Last night’s FanDuel NHL DFS Picks were very productive. That said, the Edmonton chalk hitting at the end of the night was a big blow as I was only able to cash in my low-stakes GPPs.
Our night got started on a big note as John Tavares notched a goal and an assist before the Leafs’ game against the Montreal Canadiens was five minutes old. It would have been awesome if he could have kept piling on as we had him around 5% owned, but he did add three shots while William Nylander recorded an assist and four shots. Rasmus Sandin provided excellent value with an assist and two shots on goal.
Our three-man Canucks stack was productive, at least up front. Brock Boeser tallied a goal and an assist on four shots while J.T. Miller recorded an assist, four shots and a block. It would have been nice to see Miller have more production given the Canucks hung six goals on the Oilers while Quinn Hughes was held pointless and shotless with just two blocks.
Man, we had Patrick Kane at between 1-4% owned. I’m taking the league’s fourth-ranked point getter all day at that ownership in any matchup. Unfortunately, he was held off the scoresheet on the Blackhawks’ two goals, although Alex DeBrincat scored a goal on his lone shots of the night at less than 9% owned.
Finally, goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood was outstanding. He turned aside 32 of 33 shots and handed the Islanders their third straight upset loss as the Devils took that one by a 2-1 count.
That’s a very profitable lineup until Connor McDavid recorded three assists with Leon Draisaitl scoring two goals. Without that, we’re dancing.
Nonetheless, we’ll take the small profit and move onto tonight’s seven-game main slate!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – May 7, 2021
C – Tyler Seguin (DAL) – $6,900 vs. TB
The Stars may not make the playoffs, but they did get a jolt with the return of Tyler Seguin this week after he had missed the entire season up until this point following offseason hip surgery.
All Seguin has done in two games since returning is score a goal in each of those contests with five combined shots. The matchup against the Lightning isn’t exactly ideal, but the Bolts are giving the start tonight to backup Curtis McElhinney who, while an extremely reliable backup for much of his career, has scuffled some this season.
McElhinney will enter this one sporting a 2.91 GAA, but also a brutal .879 Sv% across his 11 starts and is just 4-5-2 as a result. He did post a shutout his last time out, but that was 15-save shutout over the Red Wings. That’s now just one goal against over his last two games and 40 shots, but he also yielded seven goals three starts back against the Predators as his inconsistent season continues.
We’ll see if the Seguin magic can continue for at least one more night. The Stars absolutely need two points in this one as they are four points back of the fourth-place Predators in the Central Division, albeit with a game in hand. A Nashville win at any time sinks them, but it’s desperation time for Dallas and I’ll look for their leaders to power their way to a victory tonight.
C – Joe Veleno (DET) – $3,300 vs. CBJ
I just chirped the Red Wings as one of the worst offenses in hockey, but his is a GPP lineup and one that is going to feature a three-man Red Wings stack as they go up against the lowly Blue Jackets tonight.
Sure, the Wings rank dead last with just 2.15 goals per game on the season with a 10.3% power play that ranks 30th, but they also take on a poor Blue Jackets defense that sits 25th with 3.24 goals against per game on the season and 16th with a decent 80% penalty kill as well.
Nonetheless, we should get the Wings here at low ownership and I’m a big fan of the value potential here with Veleno, one of the club’s top prospects who made his NHL debut last week and has four NHL games under his belt, albeit without a point so far. That said, he did skate in excess of 18 minutes his last time out as his audition for next season’s roster gets a bump.
Veleno spent the season skating in the Swedish Hockey League with Malmo, and tallied 11 goals and 20 points in that time. The 21-year-old skated with the AHL’s Grand Rapid Griffins last season and recorded another 11 goals and 23 points in 54 games. Before you judge him on his professional production, keep in mind he also recorded a whopping 104 points in just 59 games in his final season in junior in 2018-19. He also notched six points in as many games en route to a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2020 World Juniors, so this guy can play, but is still getting his feet wet at the professional level.
