Our most recent set of FanDuel NHL DFS Picks came on Saturday and we once again got into the money in both GPP and cash games in what I believed to be an optimal lineup for both.
We didn’t get a ton of production from our Arizona three-man stack against the Ottawa Senators despite the team scoring five times as an assist from both of Clayton Keller and Derek Stepan was all we we could get while Phil Kessel notched us just one shot on goal.
Our three-man Lightning stack got some big-time production from Yanni Gourde who scored a goal on five shots, although Mikhail Sergachev and Tyler Johnson were held pointless in a 6-2 Lightning loss.
Our best production came from the white-hot David Pastrnak who scored a goal and added an assist with two shots, a block and a power play helper as well. Torey Krug recorded five shots and a block on the night.
Finally, our goaltender Antti Raanta was excellent in turning aside 34 of 36 Senators shots and earning the win in the process.
It was a nice night and we’ll take those profits and look to stay hot on this four-game Monday slate!
C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $8,800 vs. CBJ
For the second time already this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets get together, however this time it’s from Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The Maple Leafs are coming off a hard-fought overtime win over the rival Boston Bruins while the Blue Jackets most recently dropped a pair of overtime decision themselves, 3-2 to both the Chicago Blackhawks on the road and the New York Islanders at home. After a rough start to their season, especially defensively, the Jackets have played better of late while earning points in three straight while allowing just two regulation goals in each of their last five games, but haven’t played many dynamite offenses in that time as the Ducks, Stars and Islanders are all bottom-10 offenses in the league right now. This Maple Leafs group sure isn’t as they enter this one ranked third with 3.89 goals per game on the season while their 34 shots per game ranks seventh. Enter Matthews who has been hot to start the season with seven goals and nine points in nine games, with one of those tallies coming against these Blue Jackets in the second game of the season. He’s also averaged 3.9 shots per game with 35 shots in nine contests. Finally, he’s being leaned on heavily with John Tavares out of the lineup, skating 23:12 in Saturday’s overtime win. I’ll take a 20-plus minutes night from Matthews any day of the week.
C – Roope Hintz (DAL) – $5,600 vs. OTT
The Stars should see some ownership tonight as they take on the Ottawa Senators on home ice, however I am going to fade the top line and go with the second line and get some cost-efficiency and hopefully some value out of the Roope Hintz second group. Despite the team struggling to score as Dallas ranks dead last with just 2.10 goals per game this season, Hintz is off to a hot start with six goals and seven points in 10 games. Of course, that 2.10 goals per game mark is going to increase as the season moves along and tonight is a good opportunity to give that number a shot in the arm considering the Senators were the league’s worst defensive team last season and rank 28th with 3.71 goals against per game this time around. Hintz was a popular breakout candidate this season as he notched nine goals and 22 regular season points across 58 games in his rookie season last year, but also went on to tally five goals and eight points across 13 postseason games. His speed is electric and he is seeing much more ice time this season. His current 28.6% shooting percentage is very much an unsustainable number, but with goals in back-to-back games I’ll stick with the hot hand tonight.
W – Andreas Johnsson (TOR) – $5,000 vs. CBJ
With John Tavares sidelined, the Maple Leafs did some lineup adjusting on Saturday against the Bruins. For large stretches, Matthews was skating with Mitch Marner on his right wing while William Nylander either skated down the middle or to the right of Alexander Kerfoot on the second line. However, the left side of Matthews has not been affected as we know Andreas Johnsson will be there for this one tonight as he will indeed dress after leaving Saturday’s game after blocking a shot. Johnsson will skate with Matthews on the team’s top power play unit as well. In what is also expected to be a breakout season for the 24-year-old, Johnsson has notched two goals and five points in nine games this season to go along with 21 shots on goal. He probably deserves more puck luck given his 9.5% shooting percentage is under his 14.1% career mark. Johnsson managed to record an assist before leaving Saturday’s contest early, giving him three points over his last three games. Interesting to note is the fact that all five of his points this season have come at home in six games compared to being held off the scoresheet in all three road games. Let’s look for the home cooking to remain strong in this favorable home matchup tonight.
W – Corey Perry (DAL) – $4,200 vs. OTT
It didn’t take long for Perry to strike with his new team after missing the first seven games of the season with a foot problem, however he notched a goal and two helpers in the Stars’ 4-1 win over the Flyers on Saturday, just their second win of the season to this point and only the third time in 10 games where they scored at least three goals. At this stage of his career, Perry isn’t anywhere near the player that won a Hart Trophy while tallying 50 goals in the 2010-11 season, however it’s possible in my opinion that this guy get back to hitting 20 goals at the age of 34. Perry hasn’t done so since scoring 34 in the 2015-16 season, but he’s been the victim of some terrible puck luck since that time. In 2016-17, Perry posted a minuscule 8.8% shooting percentage. The following season, he was at 10.1% and finished at 10.2% last season while skating in just 31 games. All of those marks are well below the 13% mark he owns for his career. Sure, his shots may not be as effective at this point in his career, but a simple shooting percentage correction could give him the upside to his 20 goals for the first time in four seasons. Of course, the matchup tonight invites the opportunity for that to take place.
