After another odd day of scheduling by the NHL (one game on Monday), we get a huge 13 game slate tonight. I just don't understand where the thought process is to the NHL sometimes. They would have such better TV ratings and better exposure to the game if they balanced their schedule more. With a slate this big, we are going to have to dig to find some top end plays and some deep sleeper plays. I suggest playing mainly cash games today, with a few GPP games here and there. Don't chase money in such a large slate. The DFS sites will try and pull you in with $1 GPP events with large payouts. In this case, though, some of the contests have 150 entries per person allowed, so unless you are willing to drop $150 to flood a GPP, stick to cash and single entry games. With that all said, let's take a wrist shot at this slate and score one for the Gipper.
Patrick Kane - Wing - ($8500 FD / $8300 DK) - Kane is the reigning NHL Scoring Champion and NHL MVP. His skills are top notch, and he can score from anywhere on the ice, even flying through the air. In his career against the Jets, Kane has 11 goals and 11 assists in 18 games, with five goals and five assists coming on the power play. I will have a lot of exposure to him and his line in cash and gpp. Toews and Kane, cash game gold!
Rickard Rakell - Center - ($5300 FD / $6200 DK) - Since returning from injury, Rakell has been lighting it up for the Ducks. He has four goals and three assists so far this season, and he will add to that total tonight. Rakell is a finesse player that, if he would just unleash his skill, is one of the best stick handlers in the NHL. He is also a gritty player that will park himself in front of the goalie and score on the redirect. I will also be using his line a lot tonight, as you will see why in the bottom of this write up with my Fun Facts.
Brent Burns - Defense - ($8300 FD / $8200 DK) - The bearded wonder is just a beast this season, and he can not be stopped. In 15 games thus far, he has six goals and eight assists. He seems to step up, even more, when on the road as he has four of his goals and seven of his assists when away from home ice. He is averaging five shots a game, which some of the top offensive players in the NHL don't even do. He is a must play in cash games, as he can score you a ton of points and hit 3x his value with ease.
Cappy's Super Sleeper
Anthony Mantha - Wing - ($3700 FD / $2700 DK) - Mantha and his wings will be at home against a Tampa Bay Lightning team that ranks 23rd in the league against a team's third line. Yeah, deep stats I dug up there eh? He was just recently called up by the Red Wings this past Friday and ended up with two shots on goal and two blocked shots in his season debut. This kid should have made the opening day roster, but the team wanted him to get a month at their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, which paid off well. He will score his first goal of the season against the Lightning, and no one will be on him. In ten games in Grand Rapids, he had eight goals and two assists. I can see a goal and an assist tonight, with three shots on net and three blocked shots. Pure GPP play, or even a cap saver as a stand alone in your cash games (which I do not suggest doing stand alone, but it can’t hurt on such a huge slate)
Games To Target
I will list a few games you will want to consider when creating your lineups tonight. These game can be looked at for your core stack of players to build around. With such a huge slate, I will pinpoint 3 top games to target for your core, and one low looked at the game as well. I am hoping that you will be able to build off these suggestions. As always you can post questions in the forum, and I will help you. Remember with 13 games and 26 teams playing, chalk players will be lower owned than normal, so do not get caught up in worrying about chalk.
