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Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: January 26, 2017

Below we’ve got a discussion of the best matchups and potential stacks of the day followed by player rankings for Thursday’s 13-game evening slate of NHL contests on DraftKings and FanDuel.

As always, make sure to check Twitter for any injury news, and check LeftWingLock for starting goalies and line combos.

Teams to Target

Chicago Blackhawks v. Winnipeg Jets

No team has allowed more goals this season than Winnipeg, and though they brought Ondrej Pavelec back up to try and right the ship, Pavelec’s .904 SV% last year and .894 SV% in four starts this season don’t indicate the ship will be righted.

You’d prefer to avoid the Hawks that have to match up with Bryan Little’s line as that’s a tougher possession matchup than Mark Scheifele’s line. But Patrick Kane’s line is likely to draw Little’s, and it’s hard to ignore Kane when he’s facing the team allowing the most goals in the league. However, his linemates, Arten Anisimov and Artemi Panarin, can be left off you roster. Back on the blue line, Duncan Keith is always an option, and he’s priced reasonably on both sites but especially on DK. He’ll be on the top PP unit with Kane’s line.

Jonathan Toews’ line should draw the easier possession matchup against Scheifele’s line as that’s the matchup they got on 12/27 when the Jets were last in Chicago. Toews’ wingers, Richard Panik and ryan Hartman, can provide some salary relief options thanks to skating with Toews, the better individual matchup, and the fact that they get some work on the second PP unit. Both are better value on FD than DK, but they’re cheap enough on DK as well.

Dallas Stars v. Buffalo Sabres

Of the 13 games going tonight 11 had lines in Vegas as of this writing, and the Stars had the second highest implied total. Buffalo allows the eighth most shot attempts against per 60 and Dallas ranks seventh in shot attempts per 60, so Dallas should be able to put a lot of rubber towards the net.

Since Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have been split up, it haas been Benn’s line drawing the tougher matchups at home, while Seguin/Spezza/Roussel have been seeing more favorable matchups. Buffalo’s third line is a weak trio that can be picked on, and Seguin’s line will likely see some of Buffalo’s second and third lines in this one. Both Seguin and Spezza are more affordable on DK, so that would be a decent spot to stack Stars. Spezza is also priced pretty reasonably on FD.

John Klingberg and Esa Lindell will skate some with Seguin’s line at even and both see PP work. Klingberg works with Seguin/Spezza on the first unit and Klingberg is with Roussel on the second unit. Both defenseman are priced better on DK, just like the forwards. Lindell will make for salary relief on either site.

Behind the paywall you’ll find the rest of today’s NHL DFS game breakdowns and player rankings.

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Minnesota Wild v. St. Louis Blues

Both the Vegas implied totals and my own model have the Wild in the second tier in terms of expected goal production tonight. The matchup to avoid here is St. Louis’ second line featuring their stud, Vladimir Tarasenko. Minnesota’s second line tends to draw the toughest matchups at home, and last time St. Louis was in Minnesota (12/11), Minny’s second line did in fact match up with Senko’s line.

Minnesota lets their top line get good matchups in home games, so that’s the line to target here. Nino Niederreiter has been playing up on the top line with Eric Staal and Charlie Coyle for a few games now, but check their lines at morning skate just to make sure that configuration holds. All three are priced better on FD, so that’s the spot to stack them. Nino and Coyle are priced decently enough on DK to use there, but Staal is a but pricey there. On the blue line, Ryan Suter will be on  Minny’s top PP unit as always.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Philadelphia Flyers

There was no line in Vegas for this game as of this writing, but my own model has Toronto with the highest expected goal total this evening. Philadelphia has allowed the second most goals this season, and they have the second lowest save percentage. There’s one match up you want to avoid here and it’s Philly’s third line centered by Sean Couturier. Coots’ line has been getting opposing top lines in recent home games, but the question is whether Philly treats Tyler Bozak’s line or Auston Matthews’ line as the top line. That means Nazem Kadri’s line is the line most likely to avoid Coots’ line. Kadri has been very good lately, and he has excellent iCorsi numbers, so he’s a nice option tonight. William Nylander plays on Kadri’s wing and on the top PP unit, and he’s priced decently on both sites.

Player Rankings

Centers

  1. Tyler Seguin
  2. Jason Spezza
  3. Eric Staal
  4. Vincent Trocheck
  5. Nazem Kadri
  6. Nicklas Backstrom

Defensemen

  1. Duncan Keith
  2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
  3. Ryan Suter
  4. Mattias Ekholm
  5. John Klingberg
  6. Matt Niskanen
  7. Esa Lindell

Wingers

  1. Patrick Kane
  2. Alex Ovechkin
  3. Radim Vrbata
  4. Sven Baertschi
  5. Brendan Perlini
  6. Patrick Eaves
  7. Charlie Coyle
  8. T.J. Oshie
  9. Frank Vatrano
  10. Richard Panik
  11. Nino Niederreiter
  12. William Nylander
  13. Colin Wilson
  14. Ryan Hartman
  15. Leo Komarov

Goalies

  1. Scott Darling (better value on FD)
  2. Devan Dubnyk (cash games only, better value on DK)
  3. Matthew Murray (GPP only)
  4. Curtis McElhinney (GPP only)

Goalies with an asterisk next to their name are not expected to start tonight but haven’t been ruled out, so don’t count on them playing. Any players in bold have been confirmed as the starter for the day. Make sure you always check LeftWingLock for starting goalie updates in case I am unable to update the list throughout the day.

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