3 Daily Fantasy NHL Stacks for Thursday 5/6/21
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 six game slate with lots of great options for stacking, so let's see which ones are the best.
We liked the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier in the week, and it came through with mixed results. Monday they basically were a dud, but Tuesday they were great. More often than not this season, they've been great, as they are third in goals per game in the NHL. They had a great matchup in the two games earlier in the week, and they have a different matchup today but one that is still nice.
Penguins' captain Sidney Crosby ($8,300) scored two of their seven goals in Tuesday's win. He is now up to eighth in the league in points, as it's been another stellar season for him. Jake Guentzel ($7,600) also had a big game on Tuesday, with three assists. Bryan Rust ($6,400) just had one assist but does have 22 goals this season.
An interesting wrinkle to this stack was Evgeni Malkin ($7,500) returning to the lineup. He has three assists in two games since he came back, and while it would cost a lot of salary to add him to a stack, it would likely be unique and have a lot of upside. The fourth piece could also be Kris Letang ($6,200), who had his third straight game with an assist and added four shots on goal on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh will face the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. The Sabres are just looking to play out the string on what has been a miserable season. They've allowed at least 36 shots on goal in each of their last five games. Michael Houser won his first two NHL games earlier in the week and is a nice story, but this career minor leaguer will be in for a tough task against the Penguins.
Pittsburgh has an implied team total of a whopping 4.13 goals, so we can roster them with optimism tonight.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a great regular season, but that was expected. They've been expected to be one of the best teams in the NHL for the last three seasons. They will now be judged on how they do in the playoffs given how they've lost in the first round for four straight campaigns.
At least we can point to their play as being good throughout this season, as they have sat in first place in the North for nearly the entire year. They also average the sixth most goals per game in the league and have a few more games to go to gear up for the playoffs.
The Maple Leafs have been shifting around their lineup with some injuries and giving some players some rest. The pair we have counted on for most of the season is still intact, though. Auston Matthews ($8,900) has continued his spectacular goal scoring pace, with five goals in his last four games. His 0.82 goals per game is the best we've seen in the NHL since the 1995-96 season. Mitch Marner ($7,600) has one-upped Matthews in points, and he is the setup man for Matthews at both even strength and on the power play.
With Nick Foligno injured, these two will be joined once again by Joe Thornton ($3,400), who is a nice value pick. There is also a solid value on the blueline as Rasmus Sandin ($3,500) is getting a chance to play on the first power play. He's a talented young defenseman, and he's worth taking a shot on for the minimum salary given his role.
The Leafs will face the Montreal Canadiens in what could be a preview of the first round of the playoffs. Montreal started the season like a juggernaut but has looked average at best since then. They looked worse than average last night, losing 5-1 to the last-placed Ottawa Senators. This gives the Maple Leafs the rest advantage as well as all the other advantages they have against the Habs. Matthews has six goals in eight games against Montreal this season and could easily score against them today in their final meeting of the season.
If not for all the drama involving the New York Rangers, the Edmonton Oilers would be the story to watch this week. It's been a long time since the NHL had a significant seasonal milestone watch, and while this wouldn't be a record, it would be an accomplishment. Of course, I'm referring to Connor McDavid ($9,300) and his pursuit of 100 points. He currently is on pace to do it, as some good performances against the Vancouver Canucks earlier in the week have helped him out. That's good news for Thursday, as he will face the Canucks again.
McDavid had four NHL points on Monday and only two on Tuesday. That puts him at 93 points with five games remaining. His clip of 1.82 points per game is the highest we've seen in the NHL in 25 years. He does his best work with Leon Draisaitl ($8,300) riding shotgun with him, and that will be the case tonight. Draisaitl is no slouch himself, as he has multiple points in three straight games and is second in scoring behind McDavid. He's 10 points clear of third place in the scoring race, so he's also been dominant.
Jesse Puljujarvi ($4,300) completes the line and was able to pick up a goal and assist on Monday, so he's worth adding to the stack for just $4,300. Tyson Barrie ($6,300) has points in three straight games and is the power-play quarterback for the league's top-ranked power play, as the Oilers have recently overtaken the Carolina Hurricanes in success rate with the man advantage.
Much was made of McDavid's dominance against the Ottawa Senators this season, but he has also been great against the Canucks, notching 14 points in seven games. It isn't too surprising, as the Canucks allow the most shot attempts and most expected goals per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. The Oilers' 3.96 implied goal total is the third highest on tonight's slate, and they are certainly capable of blowing up in this matchup.
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.