Last night’s FanDuel NHL DFS Picks produced quality results and were right around the cash line in GPPs. I managed to cash the low stakes GPPs but the lineup fell out of the money once the stakes were raised.
Our three-man Capitals stack got the job done, although Alex Ovechkin could have probably done more. Nicklas Backstrom led the way with a goal, a power play assist, three shots and a blocked shot. T.J.Oshie notched an assist, four shots and a block while Ovechkin notched a power play assist, but just two shots on goal.
Our three-man Maple Leafs GPP stack got some massive production from a 2% owned Kasperi Kapanen as he notched a shorthanded goal and two assists. The unfortunate part, and what sank our lineup, was Alexander Kerfoot recorded just one shot on goal while Tyson Barrie recorded three shots and a block.
Our Ducks mini-stack did some serious damage as well. Rickard Rakell tallied a goal and an assist with two shots on goal while Cam Fowler notched a power play assists, two shots and a block.
Finally, John Gibson was excellent in goal, turning aside 31 of 33 Sabres shots en route to a 5-2 win. Gibson has been lights out early on, especially at home where he’s allowed just four goals in three games on the young season.
It was a solid night, but look for improvement on tonight’s nine-game slate!
C – Paul Stastny (VGK) – $5,400 vs. OTT
The Golden Knights and Senators get together tonight from Vegas and that means Vegas has the top matchup on the slate. The Senators rank 26th with 3.80 goals against per game on the season after finishing last year as the worst defense in the NHL. Conversely the Golden Knights are off to a hot start on offense this season as they are tied for seventh with 3.71 goals per game on the season, thanks in large part to Stastny’s line which has been doing a ton of damage this season. Stastny missed a big chunk of the first half of last season with an injury, however he returned to tally an impressive 42 points in 50 games to go along with 103 shots on goal. He’s off to a fine start again this time around as he’s tallied three goals and three assists ins even games, albeit with just 10 shots on goal. He’s never been a big shot-taker and he’s not going to be this season – especially with his linemates doing plenty of the shooting for him. Nonetheless, he’s also doing plenty of damage on the power play with two goals and two assists on the man advantage through those seven contests. I like the value were getting with Stastny against what should be a very poor Senators defense again this season.
C – Jack Hughes (NJ) – $4,400 vs. NYR
This lineup is more of an optimal lineup that you could use in head-to-heads and GPPs as Jack Hughes and the Devils take on the heated rival Rangers tonight in New Jersey. The Devils will be targeted in this one as they are the league’s 30th-ranked defense right now and they’re averaging just 2.17 goals per game on offense, also good for 30th. That said, I think tonight could mark the first outburst of the season for the Devils’ offense as they take on goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. Georgiev was good in his only start this season, but that came in a 4-1 win over the lowly Senators. The truth is that Georgiev boasted some gaping wide splits last season. He posted a 2.23 GAA and .931 Sv% at home last season but a 3.44 GAA and .902 Sv% on the road in 19 appearances. As a result, I think the Devils can get to him tonight. Enter Hughes who has yet to record the first NHL points of his career as he’s a minus-4 with 12 shots through six games while averaging 15:50 of ice time. Such production should have Hughes’ ownership tumbling despite centering the top line, so I’ll take him as a lower-owned, cost-efficient pivot with some upside tonight.
W – Mark Stone (VGK) – $7,700 vs. OTT
Stone’s surge to the top among the game’s best two-way players has continued into this season as the veteran winger is on fire to start the season. Entering this one tonight, Stone has tallied five goals and five assists through seven games to go along with 21 shots on goal. Of course, he might have some extra motivation on his side as he gets set to take on his former team tonight. The Senators traded Stone to the Golden Knights on trade deadline day last season, ended what was a real nice run of success with the Senators. Stone notched 28 goals and 62 points across 59 games with the Senators last season before the deal and went on to tally 11 points in 18 games with the Golden Knights. He caught fire in the postseason with 12 points in seven playoff games, and apparently that success has continued into this season. Stone won’t be in the league leaders in shots as his 199 from last season marked a career-high, however he’s been an extremely efficient shooter in his career with a 16% shooting percentage to this point. Look for Stone to stay hot against his former club in this one tonight.
W – Max Pacioretty (VGK) – $6,900 vs. OTT
Completing my three-man Golden Knights stack tonight is Pacioretty who is also enjoying a real nice start to his second season with the Golden Knights. The first one didn’t go quite as hoped by his standards as Pacioretty tallied 22 goals and 40 points in 66 games with the team. This time around, however, has been different as he’s notched two goals and eight points in seven games to go along with 28 shots on goal. The high shot total is nothing new for Pacioretty as he’s eclipsed the 300-shot barrier twice in his NHL career and is well on his way to doing so again while averaging four shots per game in the early going. Despite the high point total, I would expect more goals to be coming for Pacioretty as his two goals on 28 shots represents a 7.1% shooting percentage, a mark almost 4% under his career 11% mark. Pacioretty is set to skate on the top line alongside Stastny and Stone but also on the team’s top power play unit as well where’s he’s notched both of his goals on the season as well as two of his six helpers. The ceiling is sky-high for this trio tonight and I’ll look for multi-point production all-around against of the NHL’s very worst defenses.
