3 Daily Fantasy NHL Stacks for 3/18/21
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.
Thursday in the NHL has a really interesting ten game slate, with lots of good spots to target. Let's look at a few we can stack.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Despite how good the Tampa Bay Lightning have been this season, they are in a dogfight for the top spot in the Central Division. They have to fend off the Carolina Hurricanes and the surprising Florida Panthers if they want to hold on to the top spot in that division. There's no evidence of a Stanley Cup hangover here, as Tampa leads the NHL in goal differntial. The fact that they average the most goals per game in the league without the leading scorer from the playoffs, Nikita Kucherov, shows how deep this team is. In the matchup they have tonight, their depth comes into play with two lines you can stack.
The Lightning face the Chicago Blackhawks. This matchup has been kind to them this season, as they've scored 22 goals in their five games against Chicago. First-line center Brayden Point ($7,500) has picked up his play after a cold streak, as he now has four goals in his last five games. Left-wing Ondrej Palat ($6,300) is having a very good season and is on a good run himself, with 13 points in his last 10 games. These two play together at even strength and on the power play, which will give them a great chance to combine for some points. The third member of this line is Anthony Cirelli ($5,700), but his salary is a bit high for his point outputs, and he doesn't play on the same power play unit as Point and Palat.
The other two forwards who are on the first power-play unit play on the second line. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos ($7,900) hasn't lost a step even after he missed nearly the entire playoff run last season, as he's tied for the team lead with 27 points. Alex Killorn ($4,800) has done an admirable job of stepping into a top-six forward role after he was used more in the bottom six in the previous years. When using these Lightning players who are on the power play, you should definitely consider adding Victor Hedman ($6,900) to your stack. Hedman leads all defensemen in points per game and power-play points, so he could be part of a big game if the power play is able to score a few goals.
Tampa Bay's implied team total is the highest on the slate at 3.93. With Chicago's defense and goaltending coming back down to earth of late, it will be tough for them to keep the Lightning from getting some goals in this game. There are a few different ways to stack the Tampa Bay, but whichever way you want to stack the top two lines could pay off big time in this matchup.
It looks like it's going to be another night to stack the Edmonton Oilers. They went off for seven goals on Wednesday night, and they are now up to fourth in goals per game. It was a battle of Alberta against the Calgary Flames last night. The Flames were supposed to be able to contain them and clearly weren't.
Now they get a lot better matchup against the Winnipeg Jets, who are also on the second night of a back-to-back. The Jets have allowed the second most expected goals and the most high-danger chances per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. They have once again been held together by solid goaltending from Connor Hellebuyck, but it remains to be seen if he plays today given that he played last night.
Edmonton did make changes to their lines on Wednesday. They split up the two superpowers of Connor McDavid ($9,100) and Leon Draisaitl ($8,600). McDavid got his old linemates back in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($5,400) and Jesse Puljujarvi ($3,900). Draisaitl played with Dominik Kahun ($3,600) and Kailer Yamamoto ($4,600) It worked like a charm, as McDavid and Draisaitl each had three points, and Puljujarvi and RNH had a goal and an assist. Nugent-Hopkins' salary or position hasn't been adjusted for the new role, so to get him at just $5,400 makes him a great part of any Oilers stack.
The player who actually had the most FanDuel points for the Oilers on Wednesday was Tyson Barrie ($5,900). Barrie was supposedly a game-time decision, but the four assists he had suggests that he was fine. He now leads all defensemen in points, and someone with his ability to move the puck who will play with McDavid and Draisaitl on the power play is going how many people had hoped it would go.
The Oilers have the third highest implied team total on the night, currently sitting at 3.49 goals. The back-to-back situation isn't as concerning since Winnipeg will also be on a back to back. McDavid, Draisaitl and Barrie sat toward the end of the third period when the game was out of hand and each saw fewer than 20 minutes total, so they didn't overextend themselves. Meanwhile, the Jets went to overtime, so they didn't have that same luxury. The Oilers are usually the team that has the most potential to break a slate, and tonight is no different.
Somehow, the Pittsburgh Penguins have escaped a lot of the media attention this season, aside from the front-office changes early in the year. They sit in third in the East by playing a different style of hockey that has made them better defensively. That doesn't mean that they can't score any longer, though, as most of their top players are still doing fine in that regard.
Sidney Crosby ($8,000) has 29 points in 28 games and just had his seven-game point streak snapped on Tuesday. He is joined on the first line as usual by Jake Guentzel ($7,300), who is tied with Crosby for the team lead in goals with 11. The third leading goal scorer is Bryan Rust ($5,600), who's a great value at this salary as he plays with these guys at even strength and on the power play.
Speaking of the power play, that's the best matchup the Penguins have tonight. They will face the New Jersey Devils, who have struggled on the penalty kill for most of the season. They have the third worst penalty kill in the league, with just a 71.3% success rate. That also brings Kris Letang ($6,100) into play as the power-play quarterback the Penguins have used for years. He hasn't slowed down much despite being 33, as he has 20 points in 28 games. With Evgeni Malkin set to miss this game, it should allow more players to shoot the puck, as Malkin has the highest shot attempt rate on the power play on the team.
The Penguins' implied team total ranks in the middle of the pack tonight. They may go overlooked with a lot of the good spots out there. The good thing about stacking Pittsburgh compared to other teams that might have a higher implied total is that the goals are more likely to come from the top line, which is also fully correlated in the power play. With some other teams, you may have to mix and match some different lines, which might lead to some goals that don't involve your players. This makes the Penguins a solid stack that might be a bit off the board on Thursday night.
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.