There were just two games on last night’s NHL DFS slate, but man what a crazy slate it was on Tuesday.
I stacked the Maple Leafs and John Tavares had a goal and an assist while the minimum-priced Rasmus Sandin notched two helpers.
I also stacked the Penguins and Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust and Kris Letang combined for three goals, three assists, 13 shots and a block.
I mini-stacked the Islanders and got big results there from Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle in a blowout win as they combined for two goals, two assists, six shots on goal and a block.
Finally, I had Freddy Andersen in goal and he earned the win over the Devils.
It was an excellent lineup and one of our more productive ones of the season, however other happenings hurt us.
For instance, Sidney Crosby scored three points late, Auston Matthews recorded a hat trick, Andersen allowed three late goals, the Coyotes big boys went off, as did Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
So while we were near the top of GPPs earlier in the night, as the night went on a high-scoring late caught up to us, but I’ll still take that type of production any day of the week.
Let’s look to build on that production on tonight’s massive 13-game slate!
C – Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) – $6,500 vs. NJ
Tonight’s lineup is certainly more cash-oriented and head-to-head geared as we are going to get some very high floors into this lineup and a sneaky cost-efficient stack as well, but let’s get thing kicked off here with Backstrom who is part of the ‘high-floor’ portion of the lineup as the Capitals take on the Devils on home ice for the second time over their last three games. Now, the Capitals enter this one having scored just five goals over their last three games including just one in a shocking 5-1 defeat the hands of these Devils just five days ago. Still, I wouldn’t expect the drought to last much longer and I can see the Capitals blasting the Devils away with revenge on the mind. The Devils went on a nice little defensive run, allowing just two goals in two games against the Caps and Lightning of all teams, but were smacked for seven goals against in Toronto their last time out. They’re also tied for 25th with 3.57 goals against per game on the road this season. Enter Backstrom who will play his first game since signing a five-year contract extension and enters this one with nine goals and 35 points in 39 games on 87 shots. That in itself doesn’t bring a high floor, but skating with the Great 8 in all situations against the Devils certainly does.
C – Nazem Kadri (COL) – $4,700 vs. SJ
The Colorado Avalanche play host to the San Jose Sharks tonight and San Jose is one of those teams tied for 25th in road defense alongside the Devils with 3.57 goals against per game on the road after getting shelled for six in Arizona their last time out. On the flip side, the Avalanche enter this one as the NHL’s third-ranked home offense where they have averaged 3.77 goals per game this season and where their power play ranks sixth with a 24.4% clip on the season. The Avalanche are certainly set up for success in this one tonight, but I think I have found a way to get some huge value upside going in this one by getting some low-cost players who play on the power play with exposure to the team’s big boys while not paying the big boy price. For instance, Kadri is the team’s second-line center but skates on the team’s top power play unit with Nathan MacKinnon. The Avs have spread their dynamic top-line trio throughout their two power play unit, so that’s another aspect I am going to look to take advantage of tonight despite the Sharks sitting third with an 85.5% penalty kill on the season. Don’t worry, though, as this stack is also a 5v5 stack where the Sharks have been gouged this season, so I am excited to see what our low-cost Avs can bring to the table tonight.
W – Alex Ovechkin (WSH) – $8,600 vs. NJ
Ovechkin has won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s goal-scoring leader eight times in his career, and he usually doesn’t let it slip away. He has scored 28 goals in 48 games this season – a 49-goal pace in a full 82-game regular season – but the race is slipping away from him at the moment as he’s now eight goals behind the leader David Pastrnak who was 36 and Auston Matthews who sits with 34 tallies on the season. Well, after going two straight games without a goal and even without a point, Ovechkin scored both Capitals goals in their 2-0 win over the Hurricanes their last time out and I believe he is going to go on a goal-scoring binge to get himself back into the Rocket Richard race alongside the aforementioned young guns. I mean, the dude has those 28 tucks and 44 points in 47 games, but also an NHL-leading 216 shots on goal – a 377-shot pace that would be his highest total since the 2015-16 season. Ovechkin was held pointless the last time out against the Devils, and he knows it. I am extremely concerned for this Devils team tonight as the Caps and their high-octane offense is likely ready to explode in the rematch tonight.
W – Andre Burakovsky (COL) – $3,800 vs. SJ
Another member of my low-cost, three-man Avalanche stack tonight is the former Capital, Andre Burakovsky. Burakovsky is set to the skate alongside Kadri at 5v5 which is good news, but we’re also going to get exposure to the team’s other power play unit here as well, one that contains Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar, so there’s plenty of upside there as well. Still, I like the low-cost mini-stack at 5v5 where the Sharks rank 27th with 3.14 goals against per 60 minutes on the road this season. For his part, Burakovsky has had a nice season, albeit with some injuries as well, in his first year in Denver after getting a much-anticipated trade out of Washington where he wasn’t being utilized properly behind several members on the team’s loaded depth chart. Burakovsky enters this one with 13 goals and 28 points in 43 games on the season to go along with 81 shots on goal. He’s also added a goal and eight points on the power play, mostly in second-unit duty when the Avs had their top unit loaded. He hasn’t scored in 12 games as his shooting percentage inevitably slipped, but he does have three assists over his last three games and considering his spot in the lineup I like the value potential here against a poor Sharks road defense.
