We’re off to a hot start to the NHL playoffs as last night’s FanDuel NHL DFS Picks cash with ease and finished near the top of GPPs across the board!
The quality results also came despite some poor luck. Nicklas Backstrom was injured in the first period of the Capitals’ game against the Islanders following a late hit from Islanders captain Anders Lee. Backstrom left the game and did not return, so his lone shot on goal was all we would get from him on the night.
Furthermore, Alex Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet, but didn’t go down without a fight as he peppered six shots on goal and added another two blocks to at least give us a decent floor in that one. That said, the star of the lineup was T.J. Oshie who bagged two goals – both on the power play – with four shots and four blocks to boot. I mentioned his quick-strike ability on the power play in yesterday’s write-up, and that came to fruition in spades.
The production did not stop there. We got massive value out of Flyers winger Joel Farabee as he notched the game-winning goal as part of his two shots and one block on the night, giving us 16.8 FanDuel points at less than 5% ownership. All at a $3,300 price. Stackmate Shayne Gostisbehere didn’t hit the scoresheet, but at least contributed two shots and two blocks as well.
Our Canucks still hit as well. Elias Pettersson scored the game-winner himself while adding a block and Brock Boeser notched a pair of assists with two blocks as well. Finally, Quinn Hughes notched an assist, two shots and a block.
He saw big ownership, but Carter Hart delivered, turning aside 27 of 28 Canadiens shots while earning the win and notching us 29.6 FanDuel points in the process.
It was a nice lineup throughout, and we’ll look to keep rolling on another four-game slate!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – August 13, 2020
C – William Karlsson (VGK) – $5,900 vs. CHI
I’m going with a cash lineup on today’s four-game slate, and if we’re rolling with cash formats the Vegas Golden Knights are a must.
While Karlsson doesn’t bring a big floor to the table, he skates with players that do while he gets the premier spot as the team’s top-line center at 5v5. He doesn’t skate on the top power play unit – that spot belongs to Paul Stastny – but will play the vast majority of those one with the Golden Knights’ top offensive player who bring big floors to the table, so there’s no reason to fade the former 40-goal man at a sub-$6,000 price.
Karlsson posted 15 goals and 46 point sin 63 regular-season contests with 138 shots in that time. Never again should we expect 40-goal production from the 27-year-old as he did so on an insane 23.4% shooting rate a couple years back, but he’s a nice source of assists and logs big minutes as the team’s first-line center.
At the end of the day, his price is right, the matchup is right and his linemates are some of the top players on the slate. This is a no-brainer for me in cash games tonight.
C – Anthony Cirelli (TB) – $4,300 vs. CBJ
Game 1 between the Blue Jackets and Lightning was pure insanity as the clubs played into the fifth overtime period before a Brayden Point wrister found the back of the net.
While the Blue Jackets are going to show a ton of fight as long as John Tortorella is behind the bench, it seems as if their opportunity to grab momentum in this series has passed and it would not be surprising to see the high-octane Lightning take over from here on out.
While they are missing Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay was the highest-scoring regular-season offense and their depth was a key reason why.
Cirelli skates as the team’s second-line center these days while getting second-unit power play reps. He enjoyed a nice regular season, posting 16 goals and 44 points in 68 games to go along with 113 shots on goal while averaging a real nice 18:28 of average ice time. He skates in all situations for head coach Jon Cooper, and he’s going to be leaned on heavily in this one tonight.
While this Lighting stack will give us exposure to both power play units, the hope here is that it’s Tampa Bay’s second line that does the heavy lifting in this one tonight.
W – Max Pacioretty (VGK) – $7,400 vs. CHI
I anticipated that it would be Jonathan Marchessault going back up to skate with Karlsson when Pacioretty returned to the lineup for Tuesday’s Game 1, but it was actually Pacioretty lining up alongside Karlsson and Mark Stone, and he displayed his high floor once again.
No, he didn’t hit the scoresheet in the Game 1 victory, but Pacioretty put four shots on goal in that one as he’s one of the highest volume shooter in the league.
In fact, only Nathan MacKinnon (318) and Alex Ovechkin (311) put more shots on goal in the regular season than Pacioretty who put 307 pucks on goal across his 71 games.
After a couple of down seasons across his his first year with Vegas and final year with the Montreal Canadiens, Pacioretty found his game again this season, tallying 32 goals and 66 points in those 71 contests while obviously putting a ton of rubber on goal. Consider that he put just 191 shots on goal in 66 games last season, but increased that total by a whopping 116 shots this season in just five more games.
As a result, Pacioretty needs to be a part of any and all cash lineups on this four-game slate tonight.
W – Mark Stone (VGK) – $7,200 vs. CHI
Stone was also held off the scoresheet in the Golden Knights’ 4-1 Game 1 victory, and he actually recorded just one shot on goal for a rather disappointing night.
That said, he also enjoyed a huge round robin, tallying two goals and five points in the three games with six shots on goal in that time. He produced 21 goals and 63 points in 65 regular-season games and is coming off a 2019 playoffs where he scored six goals and 12 points in seven games. In other words, I would suggest Stone should be just fine.
A big part of why I expect the Golden Knights to dominate the Blackhawks in this series is puck possession. Vegas led the NHL in both Corsi For% and Scoring Chances For% while the Blackhawks ranked in the bottom 10 of the league in both departments. Corey Crawford enjoyed a fine regular season and it took into the second period for Vegas to break the ice in Game 1, but this is just such a lopsided series from a possession standpoint while Stone is one of the top possession players in the game.
