Well, last night’s FanDuel NHL DFS Picks netted perhaps the worst results of the young season – but to be honest I wasn’t all that wrong in my assessment of the slate.
Where I was wrong was with the Flyers stack as the Penguins’ defense held strong and allowed the Flyers just one goal on the night – that one is on me. The rest of it, however, wasn’t.
I also stacked the Penguins with Nick Bjugstad at the minimum price, Alex Galchenyuk returning from an injury and the reliable Kris Letang. I also got two of these guys at under 4% owned. Low and behold, the Penguins light up the rival Flyers for six goals. Good, right? Well, the second line center and left winger and the top defenseman not only on the team but a top-five defenseman in the league combined for one assist. Unbelievable that the second line could not get in on the blowout.
I also mini-stacked a Stars team that had the worst offense in hockey going in. The good news is the Stars scored five goals. The better news is Tyler Seguin scored one of those goals, assisted on two more and but five shots on goal at 3% ownership. The bad news is Esa Lindell missed the scoresheet at 1.8% ownership.
Finally, the bad luck continued as Ben Bishop was pulled after one period as he allowed two goals on 10 shots. It’s a quick hook for a goaltender who carried the team a season ago and one that was white-hot entering this game. It’s a frustrating move to be sure as the Stars’ offense rallied late and won the game 5-3.
Sometimes you can be quite right and have an awful night, and that’s what took place last night with disastrous results outside of Tyler Seguin’s big night at tiny ownership.
Let’s look for improved fortunes on tonight’s six-game main slate!
C – Aleksander Barkov (FLA) – $7,700 vs. COL
This lineup is certainly aiming at GPPs as I am going to kick it off with the beginning of a three-man Panthers stack at they take on the Colorado Avalanche tonight on the road. I expecet plenty of ownership to be on the Avs in this one, especially with players in Nazem Kadri and Joonas Donskoi will be replacing Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog, respectively, next to Nathan MacKinnon on the top line and top power play unit, I’m going to roll the dice a little more here and roll with the road team who is sneakily among the top offenses in hockey. The Panthers sport a wildly talented forward group and it’s showing through as Florida is tied for seven in offense with 3.50 goals per game and ranks sixth with 3.38 goals per game on the road. While the Avalanche are off to a hot start, they rank 15th with 2.80 goals against per game at home and without a couple of All-star caliber forwards I very much believe the Panthers could control the possession at even strength in this one. Enter Barkov who is due for some serious positive regression in the goal column with zero goals on 22 shots this season. He does, however, have 13 assists in 12 games. Nonetheless, This guy is going to be lightning the lamp any game now and I’ll look for that regression to kick in tonight at perhaps low ownership.
C – Ryan O’Reilly (STL) – $6,400 vs. MIN
This pick isn’t quite as GPP-oriented, but I still want some Blues exposure as they take on a Wild team that’s struggled on the road and a team that is playing their second road game in as many nights after taking a 5-3 come-from-behind loss to the Dallas Stars last night. The Wild enter this one in a five-way tie for 28th with four goals against per game on the road this season while they have received an .870 Sv% from their goaltenders on the road – good for 28th. The Blues enter this one dead-smack in the middle of the league at 15th with 3.08 goals per game on the season and with Vladimir Tarasenko now out for the long-term, I believe the Ryan O’Reilly line will be leaned upon heavily to provide offense for this group behind Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz on what used to be the team’s top line. Last year’s Playoff MVP has tallied three goals and 12 points in as many games this season to go along with 22 shots in a whopping 20:10 of average ice time on the season. After registering just one assist over a seven-game stretch, O’Reilly notched two goals and four points on six shots on Sunday’s overtime win over the Red Wings. I’ll look for that effort to kick-start another point streak continuing into this favorable home matchup tonight.
W – Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA) – $7,200 vs. COL
Next man up in my three-man Panthers stack is Huberdeau who is having himself a real nice season to this point while skating alongside Barkov in all situations including the team’s top power play unit. Entering this one tonight, the 26-year-old Huberdeau has tallied five goals and 13 points in 12 games on the season to go along with 27 shots on goal in 18:18 of average ice time. The former third overall pick from the 2011 draft saw his three-game point streak in which he notched five points snapped in a brutal 7-2 loss to the Canucks on Monday, however he’s yet to be held pointless in two straight games this season, so I’ll look for him to get back on the scoresheet tonight. Huberdeau is coming off a massive season – one that largely went under the radar – in which he posted 30 goals and 92 points across 82 games to go along with 226 shots on goal – all of which were career-highs. He was also a force with 11 goals and 34 points on the man advantage a season ago. He’s probably due for a little bit of goal-scoring regression, but I can see this Panthers stack flying under the radar tonight and I believe the road side has some serious upset potential in this one tonight.
W – Evgenii Dadonov (FLA) – $6,500 vs. COL
Completing our three-man Panthers stack is Dadonov who is going to flank Barkov and Huberdeau on the team’s top line while also skating with the duo on the club’s top power play unit. Like his linemates, the points are there for Dadonov in the early going as he’s notched six goals and 10 points in 12 games on the season to go along with 31 shots on goal. He hasn’t logged the same amount of ice time at 16:27 per game, however his production in that time has been superb. After a four-game stretch where he scored in every game and racked up three assists in that time, Dadonov went three straight games without a point. However, he’s caught fire once again with two goals and three points over a three-game point streak entering this one tonight. Like Huberdeau, the 30-year-old Dadonov is probably due to regress on the goal-scoring front with his 19.4% shooting percentage currently an even 5% above his career 14.4% mark, however he’s free to get involved in Barkov’s positive goal regression while perhaps continuing his unsustainability for perhaps just one more night. Either way, I think he’s an excellent look tonight at what I expect to be low ownership.
