Last night’s cash-aimed FanDuel NHL DFS Picks hit with absolute authority as you would have cashed nearly every single double up, triple up, or quintuple up you entered with that lineup. Given how our Montreal stack worked out, your head-to-heads probably worked out quite nicely to boot.
I mentioned a fade of McDavid/Draisaitl was not going to be in the cards, and you had no chance of cashing if you didn’t roster that duo. Draisaitl led the way with three goals, two assists and six shots on goal while 97 tallied a goal, two helpers, four shots on goal and a block for good measure. Unfortunately, Kailer Yamamoto was held off the scoresheet, but at least salvaged some points with three shots and a block.
Our three-man Canadiens stack produced in a big way, of course not to the same level however. Jesperi Kotkaniemi delivered on his value potential with a goal, an assist and four shots on goal, Shea Weber notched a goal himself to go along with three shots and a pair of blocked shots and Josh Anderson chipped in an assist and a pair of shots on goal. These are the players that pushed this lineup over the top given the ownership levels.
All that said, our Thomas Chabot/Brady Tkachuk mini-stack didn’t pan out as the Sens were throttled 7-1 by the Oilers. Tkachuk recorded two shots and a block while Chabot’s night included just one shot and one block. Not good enough.
We had the Kings’ Cal Petersen in last night’s lineup, but in true NHL form Petersen was a late scratch due to NHL protocols with third-stringer Troy Grosenick was thrust into surprise duty, but with plenty of cap space to work with, I suggested on Twitter a pivot to Carey Price made sense.
While Grosenick turned aside 33 of 34 shots for his first NHL win in six years, Price turned in some fine work himself, making 23 saves on 24 shots as the Habs cruised by the Canucks by a 5-1 count.
It was one of, if not our best cash lineup of the season. With an expanded 10-game main slate going tonight, I’ll switch things up just a little bit and look for some high-upside players at somewhat lower ownerships (given the large slate) as part of a lineup that can be used in cash games or GPPs!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – March 11, 2021
C – Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) – $6,600 vs. PHI
Coming off a five-goal outburst in a win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, I think there’s room for the high-octane Washington Capitals to do some more damage tonight in a key matchup with the rival Flyers.
To be blunt, Philly just hasn’t been all there defensively this season.
Overall, the Flyers rank 20th with 3.09 goals against per game on the season, but they also sport a penalty kill that sits 26th at just 73%, so that’s an area I’ll look to expose. However, let’s also note they rank right near the bottom-third in most advanced metrics defensively as they surely miss the reliable defending of the now-retired Matt Niskanen on the back end.
I’ll look to get some high-ceiling players here in at diminished ownership given the big slate, beginning here with Backstrom. The veteran play-maker is having a big season, posting 10 goals and 29 points in 25 games on the season, and while he doesn’t historically shoot much and has just 48 shots on the season, that’s not his job on this team.
He remains one of the top distributors in the game and I believe he can stay hot in that department (four assists in last three games) in this one tonight.
C – Vincent Trocheck (CAR) – $6,200 vs. NSH
Here’s a matchup we should all want to target as the Hurricanes take on the Predators tonight in Nashville.
For starters, the Hurricanes rank fourth in the league with 3.36 goals per game on the season with a third-ranked power play at 29.8%. On the flip side, the Preds rank 27th with 3.27 goals against per game on the season with a brutal penalty kill that ranks 29th at 70% for the season.
Not only that, but the Predators are without No. 1 defenseman Roman Josi for at least a couple weeks while fellow top-four defender Dante Fabbro was handed a two-game suspension for elbowing and will also sit this one out tonight. What has been a weak back end is absolutely watered down against the Hurricanes’ high-octane offense tonight.
We’ll go with a three-man 5v5 stack here, but with plenty of power-play exposure, beginning with Trocheck who is having a big season that includes 13 goals, 24 points and 68 shots on goal across 24 contests. He’s been an absolute monster on the power play as well, tallying six goals and 13 points on the man advantage this season.
He’ll center what is deemed the team’s second line on a team with three scoring lines, but I like the cost-efficiency of his linemates so we’ll roll with the red-hot Trocheck to lead the Hurricanes’ charge tonight.
W – Alex Ovechkin (WSH) – $8,000 vs. PHI
If we are going to target the Flyers’ weak penalty kill with a powerful Capitals power play, there’s little doubt we want The Great 8 in this lineup.
We rostered him two nights back in a similar power play vs. penalty kill thought process against the Devils, but despite the Caps hanging five on New Jersey in this one, Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet despite putting four pucks on goal.
It hasn’t been the best of seasons so far for the Russian sniper as he’ll enter this one with eight goals and 18 points in 21 games, although he’s peppering goaltenders still with 83 shots on the season while his 9.6% shooting rate is sure to climb as he has been at 12.5% or better in eight of his last nine seasons and owns a career 12.7% mark.
What’s more is that he has just two power play goals on the season. Ovechkin scored 13 power play goals in 68 games last season and 18 across 81 contests this time around. His two man-advantage goals would put him at just eight power-play goals in a full 82-game season, and he’s scored at least 13 power-play goals in nine straight seasons.
This guy is going to start filling the net and we want to be there when that goes down.
W – Nino Niederreiter (CAR) – $4,700 vs. NSH
I’m super pumped to see what Trocheck’s wingers can accomplish in an elite matchup at sub-$5K price tags.
We’ll start with Niederreiter who has had a fine season with 11 goals in 25 games, and while he has just five assists as well, his 16 points and 64 shots on goal in 25 games is more than enough to work with. Besides, the 2010 first-rounder is a shooter and goal-scorer by trade, so we’ll look to see if he can keep the goals coming in this one.
