Man did we ever have some minuscule ownerships on last night’s slate, but that doesn’t mean much if we can’t get across the cash line.
For instance, the red-hot Evgeni Malkin was had at about 0.6% owned in my GPPs. He also delivered a goal, an assist, five shots on goal and a block while linemate Kasperi Kapanen notched an assist and a shot at 1.1% owned.
Artemi Panarin notched a goal and two assists at less than 6% owned, but unfortunately Mika Zibanejad once again was held off the scoresheet while putting a pair of shots on goal. Defenseman Adam Fox was scratched before the game due to NHL protocols.
The biggest flop of the night was our Sabres stack that we tried to sneak in at low ownership. I had all of Taylor Hall, Rasmus Dahlin and Victor Olofsson at 0.6% owned, but the Sabres were blasted 6-0 by the Caps in that one. Stacking Buffalo has rarely worked this season, but we knew we would get a skilled three-man PP1 stack there but it wasn’t meant to be.
Finally, Thatcher Demko was seemingly the right call in goal despite big-time ownership. He turned aside a whopping 44 shots while picking up the win as the Canucks edged the Senators by a 3-2 final.
We’ll look to get back on the right track on tonight’s seven-game slate with more GPP picks!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – March 16, 2021
C – Patrice Bergeron (BOS) – $7,500 vs. PIT
He’s not the biggest GPP play on the slate, but sentiment is down right now on the Bruins after they have scored one goal or less in four of their last five games including a 4-1 loss to these Penguins just 24 hours ago.
That said, we have a big floor with what will be a Bruins mini-stack, and we’re going to target a soft Penguins penalty kill in the process.
The Bruins’ power play is clicking along at a healthy 24% clip on the season — good for 12th league wide — despite averaging just 2.65 goals per game that puts them 23rd around teams like the Blue Jackets and Senators.
That said, the Penguins rank 23rd on the penalty kill with 75% mark and yielded their lone goal of the game last night on the power play.
For his part, Bergeron enters this one with 10 goals and 24 points across 26 games, but also with a whopping 84 shots on goal that puts him 28th in the league in that department. He’s likely due to get back on the scoresheet as he’s gone back-to-back games without a point entering this one while he hasn’t gone three straight games without a point all season long. Both times he’s gone back-to-back games without a point have come in the month of March.
Big floor, super-high ceiling in this one tonight.
C – Dylan Larkin (DET) – $6,200 vs. CAR
Here’s where the GPP plays kick in, for the most part, as the Red Wings line up against the Hurricanes tonight on home ice.
Of course, it’s been another tough go offensively for the Red Wings this season as they enter this one ranked 29th with 2.21 goals per game on the season with a 10.7% clip on the power play that puts them 30th. That said, this Hurricanes back end has been a little leakier than we’ve become accustomed to and James Reimer has had a very uneven season so far.
The Hurricanes rank seventh with 2.52 goals against per game on the season, but also 20th in scoring chances against/60, 18th in high-danger chances against/60 and 21st in expected goals against/60/. They’re still a dominant possession team, but their 1.90 goals against/6 at 5v5 this season is under their 2.25 expected mark, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see at least some regression kick in defensively.
Larkin has had a tough year that’s seen him post just six goals and 13 points in 25 games, but he’s still put 86 shots on goal (24th in the league) with his resulting 7% shooting rate falling below his 9.2% career mark.
The Wings are in tough tonight, but with the ‘Canes allowing more chances than they have in recent memory, perhaps we have a sneaky-good GPP look here.
W – David Pastrnak (BOS) – $8,400 vs. PIT
Pastrnak has been lost somewhat in discussions surrounding the best player in the league this season given the fact he’s played just 19 games due to offseason hip surgery, but man has this guy been productive once again.
Entering this one, Pastrnak has notched 12 goals and 23 points in 19 games, but he’s also put 79 shots on goal in that time, good for a cool 4.16 shots per game. Despite the Bruins scuffling on offense of late, Pastrnak has tallied two goals and three points with 17 shots on goal over his last four games, so he hasn’t exactly seen his production disappear during a tough offensive stretch for his club.
Given the Bruin’s healthy 24% clip on the power play, I’m a little surprised to see that Pastrnak has just six of his 23 points on the power play, although four of his 12 goals have come on the man advantage. Even with the monster shot total, Pastrnak’s 15.2% shooting rate is pretty much in line with his 15.2% career mark.
Of course, with this Bruins duo we have a 5v5 and PP1 stack, so let’s grab some high floor and monster ceilings to give this lineup a foundation this evening.
W – Anthony Mantha (DET) – $4,800 vs. CAR
I’m not going to be targeting special teams in this matchup given the Red Wings’ weak power play and the Hurricanes’ solid penalty kill, so while Mantha and Larkin are currently skating on separate power play groups, they team up on the Wings’ top line, so we’ll look for some even-strength offense out of the duo with anything else considered a bonus.
Mantha has had a decent season considering his team’s anemic offense as he’s notched eight goals and 14 points in 24 games while putting plenty of pucks on goal in the form of 68 shots for the season. While his point total’s pace sits at 41 in a full, 82-game season, he’s currently on pace to score 23 goals in a full campaign. Not a bad figure on the league’s 29th-ranked offense.
