NHL DFS Primer | Thursday, January 14th, 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!
Opening night is in the books, and it was a pretty exciting slate. The chalk with TB came through after seeing the top line not be a part of the first 3 goals by the Bolts, while we saw the Flyers blow things open against the Pens in the third period, the Leafs take an OT track meet against the Habs, the Canucks up-end the Oilers and the Blues shut down MacKinnon and the Avs.
Tonight, we have nine games on the slate (FLA/DAL is cancelled due to a COVID outbreak on the Stars) – so a much deeper slate than what we saw on opening night. Only one back to back game as the Oilers/Canucks face-off again tonight in a re-match, meaning the other 8 games are the first action for 16 NHL clubs. On a deeper slate like this, generally – I like to eliminate a couple of games from my player pool to narrow things down and make things a little more managable. I may leave in the goalie or a defenceman or two – but usually I am looking for a couple of games that I would be shocked if they were high scoring – and I’ve found that to work well over time in order to avoid being spread too thin. For me tonight, the MIN/LA game is low-hanging fruit here. I think you could just opt to flat out remove it. That’s the only one that really jumps out at me, though if you wanted to throw in a second one that should have ‘some’ ownership, CGY/WPG would be a suitable option in a game that features a neutral line and a low projected total with two excellent netminders.
So – who are likely to be the chalk stacks?
Carolina is taking on Detroit – who were the worst team in hockey by a wide margin a year ago and the top line of Aho-Terovainen-Niederreiter is going to be one of, if not the most popular 3-man stack on the slate. The price point for this trio doesn’t break the bank for CAR1 since Svechnikov is on the second line – and they are in a great spot against a Red Wings team that is in full blow rebuild mode. Carolina’s top PP unit, all members in fact – should be popular. Svechnikov-Trochek and Dougie Hamilton join up with Aho and Teravainen for the 5-man unit there, and I expect these five to be quite popular tonight.
Vegas is going to be another one, checking in at -215 at home against Anaheim. The Golden Knights have arguably the best top six in hockey, and I expect both of their top two lines to be popular options tonight. They are facing a tough netminder in G John Gibson, who has been known to steal the odd game – but I’m not expecting the masses to be shy about loading up on the top two lines for Vegas along with Shea Theordore and Alex Pietrangelo on the back-end. One thing to note about Vegas, they roll both PP units on the PP – so don’t worry too much if you see guys you like listed on the second PP unit.
So – who are a couple of the stacks that may fly under the radar?
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to replicate last night’s selections here – but let’s try our best….
- BOS Top six/PP1
I’m not sure that you have to use the third member of the top line for Boston here (expected to be Studnicka) – but with David Pastrnak missing the start of the year, I think Bergeron/Marchand will check in lower than they likely should in a plus match-up against NJ. Stacking the second line at their price point here opens up a lot for some high spends across your other roster slots, and the trio of Krejci-Debrusk-Bjork have enough talent to have the potential to light the lamp a couple of times. When Pastrnak has missed time in the past, I have loved using Krecji alongside Bergeron and Marchand – as he almost always skates on the top PP unit when Pasta is out (Charlie Coyle is probably the other option on PP1 here along with Matt Grzelyck on the back-end).
- Vancouver Top Six
I wrote them up yesterday, and I still like the spot for them tonight on the second half of a back to back against Edmonton. My favourite ways to play them is with either VAN2 (Horvat-Hoglander-Pearson), or with pieces from the top two lines that both skate on PP1 (think Horvat-Boeser-Petterson or Horvat-Hoglander-Boeser). You can toss in Quinn Hughes on the back-end, though he is a better real life player than DFS contributor as he is more of a playmaker on the back-end and hasn’t shot the puck a ton, or blocked many shots in his brief NHL career. Either way, they weren’t popular last night – and with 10 games on the slate, I think you’ll see most of them in the mid single digits ownership wise tonight.
Much like with BOS1 – I don’t know if you need to include the third piece here (slated to be Tage Thompson). The match-up isn’t a great one going up against Washington. We also have yet to see Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel suit up and play together, but it’s hard to argue the upside here with two of the most talented players in the game. I also don’t really know what to expect ownership wise tonight. On one hand, they are two of the best in the game when healthy. On the other hand – the slate is deep with no shortage of options and we also have Ovie as a high spend in the same game (if you are new to DFS NHL – he is always a good/great play). I actually don’t mind the idea of stacking the three mentioned here (Eichel-Hall-Ovie) and hoping this one turns into a bit of a track meet. You could use them along with an $8k goalie and have $3,900 per spot on DK left to spend….so if you like some value plays and/or want to compliment them with a value stack, it’s an intriguing approach (using W Tage Thompson brings you up to $4,100 per spot for C, UTIL and 2 d-men for example). Anyways, the idea intrigues me…
Best of luck tonight – and I hope you enjoy the second night of DFS NHL action! Make sure to check out the NHL Cheat Sheet which will be coming out a little later on today and will include some of my favourite plays on the board tonight across all salary ranges!