12/3 DraftKings Hockey: Stack the Deck

daily fantasy hockey advice

Welcome to Stack the Deck, where we focus on the key players on the 12/3 NHL DraftKings slate, and if they should be played with a teammate, or ridden individually. Stacking is a common tactic in for DFS players playing NHL contests, with linemates and power play units staying relatively stable throughout the course of a game, and to a smaller extent, a season. Here are a few players I am targeting on Thursday’s eight-game slate, and my thoughts on who to stack with them in order to tilt the odds in your favor.

Stats are gathered from War-On-Ice.com and Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com

Yesterday was a tough one, with Nazem Kadri laying an egg and James Van Riemsdyk not contributing much either. If you had Winnipeg in your lineup, you probably had a good night, and if not, you were toast. Torey Krug, David Krejci, and Andrej Sekera each had a point, and Taylor Hall registered 6 shots. All in all, not a horrible foundation, but you needed Winnipeg to go with those guys to have a chance at cashing.

Before we move onto tonight’s picks, a quick note. Toronto took 5 penalties in their 6-1 loss, leaving the duo of Kadri and JVR with only 16 minutes of time on ice each. Kadri took a hard hit up high during the game, briefly heading to the locker room. I still have faith in this pair, but with a very tough matchup vs. Minnesota tonight on the tail end of a road back-to-back, I would rather wait until they are 100% to go back to the well.

Target: Patrick Kane (W) – Chi (@Ott) – $8,600

Kane is on a ridiculous 20 game point streak, and there is simply no good reason as to why he should not be on your roster tonight. Everyone knows how good Kane is as a player, but let’s discuss his matchup. Ottawa allows the most shots per game in the league by a shot per game, the highest number of shot attempts (per corsi and fenwick per 60), and rank in the bottom 10 of goals allowed per game. Chicago will be able to test Craig Anderson early and often, and while Anderson has been good on the season (.915 Sv% on the season), he has struggled mightily his last two starts, giving up 7 goals on 51 shots. The offense will come in bunches for the Blackhawks, and if it is anything like the rest of the season, Kane’s line will be the focal point of the attack. Of Chicago’s 66 goals on the season, 32 (48.5%) have been scored by Kane, Artem Anisimov, and Artemi Panarin.

Stack: Duncan Keith (D) – $5,200

Along with Keith, also consider grabbing Panarin at $5,800, with the Sens allowing the most FPPG to the Wing position, however he has cooled off considerably in the last few games. But my second favorite Chicago option, and my favorite D-man on the slate, is Duncan Keith. The Senators struggle against defensemen too, ranking last in FPPG against them as well. This is especially critical when it comes to Keith, because Keith is not your typical offensive defenseman who plays like a forward and is reliant on points to meet value. He actually has more blocked shots on the season than shots on goal (Roman Josi is the only D priced higher than him Thursday who can say the same) and while the raw numbers aren’t there due to his month on the shelf due to injury, his per game figures are very good. Keith is an all situations guy who excels on both ends of the ice going up against a team that ranks as the worst against his position, and also against the position of the league’s leading point scorer, who happens to spend time on his power-play unit. Lock this duo into every lineup, and consider stacking here even further with the aforementioned Panarin and Brent Seabrook at $5,500. 

Target: Calle Jarnkrok (C) – Nsh (v. Fla) – $2,900

Jarnkrok was a beneficiary of the shakeup in Nashville, moving from a bottom six to a top six role prior to the Predators’ last game against Arizona. Starting on the first line and centering the second after Mike Fisher left due to injury, Jarnkrok impressed while firing 4 shots with a goal in 20 minutes of TOI. With Fisher set to miss at least the next 4 games, Jarnkrok looks to have done enough to stick around on the top 6 (and on the PP2 unit), but it is important to note that with no morning skate today for Nashville, the lines will be a mystery until warm-ups. Laviolette could move guys around to cover the Fisher injury, but seeing as Jarnkrok started the game as a first line right winger, it is tough to envision a scenario where he falls out of the top 6. Unless such an event takes place, play Jarnkrok with confidence in this matchup at home against a weak possession team in Florida.

