Leave it to the Colorado Avalanche and their superstars to take a night off once I finally release an Avalanche-heavy cash lineup.
I mean, the numbers Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen have produced of late have borderlined on two points a night for the last couple of weeks. So naturally, both players were held pointless while the Avs scored just twice en route to a 3-2 loss to the lowly Sharks.
Add in the Habs’ embarrassing effort in Ottawa (one goal) combined with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Josh Morrissey behind held off the scoresheet despite the Jets bouncing back (as I expected) with a four-goal effort, and our lineup was awful.
Oh, and Juuse Saros lost to the Blue Jackets, again.
We’ll look to move past one of the most forgettable cash lineups of all time and get some more GPP-inclined picks going on this six-game main slate!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – May 6, 2021
C – John Tavares (TOR) – $6,800 vs. MON
What we’ll do in this lineup is either use secondary options that will be lower owned than the big boys on their teams, or use an underdog’s best players. For example, Tavares will see ownership tonight, but he’s obviously the Leafs’ secondary option next to Auston Matthews who is lighting the league on fire in terms of goal-scoring at the moment.
It hasn’t been Tavares’ best season and even below his typical season, but he’s been productive nonetheless. He was over a point-per-game in his first season with the Maple Leafs while setting career-highs across the board and followed that up with a near point-per-game pace last season, but is down to 17 goals and 46 points across 52 games here in the 2020-21 season. He’s put a healthy 150 shots on goal with six goals and 12 points on the man advantage as well.
His production has been a little sparse this season, and he’s recorded just a pair of assists over his last four games. That said, it’s the matchup we like here as well.
Tavares takes on a Canadiens team that took an embarrassing loss by a 5-1 score last night in Ottawa with Jake Allen in net, meaning it should be youngster Cayden Primeau going on the back-to-back tonight. Primeau has been good in brief NHL career with a 2.74 GAA and .914 Sv% in four games and owns a 2.07 GAA and .911 Sv% in 14 AHL games with Laval, but he’ll be in tough against this Leafs offense. Keep in mind he also owns a 2.96 GAA and .896 Sv% in two NHL appearances this season.
Heck, even if it is Allen, he allowed five goals on 34 shots last night (.853 Sv%), so getting him on the back-to-back works too.
At the end of the day, the Leafs’ offense has no excuse not to produce in this one.
C – J.T. Miller (VAN) – $5,700 vs. EDM
In a matchup with Connor McDavid and the Oilers, the Canucks may not see a ton of ownership, and even though we’re going to use their best players, I don’t mind one bit.
There’s little doubt the Canucks offense is struggling right now. They’ve been without No. 1 center Elias Pettersson for some time now and will be for the remainder of the season, and the offense and power play have suffered as a result. The Canucks have slipped into the league’s bottom-five on offense and their power play now sits in a share of 21st at 18.8%.
The good news tonight is that they face the weaker of the two Oilers’ netminders this season. Mikko Koskinen is likely for this one, and he owns a 2.99 GAA and .905 Sv% on the season to Mike Smith’s 2.25 GAA and .925 Sv%. Koskinen has been rarely used since covering 100% of the duties trough the first month and change of the season, so we’ll see if the Canucks’ top talent can get to him.
For his part, Miller enters this one with 12 goals and 36 points in 44 games on the season to go along with 86 shots on goal. We’d like to see him shooting the puck more, but he’s never been a high-volume shooter, but rather one that scores on the chances he gets with an elevated 14.1% career shooting rate while he’s come within one tick of matching that mark with a 14% clip this season.
Vancouver has scored just six goals over their last four games and just one goal in four of their last six, but let’s roll the dice and see if they can bust out for a potential upset in this one tonight.
W – William Nylander (TOR) – $5,700 vs. MON
Unfortunately, Nylander’s production tends to be streaky, but he’s on the right end of one of those streaks right now.
He’s having a fairly normal season in terms of production with 16 goals and 39 points across 47 games to go along with a solid 122 shots on goal. His power-play production has also been similar to that of Tavares with four goals and 11 man-advantage points on the campaign.
That said, he’ll carry a five-game points streak into this one with two goals and three assists in that time. Furthermore, he’s notched three goals and 13 points over his last 10 games and has only missed the scoresheet once in that time. When this guy is on, he’s a game-changer and combined with his elite puck-possession metrics he’s an extremely valuable player right now, one that brings plenty of that value to the table at a price well under the $6K mark.
He’ll skate on the second line with Tavares, but also on the top power play with not only Tavares but a couple of the league’s best players in Matthews and Mitch Marner.
You have to like the value potential here in a favorable matchup given the Habs’ back-to-back scenario.
W – Brock Boeser (VAN) – $6,700 vs. EDM
Next man up in our three-man Canucks stack is Boeser who will line up with Miller on the Canucks’ top line and top power play unit.
It’s pretty hard to criticize anything he’s done this year. He was among the league’s goal-scoring leaders early on before things kind of fell apart for the Canucks between losing Pettersson and the outbreak that went through their locker room and forced a condensed schedule to get even tighter.
The American winger has tallied a healthy 19 goals and 39 points in 47 games on the season to go along with 113 shots on goal. He’s been extremely dangerous on the power play with seven man-advantage goals on the season with 12 power play points as well. He’s seeing more than 19 and a half minutes of ice time per game and is actually hot entering this one.
He’s not scorching hot, but has scored a goal in each of his last two games with six shots in that time. He’s actually put 10 shots on goal over his last three and at least three shots on goal in five of his last seven, so he’s been providing a decent floor of late, but of course we’re here for the goal-scoring from a guy that’s done plenty of that since entering the league. Boeser has tallied goals at a 0.39 goals-per-game pace, which equals out to about 32 goals in a full, 162-game season. With Pettersson down the middle and Miller on the left wing, it can certainly be argued that Boeser has 40-goal potential when this offense is clicking at or near its ceiling.
