My FanDuel NHL DFS Picks worked out well last night, although a high-owned stack also hit that threw a wrench into our plans. But overall, a quality night
I’ll start with our Vegas Golden Knights three-man stack that came through nicely. Both Max Pacioretty and Shea Theodore scored goals, William Karlsson tallied a pair of assists and the trio combined for 11 shots on goal and a blocked shot to boot. I’ll take that production for sure.
Our Canucks three-man stack didn’t do nearly as much as they scored just one goal on the night, but that goal came from out stack as Elias Pettersson scored a breakaway tally. Tyler Toffoli put five shots on net to salvage a decent night, but J.T. Miller was pointless with just two shots on goal.
Our Avalanche mini-stack did a real nice job as Vladislav Namestnikov scored a goal with an assist with one shot and one block while defenseman Erik Johnson notched an assist, a shot and a block as well. I’ll certainly take that production as well.
Finally, we made the right call in goal as Jake Allen went into Chicago and turned aside all 29 shots he faced and earned the shutout in a 2-0 win over the Hawks.
While Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog went off as high-owned players, our lineup got consistent production and certainly was good enough to get us into the money on this night.
Now, we have a five-game slate to open up this week, so let’s go ahead and get our week started on the right note!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns
C – Connor McDavid (EDM) – $8,700 vs. VGK
This is a tough slate as there aren’t too many stacks that are standing out, but I do believe the Oilers have a nice matchup tonight at home against the Vegas Golden Knights.
While the Oilers have struggled to defend at home (we’ll get to that later), they do have a quality home offense, an elite home power play and will take on a Vegas team that’s playing their second game in as many nights after beating the Flames 5-3 last night in Calgary. I also like the fact they’ll face Marc-Andre Fleury rather than Robin Lehner in this one as Lehner has been the superior netminder this season, so there’s a little more upside here as a result.
Of course, it doesn’t take an elite matchup for No.97 to get going. Despite missing time with a thigh issue, McDavid still sits second in league scoring behind only teammate Leon Draisaitl who is running away with the Art Ross Trophy at the moment. McDavid will enter this one with 33 goals and 96 points on the season to go along with 208 shots on goal across 63 games. He’s dominated on the power play to the tune of 11 goals and 43 points on the man advantage, but I love that he’s been electric at home where he’s notched 48 points in just 29 games, his same total as on the road but in five fewer games.
It’s a monumental battle for first in the Pacific Division tonight in Edmonton, and you can bet the big boys will be ready for this one.
C – Gabriel Vilardi (LA) – $3,200 vs. COL
As you’ll see as we move along in this lineup, the construction I’m busing is a little quirky and not typical of these daily lineups I release. For example, I usually avoid paying down at the center ice position due to the wealth of options here, but given the position listings at FanDuel I had a spot open down the middle, but I also think I’ve found a low-cost, low-owned mini-stack that makes this lineup available for GPP use as well.
Vilardi had played just eight NHL games after being a first-round pick in the 2017 draft, but he’s done well so far in tallying two goals and two assists for four points in those eight games. He’s played seven of the eight games at home where he’s recorded all of his points, for good measure. This after enjoying a productive stint in the AHL where he posted nine goals and 25 points in 32 games, real good production for a 20-year-old center that missed almost the entire 2018-19 season.
Now, he’s already skating in a big role with the Kings down the middle on the second/third line as well as the second power play unit, but I like the matchup with the Avalanche tonight.
The Kings are a low-scoring offense and the Avs have defended well on the road, but it’s Colorado’s second game in as many nights, they’re missing a key defender in Cale Makar and we’ll either see the suddenly struggling Pavel Francouz in goal on back-to-back nights or Michael Hutchinson who owns a 3.47 GAA and .888 Sv% in the NHL this season. Regardless, I see an opportunity for this low-owned mini-stack to give us some production tonight.
