My most recent set of FanDuel NHL DFS Picks came on Saturday and they also came alongside some profits.
I a brief recap, my three-man Flyers stack hit as the positive regression for James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux kicked in while Jakub Voracek had a game himself at low ownership.
Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson each scored a goal in Tampa Bay’s loss to the Nashville Predators, however our lineup took a hit with unproductive nights from our Stars mini-stack featuring Radek Faksa and Miro Heiskanen.
Finally, Brian Elliott got the win over the Blue Jackets, but the Flyers’ netminder also surrendered four goals for an uninspiring 13.6 fantasy points.
That said, we’ll take the profits and move onto tonight’s nine-game Tuesday slate and see if we can keep rolling!
C – Tyler Seguin (DAL) – $7,500 vs. MIN
I’m not fully stacking the Stars as their offense has been just horrid, however there’s probably a good chance they at least get some offense going tonight against the visiting Minnesota Wild who rank 23rd with 3.36 goals against per game this season – a number that jumps to 3.71 goals against per game on the road, good for 24th. The thing I like most about the early going of the NHL season is that we can identify numbers that are due for either positive or negative regression moving forward. I mean, the Stars are not going to finish the season averaging 1.92 goals per game as the worst offense in the league last season (Anaheim) scored 2.39 goals per game. More specifically, we should see some serious positive regression from Seguin moving forward. Like his team, Seguin has struggled to score goals this season with just two across 13 games. However, he continues to fire plenty of pucks on goal with 38 shots in that time. His two goals on 38 shots represents a tiny 5.3% shooting percentage, otherwise known as less than half of his 11% career mark. Not only should we expect more goals, but also more shots since he averaged 4.1 shots per game over the last two seasons compared to 2.9 here in the early going of 2019-20. Tonight’s matchup would seem like a quality opportunity to get things going for the former 40-goal scorer.
C – Nick Bjugstad (PIT) – $3,000 vs. PHI
I was considering putting Bjugstad in my lineup as I am all over a high-scoring affair between the Flyers and Penguins tonight, however once I saw his price this became an absolute lock for me. Bjugstad is going to skate as the team’s second-line center tonight while he’s also slated for second-unit power play duty. The 27-year-old as gotten into just three games with the Penguins this season as he missed time after being injured in the team’s second game of the season and yes, he has been held off the scoresheet to this point. Still, Bjugstad does have six shots in what has amounted to not even three full games played on the season. Keep in mind this is a former 24-goal scorer in this league and a player that scored nine goals in 32 games after being traded to Pittsburgh last season – a 23-goal pace over a full 82-game season. In 2017-18 – his last fully-healthy season – he cracked the 200-shot barrier with 230 shots on goal. He has a history of a low shooting percentage with a 9% career mark in that department, but he scores goals at a 20-goal-plus pace when healthy. He’s healthy again, and he’s listed at the minimum price. To me, this is a no-brainer and a play with massive value upside this evening.
W – Alex Galchenyuk (PIT) – $5,300 vs. PHI
While Bjugstad made it back for Pittsburgh’s most recent game in Dallas, Galchenyuk has yet to return from a lower-body injury that has sidelined him for the last nine games. He was a full practise participant yesterday and skated on a line with Bjugstad while also seeing reps on the team’s top power play unit, so let’s look for him to get back into the lineup tonight and continue a Penguins stack alongside Bjugstad. Galchenyuk has two helpers in three games on the season to go along with six shots on goal. The much-maligned forward has scored 19 goals in each of the last two seasons but had a career-high of 30 back in 2015-16 with the Montreal Canadiens. His hopes of achieving that mark may have been decimated with his early-season injury, but that’s not to say he can’t score at that pace now that he’s healthy again. This is a who who has shot the puck more than 200 times in a season in two fo the last four years – both of which were his only two fully-healthy seasons in that span. The former third-overall pick should see lower ownership tonight given his lengthy absence and a lack of Evgeni Malkin by his side, but I’m personally quite excited to see what the Penguins’ second line can at home against a Flyers team that has allowed 12 goals over their last two games.
W – Claude Giroux (PHI) – $7,600 vs. PIT
I mentioned last week that FanDuel has Giroux listed as a winger despite his centering of the top line for several games now, and some things apparently don’t change. I would have prefered to keep a winger spot open and have Giroux down the middle, but once again I am forced to get creative with my lineup construction. We got Giroux at low ownership despite a home game against the Blue Jackets on Saturday, and on a big slate against a Penguins defense that’s actually been solid in allowing 2.50 goals per game this season (7th), my bet is the ownership stays low for this rivalry matchup tonight. My theory behind my Flyers stack on Saturday was the positive regression that was due their way and that regression continued over the weekend as Giroux notched an assist on Saturday and a goal on Sunday on Long Island. That’s three points over the last three games for the forward, however he still owns a tiny 6.1% shooting percentage with two goals on 33 shots in 10 games. His career shooting percentage is at 11%, although he’s managed to go under that mark in four of the last five seasons. That said, he’s not going to continue to shoot this low when averaging 3.3 shots per game and I’ll look for him to stay hot in this one as a result.