W – Mike Hoffman (FLA) – $5,800 vs. LA
Instead of going with a mini-stack to complement my main three-man stacks in this lineup, I’m simply going with a couple one high-upside one-offs who boast a ton of potential in favorable home matchups while both sport a hot hand at the moment. Let’s begin here with Hoffman who will take on the Los Angeles Kings tonight on home ice. The Kings enter this one ranked 20th with 3.38 goals against per game on the season, but the stat I’m looking at more when it comes to Hoffman is their 25th-ranked road penalty kill that sits at just 76.6% on the season. Now, Hoffman is set to skate on the team’s third line, however it’s for a Panthers team that sits second in the league with 3.96 goals per game at home this season while he’s part of the first power play unit that has led them to an eighth-ranked 24.8% clip on the power play at home this season. Hoffman has tallied 18 goals and 35 points in 45 games to go along with 124 shots on the season, but he has also notched five goals during a four-game goal-scoring streak and has eight points over six January games to this point. Three of those points are power play points and he has a power play goal in each of his last two games, so let’s look for him to continue sporting the hot hand in this one, especially on the man advantage.
W – Jordan Eberle (NYI) – $5,300 vs. NYR
The Rangers and Islanders get together for the second time in three nights tonight as the rematch takes place on Long Island tonight as the Rangers upset the Isles with a 6-2 blasting on Tuesday night on Broadway. While the Rangers took that one easily, Eberle was in on both Islanders goals with a goal and an assist and two shots on goal in that one in more than 22 minutes of ice time. The next night, Eberle also registered a goal and an assist, this time with three shots and less than 15 minutes of ice time in an 8-2 dismantling of the visiting Red Wings. If you read my piece on Tuesday, you would have seen me speak about how I expect Eberle’s shooting rate to skyrocket moving forward considering he was at roughly half of his career rate at the time. Looking now, Eberle’s six goals on 75 shots in 35 games is good for an even 8% shooting percentage, a number that’s a full 5% below his 13% career mark. Eberle has never shot under 9.6% in his nine-year NHL career to this point. He’s actually now scored three times over his last four games as that positive shooting percentage regression has kicked in. Against a defense that’s tied for 22nd with 3.50 goals against per game on the road, I think Eberle has an excellent chance of staying hot, especially as a member of the team’s top line and top power play unit.
D – John Carlson (WSH) – $7,100 vs. NJ
I’m not really messing around here with this Capitals three-man stack as I am loading it up thanks to my Avalanche value stack that has afforded me this luxury. Of course, with this Capitals stack I am going to get a 5v5 stack as well as a top power play unit stack. Now, the Capitals have seen their home power play limp to a 23rd-ranked 18.1% mark at home, for whatever reason, but the Devils now sit 21st with a 77.8% mark on the season after allowing two goals on four Maple Leafs power plays in their 7-4 loss on Tuesday night. The Capitals’ lone goal last week against the Devils actually came with the man advantage and the Devils penalty kill is now just 68.8% over their last four games while the Capitals have scored two power play goals over their last two games despite scoring just three total in that time. Enter Carlson who is leading all NHL defensemen with 56 points in 47 games on the season – 13 goals and 43 assists – and has also registered 132 shots on goal and 78 blocks as the best cross-category DFS defenseman in the circuit this season. He’s tacked on 18 power play points as part of those 56, and I would like to see just how high his ceiling can be in what I believe will be a Washington blowout.
D – Samuel Girard (COL) – $4,600 vs. SJ
Completing my low-cost three-man Avalanche stack is young blueliner Sam Girard who has been dishing out assists like it’s his day job recently, thanks in part to his spot on the team’s top power play unit where he will skate with Kadri tonight, but also Nathan MacKinnon, so we’re getting significant exposure to the MVP candidate in this one. Girard has just one goal on 64 shots in 46 games this season, but the resulting 1.6% shooting percentage is well under his 3.4% career mark, so I would expect more shots to start going in for the 21-year-old moving forward. However, Girard has been an assist-machine of late with 24 on the season, but also 11 of them over his last seven games. He’s registered at least two helpers in four of his last seven and has mixed in a four-assist game in that time. Now, just three of those 11 helpers are on the power play, so it’s nice to see Girard contributing at 5v5 where the Sharks have been at their worst this season. He still has 10 of his 25 points this season – including his lone goal – on the power play, but it’s nice to see him contributing at 5v5 as well and I am looking forward to seeing what kind of value this trio can deliver tonight.
G – Ilya Samsonov (WSH) – $8,200 vs. NJ
Samsonov is going to be a popular netminder on this slate tonight, but I’m just not worried about ownership in this lineup which makes it a nice cash/H2H lineup on this massive slate. I mean, for a goaltender, there isn’t a better matchup on the slate. The Devils will enter this one ranked 25th with just 2.48 goals per game on the road this season where their power play sits 18th with a 13% clip. The Capitals will enter this one ranked 12th with 2.74 goals against per game on the season, but that number would be a lot less if Samsonov was getting most of the home starts as he’s been brilliant at home, or wherever he’s played this season. The rookie netminder will enter this one sporting a stout 2.11 GAA and .925 SV% on the season to go along with a sparkling 13-2-1 record on the campaign. Not bad for a rookie. At home, he’s gone 5-2-1 with a 2.02 GAA and .931 Sv% in seven starts and right appearances while he’s coming off a 2-0 shutout of the Hurricanes at home in which he stopped all 23 shots that came his way. He now owns a 1.34 GAA and .956 Sv% in three January outings. With the Capitals listed as massive -305 favorites on the moneyline tonight, look for Samsonov to notch a win and provide a whole lot of safety with more shutout upside to boot.