hurricanes and even the Islanders all in very favorable matchups, perhaps the Penguins get left behind after taking a licking last night at the hands of these Flyers. Additionally, as you’ll see moving forward, this Penguins stack is not going to be as highly owned as the players in it may seem.
The young superstars are garnering plenty of attention around the league, but don’t forget about the “old” Sidney Crosby who is quietly leading his Penguins into a battle for top spot in the league’s best division. Crosby enters this one sporting 21 goals and 57 points in 52 games on the season while peppering 152 shots on goal and another 21 points on the power play as well. As much I am impressed with the seemingly underrated Crosby these days, I’m less enthused by the Flyers’ defense and goaltending in this matchup.
In fact, the Flyers not only have the worst defense on the slate, but in the entire league! Yes, their 3.54 goals against per game are even worse than the Sabres (3.47), Devils (3.38), Canucks (3.28) and Blackhawks (3.27). This slate is truly a David vs. Goliath slate as high-octane offenses take on horrible defenses, and if the Penguins are able to out-score their highly-owned counterparts, we’re in for serious business here with plenty of exposure to this elite matchup.
C – Kirby Dach (CHI) – $3,900 vs. CAR
Sure, the Hurricanes should absolutely dominate this game as they did last night, however tonight presents at least more upside for this Blackhawks offense.
Reason being goaltender Petr Mrazek once again returns to the crease for the first time in two weeks after missing more time with a lower-body injury, all coming after missing plenty of time with a thumb injury. Mrazek was hot after returning from that thumb surgery as he posted a .932 Sv% in five starts, but will now have to shake off more rust as he’s made just those five starts since getting injured way back on January 30 against Dallas.
The Hurricanes are a good defensive club to be sure, but their underlying metrics aren’t as impressive as year’s past and while their penalty killing sits third with an 84.9% mark, I’m firing up a GPP-aimed, three-man 5v5 and PP1 stack here with Chicago tonight, and yes, I’m fading Patrick Kane.
Enter Dach who is center the team’s second line while getting top power-play reps at the moment. The sophomore has been productive after missing four months with a broken wrist as he has tallied 10 points in 18 games, albeit with just two of those coming in goal for, one of which came on the power play. Dach enjoyed a solid rookie season that saw him pot eight goals and 23 points in 64 games, and he appears to have taken a step forward here in the 2021 season, still at just 20 years of age.
Despite the Hurricanes’ excellent PK, the Blackhawks have been good on the power play this season at 10th with a 22.4% clip, so perhaps we can find some PP production from Dach at tiny ownership tonight.
W – Jake Guentzel (PIT) – $7,500 vs. PHI
You’re going to see the usual suspects alongside Crosby in this lineup, but once we’re done with the stack we’ll know why we should get this group as a whole at low ownership.
Guentzel is, of course, going to ride shotgun with Crosby on the Pens’ top line and top power-play unit as the duo continues to produce together with plenty of chemistry. For his part, Guentzel has tallied 22 goals and 53 points on 134 shots, production awfully similar to his center while he has notched five goals on the power play with 16 man-advantage points on the whole.
This line will be looking for redemption in this one to be sure. Guentzel did put three shots on goal last night, but was held off the scoresheet and was a -4 in the 7-2 blowout loss. That said, redemption should not come as a surprise if it does as not only are the Flyers the worst defense in the NHL, they also rank 30th with a 72.6% mark on the penalty kill, and that’s going to be an area of focus as the hope is the Flyers get into penalty trouble given the personnel in our stack.
The Penguins’ power play has been very good at eighth with a 22.6% clip on the season and despite getting beaten down last night, both of their goal came on the power play. Even when Philly blows the opposition out they still cannot kill off penalties.
The two-goal night on the man advantage snapped an 0 for 8 drought, so let’s see if that momentum can at least carry into this one tonight.
W – Bryan Rust (PIT) – $6,400 vs. PHI
Next man up here is Rust who is once again skating with Crosby to his right on the top line and PP1 unit.
Like Guentzel, Rust has tallied 22 goals on the season while adding 19 helpers on 151 shots on goal. He too has been a major factor on the power play with six power-play goals and 11 man-advantage points on the season as the net-front presence a la Patric Hornqvist. It’s a continuation from last season when Rust scored eight power-play markers and registered 17 power-play points as part of his breakout season.
Coming off a two-goal effort against the Capitals on Saturday, Rust was another -4 with zero points in last night’s affair. That said, while Alex Lyon played well for the Flyers in goal, it’s back to veteran Brian Elliott for this one and he’s turned in some suspect work since a red-hot start to the season.
Elliott will enter this one sporting a 3.02 GAA and .890 Sv% on the season, but has somehow managed to go 13-8-2 in the process. Nonetheless, it’s the work that was largely expected from the 36-year-old as he’s scuffled over the last couple of seasons. That said, keep in mind that Elliott worked to a fabulous 2.22 GAA/.932 Sv% in January and a 1.82 GAA/.929 Sv% in the month of February. It’s been all downhill since and he’s allowed nine goals on 47 shots over his last two games, good for an ugly .809 Sv%.
There’s just nothing to like about this Flyers back end despite quality results last night.
D – Kris Letang (PIT) – $6,100 vs. PHI
Here’s why this stack is more GPP than we originally might have thought, even knowing there’s going to be plenty of ownership on the heavy favorites against some suspect defenses on this slate.