Sure, we should note that his goal-scoring should tail off a little bit given the fact that his 17.2% shooting rate is well above his 12.1% career mark, but to be honest I’m willing to throw away shooting-rate regressions in this one as the matchup is so good that I can see the Hurricanes filling the net in this one.
The Swiss winger has heated up in the month of March with two goals and four points in five March contests after failing to hit the scoresheet in the final four contests in the month of February.
He’ll flank Trocheck at 5v5 and will get second-unit power play reps as well, so let’s see if he can stay hot in this one tonight.
D – John Carlson (WSH) – $6,400 vs. PHI
I can see this three-man Capitals stack seeing some ownership to be sure, but remember this is an optimal lineup that I believe we can use in GPPs and cash games such as head-to-heads, so I’m not terribly concerned about this group seeing elevated ownerships in GPPs.
Carlson is about as consistent as it gets from the back end as he’s recorded five goals and 21 points in 25 games on the season with 65 shots and another 30 blocked shots to boot. Again, we’re certainly targeting the Flyers’ soft penalty kill in this one and using the Caps’ power play anchor that’s helped them rank seventh with a 27% power play clip on the season is likely a good idea. Carlson has recorded three of his five goals on the man advantage this season.
After being held off the scoresheet in back-to-back games, Carlson has delivered on his cross-category production since, recording two assists, seven shots and four blocks over his last two. That said, he hasn’t scored in eight straight, so it’s time the all-world American blueliner gets back into the goal column tonight.
D – Rasmus Andersson (CGY) – $4,100 vs. MON
The Montreal Canadiens must have grinded someone’s gears at the NHL’s scheduling office. For an unknown reason, their start in Vancouver last night was an 11 p.m. ET start (as opposed to the usual 10 p.m. ET start) and despite winning that one 5-1, they had to travel to Calgary overnight and play the Flames tonight beginning at 9 p.m ET. In other words, the Canadiens are essentially playing two games in a 24-hour span. That makes them quite vulnerable.
I’m utilizing a mini-stack here, but don’t be afraid to push for more Flames exposure as this veteran-laden blueline like won’t have its legs for much of this one and with this Flames team playing their first game under new (old) head coach Daryl Sutter, they should absolutely be energized for this one.
We’ll start with the cost-efficient Andersson who is the Flames’ lone defender on the top power play unit and a solid cross-category contributor at this price.
For the season, the Swede has notched three goals, 11 assists, 51 shots on goal and 35 blocked shots as well. We’re not going to mistake that for elite production, but it’s not too shabby at this price and in this matchup.
He’s also seeing plenty of ice time at the moment, so let’s look for him to put it to good use against a tired Habs club tonight.
UTIL – Martin Necas (CAR) – $4,200 vs. NSH
Completing our three-man Hurricanes exposure here is Necas who will line up to the right of Trocheck and Niederreiter at 5v5, but we’ll also get a lower-owned PP2 mini-stack with Niederreiter.
One of the more underrated yet talented young players in the game, Necas has worked his way into a top-six role on this team as he’s tallied four goals and 18 points in 22 games to go along with 46 shots on goal. He’s not a big shooter, and I did note that I’m not exactly factoring in shooting rates tonight in this matchup, but it’s worth noting his 8.7% mark for the season is almost half of the 15% mark he’s established through the first 94 games of his NHL career.
He was cooled off with a pointless effort on Tuesday, however Necas notched two goals and seven points across the first four games to the month of March as his positive shooting-rate regression has kicked in.
Still, there’s plenty more to be had, so let’s look for this three-man 5v5 stack with exposure to both power play units to get things done against an undermanned and weak Predators defense and penalty kill tonight.
UTIL – Matthew Tkachuk (CGY) – $6,200 vs. MON
Again, here’s a play that works in both cash and GPPs and Tkachuk brings a nice floor to the table but also a sky-high ceiling.
Entering this one, Tkachuk’s 84 shots on goal this season ranks him 13th in the entire NHL, but so far he’s connected on just seven of those shots with a resulting shooting rate of 8.3% that sits well under his 12.5% career mark. Over the last three seasons since his rookie year, he hasn’t finished below 12.2%, so there’s certainly more goals coming from the agitating winger moving forward.
Goalless in his last four, Tkachuk has still been productive of late with five assists over four March games to this point, although his shot pace has slowed with just seven shots across those last four contests.
Still, if the Habs are going to be a vulnerable team tonight, there might not be a player on the Flames licking their lips more than Tkachuk as he will be a factor in this one tonight.
G – Ilya Samsonov (WSH) – $8,300 vs. PHI
I’ll be interested to see what type of ownership Samsonov will see tonight.
He’s one of the most expensive goaltenders on the slate, but he’s also taking on a Flyers offense that ranks ninth with 3.29 goals per game on the season. However, a look under the hood reveals the Flyers have scored far more than they have deserved his season, at least at even strength.
The Flyers will enter this one ranked 23rd in scoring chances for/60 and 21st in high-danger chances for/60 at 5v5 this season. Despite ranking second with 2.89 goals/60 at 5v5 this season, they sit 22nd in expected goals for/60 with 2.07.
Clearly, it would appear they are due for goal-scoring regression while their power play has been nothing special at 18.3%, good for a share of 21st alongside the San Jose Sharks.
His season was interrupted due to NHL protocols, however Samsonov has posted a 2.45 GAA and .907 Sv% in four starts and five appearances, but was electric in this matchup on Sunday, turning aside 36 of 37 Flyers shots (.973 Sv%) as part of his team’s 3-1 win.
This is a guy that posted a 2.55 GAA and .913 Sv% as a rookie last season, posting elite first-half numbers before stumbling down the stretch. Still, he appears to have found his game at this point and I think we should get him at very nice GPP ownership given the elevated cost and the seemingly unfavorable matchup on the surface.