W – David Perron (STL) – $5,800 vs. MIN
Continuing our three-man Blues stack is Perron who has really turned it back on over the last few seasons and is having a big start to the 2019-20 campaign. Entering this one tonight, Perron has tallied six goals and 12 points in as many games this season to go along with 25 shots on goal. Yes, the 24% shooting percentage is largely unsustainable given his 12.8% career mark and the fact he’s shot well above that rate since last season in which he posted a 20.5% mark, however Perron certainly has a favorable matchup on the docket tonight. Like O’Reilly, he is coming off a big game in which he tallied one goal and four points in the overtime win over the Red Wings on Sunday, however unlike O’Reilly, Perron has been hot for the last several games with three goals and four helpers over his last five contests. He’s not going to shoot the puck a ton as he’s fired just two shots on goal in four straight, however he could flirt with the 200-shot plateau if he and O’Reilly do see a bump in ice time with the team’s top line losing Tarasenko for the foreseeable future. The Wild are a very vulnerable club heading into this matchup tonight and I’ll take this second-line duo at reasonable price tonight.
W – Alex Killorn (TB) – $4,400 vs. NJ
The Lighting are another team playing their second game in as many nights tonight after taking a 4-1 loss last night in New York to the Rangers, and they are dealing with some injuries at the moment which is giving opportunity to some role players such as Killorn. For instance, Killorn is listed as a third-line winger with second-unit power play time, however he also skated a whopping 22:03 in last night’s contest, a massive number for a third-line winger. That said, he was held off the scoresheet with three shots on goal. Still, that marks the second straight contest in which he’s logged increased ice time after skating 19:57 in Saturday’s loss to the Predators while he’s skated at least 18:03 in four of his last six games. The results haven’t quite been there for the 30-year-old who has just one goal in 11 games but also has 20 shots on goal, good for a tiny 5% shooting percentage, well under his 10.2% mark for his career. Killorn has scored at least 14 goals in six straight seasons and at least 15 in five of his last six seasons, so he’s been a reliable secondary scorer for this club for a long time. He’ll get a favorable road matchup against the league’s 30th-ranked defense tonight, so let’s look for the positive goal-scoring regression to kick in tonight.
D – Justin Faulk (STL) – $4,500 vs. MIN
I wanted to complete my three-man Blues stack with a defenseman. Of course, I preferred that this stack was also a three-man power play stack, meaning it was either Faulk or Alex Pietrangelo to complete this group. While Pietrangelo’s production has been superior to that of Faulk, this was an easy choice from a cost standpoint while I believe Faulk is due to go on a productive run here. Faulk has yet to find the back of the net with his new team, going the first 12 games of the season without a goal despite putting 28 shots on goal. However, keep in mind this is a guy with at least 11 goals in four of the last five seasons and at least 15 over a three-year stretch from 2014-15 to 2016-17. He’s also a player that has put at least 211 shots on goal in three straight seasons and one that has shot at a 5.9% clip in his career – a high number for a defenseman. Of course, this season he sits at zero percent in that department, but the positive regression should kick in any game now, and what better matchup to do it in. He’s logged at least 22:32 in each of his last five games and at least 23:14 in four of those five games. With the increased ice time, power play duty and positive goal regression coming imminently, I am loving this play at a very valuable price.
D – Ryan McDonagh (TB) – $4,200 vs. NJ
I wanted a Lightning mini-stack in this one alongside Killorn and while I would have preferred to get Mikhail Sergachev in this spot to net a second unit power play mini-stack, I feel a measly $100 shy of getting that done. Nonetheless, I am satisfied to get McDonagh at a valuable price in a favorable matchup despite not seeing power play time at the moment as Kevin Shattenkirk’s big start to the season has filled that spot on the second unit. McDonagh gives us a solid floor thanks to his peripheral numbers – more specifically his shot-blocking ability as he’s blocked 21 shots in 11 games this season while adding 12 shots on goal and three assists in that time. Some though his best offensive days might be behind him, but McDonagh posted a career-high 46 points last season – 43 of which came at even strength or short-handed. As a result, I would expect his production to increase from here from a points standpoint. I mean, the Devils are a terrible defensive team and McDonagh falls behind three of his teammates on the back end price-wise. I’ll take the lower cost and look for this mini-stack to deliver us some value in this one tonight.
G – Jordan Binnington (STL) – $8,100 vs. MIJ
Completing our lineup tonight is Binnington who gets a very favorable home matchup tonight with the Minnesota Wild. The Wild increased their road offense a little bit last night with three goals against a good Stars defensive club, however they will be in tough again tonight against a Blues team that hasn’t played up to its potential on the back end at 16th with 3.17 goals against per game, but should end the season in the top 10 in that department. Binnington hasn’t been the un-human netminder he was in leading the team’s turnaround last season as he enters this one sporting a 2.67 GAA and .912 Sv% on the season, both of which are well under the 1.89 GAA and .927 Sv% he posted last season. However, he’s been much better at home this season where he’s put together a 2.15 GAA and .926 Sv% while going 3-0-2 on home ice as well. Compared to his 2-2-1 record, 3.20 GAA and .899 Sv% he’s posted on the road and we are clearly getting him where we want him tonight: at home. Against Wild team that is tied for 28th with 1.63 goals per game on the road, you have to like your chances of seeing Binnington put forth a nice performance tonight, especially with the Blues listed as -180 to win this one on the moneyline.