W – Leon Draisaitl (EDM) – $8,800 vs. VGK
The reason a center spot was open was because Draisaitl is, for whatever reason, still listed as a winger at FanDuel despite playing center for the overwhelming majority of the season. Nonetheless, I am loading up the big boys in Edmonton tonight in this pivotal matchup with the Golden Knights.
Of course, getting the NHL’s leading scorer who has already racked up 110 points on the season is likely a good idea in any matchup, but as I noted above, I think this is an excellent matchup for the Oilers regardless. The Golden Knights haven’t been bad my any means on the road where they rank ninth with 2.94 goals against per game, but they also sit tied for 22nd with a 78.1% penalty kill on the road, so the Oilers elite power play that sits first with a 32% clip on home ice should be able to get something going in this one.
For his part, Draisaitl has already notched 43 goals and those 110 points on the season in just 69 games to go along with 215 shots on goal in that time. He’s also been a beast on the man advantage with 16 goals and 28 assists on the power play. Draisaitl had a rare night off the scoresheet on Saturday against Columbus despite the Oilers scoring four goals, although he probably deserved the break considering he scored six goals and 11 points over his previous four (!!!) games.
His production has been about even at home and on the road, but as I mentioned above I believe the Oilers are ready to feast on what could be a tired Golden Knights team while Edmonton has been off without travel since their win on Saturday. No excuses not to produce tonight.
W – Kailer Yamamoto (EDM) – $4,700 vs. VGK
Continuing with our Oilers stack is Yamamoto who gives us a break on the price front but has been extremely productive alongside Leon Draisaitl on the team’s second line and I believe we are getting him at a steep discount tonight.
I mean, he’s not a guy that bring a terribly high floor to the table as he’s put just 41 shots on goal in his 25 games on the season, but the production is there. He’s tallied 11 goals and 24 points in 25 games this season and has even chipped in two power play goals, but that came during his time on the first unit with injuries up front a while back. Still, getting a guy who is scoring at nearly a point-per-game pace at this price seems like a bargain to me.
Now, whether or not he can keep scoring at this rate remains to be seen. Yamamoto currently owns a massive 26.8% shooting rate that is in no way sustainable, but he’s seeing nearly 18 minutes of ice time alongside the NHL’s top point-getter, so while the goals may tail off, I doubt he goes ice cold anytime soon, so I’m not as concerned about the shooting rate as I would be a third-line player who isn’t skating with star talent.
Also, this is about the matchup and the circumstances surrounding it, and given his efficient price this is an easy play for me tonight.
W – Martin Frk (LA) – $3,200 vs. COL
Completing our Kings mini-stack is Frk who I believe is the only player in the NHL without a vowel in his last name. It’s also a guy who recorded a 109 mph shot in the AHL’s hardest shot competition at their All-Star game, so this guy can hammer it. Let’s hope he puts that shot to good use tonight.
Nonetheless, this is seemingly a perfect scenario here. Both Frk and Vilardi come at the $3,200 price tag while they skate together at even strength and on the Kings’ top power play unit. I would say Frk has the higher upside as he is used in situations when the Kings absolutely need a goal due to his shot, which included a 4 on 3 overtime power play against the Maple Leafs last week.
He’s largely put his lethal bomb to good use with five goals in 15 games, although his 20 shots in that time has him sitting with a high 20% shooting rate on the season, as well. Still, he does have a goal on the power play this season, albeit with zero goals over his last seven games. I do like that he’s skated 15:08 and 17:49 over his last time games.
I don’t think this mini-stack is going to pop up in many lineups tonight, and considering our Oilers stack is still ongoing, this lineup is certainly suitable for GPPs as well as cash games tonight.
W – Jonathan Marchessault (VGK) – $6,600 vs. EDM
Now, as I mentioned above, the Oilers are not the best of defenses at home, in fact, they’re the second-worst.
The Oilers enter this one ranked 30th with 3.38 goals against per game on home ice this season, while their penalty kill hasn’t been great at home either with an 80.9% mark that’s tied for 15th. It’s certainly been worse than their top-ranked road penalty kill.
