NHL DFS Primer | Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
Looking for help building line-ups for NHL DFS on DraftKings or FanDuel tonight? Let’s take a look at some of the best plays on the board for tonight’s action!
Well, opening night is here!
The NHL is set to drop the puck on a 56 game season with a new division format due to the travel restrictions at the border. With that, we will see teams only play other teams within their own division, with the top 4 teams from each division qualifying for the playoffs at the end of the season. We will also see more back to backs and more baseball style series where teams will be playing the same team in consecutive games, which should make things a little more interesting from a rivalry standpoint for fans…of course, as a Canadian – I’d be lying if I said that the Canadian only division didn’t intrigue me as the games between the east teams and the teams out west have been too few for my liking under normal circumstances.
Who are likely to be the chalk stacks?
So – tonight, we have five games on the docket. Two games from the North Division and one from each of the other three as the season gets underway. We have one massive favourite on the board with the defending Cup Champion Bolts playing at home against the Blackhawks as -250 favourites in a game with a projected total of 6.5 goals. Based on this, they will be the chalk of the slate even with W Nikita Kucherov out for the regular season. I’d expect each of the top two lines, the top PP unit and Hedman and Sergachev on the back-end to all be popular options tonight, along with Vasilevskiy in between the pipes. It is looking like Point-Stamkos-Palat will be the top line for the Bolts in this one and I’d recommend at least modest exposure to them in MME formats along with Hedman on the back-end.
What to do with the Elite Centers?
With Edmonton, Colorado and Toronto on the schedule tonight, you know what that means. McDavid, Draisaitl, MacKinnon, Matthews. Four of the top 5 fantasy picks in season long. So there’s that. For MME formats, I think you will want a piece of all of them. Each of them and their respective lines are capable of breaking the slate and there is enough value on the board go stack the line that each of them plays on at even strength with a value line in a good spot (McDavid – EDM1, Draisaitl – EDM2, MacKinnon – COL1, Matthews – TOR1).
So – who are a couple of the stacks that may fly under the radar?
It’s no secret that the Leafs have one of the worst defensive teams in the game. As such, I often like to game stack in games they are in, or just flat out attack them. I do think that TJ Brodie was a nice addition to their back-end, and that after a rather embarassing season, if their quick exit in the play-in round doesn’t cause them to take notice in their own zone, nothing will – but honestly, at this point, I’ll believe it when I see it. As a result, I like the spot for the Habs tonight, and my favourite option to go stacking with them is with MTL2 or MTL PP1. I loved what I saw from C Nick Suzuki in the playoffs, and to me – he’s their best player up front by a pretty wide margin. Given that he’s on the second line for a dog in this one, I’m not expecting him to be popular, but he should be. I love the upside for Suzuki-Drouin-Josh Anderson, and would not be one bit shocked if they ended up being the top line for the Habs this season. If you wanted to toss in someone with Suzuki-Drouin that joins them on the top PP unit, W Brendan Gallagher is a great option.
With all the firepower, it may be surprising to get this far into the article and to not see any mention of the likes of the top line for the Flyers, Sidney Crosby, or Evgeni Malkin – but here we are. This game has the potential to be overlooked, despite the fact that there are plenty of quality options here (my favourites are the top PP unit for each team). Sure, the game doesn’t have the highest projected total on the board – but there are plenty of options in this game that have the ability to light the lamp, and I don’t think ownership levels here will be too high, creating a nice opportunity.
- VAN – Top Six
Along the lines of the Flyers/Pens game, Vancouver is going to fly under the radar tonight. They check in as dogs in their game, and even though they have plenty of quality options (Petterson, Horvat, Boeser, Quinn Hughes, Edler), I am not expecting them to be popular whatsoever, similar to what we saw from them during their playoff run. Much like Toronto, Edmonton has really struggled to defend, and I like the idea of getting an over-weight position to the top six and top PP unit for the Canucks, which shouldn’t be too hard at all as I figure most of the options here will be owned in the single digits, creating an attractive spot!
Best of luck in your contests tonight and make sure to check out the Cheat Sheet which will be coming out a little later on today!