As a result, I expect him to thrive in this series as the third member of the top line in this four-man stack tonight.
W – Alex Killorn (TB) – $4,700 vs. CBJ
The Lightning second line didn’t do much at all in Game 1, and considering the game was more than seven periods long, Killorn’s four shots on goal in that one just didn’t cut it.
That said, I like the value potential here and I like it a lot. While he’ll get some chances while skating with Cirelli on the second line, Killorn is also skating on the team’s top power play unit alongside the big boys in Point and Nikita Kucherov. The Lighting ranked fifth with a 23.2% clip on the power play in the regular season, so I would look at Killorn’s standing as a second-line player on the league’s top offense and a member of a top-five power play unit and feel real good about the value upside here.
For the season, Killorn tallied a whopping 26 goals and 49 points in 68 games. He scored those 26 goals on a 20% shooting rate that was nearly double his 11.4% mark, but his spot on the top power play unit was a big reason why as he scored eight of those 26 goals on the man advantage while collecting 13 power play points overall.
He averaged nearly 18 minutes of average ice time in the regular season, and if the Lighting break through against a hot Joonas Korpisalo tonight, I would expect this second line to deliver some big value for this lineup.
W – Tyler Johnson (TB) – $4,300 vs. CBJ
Completing our three-man Lighting stack is Johnson who, like Killorn, will skate on the team’s second line, thus giving us a three-man 5v5 stack, but also on the top power play unit alongside Killorn and co.
Johnson also didn’t contribute much to the Game 1 5-OT win, and he doesn’t exactly wow in the regular season with 14 goals and 31 points in 65 games while putting just 113 shots on goal in that time. He didn’t skate on the top power play unit much as he’s currently taking the spot of Stamkos, so his one goal and seven power play points was done as part of the second unit, for the most part. For what it’s worth, Killorn skated on the top unit throughout the entire season.
All that said, Johnson is certainly far more capable of producing than he’s shown this season. He notched 29 goals and 47 points in 80 games last season after a 21-goal, 50-point showing the previous year.
He’s also the owner of an impressive postseason resume, notching 26 goals and 54 points across 72 playoff games for his career. Given his role in this one tonight, I have zero problem rolling with Johnson as a cost-efficient winger with plenty of upside.
D – Shea Theodore (VGK) – $6,100 vs. CHI
While Quinn Hughes might have something to say about it, Theodore is probably the hottest defenseman on the planet right now.
The young blueliner broke the ice in the second period of Game 1 with his third goal over the last two games while he added three shots and four blocks to his stat line from that one. Over his last three games, Theodore now has three goals, two assists 14 shots on goal and seven blocked shots. That’s just some serious cross-category production that we cannot pass up in cash formats tonight.
He accomplished his big Game 1 in less than 21 minutes of ice time, but has otherwise skated at least 23 minutes in the three round robin contests since the return to play.
He’s the anchor of that top power play unit – a group that includes Pacioretty and Stone – so I’ll gladly take a productive Vegas power play stack as well as an overall 5v5 stack in what could go down as a blowout in this one tonight.
D – Dougie Hamilton (CAR) – $5,700 vs. BOS
There’s a decision to made here between Hamilton and Boston’s Torey Krug as a high-upside cash option as a one-off, but I am going with Hamilton as he takes on the Bruins tonight.
Hamilton returned to the lineup for the first time since breaking his fibula on January 16 and suffering a subsequent injury before the qualifying round against the Rangers, and he logged 26:48 of ice time while missing the scoresheet in the Hurricanes’ Double-OT Game 1 loss. His two blocked shots accounted for all of his production.
That said, we’re talking about one of the highest-floor defensemen in the league here, and I think he’s in for a better effort after shaking off the rust in Game 1.
In the regular season, Hamilton was making a bid for the Norris Trophy with 14 goals and 40 points in just 47 games before suffering the freak injury, but he also put 170 shots on goal in that time, good for a 3.6 shots per game. Additionally, Hamilton averaged more than a blocked shot per game with 63 blocks in those 47 contests.
He notched two goals and 12 points on the power play as well while averaging more than 23 minutes of ice time per game.
The Bruins present a very tough matchup, but I’ll look for Hamilton to rack up the shots on goal in this one while getting back on the scoresheet for the first time since his return.
G – Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) – $9,000 vs. CBJ
Vasilevskiy wasn’t nearly as busy as Joonas Korpisalo in the Lightning’s Game 1 OT win, but he was still sharp as a tack in turning aside 61 of the 63 shots he faced in that one.
The excellent performance continued his quality work since play resumed as Vasilevskiy was very good in the round robin as well while he now owns a 1.62 GAA and .941 SV% across four games while logging every second of ice time in the Tampa Bay crease throughout the entire round robin as well.
It was also some redemption as he struggled in last year’s shocking upset against the Blue Jackets as he logged a 3.82 GAA and .856 Sv% in that four-game sweep, but was certainly on his game in Game 1.
The Blue Jackets probably won’t rack up a ton of shots in this one, but they’re the lowest-scoring offense in these playoffs. Add that to the Lightning being listed as -172 favorites and I believe he’s the best option for cash games as the top-priced netminder on the slate.