Fade: Shea Weber (D) – $5,800

It is tough to recommend stacks when the lines are subject to change due to Fisher’s absence, however wherever Jarnkrok skates in warm-ups, I don’t mind taking his linemates, as Laviolette has consistently kept full lines together as PP units. With 4 stud defensemen in Weber, Roman Josi, Seth Jones, and Ryan Ellis, there is little need to move a forward back to play the point, which is where most of the line mixing comes from within PP units. That said, I foresee many people chasing Weber’s standout night on Tuesday, where he registered 3 assists and 8 DK points. Buyer beware, however, as Weber was held pointless in the 7 games before Tuesday. I don’t trust Weber to be actively involved offensively, and much prefer paying up for Chicago’s back-end more so than Nashville’s. 

Target: Alexander Edler (D) – Van (v. DAL) – $5,000

Dallas is rightfully labeled as the most fun team in the NHL, because they score a ton of goals, and they play at a very high pace (leading the NHL in Corsi For+Against per 60). While their goaltending has been decent thus far, they are still prone to defensive lapses, and give up an awful lot of shots due to their style of play. I like Edler, as a member of the top PP unit and as the main minutes eater, to show his offensive upside in a game where the Canucks will need to score to stay in the game. I also expect Edler to be matched up often (using their last change as the home team) against the Tyler Seguin line. In their recent home game against the Blackhawks, Edler was deployed against the Kane line in every possible situation, showing that Willie Desjardins trusts Edler against the other team’s top competition. On DraftKings, +/- is not a factor, meaning that Edler will be on the ice for 25+ minutes, facing the highest-pace players on the highest-pace team. The situation is ripe for a high total of blocked shots, shots on goal, and perhaps even a point or two, given his power-play opportunities with the Sedin twins.

Stack: Tyler Seguin (C, Dal) – $8,800

Wait, what? This is not a typo, but this is the sort of “contrarian” stack that has the potential to win a tournament. While these two players might be highly owned, due to Seguin’s excellence and Edler’s opportunity facing the paciest NHL team at home, which we described above, most players will choose one and stack around them. However, like I touched on above, there is no downside baked into the scoring system on DraftKings when pairing these two, due to the emphasis on individual points and shots rather than team stats such as +/-. I won’t waste your time (and mine) explaining why you should play Seguin tonight, or any night, but if you want a different way to gain exposure to Seguin’s upside, consider rostering him with Edler. Seguin and his line generate a monstrous number of shots, and Edler is poised to take advantage of that through his blocked shot numbers, and his strong transition game.


UPDATED — 4:30 p.m.

Target: Devan Dubnyk (G) – Min (v. Tor) – $7,500
**I originally had Cory Schneider slotted in at G, however Keith Kinkaid will draw the start for New Jersey. While Kinkaid has decent career numbers, he has played poorly in limited work this season, giving up 12 goals in 4 games. I’m looking outside of Raleigh for today’s featured goalie**
When all else fails, “who is playing the Toronto Maple Leafs?” is a good question to ask, as the answer usually finds themselves in play for top goalie of the night. Dubnyk is the answer to this question, and while he hasn’t been the world-beater of last season, he has been good thus far, and is coming off of a 30 save, one goal performance, on the road, in a win against the dangerous Chicago squad we covered above. This Wild squad is playing well in front of Dubnyk, and should be able to make light work of this Toronto group making the trip to Minnesota on tired legs after their shellacking at the hands of the Jets last night.

Stack: Jason Pominville (W) – $5,000

**The breaking Schneider news has messed with my lineups a bit, and as a result, my general lineup construction. While I work to figure that out, consider Nino Niederreiter as an easy replacement for Lee Stempniak, who was originally listed with Schneider, at a $100 discount.**

Pominville is an interesting case of jumping on the train before it completely leaves the station. Starting the season north of $6k, he failed to score a goal in his first 21 games. With 47 shots (just over 2 per game) through those games, he has finally potted goals in each of the last two games, taking 6 and 4 shots in those contests. He still plays with Zach Parise on line one, and while he’s lost PP1 time, for now, he could earn that back on a shift to shift basis, especially if the Wild would prefer to play Mikko Koivu on the PP2 with his natural line of Jason Zucker and Niederreiter. Pommer is as confident as ever shooting the puck, and comes at a discount as the sites struggle to adjust to his slump-busting two game goal streak. Take him to gain some exposure to this subpar Toronto squad.

If you have any comments or questions regarding Thursday’s NHL DFS action, find me on Twitter @Mattman1398. Good luck tonight, and as always:

Thanks for reading!

Photo Credit: BagoGames/Flickr C.C. 2.0 

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Matt Moody