3 Daily Fantasy Hockey Stacks for Wednesday 5/19/21
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 the first four-game playoff slate, with the North division finally starting their playoffs. Let's look at the best stacks on this slate.
Welcome to the playoffs, Canada. The North lagged behind because of COVID issues but now that they are joining the party, they promise to have some really entertaining games. We can start with the Edmonton Oilers, who play some of the most exciting games in the league. They get a matchup in the first round that they have feasted in throughout the season, which should set them up nicely for fantasy in this round.
We of course have to kick off all Oilers talk with Connor McDavid ($9,200). He completed the incredible feat of reaching 100 points in this short season, finishing with 105. He closed out the season red hot, with 24 points in his last 10 games. His even-strength linemates right now are Dominik Kahun ($3,800) and Jesse Puljujarvi ($4,400). It's tough to get too excited about playing either of these guys, apart from their salaries being affordable. It is probably best to just play McDavid with Leon Draisaitl ($8,600), who finished second in the league in points. They will link up on the power play and it's easy to see them playing together at even strength if the game is close in the third period. Tyson Barrie ($6,500) is also a good addition to the stack, as he finished with the most points among defensemen in the NHL. Playing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($5,600) or James Neal ($3,200) as the fourth man on a power-play stack definitely makes sense as well.
Edmonton will face the Winnipeg Jets in the first round in a matchup they were probably hoping for. They've won seven of nine meetings with Winnipeg this season. McDavid has torched the Jets to the tune of 22 points in those nine games. Winnipeg struggled down the stretch, going 3-7 in their last 10 games. They weren't a good defensive team all year, as they allowed the most high-danger chances per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. If the Oilers are able to get those high-danger chances, they have the potential to break this slate open with all the skill this stack has on it.
The Colorado Avalanche showed exactly why they were the league's best team in the regular season in Game 1. They won 4-1 and if not for a heroic goaltending effort by Jordan Binnington, it could have been even more. They created 16 high danger chances and had 4.61 expected goals on Monday. It was the big players that did the damage for Colorado as well, which is great for us in fantasy.
The Avs' best player, Nathan MacKinnon ($8,800), made his mark on the playoffs immediately. He had two goals and an assist with six shots on goal. Gabriel Landeskog ($7,100) also had three points, with a goal and two assists. Mikko Rantanen ($8,500) was the only player on this line to not score a goal, after getting robbed by Binnington on a great scoring chance. He did add two assists though, so he was definitely still useful in fantasy. Cale Makar ($5,900) showed his dynamic skill again in Game 1, scoring a goal on the power play. Since these four will likely be popular, playing Joonas Donskoi ($3,900) instead of one of the wings or Makar could be unique and also gives us a nice salary discount.
The St. Louis Blues didn't show much hope of slowing down this line for Colorado. St. Louis allowed the most goals of any team in the playoffs, and they are up against the team that scored the most goals in the league. That sets up Colorado nicely in this game. We've seen them score eight goals against the Blues this season, so the ceiling is very high. Their implied team total is a much more reasonable 3.48 goals, and if they hit that with the right players, they could again be what you need to win a tournament tonight.
The Boston Bruins definitely got back to their game in Game 2. They were on the brink of going down 2-0 on the series despite playing well, until evening the game with under three minutes remaining and then winning in overtime. The underlying numbers tell us that Boston had the better of the play in this one. They won the shot attempt battle 89-63 and created 4.56 expected goals. The series shifts back home for them tonight, where they'll look to continue their good play from Game 2.
The only issue with the Bruins from a fantasy perspective was that they spread out the points, so no one really had a big fantasy performance. However, performances like the ones Patrice Bergeron ($7,700) and Brad Marchand ($8,400) had with a goal and over five shots on goal can be enough on smaller slates. Obviously, we want more points though, and the line with these two and David Pastrnak ($7,600) definitely has the potential to do that as they continue to drive play with puck possession. They also fully correlate on the power play, so they have the potential to link up on a few goals and really pay off their salaries.
The second line was similar in Game 2. Taylor Hall ($6,700) had a goal and seven shots on goal. David Krejci ($6,100) had an assist and continues his rejuvenation since Hall joined his line. He had 21 points in the 16 games since Hall was acquired at the trade deadline. Craig Smith ($4,600) also had an assist on Monday. With this line all playing together on the power play as well, they are definitely another stacking candidate on the Bruins.
The Bruins have the third-highest implied team total on the slate. It remains to be seen who the goalie will be for the Washington Capitals, as Ilya Samsonov is a game-time decision. If Craig Anderson is in net, it should be a boost to the Bruins as Anderson appeared a bit slow on a few of the goals Boston scored in Game 2. Whoever is the goalie, the Bruins stacks are viable because of the correlation you can get, and if you are able to hit on two or more goals on one line, you could see your lineup climb up the leaderboard.
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.