NHL DFS Primer for Thursday May 20th on DraftKings

NHL DFS Primer | Thursday, May 20th, 2021 on DraftKings

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!

Thursday night gives us four games on the schedule as the Leafs/Habs drop the puck on a series that is going to make the rest of the hockey universe outside of those two markets cringe with all of the coverage.  It should be a fun one to follow as we see if the Leafs can punch their ticket to the second round for the first time in ages!  We have three other games on the schedule tonight as well – so there are no shortage of ways that you can go about building line-ups tonight – so let’s have a look at some ways to approach May 20th’s NHL slate on DraftKings!

Florida @ Tampa (-140), Total: 5.5

I continue to love this series and am curious to see where TB1’s ownership levels check in compared with Toronto’s tonight.  They are definitely the best options for stacking tonight and both will be popular.  You’ll want to sprinkle in some TB2 exposure, which gives you access to Stammer and Killorn, both of whom skate on the top PP unit for the Bolts.  They have looked great so far through two games, and I see no reason that won’t continue to tonight.  All of those options are worth significant exposure in MME formats and single entry (TB1) contests tonight.  Hedman remains an elite option for a high spend on the back-end, and Vasilevskiy is in play between the pipes.  It’ll be hard to get away from having significant exposure to the Bolts on this slate.

For the Panthers, my approach to them hasn’t changed much – but there is a small tweak as Sam Bennett should be drawing back into the line-up, skating alongisde Huberdeau on the second unit and joining the top PP unit.  I think you can get some exposure to FLA1 and FLA2 in this one – but if you do want significant exposure, I still prefer getting it through the top PP unit.  All in all though, I don’t love the spot for them playing on the road in Tampa tonight, and do prefer other options on the board up front.  Mackenzie Weegar has been quiet from a dfs standpoint through two games and is an interesting mid-high priced option on the back-end that you can keep in your player pool as a differentiator.  I’m not expecting him to be too popular, and he was racking up DKP down the stretch in bulk.

Pittsburgh @ NY Islanders (-120), Total: 5

I think the total at 5 will really put a lid on this one in terms of it’s popularity – but I do like it better than MIN/VGK.  I preferred when the games were in Pittsburgh as with the last change, the Crosby line was able to be put into solid match-ups, whereas they will face the Isles preferred match-up against them in this one.  As a result, I don’t like PIT1 as much as I did early in the series, and probably won’t in game 4 either.  I think they are worth keeping in your MME player pool, however – and you’ll want some exposure to them as they will not be as high owned as TOR1 or TB1.

As for the Isles, nothing has really changed there.  I still like the Nelson line as a low priced option and even though the total is low in this one, they have been playing great hockey and are a great low-priced stacking option.  I think you can go back to NYI3 in this one.  I felt they would get a bump up after they dominated in Game 1, and I really like what I have seen from Pageau and Palmieri in this match-up.  On the back-end, Scott Mayfield is one of the best dollar for dollar high floor, low-priced options due to his BS/SOG stats, making him a fantastic option for $3,600, and it’s hard to argue with getting some Noah Dobson into builds as he skates on the top PP unit, has a very good skillset and only costs $3,200.

Montreal @ Toronto (-215), Total: 5.5

I was a little surprised to see the total on this one sitting at 5.5 goals rather than 6 – but either way, I think it’ll be right there with FLA/TB in terms of seeing goals up on the scoreboard tonight.  The Leafs are the largest favourites on the slate – and from a DFS standpoint, Auston Matthews is the class of the slate tonight, which will make TOR1 a popular stacking choice.  It looks like Zach Hyman is set to return from his injury and skate alongside Matthews/Marner both at even strength and on the top PP unit, putting them in a great spot as a correlation play.   It’s hard to bet against Matthews with what he was able to accomplish this season – and he was arguably the only bright spot during their mini series in the play-in tournament against the Jackets last season.  You can sprinkle in a little bit of TOR2 exposure in MME formats – but I don’t think you have to go nuts here.  The fact that Tavares/Nylander are skating together on the second PP unit may make it a good idea to bump up the % on them a couple of percentage points, but for the Leafs, they generally sink or swim based on TOR 1 – and I don’t think that’s a bad way to approach them in DFS contests as well.

The Habs have a low projected total in this one – but until we see the Leafs defend well in the playoffs, I like the idea of getting some exposure here.  All signs are pointing towards Kotkaniemi and Caufield potentially sitting this one out, so keep an eye on their pre-game line rushes or any reports that confirm their lines in advance of the game.  The lines that I think will remain in tact are the top two (Danault-Gallagher-Tatar) and (Suzuki-Toffoli-Armia), and my favourite one out of this pair is the second one.  I love what I’ve seen in spurts for Suzuki and Toffoli, and I think you can get modest exposure to them in a game that has the potential given the history of the Leafs defensive woes to be high scoring.  I wouldn’t go nuts with MTL1 in this one, but they should be kept in your player pool in my opinion.  On the back-end, it looks like Shea Weber will suit up in this one – I haven’t been on Shea for most of the 2020-21 season, and I don’t see that starting tonight as he returns to action.  Petry, Edmundson and Chiarot are solid players to have in your player pool as they can rack up counting stats that are strong when they are engaged at their respective price points.

Vegas @ Minnesota (-105), Total: 5.5

I think this game will continue to lack a lot of fantasy appeal.  Eventually the trend will be broken and one of the teams will break out – but both teams play really strong hockey in their own end of the ice and have been getting great goaltending as well.  Given that – it shouldn’t be a shock that nothing has changed from the previous write-ups about my thoughts on approaching this match-up:

  • VGK1 lacks the pop that you probably will want for a medium-high priced line unless Pacioretty suits up.  If he continues to sit, I don’t think you need too much exposure to VGK1. If he plays, they get a pretty big bump up.
  • VGK2 will be among the highest owned low-medium priced lines and I continue to like an under-weight game theory approach to them.  Outside of a late season surge from Marchessault, they have been pretty disappointing from a DFS standpoint and always garner a fair amount of interest.
  • Theodore and Martinez are among the best options that you can use for high priced spends on the back-end.
  • For the Wild, I really only like Kaprizov/Fiala up front as a 2-man PP1 stack.  I hate their options down the middle and don’t like the idea of stacking their lines at even strength as they really spread things out over their top 9.  Like Vegas, I like a few of their options on the back-end – primarily Spurgeon and Dumba.
  • I think both netminders are worth getting into your builds – and I do slightly prefer Fleury.

This article focuses mainly on stacking – if you want to see my favourite one-off plays, please look out for the NHL Daily Cheat Sheet that will be out a little later on this afternoon!

About Brad

Brad hates the term fantasy sports expert, so instead he is someone who specializes in NFL, NHL and MLB DFS notes and analysis. He had a 68.2% win rate in 2015 NFL cash games to go along with a 83.5% win rate for the 2014 season. For NHL he had a 58.7% win rate in the 2015-16 season for cash games and a 66.2% win rate for the 2014-15 season. You can follow him on Twitter @bradsgotmoxy.

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