The Golden Knights haven’t been a high-octane offense on the road where they sit 17th with 2.94 goals per game on the road and 26th with just a 15.1% clip on the power play away from home, but they did go 1 for 1 on the power play in Calgary against a solid Flames home penalty kill last night.
Enter Marchessault who brings a real nice floor to the table in the form of 21 goals and 45 points in 65 games, but mostly due to his 229 shots on goal in that time. He’s also been more productive on the road where he’s scored 15 of his 21 goals and 25 of his 45 points as well.
Marchessault skates on the Golden Knights’ top line as well as on the top power play unit, so it would appear he has nice matchup tonight against a weak home defense where the Oilers have been wildly inconsistent this season.
D – Oscar Klefbom (EDM) – $5,300 vs. VGK
Yes, this is going to be a four-man Oilers stack which will ensure lower ownership as opposed to a three-man stack, but Klefbom brings a wealth of upside to this lineup.
For one, he’s the lone defenseman on the team’s top power play unit, the best one in the NHL, and one that takes on a mediocre-at-best Golden Knights road penalty kill. Not only does he contribute on the scoresheet where he’s tallied five goals and 33 points in 60 games on the season, but his contributions in the peripheral stats are enormous.
In those 60 games, Klefbom has put 152 shots on goal but also blocked an NHL-leading 174 shots as well, giving him some serious cross-category production while he logs a whopping 25:32 of ice time per game to boot. The big Swede skated just 22:11 in his return to the lineup on Saturday after missing three weeks with an injury, but will almost certainly see a substantial increase in that number tonight.
Four-man stacks are rare in these lineups, but we have a three-man PP1 stack in case that group goes off tonight while we have notable exposure to the Oilers’ top six forward group in case the damage is done at 5v5. Add it up and I am looking for a big night from this quarter this evening.
D – Shea Theodore (VGK) – $5,700 vs. EDM
Completing our Golden Knights mini-stack is Theodore who rewarded us for our faith last night, so why not roll with him again in this one.
The guy has been a goal-scoring machine of late as his goal last night gave him four over his last seven games while the five-shot outing was the fourth times he’s done that in that same seven-game stretch. Needless to say, this guy is feeling at at the offensive end of the ice right now and he gets another favorable matchup to keep it going tonight.
For the season, he’s notched 12 goals and 45 points in 70 games while he’s now up to a whopping 214 shots on goal to rank among the defensive leaders in that category across the league. Theodore has also been productive on the power play where he’s recorded 16 points, but interestingly just one of his 12 goals have come on the man advantage.
He will skate with Marchessault on the team’s top power play unit tonight, and while I wanted Pacioretty there again like last night, let’s see what this duo can do in a sneaky-good road matchup again tonight.
G – Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) – $8,700 vs. ARI
Completing this lineup is the top-priced goaltender on the slate in Connor Hellebuyck, but I have no problem paying up for his services given his recent work of late and for the whole season for that matter.
Hellebuyck enters this one sporting a 2.59 GAA and .921 Sv% with six shutouts on the season as one of the top contenders for the Vezina Trophy while he’s seen a heavy workload with 56 appearances on the year. At home, he’s gone 17-11-3 while posting a 2.44 GAA and .924 Sv% and he’s coming off an outstanding outing.
Hellebuyck turned aside all 29 shots he saw in a shutout of the Golden Knights on Friday, his second shutout over his last four starts as he also blanked the Capitals on the 27th of February. Over his last five starts, Hellebuyck is the owner of a .956 Sv% despite somehow losing two of those five outings
Nonetheless, the matchup is a very good one tonight as the Coyotes enter this one with just 2.36 goals per game on the season this season, good for 26th in the league. They’ve scored two goals or fewer in four of their last five on the road and average an even 2.00 goals per game during that time.
Add in the Jets as -130 moneyline favorites in this one and I think Hellebuyck is a quality option between the pipes on a slate that doesn’t have many of them.