W – Claude Giroux (PHI) – $7,500 vs. VGK
According to DailyFaceoff, the Flyers have mixed up their lines to the point where Giroux is now back at the center ice position on the team’s top line while maintaining his off-wing spot on the team’s top power play unit. FanDuel obviously still has him listed on the wing, but I think that’s actually beneficial for how this lineup came together. The Flyers have lost four games in a row and have scored just seven goals in that time for 1.75 goals per game during the losing streak, so it was probably time to switch up the lines after Giroux was skating to the left of Kevin Hayes on the first line for much of the season to this point. The results were not good for the 12-year vet as Giroux has yet to find the back of the net with just four assists in six games on the season, but also has a healthy 20 shots on goal as well, or 3.3 shots per game. Facing a Golden Knights team that is tied for sixth with just 2.33 goals against per game this season may not be easy, but Vegas is giving tonight’s start to backup goaltender Oscar Dansk. This will be his first NHL start of the season after Dansk allowed seven goals in his lone AHL start this year. The Golden Knights defend well, but I’ll look for the Flyers to use this juggled lineup to get their offense going while we could get these guys at low ownership tonight.
W – James van Riemsdyk (PHI) – $5,700 vs. VGK
Of all the players in the NHL, it’s possible that van Riemsdyk has been the most snake-bitten of them all. Through six games of this season, van Riemsdyk has fired a whopping 32 shots on goal, good for 5.3 shots per game. He’s registered nine shots on goal in back-to-back games. However, he’s yet to score a goal this season or even record a point. Perhaps this is the hockey gods’ way of punishing him for consecutive seasons of greatly out-producing his shooting percentage, but his first goal this season is as imminent as it gets. Given how dangerous he has been this season, new head coach Alain Vigneault has moved him to the team’s top line alongside Giroux while he will maintain his spot on the team’s top power play unit. While his current shooting rate won’t be sustained as he’s probably closer to about a three shots-per-game player, however he’s as due as anyone in the NHL right now. The former second-overall pick should be getting an uptick from his 17:25 average ice time this season considering the move to the top line, so let’s look for him to take advantage while benefiting from some increased puck line tonight against a questionable goaltender.
D – Miro Heiskanen (DAL) – $4,500 vs. OTT
John Klingberg is the man to own if you plan on using the Tyler Seguin top line tonight, but considering my second-line stack I am using Heiskanen who will skate with Hintz and Perry on the team’s second power play unit tonight. Like his stackmates in this lineup, Heiskanen has been productive this season despite a down year for the Stars to this point. He’s already notched three goals and six points in just 10 games this season to go along with a massive 24:29 of average ice time per game. I mean, we knew this guy was a stud after he posted 12 goals and 33 points in 82 games as a 19-year-old rookie a season ago while logging 25:31 of average ice time in 13 postseason games. His 15% shooting percentage is a very high number for a defenseman, but Heiskanen is going to be the type of blueliner that sustains a high shooting percentage compared to his peers as his ability to jump up in the rush gives him better looks than throwing pucks on goal from the point. He’s riding a three-game point streak into this one tonight and has skated more than 25 minutes in each of his last two contests. Given the matchup, I think we’re getting a ton of value upside in Heiskanen as well as his Stars teammates in this lineup.
D – Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) – $4,700 vs. VGK
I wanted to keep a close eye on the Flyers’ lines to see if perhaps Ivan Provorov would supplant Gostisbehere on the team’s top power play unit as the latter has gotten off to the same start as his teammate van Riemsdyk: zero points to this point. His NHL production to this point has been wildly inconsistent. He broke onto the scene with 17 goals and 46 points in just 64 games in 2015-16. He fell to just seven goals and 39 points the following year, but once again erupted for 13 goals and 65 points in 2017-18, only to fall to nine goals and 37 points last season. If the pattern continues, it should be a big year for the 26-year-old here in 2019-20, but that has not been the case with zero points in six games on just 14 shots in 18:42 of average ice time. WIth a deeper Flyers blueline, I expected a decrease in his usage, however I would be shocked to see the Flyers ranked 10th with a 25% clip on the power play and Gostisbehere with zero points on the season, but here we are. Vegas is killing penalties at a league-best 94.3% mark – a very unsustainable number. Again, I’m also targeting Dansk here as he makes his first NHL appearances since the 2017-18 season. I think we can squeeze some value out of Gostisbehere in what I believe could be a low-owned three-man stack despite the short slate.
G – Ben Bishop (DAL) – $8,400 vs. OTT
There are two options in goal tonight in my opinion: Bishop or the Maple Leafs’ Frederik Andersen. Andersen is affordable with $200 left over or you can roll with Bishop with $600 left over. Andersen is coming off a strong performance against the Boston Bruins on Saturday and both goaltenders start for teams favored by at least -200 tonight, but I believe the Stars are due to go on a run here after winning just their second game in 10 tries, so I will take the shutout upside of Bishop and run in this matchup. Bishop was disappointing early on, however he’s been very good over his last two starts in which he’s posted a .946 Sv% in that time while his best start of the season was on Saturday in which he turned aside 38 of 39 Flyers shots en route to the 4-1 win. I truly believe Bishop was robbed of the Vezina Trophy last season in which he posted a 1.98 GAA and .934 Sv% – both league bests – with seven shutouts in just 45 starts (46 appearances). Perhaps the lack of starts was the culprit in losing out to Andrei Vasilevskiy, but Bishop’s numbers were the best in the business a season ago. I feel there’s a ton of positive regression coming for this Stars team and their No.1 netminder, and that should continue from Saturday into this one tonight.