Combine the favorable matchup with the cost and projected low ownership and a big night for Veleno could mean a huge night for our lineup.
W – Jamie Benn (DAL – $6,000 vs. TB
Next man up in our three-man Stars stack is Benn who will skate with Seguin on the team’s second, or 1B line, as the Roope Hintz/Jason Robertson combination has been the team’s most productive line this season.
Benn has come a long ways down since leading the NHL in points in the 2015-16 season, but the Stars’ defense-first style puts a cap on offensive production for the most part. Nonetheless, the veteran has tallied 11 goals and 31 points in 39 games on the season to go along with 117 shots on goal. His shooting rate is way down on the season as he sits with a 9.4% mark that’s well under his 13.2% career mark and would easily go down as a career-low if the season ended today, and likely will with just three games left in the season. His previous low was 10.9% in the 2012-13 campaign.
After recorded a goal and four points over the Hurricanes on April 26, Benn has gone five straight without hitting the scoresheet. To me, that’s actually the good news as he was due to cool off after recording 15 points in a 15-game stretch culminating in that four-point effort over Carolina, so after going five in a row without a point despite skating with Seguin over the last two games, we’ll look for Benn to get back onto the scoresheet against one of the slate’s weakest netminders.
W – Jakub Vrana (WSH) – $5,400 vs. CBJ
Here’s the true reason why I like Veleno here as he skates with Vrana in all situations, otherwise known as the team’s best offensive player right now with Dylan Larkin out for the remainder of the season.
After coming over from the Washington Capitals in the trade deadline’s most surprising deal that involved Anthony Mantha, Vrana has tallied six goals and seven points in his first nine games with the Red Wings. Of course, four of those tallies came in that epic effort against Dallas on April 22 in his fourth game with his new club, but nonetheless he’s been excellent in a Detroit uniform so far.
Before joining the Wings, Vrana recorded 11 goals and 25 points with the Caps, giving him 17 goals and 32 points across 48 games for the season. One thing to note is that he was skating just 14:22 per game with Washington, but that number has jumped a hair more than three minutes per game at 17:23 with the Wings. Might not seem like much, but three more minutes means about five more shifts per game or so, and that’s significant.
He’s also now getting first-unit power-play reps where he’ll skate with Veleno in this one, so let’s see if this duo can combine for some offense in this one tonight.
D – John Klingberg (DAL) – $5,200 vs. TB
When stacking the Stars, one of the most important decisions to make is whether to use Klingberg or the young, dynamic Miro Heiskanen. Heiskanen is cheaper but Klingberg has the edge in production. I’ll pay the higher price here in search of the lower ownership. Besides, I said I want to use the Stars’ leadership group here as they push desperately for that final postseason spot in the Central, and that includes the veteran Klingberg.
The Swedish blueliner enters this one with seven goals and 33 points in 50 games on the season to go along with 100 shots on goal. He’s blocked 49 shots as well, although Klingberg has recorded just one assist over his last five games with six blocks and seven shots in that time.
Klingberg has notched two goals and 16 points on the power play, and that’s where this stack gets somewhat awkward. The Stars have looked to spread the wealth on the power play with Klingberg and Benn skating on the top unit while Seguin skates with Heiskanen on the second group. They likely don’t want to upset the chemistry that’s led to Joe Pavelski leading the NHL in power play goals on the season, so we’ll get exposure to both groups here.
Let’s see if Klingberg and co. can get on the scoresheet a couple times against McElhinney and the Lightning.
D – Filip Hronek (DET) – $ 3,700 vs. CBJ
You can also go with Sam Gagner who will skate with Veleno and Vrana at both 5v5 and on the top power play unit, and he too comes at this $3,700 price tag. That said, with the way this lineup shook out I needed a defensemen rather than a winger so I will use Hronek who has had a fine season as one of the team’s most productive offensive players.
