Welcome back to another season of NHL DFS! If you’re like me, you’ve waited all summer for this—the time to build NHL lineups and watch your favourite team play! It’s early in the season, so projections and data will be a work in progress until about mid-November. In the meantime, we’ll do our best to break down which players you should be targeting and which players you need to avoid completely.
As always, make sure to check out LeftWingLock for goalie confirmations.
Teams To Target
Let’s start with my favourtie matchup of the night—the Edmonton Oilers hosting the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are coming off a disappointing 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night, while the Oilers look to rebound after a 5-4 loss to the Calgary Flames last Saturday. Playing on back-to-back nights in the NHL is never easy. For the Flyers it’s even worse. The team is 4-5-2 so far this season, but 1-3-1 away from Wells Fargo Center. The team to stack tonight is Edmonton
The top-six in Edmonton is one of the best in the league when it comes to scoring goals. The line of Connor McDavid ($5700), Nail Yakupov ($4300) and Benoit Pouliot ($3900) has been red hot over the last two weeks and should continue to produce points on a nightly basis. The top line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($4700) Taylor Hall ($6500) and Leon Draisaitl ($2600) has been much better since Draisaitl was recalled from the AHL. If you want to go Edmonton heavy, I’d stack both line, but if I had to pick a mini stack to go with, I’d lean towards McDavid/Yakupov. The value there is still impossible to beat and the chemistry that the two have built since day one is remarkable. If you need some salary relief, throw in Draisaitl as your UTIL option at a cool $2600. As long as the kid continues to play on the top line, he’s a lock to be in my lineup.
As far as defensemen go, there isn’t much to choose from. The Oilers deploy four forwards on both power plays, meaning only two defensemen are really worth considering. Those two defensemen are Oscar Klefbom ($3600) and Andrej Sekera ($3100). Both aren’t outrageously priced, but their value isn’t great, so I’ll probably hold off on using them. Rookie Darnell Nurse ($3000) offers the best value of any defenseman on the team, but he isn’t seeing any power play time. I’d hold off and look for better options somewhere else.
My second favourite matchup of the night belongs to the Boston Bruins hosting the Dallas Stars. The stars are coming off a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night and now have to play one of the better offenses in the league in Boston. With Antti Niemi ($6700) likely to get the night off, Kari Lehtonen ($6700) will most likely make his fifth start of the season. He’s 3-1 so far this season, but his 3.00 GAA and .898 SV% shows just how good his offence has been in front of him. It’s a perfect night to stack the Bruins.
With Patrice Bergeron ($5900) likely to matchup against the Seguin line, the second line of David Krejci ($5700), Loui Eriksson ($4900) and David Pastrnak ($4400) is the route I would travel. Krejci has been one of the hottest goal scorers this season and the Bruins are averaging 3.9 G/GP. The problem in Boston is their power play. Not because it doesn’t work (the power play is a red hot 35.3% this season) but because regular 5-on-5 lines are not used on the power play, making it a headache for DFS owners to stack players who play on the same line both on the power play and five-on-five. The good news is that with the power play being so good, it doesn’t matter which unit a player plays on. As long as they are seeing power play time, they deserve to be on your roster. The mini-stack I would go with here would be Krejci/Eriksson. Both players are reasonably priced when it comes to their production and both players should have no problems scoring goals against Lehtonen. If you want to go with the top line, Brad Marchand ($4900 and Bergeron is the way to go.
No matter what stack you go with, Torey Krug ($5500) should be included in your lineup. He’s not cheap to roster, but his offensive skill and potential to rack up points tonight is something I can’t pass up on. You could also go with captain Zdeno Chara ($4900), but I’m not a far of his price tag. For $600 more, go with Krug.
My third favourite matchup of the night belongs to the San Jose Sharks hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus is off to a terrible start this season and it doesn’t get better tonight. The Blue Jackets are ranked 28th in goals per game (2.08 G/GP) and 29th in goals against per game (3.83 GA/GP). The Sharks aren’t exactly a powerhouse offense, but I can see them doing some damage tonight.
The top line of Joe Pavelski ($7200) Joe Thornton ($5000) and Joonas Donoskoi ($2500) is the line I would stack if I was to go sharks heavy, but both Thornton and Pavelski are listed at C, so it may not be possible to stack the entire line. If you can fit Pavelski/Thornton in your lineup, go for it, otherwise I would look to the second line of Patrick Marleau ($6000), Tomas Hertl ($4600) and Joel Ward ($4300). The problem with this line is all three players are listed as wingers (seriously!), making it almost impossible to stack this line. If you want to get creative, I’d go with Pavelski/Marleau, but it will cost you a pretty penny, one I’m not really down to spend.
The reason I don’t want to spend that penny is because I want to fit Brent Burns ($6400) into my lineup. He’s not cheap and doesn’t provide great value, but he could easily score a goal and add two helpers by the end of the night. It will be a challenge to fit him into your lineup, but he’s worth the headache trying to figure it out.
In net, Martin Jones ($7300) is the way to go. As I stated earlier, the Jackets can’t score goals, so Jones is as safe a play as it gets. He won’t break the bank with his salary and the Sharks are -165 favourites to win tonight (tied with Montreal).
Ranking are price sensitive
- Leon Draisaitl–$2600—Edmonton Oilers
- David Krejci–$5700—Boston Bruins
- Frans Nielsen–$4900—New York Islanders
- Connor McDavid–$5700—Edmonton Oilers
- Dylan Larkin–$4200—Detroit Red Wings
- Patrice Bergeron–$5900—Boston Bruins
- Joe Pavelski–$7200—San Jose Sharks
- Tyler Seguin–$8500—Dallas Stars
- Joel Ward—RW–$4300—San Jose Sharks
- Nail Yakupov—RW–$4300—Edmonton Oilers
- Vladimor Tarasenko—RW–$7500—St.Louis Blues
- Loui Eriksson—RW–$4900—Boston Bruins
- Lee Stempniak—RW–$3500—New Jersey Devils
- Brad Marchand—LW–$4900—Boston Bruins
- Mike Cammalleri—LW–$5100—New Jersey Devils
- Taylor Hall—LW–$6500—Edmonton Oilers
- Tomas Hertl—LW–$4600—San Jose Sharks
- Max Pacioretty—LW–$7700—Montreal Canadiens
- Colton Parayko–$3700—St.Louis Blues
- Calvin De Haan–$3100—New York Islanders
- Brent Burns–$6400—San Jose Sharks
- Zdeno Chara–$4900—Boston Bruins
- Andrei Markov–$4900—Montreal Canadiens
- Torey Krug–$5500—Boston Bruins
- Tyson Barrie–$4700—Colorado Avalanche
- Martin Jones–$7300—San Jose Sharks
- Mike Condon–$7300—Montreal Canadiens
- Jaroslav Halak–$7100—New York Islanders
- Jake Allen–$7400—St.Louis blues
- Petr Mrazek–$7000-Detroit Red Wings
- Antti Raanta–$7600—New York Rangers