Chicago (-120) vs Winnipeg (+120)
*I am targeting Chicago in this game. Use WPG players if you want to hedge*
Jonathan Toews - Center - ($6900 FD / $6500 DK) - Pair with Kane in cash, or Kane and Hartman in GPP
Artemi Panarin - Wing - ($7000 FD/ $7200 DK) - Nice Cash play, pair with Anisimov
Artem Anisimov - Center - ($5800 FD / $6700 DK) - Pair with Panarin in Cash
Richard Panik - Wing - ($3800 FD / $5200 DK)
Duncan Keith - Defense - ($5800 FD/ $5500 DK) - Top defensive player
Marian Hossa - Wing - ($6600 FD / $5700 DK) - Pair with Panarin or Anisimov in cash
Richard Harman - Wing - ($3100 FD / $3100 DK) - Cheap 1st line exposure. Pair with Kane and/Or Toews
Mark Scheifele - Center - ($7500 FD / $7300 DK) - Pair with Laine and/or Dano
Nick Petan - Center - ($3700 FD / $3400 DK)
Blake Wheeler - Wing - ($7000 FD / $6400 DK)
Patrick Laine - Wing - ($6600 FD / $7000 DK) - Pair with Scheifele and/or Dano
Marko Dano - Wing - ($3700 FD / $3000 DK) - Cheap first line exposure. Pair with Schefelie and/or Laine
Nikolaj Ehlers - Wing - ($6100 FD/ $5300 DK)
Dustin Byfuglien - Defense - ($6200 FD / $6300 DK) - His name is Pronounced Buff-Lynn
Tampa Bay (+115) vs Detroit (-110)
*I will be targeting Detroit, but will hedge Tampa in GPP play*
Henrik Zetterberg - Center -($5600 FD / $5200 DK)
Justin Abdelkader -Wing - ($4200 FD / $4300 DK)
Dylan Larkin - Wing -($5300 FD / $5700 DK) - Pair with Nielsen
Frans Nielsen - Center - ($5000 FD / $4900 DK) - Pair with Larkin
Luke Glendening - Center - ($3400 FD / $2900 DK) - He is playing wing so consider that if you use him
Darren Helm - Center - ($3800 FD / $4300 DK) - Pair with Mantha in cash and Nyquist in GPP
Gustav Nyquist - Wing -($4900 FD / $5100 DK) - Pair with Mantha in cash and Helm in GPP
Brenden Smith - Defense - ($3500 FD / #3200 DK)
Ryan Sproul - Defense - ($3300 FD / $3300 DK) - Cheap exposure to top power play unit
Steven Stamkos - Center - ($8400 FD / $8100 DK)
Nikita Kucherov - Wing - ($7300 FD / $7000 DK)
Vladislav Namestnikov - Wing -($3400 FD / $4300 DK)
New York Rangers (-175) vs Vancouver (+195)
*I am all over the Rangers in this game. I will not be on Vancouver at all. Will list a play for GPP*
Derek Stepan - Center - ($5500 FD / $5800 DK) - Pair with Nash or Vesey in Cash, both in GPP
Rick Nash - Wing - ($6700 FD / $6700 DK) - Pair with Stepan in Cash and Vesey in GPP
Jimmy Vesey - Wing - ($4900 FD / $5300 DK) - Pair with Stepan in Cash and Nash in GPP
Mika Zibanejad - Center -($5700 FD / $6200 DK)
Mats Zuccarello - Wing - ($5400 FD / $6500 DK)
Chris Kreider - Wing - ($6200 FD / $6700 DK) - Watch updates, listed as DTD, but skated yesterday
Ryan McDonagh - Defense - ($5000 FD / $5600 DK) - Top Defensive player, top powerplay unit
Marc Staal - Defense - ($3100 FD / $3100 FD)
Henrik Sedin - Center - ($4800 FD / $4500 DK)
Daniel Sedin - Wing - ($6200 FD /$5500 DK)
Brian Sutter - Center - ($4000 FD /$4100 DK) - Playing wing with Sedin twins. Listed as center
Under the radar game
New Jersey (+115) vs. Dallas (-120)
*A lot of people will be on the highly favored teams today and totally overlook this game. I am on the Devils for GPP and cash. I like the Stars as they have been playing well, but the Devils will run a gun in this game and keep the stars guessing*
Taylor Hall - ($7000 FD / $6700 DK) - Pair with Zajac in cash and Parenteau in GPP
Travis Zajac - Center - ($4600 FD / $4600 DK) - Pair with Hall in Cash and Parenteau in GPP
P.A. Parenteau - Wing - ($4600 FD / $4200 DK) - Pair with Zajac in Cash and Hall in GPP
Adam Henrique - Center - ($4600 FD / $4000 DK) -
Kyle Palmieri - Wing - ($5200 FD / $4500 DK)
Pavel Zacha - Center - ($3500 FD / $3900 DK) - Pair with Josefson for sneaky GPP stack
Jacob Josefson - Center (FD) Wing (DK) - ($3200 FD / $2900 DK) -Pair with Zacha for sneaky gpp play
Damon Severson - Defense - ($4400 FD / $4600 DK) - Priced to low for his output
John Moore - Defense - ($3800 FD / $3100 DK)
Tyler Seguin - Center - ($8400 FD / $7600 DK) - Pair with Roussel and Eaves
Antoine Roussel - Wing - ($4000 FD / $3600 DK) -Pair with Sequin and Eaves
Patrick Eaves - Wing - ($5100 FD / $5100 DK) - Pair with Roussel and Sequin
John Klingberg - Defense - ($5000 FD / $5000 DK) - Will take shots and block shots, top powerplay unit
**As always check before puck drop to see starting goalies, as things change**
I will point out my three top goalie plays for tonight and one GPP contrarian play to consider. Remember again, these are my three favorite top plays. You may find a goalie you like more, and if you do, use him. My suggestions are not set in stone; they are just a blueprint.