Four-man stacks just aren’t as highly owned as you might think, at least in the NHL. With all of the elite talent on this slate about to take on floundering defenses and goaltenders, this four-man Penguins stack as a group is going to see low ownership. I just don’t see many from the general public using all four of these guys with Connor McDavid coming off a four-point night against the Canucks, or after seeing the Hurricanes pound the Blackhawks last night, or even Michael Houser making back-to-back starts tonight for the league’s 30th-ranked defense in the Buffalo Sabres.
It’s always why I want the Flyers in penalty trouble as this is also a four-man PP1 stack we’ve got on our hands. Another two-goal night from this power play — or more given their potency and the Flyers’ inadequate PK — and we are in serious, serious business on this slate.
For his part, Letang enters this one with seven goals and 42 points in 52 games as part of a typical Letang season. He’s put 122 shots on goal, registered 14 points on the power play and is averaging just shy of 25 minutes per night. The 34-year-old just hasn’t skipped a beat and was actually able to hit the scoresheet and go just -2 with an assist and two shots last night, his second straight game with a helper.
In other words, let’s go Penguins!
D – Rasmus Dahlin (BUF) – $4,300 vs. NYI
The Sabres were actually able to pull off the major upset last night, not only due to the fact their season is in the tubes and the Islanders are a contender, but they also beat them with about their sixth-string goaltender against a Vezina Trophy candidate in Semyon Varlamov.
Tonight, the Sabres get rookie backup Ilya Sorokin going for the Islanders, but that’s not exactly a breath of fresh air considering his 2.19 GAA and .918 Sv% on the season. Nonetheless, we’re getting an all-world talent here at low ownership given the harsh matchup.
Of course, it’s been a tough go for Dahlin this season after making strides as a sophomore last year, but five goals and 23 points across 53 games is nothing to scoff at for a 21-year-old defenseman on the worst team in hockey. He’s also put 111 shots on goal and blocked 45 as well. He’s recorded nearly half of his points for the season on the power play with a goal and 11 man-advantage points on the season, and the Sabres still sit 15th with a 20.9% clip on the power play this season given all that’s happened, that’s impressive despite much of that damage coming early.
He’s pointless in his last four and it’s a tough matchup, but the skill here is elite and we’re going to get an excellent offensive defenseman at tiny ownership in a lineup that could not be more GPP if it tried.
UTIL – Alex DeBrincat (CHI) – $6,800 vs. CAR
We’ll complete the player portion of our lineup here with a pair of Blackhawks, beginning here with DeBrincat who is a linemate of Dach’s at 5v5 and on the Blackhawks talented top power play unit.
It’s been a big season for the fourth-year winger as DeBrincat has tallied 26 goals and 49 points in 48 games for the Blackhawks with 142 shots on goal as well. He shoots the puck some but not a ton, but when he does, he makes it count as he sports an 18.3% shooting rate on the season, a number but not an unsustainable one as he posted an 18.6% mark two seasons ago and it’s not all that far above his 15.1% career mark. He hammers home plenty of one-timers for a deadly shot, and players that can do that will end up with high shooting rates in the end.
DeBrincat has also powdered home eight power-play goals and on the season with 17 power-play points overall. He’s on pace to edge his career-high of 13 power-play goals from that 41-goal sophomore season if this season were a full 82-game campaign as he’s been a huge part of what Chicago does on the man advantage.
He’s also hot at the moment as last night’s goal have him three in as many games while he’s notched three goals and five points over a four-game point streak entering this one tonight.
UTIL – Dominik Kubalik (CHI) – $4,600 vs. CAR
Here’s a guy that’s playing really well right now as Kubalik completes a three-man 5v5 and PP1 stack for our lineup tonight.
For the season, the 2019-20 Calder Trophy runner-up as notched 17 goals and 35 points in 52 games to go along with 148 shots on goal. He’s not shooting upwards of 20% again so he’s not on pace to set a new career-high in goals after scoring 30 as a rookie, but 17 tallies on a healthy 11.5% shooting rate in 52 games is a healthy number for a sophomore.
He too has been a productive piece of the Hawks’ power play as he’s notched four goals and 14 points on the man advantage while he’s notched three goals and six points over his last six games. He’s also put nine shots on goal over two May contests with a goal and two assists in that time while averaging 3.67 shots per game over his last six as well.
Man, if the Penguins and Blackhawks can find power-play success tonight we are so set, although that’s going to be far more difficult for this Blackhawks group.
G – Thatcher Demko (VAN) – $7,000 vs. EDM
So Connor McDavid hangs four points on the Canucks last night so we might as well take a Canucks netminder that plays behind the team that gives up most chances than almost any other team in the league, right?
Well, in the spirit of the most long-shot of GPPs, that’s precisely what we’ll do. I mean, Demko has cooled off since his torrid stretch through much of April, but the guy still sports a respectable 2.88 GAA and .913 Sv% while getting peppered with rubber and scoring chances every time he’s between the pipes. He’s also 12-15-1 on the season, so his record isn’t horrendous relative to the Canucks’ defense.
He might own a 3.04 GAA against the Oilers this season, but also a quality .916 Sv%. He hasn’t faced Winnipeg this season, but he’s only posted a superior save percentage against the Ottawa Senators among his North Division rivals this season. He actually allowed one goal as part of a 2-1 Canucks win the last time he faced Edmonton, turning aside 34 of 35 shots in the process. He allowed just two goals on 33 shots in his previous meeting with the Oilers, although that one resulted in a 3-0 loss.
It’s a tough go for the Canucks right now during a super-condensed schedule, but after Braden Holtby took the loss last night, perhaps a rested Thatcher Demko can steal the show tonight.