W – Taylor Hall (NJ) – $7,400 vs. NYR
Hall, a free agent to be, can’t be taking this atrocious start to the Devils’ season lightly as he likely won’t be re-signing with the club if these shenanigans indeed continue. Clearly, I don’t think they will continue tonight, at least from an offensive standpoint, as I believe Hall and Hughes can team up for some offense in this one while skating together on the team’s top line and top power play unit. Considering how bad the Devils have been on offense to start the season, Hall’s five points in six games isn’t too shabby at all. He’s averaging four shots per game with 24 shots on goal this season, however let’s look for the goals to start coming in bunches for the 27-year-old. One goal on 24 shots represents a minuscule 4.2% shooting percentage for the former Hart Trophy winner. That’s more than 5% under his 10.7% career mark. He also shot under his career shooting percentage in his injury-shortened 33 games last season, so let’s look for the puck luck to start trending his way. The Devils are always fired up to play the Rangers, and vice versa, so I expect an entertaining hockey game in this one, one in which the Devils’ top line gets the offense going.
W – Pavel Buchnevich (NYR) – $5,300 vs. NJ
Given how bad the Devils have been defensively and the fact that I think this is going to be a high-scoring game, I wanted some Rangers exposure here as well, beginning with Buchnevich. The Rangers’ schedule has been an interesting one in the sense that they have played just three games this season while other teams in the league have already played eight. As a result, we are working with a tiny sample size when it comes to this New York team, however their offense clicked in two of three games this season while Buchnevich noted a pair of helpers in one of those games which came in Ottawa against the Senators. Buchnevich is skating on the top line alongside Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad this season while he flanks that duo on the Rangers’ top power play unit as well. He’s not going to take many shots as he had just 119 in 64 games last season (1.9 per game), however he should be in line for plenty of points as long as he can remain with the Rangers’ big boys. The 24-year-old former third-rounder showed up with plenty of promise, but injuries have hurt his production to this point. If he can stay healthy, he could have a banner year and certainly has an opportunity to contribute to that tonight.
D – Sami Vatanen (NJ) – $4,000 vs. NYR
Completing our three-man Devils stack is Vatanen who has apparently taken over for P.K. Subban on the Devils’ top power play unit, meaning we have a three-man top power play unit stack with Vatanen alongside Hughes and Hall. The seven-year vet has notched a goal and an assist in six games this season to go along with six shots on goal. He too isn’t a big shooter as he’s maxed out at 140 shots in his NHL career and has mostly been around 120, however he’s been an efficient shooter for a defenseman with a 5.7% shooting percentage, thanks in large part to his work on the power play. Of his 173 career points to this point, 76 have come on the power play, good for 44% of his production. He’s also scored 20 of his 41 career goals on the power play, good for 49% of his career goal-scoring. The Rangers rank 11th in penalty killing so far this season, but keep in mind they also ranked 27th last season with a 78.2% mark and 29th with a 76.3% mark on the road. Vatanen could certainly be a cheap source of offense as well as a cheap source of power play points while skating with the best offensive players the Devils have to offer.
D – Jacob Trouba (NYR) – $5,800 vs. NJ
Completing our Rangers mini-stack is Trouba who will form both a 5v5 and to power play unit stack alongside Buchnevich tonight. Trouba is set to be a cross-category beast this season for the Rangers as their clear-cut No.1 defenseman. The 25-year-old has tallied a goal, three assists, nine shots on goal and eight blocked shots across the three games he’s played this season. He’s also logged 23:55 of ice time per game for his new club, so he’s clearly set to play a big role for the Rangers this season. Trouba is coming off a career-year in which he posted 50 points last season- although he’s put up points at a 0.54 points-per-game clip across the last three seasons. Injuries have certainly capped his overall numbers throughout his young NHL career, but this guy is a star and he’s going to put up plenty of points this season regardless of what the Rangers’ offense looks like. For now, he’s going to anchor the power play alongside their top offensive weapons and I’ll look for him and Buchnevich to get the job done tonight in spades.
G – Carey Price (MON) – $8,000 vs. MIN
Given we have an extra $100 to spend after using price, you could also roster David Rittich of the heavily-favored Calgary Flames against the Detroit Red Wings on home ice. Still, I am going to lean towards Price in this one as he takes on the Minnesota Wild tonight on home ice as well. It’s been a rough start to the season for Minnesota with just one win under their belt, but their offense has been terrible while averaging just 2.33 goals per game, tied for 26th. While Price enters this one sporting a rather weak 3.33 GAA and .896 Sv% across five appearances so far, this appears to be a matchup where can get things going in the right direction. Price has faced some tough teams in the Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Blues and Lightning so far this season which certainly doesn’t help. This will by far be his easiest matchup of the season to this point. Price is coming off a bounce back season in which he posted a 2.49 GAA and .918 Sv% across 64 starts and 66 appearances last season, including four shutouts. Of all the goaltenders on this slate, I believe Price has the best opportunity to post that goose egg, but I also love the win upside with the Canadiens favored to win this one at -165 on the moneyline.