He’s entering this one hot having scored two goals an four points over his last two games with six shots in that time. He notched a goal on four shots in this matchup on Sunday while skating 22:29 in that one, so it certainly appears we have Mantha riding plenty of confidence into this one.
Let’s see if he and Larkin can do some more damage in the rematch tonight.
D – Filip Hronek (DET) – $3,800 vs. CAR
Completing a three-man Red Wings stack is Hronek, a player that is severely underrated from an offensive standpoint and I’m happy to get him in here at a sub-$4K price tag.
For the season, the Czech defender has yet to score, but he’s also put 59 shots on goal. Of the 131 NHL players that have recorded at least 59 shots this season, Hronek is the only one yet to find the back of the net. In other words, I’d say he’s due to get on the scoreboard.
That said, he does have 15 helpers in his 29 games — including five on the power play — while averaging big minutes in the form of 23:34 per night. Those 15 assists puts him in a share of 12th among defensemen alongside names likes Keith Yandle and Kris Letang. Again, very underrated.
Like Mantha, Hronek will enter this one hot as he’s notched five assists over his last three games, a good sign considering he posted just one assist over his previous 10 games prior to the recent three-game hot stretch.
He’ll line up with Larkin on the power play, but we’ll look for some even-strength production here at tiny ownership.
D – Rasmus Dahlin (BUF) – $4,200 vs. NJ
Sorry folks, I have to do this.
It failed miserably last night, but I’m going to once again try my luck with a three-man Sabres PP1 stack, only this time we’re going up against one of the worst penalty-killing teams in the NHL.
I mean, the Sabres’ power play is ice cold. They haven’t scored a power-play goal over their last 10 games and 16 opportunities. Not only are they not drawing many penalties, they aren’t capitalizing when they do. Even after all that, however, the Sabres rank sixth with a 26.8% clip on the season, so not only are they due but they remain one of the more potent groups in the league.
As we move into the second half of the season, targeting regression becomes more important as the sample sizes continue to grow. For example, Dahlin has notched just one goal on 54 shots this season, good for a tiny 1.9% shooting rate that is well under his 4.4% career mark. He’s notched just 11 points in 27 games, but eight of those points have come on the power play.
We’re targeting a Devils penalty kill that ranks 30th at 70.5% for the season. It’s a group that has gone 13 for 13 over their last three games, but still one of the league’s weakest groups nonetheless.
It’s been a dismal 11-game losing streak for the Sabres, but let’s see if their man advantage can get going tonight.
UTIL – Taylor Hall (BUF) – $6,400 vs. NJ
Man, if we’re targeting positive regression, Taylor Hall needs to be in your lineup every night he takes the ice.
After scoring a goal on opening night in his first game as a Sabre, Hall has now gone 26 games and 69 shots while scoring just one goal in that time. Folks, that’s a 1.4% shooting rate for a guy that has shot at 10.1% for his career. His 2.8% mark for the season is just hilariously low for how good of a player this guy is.
Nonetheless, we have a player here who likes to shoot the puck with 71 shots on the season and one that’s still put up a decent 14 assists in 27 games, all things considered. He’s also averaging 19:08 of ice time per game, so it’s not as if he’s riding pine due to his lack of goal-scoring production.
There isn’t a player in the league more overdue to score than this guy, so let’s roll the dice once again on the former Devil against his old club tonight.
UTIL – Victor Olofsson (BUF) – $5,700 vs. NJ
I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again today: if you’re targeting the Devils’ penalty kill with the Sabres’ power play, you just can’t leave out Olofsson as he’s been the team’s top power-play producer this season.
Olofsson has notched eight goals and 19 points on the season, but he’s also recorded six goals and 12 points on the power play. I mean, Sam Reinhart has five goals and nine points on the power play himself, but with Olofsson shooting a reasonable 13.6% on the season and Reinhart overproducing at 20.8%, I’ll grab Olofsson here instead.
The sophomore was also a power-play weapon last season when he bagged 11 man-advantage goals despite playing just 54 games while he racked up a healthy 17 power-play points on the whole in those 54 contests as a rookie.
We’ll complete this three-man PP1 stack here with the hope Buffalo can snap a lengthy man-advantage drought in a very fine matchup
G – Dan Vladar (BOS) – $7,700 vs. PIT
This is a real interesting look here as Vladar makes his first career NHL start tonight against the Pens in Pittsburgh.
A third-round pick from 2015, Vladar had put up some fantastic numbers of late between the American Hockey League and a brief stint in his native Czech Republic while tuning up for the 2021 season.
In 25 games with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, Vladar put forth an eye-popping 1.79 GAA and .936 Sv%. This season, he played six games in the top Czech league, posting an unbeatable 1.29 GAA and .956 Sv% before heading overseas and turning in a 2.01 GAA and .923 Sv% across five AHL games so far this season.
As a result, it would appear the Bruins might just have something in the 23-year-old and perhaps an heir to Tuukka Rask’s throne as the Bruins No. 1 goaltender of the future.
The matchup isn’t the greatest against a Penguins team that’s won six in a row and averaged 4.17 goals per game during that stretch, but we’ll roll the dice here and see if Vladar can backstop the Bruins to just their second win over their last six games.