W – Jakub Voracek (PHI) – $6,700 vs. PIT
Sign me up for some more Voracek tonight as he too has seen some positive regression kick in, although his isn’t so much from a low shooting percentage. While he’s annually putting more than 200 pucks on goal, Voracek isn’t a goal-scorer by trade with 20 goals in each of the last three seasons. Rather, he makes his money on his play-making ability and his effectiveness on the power play. Voracek has racked up 111 assists over the last two seasons and had as many as 65 in 2017-18. He also had 35 power play points that year and is off to a fine start this season with two goals and three points on the man advantage. His season has gone well to this point with four goals and nine points in 10 games, but also two goals and five points over his last two games. His three assists in that time are due to the positive regression his linemates are seeing as their tiny shooting percentages continue to rise. Yes, Voracek’s personal shooting percentage is at an unsustainable 18.2% considering his 9.3% career mark, however the assists should continue to flow as the hockey gods continue to reward his linemates. The 2007 first-rounder is well on his way to bouncing back from a down season a year ago.
W – James van Riemsdyk (PHI) – $6,000 vs. PIT
Completing my three-man Flyers stack is van Riemsdyk who has caught fire and continues to be rewarded for his high shot volume here in the early going. van Riemsdyk went his first seven games and 35 shots on goal without a point this season. Over his last three games, he’s tallied three goals and six points to go along with eight shots on goal. As a result his shooting percentage has gone from zero to 7% over his last three contests. That’s good and all, but there much more room for improvement here. First, he’s still almost 5% under his 11.8% career mark. Furthermore, he hasn’t finished under 12.2% in each of the last three seasons and has scored 92 goals in that span despite missing 16 games last season. van Riemsdyk was moved to the top line alongside Giroux and Voracek a few games back and they’ve been one of the better lines in hockey ever since. He’s also a member of the team’s top power play unit where he’s tallied 25 goals over the last three seasons and has one of his three of late on the man advantage. He’s still averaging 4.3 shots per game and considering the inevitable positive regression in his shooting percentage it would not surprise me in the least to see JVR stay white-hot in this one tonight.
D – Kris Letang (PIT) – $6,600 vs. PHI
Completing our three-man stack is Letang who brings a wealth of cross-category upside to the table every time he hits a slate. He’s off to a massive start this season as he’s notched four goals and 10 points in 12 games to go along with 42 shots on goal – massive number for a defenseman. Letang is once again averaging in excess of 25 minutes per night and he’s even added 13 blocked shots to his ledger as well. Letang is of course the team’s lone defenseman on the top power play unit, a unit that should include the aforementioned Galchenyuk. Furthermore, the Bjugstad – Galchenyuk – Letang three-man stack should go down as lower-owned exposure to the Penguins as Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel should see the bulk of ownership among Penguins skaters in this one. The good news, in my opinion, is that Letang’s regression from his white-hot start that included 10 points in his first eight games has already taken place as he’s pointless in each of his last four despite nine shots in that span. His current 9.5% shooting rate is probably due for more negative regression moving forward, but he should be able to get back on the scoresheet against a Flyers team that has struggled to receive any sort of goaltending of late.
D – Esa Lindell (DAL) – $3,700 vs. MIN
Truth be told, I had a center spot and a defense spot to use for my mini-stack after rostering my goalie as well as my Flyers/Penguins game stack. I identified Seguin as someone I wanted in this lineup and I am more than happy to find a Stars blueliner who we can use as a mini-stack partner. Lindell certainly falls behind John Klingberg and Miro Heiskanen on the team’s offense defenseman depth chart, however there’s a lot to like here. First, there’s the matchup against a weak Minnesota defense. Second, Lindell is actually a top-pair blueliner who logs real solid minutes on the blueline at 22:28 per game – a number that was dragged down by skating under 15 minutes on Saturday thanks to taking a puck off the face – although he did return after getting repaired. He’s skated at least 24:21 in three of his four games prior to Saturday. Third, he’s certainly not incapable of offense with 11 goals and 32 points from last season – both career-highs. Finally, he’s a member of the team’s second power play unit, giving us exposure to both power play units against a Wild team that ranks 18th on the penalty kill. He has one goal, one assists, 17 shots and 24 blocks in 13 games this season, but I’ll look for his sneaky cross-category production to get a few ticks in the right direction as part of this mini-stack in a favorable home matchup tonight.
G – Ben Bishop (DAL) – $8,400 vs. MIN
It’s a big slate with 18 goaltenders available, but Bishop is my top choice of the evening given the groove he is in at the moment combined with the matchup against a low-scoring Wild club. They’ve been better lately after a dismal start to the season, however the Wild still rank 29th with 2.36 goals per game on the season and 23rd in power play percentage. Furthermore, they rank 30th with just 1.43 goals per game in seven road games this season with their power play clicking at a brutal 8% in that time – good for 27th. On the flip side, Bishop has been excellent of late and resembling the goaltender who almost won the Vezina Trophy a season ago. Bishop enters this one sporting a 2.34 GAA and .920 Sv% on the season across nine starts, however he’s won two of this last three thanks to posting a .958 Sv% in that time and allowing just five goals. Despite a 1-2-1 record thanks to a lack of goal support, Bishop owns a 1.74 GAA and .933 Sv% across four home starts this season. I believe the goal support will be there tonight while I’ll look for him to stay white-hot at home against an anemic Wild road offense in this one.