For now, we’ll look for him to extend that goal streak to three with one or two in this one.
D – Rasmus Sandin (TOR) – $3,500 vs. MON
We get Sandin here at the defenseman minimum as he has officially taken over Morgan Rielly’s spot as the lone defenseman on the Leafs’ top power play unit, a favorable spot to be for sure.
Now, it’s been well documented that the Maple Leafs’ power play has scuffled over the last month as they continue their free fall down the rankings. Once a top-three power play, the Leafs now sit 13th with a 21.1% clip. Not only have they struggled to score despite the wealth of talent on that group, but they’ve even struggled to generate power plays. They’ve earned just 12 power plays over their last six games, going 1 for 12 in that time, good for an 8.3% clip. They’ve scored just three power-play goals over their last 10 games, something that needs to be addressed before the playoffs, especially given their inability to kill penalties of late.
For his part, Sandin has recored three assists in eight games this season, but he hasn’t spent much of that time on the Leafs’ PP1. That said, here’s a player that recorded 15 points in just 21 games as a 20-year-old defenseman in the AHL last season before posting 28 points in 44 games as a 19-year-old in the AHL in the 2018-2019 season. He’s a gifted player with excellent offensive instincts and has earned himself a look with the big boys on the man advantage.
Add it up and there would appear to be big-time value in Sandin at the minimum cost.
D – Quinn Hughes (VAN) – $5,000 vs. EDM
From a young defenseman looking to make his mark in the league to another youngster that’s established himself as one of the game’s best young blueliners at the same age, Quinn Hughes is enjoying another fine season.
The 2020 Calder Trophy runner up has notched three goals and 35 points in 47 games on the season to go along with 17 power-play points, albeit all coming in assist form. While his production has slowed some since coming out of the gate white-hot, he has still recorded a goal and seven points over his last nine games, so the consistent production remains despite the downturn in the Canucks’ offense.
He also still ranks among the NHL’s league leaders among defenseman. His 35 points ranks 11th among defenseman and those 17 power-play points checks in at eighth. That puts him in the company of names like Keith Yandle, John Klingberg, Dougie Hamilton, John Carlson and Jeff Petry. He certainly belongs in that group and we should still consider him dangerous and we should get him at reasonable ownership here.
UTIL – Patrick Kane (CHI) – $7,500 vs. CAR
Like I said earlier, we’re either using 1B options or the best players on the underdogs and that certainly means Kane as he takes on the Hurricanes for the second straight game.
Of course, Kane needs little introduction as he continues to produce regardless of the state of the Blackhawks or who else is in the lineup. I mean, the guy has 15 goals and 64 points in 53 games on the season to go along with 180 shots on goal. That point total puts Kane fifth overall in the NHL scoring, but just two points out of sole possession of third behind the Oilers’ dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
I mean, for a guy who hasn’t played with a legitimate, point-producing center like everyone else on that list (or the centers themselves) it’s simply remarkable at what this guy keeps doing year after year.
The matchup isn’t the greatest agaisnt the Hurricanes, but again I want to target netminder Petr Mrazek who has been in and out of the lineup a couple of times this season. He allowed three goals on 30 shots (.900 Sv%) in this matchup on Tuesday, and while his 1.75 GAA and .934 Sv% on the season are fantastic, he’s a career 2.59 GAA/.911 Sv% goaltender.
Let’s get Kane into this lineup with confidence tonight.
UTIL – Alex DeBrincat (CHI) – $6,900 vs. CAR
We’ll complete our lineup here with DeBrincat who gave us a big night on Tuesday with two goals on six shots, all at less than 10% owned.
I assume we’ll get him somewhere around there or perhaps a little higher. Nonetheless, the guy has been enjoying another big season as he has tallied 28 goals now with 23 helpers for 51 points across 49 games. He’s also put a healthy 148 shots on goal while I am not concerned about a high 18.9% shooting rate one iota.
That’s because it’s the second time in his career he’s threatening a shooting rate in the 18% range and it’s not even all too far above his 15.2% career mark. DeBrincat is such a good goal-scorer than can score in many ways, especially on a lethal one-timer. Think of Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos and their quick-strike ability and that’s what DeBrincat brings to the table.
His two-goal effort from Tuesday actually extended his goal-scoring streak to four games now with five tallies over that time. Furthermore, he has a five-game point streak going with five goals and seven points in that span.
On a Blackhawks power play that ranks 10th at a 22% clip, let’s see if the Blackhawks’ top two offensive players can connect for some offense tonight.
G – Mackenzie Blackwood (NJ) – $6,700 vs. NYI
Completing this lineup is Mackenzie Blackwood who takes on the Islanders tonight in what is a fairly difficult road matchup.
It’s a tough matchup in terms of goal support as the Islanders possess one of the better defenses teams in the league. From Blackwood’s standpoint, he’s not exactly having the best of seasons.
The 24-year-old had put together a pair of stellar campaigns to start his career, but has since slipped to a 3.04 GAA and .902 Sv% across 33 outings this season. And that’s even with his 1.90 GAA and .948 Sv% from January across the first three outings of the season, but he’s largely scuffled since.
Blackwood posted a 3.56 GAA and .875 Sv% across 11 outings for the month of April, but has been far better here in May with a .941 Sv% across starts agaisnt the Flyers and Bruins, allowing just four goals in that time while winning both outings.
The Islanders have scored just five goals over their last two games and with Blackwood playing so well, we’ll see if the Islanders can take their third straight upset after dropping a pair of games to the lowly Sabres prior to this one.