3 Daily Fantasy NHL Stacks for 3/11/21
In daily fantasy hockey, stacking is a key strategy in tournaments. We want to correlate our lineups with up to four players to maximize our upside, as if one player on a line is scoring goals, it's likely that his linemates are getting assists as well. Ideally, we'll want players that will get a lot of ice time together on an even-strength line and a power-play line. Two good resources for line combinations are LeftWingLock.com and DailyFaceoff.com, so be sure to check those sites for up-to-date line information.
We've got a busy 10-game night on Thursday in the NHL. Let's dissect some stacks that can help us take home some money on this slate.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning are rolling like we expected them to do this season. They are in first place in the Central Division and have the best goal differential in the league. They haven't been top of mind in fantasy, with only two players in the top 40 in points in the NHL. They also haven't run lines that are friendly for building for traditional stacks in a few weeks. However, with an implied team total of 3.46, we should find a way to stack them in some lineups tonight.
The first way to stack them would be to use the first line. Brayden Point ($7,400) has picked up points in three straight games and is tied for second on the team in points with 22. His main stacking partner is Ondrej Palat ($6,000), who he plays with at even strength and on the power-play. Palat has seven points in his last six games, playing with this line configuration throughout that streak. The right wing on this line is now Anthony Cirelli ($5,800), who's definitely usable but not necessary, because he's not a high-volume shooter and doesn't play on the power-play with these guys.
Having moved from that right wing spot to the second line, Steven Stamkos ($7,900) would make up the other Tampa stack you could do. The leading Lightning goal scorer now plays on a second line with Alex Killorn ($5,000) and Yanni Gourde ($4,500). Killorn is the one we want to pair with Stamkos the most, as they play on the power-play together. He is also just coming off a three-game goal streak and has been a consistent shooter, with at least three shots on goal in the last four games.
Either of these stacks would do well with Victor Hedman ($7,000), as he is part of the top power-play unit. Hedman is having a great season, leading both the team and all defensemen in points with 25. The Lightning are facing the Detroit Red Wings, who have allowed the third-most goals per game and have the second-worst penalty kill in the league. So getting exposure to this Tampa Bay power-play via two forwards and Hedman is definitely a good strategy tonight.
Toronto Maple Leafs
It's another day with the Toronto Maple Leafs on the slate, so we have to talk about them again. With the way they have been playing and the scheduling this season, they will usually have one of the highest implied team totals whenever they play. That's the case again tonight, as they lead the way with a 3.63 implied goal total. They will face the same Winnipeg Jets team that beat them 4-3 on Tuesday, but there was a lot of reason for optimism heading into the game tonight. The Leafs absolutely dominated from a chance creation standpoint, with 24 high danger chances and 3.67 expected goals, according to Natural Stat Trick. This was nothing new for the Jets this season, as they allow the most high-danger chances and the third most expected goals per 60 minutes.
The most encouraging sign for Toronto was the play of Auston Matthews ($8,900). He scored his first two goals since coming back from his wrist injury and had six shots on goal. Mitch Marner ($7,500) had an assist on one of those goals and had five shots himself. With Joe Thornton ($4,500) back on the top power-play, he's usable as a part of stacks, but you can get away with not playing him as his lack of shooting limits his upside. Instead, you could prioritize Morgan Rielly ($5,400), as he is fifth on the team in points and fourth among defensemen in power-play points. You could also throw in William Nylander ($6,400), as he is now on this power-play unit, and is tied for second on the team with 10 goals.
The Leafs had a lot of opportunities in the game on Tuesday, and if things break right for them in this game, they could turn those chances into goals. They will be popular tonight with good reason, as this stack probably has the highest upside on the slate.
New York Islanders
A team that people never want to stack is the New York Islanders. Since Barry Trotz took over as coach at the start of the 2018-19 season, they've been labeled a boring team with a lack of upside. This criticism is somewhat fair, as they have scored the eighth-fewest goals per game in the Trotz era. It has led to team success though, as they made the conference finals last season and are in first place in the East this season. Some of their top players have performed well and are definitely viable in this matchup.
The Islanders will face the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. The Devils are not having a good season, especially defensively, as they allow the sixth-most expected goals and the eighth-most actual goals per 60 minutes. They also have the league's worst penalty kill, as they have killed off just 64.6% of their penalties this season. The Islanders' power-play hasn't been spectacular, but it is above average at 13th in the league. They could move up the ranks after tonight's game.
An Islanders' stack must begin with Mathew Barzal ($6,900). Barzal leads the team with 23 points and has been on a good run of late. He scored an absurd between-the-legs goal on Saturday, which is part of his five-game point streak. He also has 16 shots in his last four games, and his shot volume has been a concern for his fantasy value, so that is a trend in the right direction. His best stacking mate is Anders Lee ($7,000), who leads the team and is tied for 12th in the league with 12 goals. Jordan Eberle ($5,700) has 16 points in 25 games and plays with these two at even-strength and on the power-play, so he's definitely a good third piece to add to this stack. The defenseman on the power-play with this trio is talented youngster Noah Dobson ($3,700). He's shown flashes of the talent that made him the 12th overall pick in the 2018 draft, and his extremely affordable salary makes him an easy play if you are using this stack.
The Islanders likely won't be popular as they lack the pizzazz of other teams, but the matchup is good and the team has been playing very well of late. They also currently have an implied team total of 3.19, equal to the Washington Capitals and higher than the likes of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, and Dallas Stars, all of whom are likely to be way more popular on this slate. This makes the Islanders a sneaky stack that could pay off big time if things break right.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.