In fact, if we exclude Vrana and his production between the Wings and Caps, Hronek is tied with Dylan Larkin for the team lead with 23 points on the season. Larkin has played 10 fewer games and while the 23 points isn’t an eye-popping number, it’s a fine number for a defenseman in Hronek on the league’s weakest offense.
Hronek has also put 109 shots on goal in his 54 games this season, almost exactly two shots per game. He’s added 46 blocks to his ledger as well.
He’s ice-cold at the moment as he’ll carry a six-game pointless streak into this one, but has just one assist for his lone point over his last 14 games. That said, he also hasn’t scored a goal over his last 42 shots on goal, so I would suggest he would be scoring more if the season were normal as his 1.8% shooting rate is miles under his 5.2% career mark.
If the Red Wings can bag a few tonight we could be in business in GPPs.
UTIL – Nathan MacKinnon (COL) – $8,800 vs. LA
Sure, let’s mix some chalk in here as MacKinnon is due for a big night in this one.
Why, you ask? Well, he missed the scoresheet with just two shots on goal his last time out against the Sharks on Wednesday. The last time he missed the scoresheet, he followed that up with four points and 18 shots over his next two games. The guy simply doesn’t miss the scoresheet hardly at all, and when he does he comes back with a vengeance.
For the season, the superstar pivot has tallied 20 goals and 65 points on 204 shots across 47 games on the season. He’s also recorded eight goals and 25 points on the power play while skating more than 20:22 per game.
The Kings sit 19th with 2.94 goals against per game which a penalty kill that ranks fourth at 84%. However, they also sit 29th in terms of scoring chances against/60 and 30th in terms of high-danger chances against/60. I’ll take my chances with MacKinnon against a team giving up scoring opportunities with the worst of em’.
He’s going to see a good chunk of ownership, of course, but with the Red Wings going what I assume will be super low-owned and the Stars as well, we’ll get MacKinnon in here to provide a big floor for this lineup in what should be a big bounce-back game for one of the game’s best.
UTIL – Gabriel Landeskog (COL) – $7,000 vs. LA
We’ll cap an Avs mini-stack here with Landeskog who will once again skate with MacKinnon at 5v5 and on the team’s top power-play unit.
Mikko Rantanen has far out-produced Landeskog, but we should get the latter at lower ownership as I can see him flying under the radar somewhat in GPPs considering many would like the MacKinnon/Rantanen/Cale Makar trio in their lineups.
It’s not as if he hasn’t been productive as Landeskog enters this one with 19 goals and 49 points across 49 games with 140 shots on the season. He actually has more power-play goals than both MacKinnon and Rantanen with nine on the season with 14 man-advantage points to boot.
Landeskog also missed the scoresheet on Wednesday, but he did put six shots on goal in that one. That now gives him 16 shots across three games for the month of May so far, good for more than five shots per game, on average.
He’s a point-per-game player but has just two helpers and eight shots in four games against the Kings this season, so he certainly owes him one as we’ll look for him and MacKinnon to team up for some offense in this one tonight.
G – Philipp Grubauer (COL) – $8,400 vs. LA
There’s a variety of ways to go here in the goaltending department, but I’ll simply go with Grubauer as he looks to get back on track after some tough outings of late.
The 29-year-old German is having a Vezina-caliber season, but also an .883 Sv% across two starts so far in the month of May. That actually followed an .891 Sv% in the month of April, so Grubauer will look to find his groove in his one as the postseason looms.
After all, he owns a 2.03 GAA and .920 Sv% with six shutouts across 37 appearances on the season, going 27-9-1 in the process. He has also owned the Kings this season, turning in a 1.00 GAA and .958 Sv% across three starts against them this season, winning all three contests.
The Avs are the slate’s second-heaviest favorite at -273 (the Wild are -290), so a win seems likely for Grubauer as we’ll look for some safety in goal here despite entering GPPs tonight.