We hit with some of last night’s DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, but there were too many offensive explosions around the league last night for this lineup to get into the money.
Our three-man Oilers stack was barely productive despite Edmonton scoring four goals. Connor McDavid did score one of those goals while Kailer Yamamoto assisted on the Oilers’ first goal of the night. Oscar Klefbom didn’t factor into the scoring, however he did fire six shots on goal.
Our second three-man with some low-cost Bruins did a decent job, albeit in unspectacular fashion. Both David Krejci and Danton Heinen recorded assists, but that was about all the production we got here.
The Blackhawks duo of Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov combined for a goal and an assist to go along with eight shots on goal.
Lastly, Antti Raanta once again did not start for the Coyotes as he is still dealing with the flu. As was the case Tuesday, a simple switch from Raanta to Darcy Kuemper would have worked as the Coyotes held the Canucks to just one goal in a 4-1 win. This is a very strong defensive team in Arizona and Kuemper/Raanta can provide serious value at these prices.
We need to hit a home run with one of these lineups sooner or later, so let’s look to do that on tonight’s four-game slate.
C – Nathan MacKinnon (COL) – $8,000 vs. OTT
This is one of those nights where I just don’t think we can fade the top stack on the slate as Nathan MacKinnon and the Avalanche take on the visiting Ottawa Senators tonight. The Sens rank 25th with 3.63 goals against on the season, a number that increases to 4.50 per game in two away games this season, good for a 28th-place tie with Detroit and Columbus. There is just no other player on this slate that brings such a high floor and a sky-high ceiling into his matchup as MacKinnon has tallied eight goals and 15 points in 10 games this season. He’s also averaging 4.4 shots per game with 44 shots in those 10 contests. Give some credit to the Sens for their surprisingly solid start to the season, however they will be in tough against one of, if not the most potent line in the NHL right now.
C – Dylan Larkin (DET) – $5,300 vs. WPG
We need to dodge some ownership in some spots within this lineup and I think we can start doing so by rostering a couple Red Wings in a matchup that will lean towards the Jets tonight in Detroit. The Wings are clearly struggling this year and rank 28th with just 2.22 goals per game, however Winnipeg hasn’t been quite as good defensively this season and I believe the Wings will get Laurent Brossoit in goal for Winnipeg as opposed to last year’s Vezina finalist Connor Hellebuyck as the Jets will likely save their starter for tomorrow night’s game in Toronto. Nonetheless, Larkin is the team’s top center at both even strength and on the top power play unit while he’s off to an excellent start this season with four goals and three assists in seven games. Larkin is very much doing the heavy lifting for a weak Red Wings offense and I think we can fade the Jets and grab Larkin as part of a mini-stack tonight.
W – Mikko Rantanen (COL) – $7,000 vs. OTT
You can certainly pick your poison between Rantanen and Landeskog but I am going to roll with Rantanen as he is simply too hot to ignore right now. He is still tied for the league scoring lead with Auston Matthews with 16 points on the campaign, albeit with 12 of those 16 points coming in assist form. That said, this guy is still one of the most unheralded young stars in this game as he is coming off of an 84-point season last year, thanks in part to MacKinnon’s MVP-caliber season. His matchup could not be any better at home against a very weak defensive club tonight and I am certainly expecting another multi-point night from the 210-year-old Finn this evening.
W – Tyler Bertuzzi (DET) – $3,500 vs. WPG
Bertuzzi comes to us at a very cheap cost which is something we need in this lineup thanks to the pricey Avs stack. That said, he is also projected to flank Larkin on the Red Wings’ top line tonight as well as the top power play unit which gives him an excellent opportunity to eclipse his value at this price. The nephew of former NHLer Todd Bertuzzi, Tyler is also off to a nice start thanks to his first line role as he has two goals and three helpers in nine games. Don’t expect a high shot total from Bertuzzi tonight as he has just eight shots in nine games this season and averaged less than two shots per game in 48 games a year ago. Still, I will take his production, low-cost and low ownership tonight as part of a mini-stack with the Red Wings’ best offensive player in Larkin.
W – Kevin Labanc (SJ) – $4,800 vs. CAR
The Hurricanes have been good this year, however the Sharks have hit their offensive stride with 14 goals over their last three games, all of which resulted in wins. They have now scored 3.44 goals per game, good for a ninth-place tie league-wide. After notching a solid 40 points in 77 games last season, Labanc is off to a fine start this time around with a goal and five assists for six points in nine games this season. He’s shooting the puck more this season as he is averaging 2.78 shots per game compared to 2.02 last year. The Hurricanes aren’t giving up a ton of shots, but they’re still surrendering offense as they have received just an .882 Sv% from their goaltenders this season, good for a 24th-place tie. Whether Scott Darling returns tonight is yet to be determined, but a couple of lower cost, lower owned Sharks works for me while their offense is red-hot tonight.
D – Tyson Barrie (COL) – $5,100 vs. OTT
Completing our very high-ceiling three-man Sharks stack tonight is Barrie who should skate with the MacKinnon/Rantanen duo for the vast majority of the game thanks to his spot as the lone defenseman on the team’s top power play unit. Only Erik Karlsson bested Barrie’s 0.86 points-per-game clip among defensemen last year, and Barrie is off to a decent start with five assists in 10 games on the season. He’s not seeing quite as much ice time this season with a deeper group of blueliners on this club, but Barrie is too good and his teammates above are too talented to have him stay quiet for much longer as he’s been held pointless in back-to-back games. I expect at least 50 points from Barrie again this season, but more importantly his matchup tonight is too good to miss out on.
D – Marc-Edouard Vlasic (SJ) – $4,300 vs. CAR
With Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson patrolling the San Jose blueline, Vlasic is sure to see fairly low ownership in this matchup in Carolina. He enjoyed a quality year last season with 11 goals and 32 points on the campaign, and he’s off to a decent start with three assists in nine games this season. I like the fact that Vlasic skates on the team’s top pair with Karlsson, a spot that actually has him skating an average of about one minute more per game this season over last season at 23:31 per game. He forms a mini-stack with Labanc at even strength as a result, but also on the Sharks’ second power play unit. They aren’t the highest floor or ceiling players on the slate, but with Labanc skating on the top line and Vlasic skating on the top defensive pairing, I could see some low-owned production from this duo tonight.
G – Philipp Grubauer (COL) – $8,100 vs. OTT
Grubauer is the projected goaltender for tonight’s home date against the Sens, and it’s too hard to overlook his win upside with the Avs listed as seriously heavy -220 favorites in this one. As good as Semyon Varlamov has been this season, Grubauer has held his own in three starts with a .925 Sv% on the season after posting a .923 mark last year and a .926 mark the year prior as a backup in Washington. The Avalanche are playing some stout defense as a team as their two goals against per game is the best mark in the NHL at the moment while that number actually drops to 1.75 per game at home in four games. The Senators have been surprisingly good on offense so far, but the win/shutout upside is too big to ignore with the German netminder in this one.
UTIL – Andrei Svechnikov (CAR) – $3,800 vs. SJ
As good as the Sharks have been at preventing goals lately (six over their last three games), Svechnikov has been solid in his rookie year to this point and I think he could produce some one-off production in this one. The 18-year-old has two goals and two assists in nine games to go along with 25 shots on goal. He’s only skating just over 13 minutes per game on the Hurricanes’ third line, but he’s also a member of the team’s second power play unit. This guy has the skill to play higher in the lineup, however head coach Rod Brind’Amour is easing his youngster into this league rather than throwing him into the fire. Nonetheless, he’s going to see some lower ownership tonight and I think he can provide our lineup with a good amount of value as a result.