Henrik Lundqvist - ($9100 FD / $8200 DK) - Has been up and down this year, as far as performance goes. He is still the King, and he will shut down a Canucks team that has scored more than two goals twice in their last ten. I will have the King in my cash games and will toss him in a few GPP games where I am going contrarian.
Martin Jones - ($8500 FD / $8100 DK) - I love Jones play as of late. He has won his last three starts, with one of those wins being a shutout against the Washington Capitals. The bigger thing about his last three wins, is all three have been on the road. Like Burns, it seems that Jones is stepping it up on the road. I will have him in both cash and gpp games tonight. I think he is a very safe play in a game with an over/under of five goals, and his team is expected to score four of them.
Carey Price - ($10500 FD / $8300 DK) - His price on FanDuel makes him a cash game only play unless you get really creative with your GPP lineup to fit him in. Price is 10-0-0 this season and is the early favorite to win the Vezina Trophy (awarded to the NHL'S top goalie). The over/under of this game against the Florida Panthers is only five, with all the money going towards the under. Price should see roughly 30 shots on net and might let one goal in. Again this is a pure Cash game play.
GPP only Goalie
Semyon Varlamov - ($8100 FD / $7500 DK) - Varlamov has struggled this season with a 3-7 record and a 3.22 goals against average. He is on the verge of losing his starting job to Calvin Pickard if he does not pick it up. This game against the Kings is the game he will do just that. He has a 6-4-1 record against the Kings in his career, with a 1.97 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. One of his wins came by way of the shutout. A game against the Kings and his career stats against them is just what the doctor ordered. I will have a ton of GPP exposure to him as I think he sees 38 shots on goal and stops 37 of them. Could even use in cash if you want high-end offensive players. The downside to Varmy is that he gets rattled easily this season. I don't know if it is a mental thing or an age thing. So that is why this is a GPP only play. I am using my offense that I will play with the savings here to offset any possible horrible outing by Varmy. High Risk / High Reward and will be around 3% owned in most all gpp formats.
Favorite Line Stack: Patrick Kane - Jonathan Toews - Ryan Hartman (Chicago Top Line)
Favorite GPP Low-Owned Line Stack: Jacob Josefson - Pavel Zacha - Devante Smith-Pelly (New Jersey third line)
Cappy’s Fun Fact - Stack against us: Did you know that the defensive pairing of Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson of the Edmonton Oilers, are the worst pairing in the NHL? When they are on the ice together, they have allowed an NHL leading 13 goals to be scored against them. Consider that fun fact when you look at the game between them and the Anaheim Ducks. I would consider any of the Ducks lines when building a lineup. See Rickard Rakell.
Cappy’s Fun Fact 2 - Stacks on Stacks on Stacks: The line pairing of James Van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitchell Marner of the Maple Leafs are one of the top line stacks this season in the NHL. They have combined to score Ten goals as a pairing, but what is even more important, they have been on the ice when 13 goals have been scored against them. Stacking this line could pay off for you, as will stacking against this line. Consider the Predators first and second lines as a sneaky stack against this line. Just cause a line can score a lot, does not mean they can stop other teams from scoring.
Cappy’s Final Fun Fact - All we do is score, occasionally: In the last ten games, the line pairing of Nick Foligno - Brandon Saad - Alexander Wennberg of the Columbus Blue Jackets, have combined to score eight goals. Lets us remember though, a bulk of this came out of two games in that span for the most part. They will be a popular line combination, but against the speed and power of the Washington Capitals, they will be a bad line stack. So while all they do is score, for me all I will do is fade fade fade. Don't get trapped into their two games of DFS gold. This game they will be DFS killers.
The Flying Wings
Last but not least, The Maple Leafs and the Jets are both in the top 5 of the NHL is allowing the Wing position to score. The Maple Leafs are so bad at stopping the opposing team's wing position; I'd advise you to do a two player cash game wing stack against them. Although everything by design goes through the Center position, the Wing position is by far, this season, taking over the NHL. So, fly with them wing players tonight.
Cappy's G-spot Goal Scoring Club
Kind of like our FantasyBum did a dongers club this past MLB season. I'm gonna pick five random players I think will score a goal. I am not saying to use them in a lineup, just doing it for fun.