Welcome to Stack the Deck, where we focus on the key players on the 12/22 NHL DraftKings slate, and determine whether they should be played with a teammate, or ridden individually. Stacking is a common tactic in NHL, 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 Tuesday’s 10-game slate, and my thoughts on who to play with them in order to stack the deck in your favor.
Stats are gathered from War-On-Ice.com and Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com
Player Matchups are gathered from HockeyViz.com
Monday was a great night for me, however most of my suggestions were secondary players on teams with some great stacks, contributing just enough to not be a hindrance. Couturier was rather disappointing, however his goalie played well enough to win, and Couturier’s linemates (Simmonds and Voracek) combined for 4 points, making a Couturier stack a great contrarian play, all at less than 5% owned (including Mason). Faulk didn’t do much of note, with a 3 point DK night, but my exposure to Nashville’s top PP unit and Rinne helped to offset that. Hall’s line was outstanding, putting up 3 goals in the first half of the game. I had a few other stacks mixed into my lineups, and had some nice GPP cashes and a night where I tripled my entry fees. I’m still hungry to take down that GPP though, as I came very close but missed on one lineup spot in a couple lineups. I think we can do it tonight, with another loaded night of NHL goodness. Here’s some of my thoughts on Tuesday’s slate:
Target: Johnny Gaudreau (W) – Cgy (v. Wpg) – $6,500
Try to fit in a pair of rising superstars going against the Jets at home that have been wildly successful at home, at prices that don’t reflect that success. If that sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because I had the same recommendation yesterday. This is less about the Jets than it is the value that lies within Gaudreau and his running mate, Sean Monahan. Johnny Hockey, like Hall yesterday, had a multi-point effort in his last home game before hitting the road for a 4-game road trip that saw him accumulate 3 points. It’s actually creepy how similar these two situations are, as Gaudreau has wild splits at home, with 24 points in 15 home games on the season, the exact same as Hall going into yesterday. If you missed out on Hall-Draisaitl Monday night, here’s your chance to take advantage of an eerily similar situation.
Stack: Sean Monahan (C) – $5,800
This stack is dependent on how the Flames work their PP units come game time. Unfortunately, I don’t know if we will see a confirmation prior to puck drop. Due to Calgary’s inexplicable dreadfulness on the PP (11% on the season), Monahan and Gaudreau are currently separated on the power play. I still like Gaudreau and Monahan as even strength players (Hall and Co. did all their damage at 5on5, for those following along), but their upside is obviously greater if they spend time together in all situations.
Target: Ryan Suter (D) – Min (v. Mtl) – $5,900
The Wild got roasted by the Stars on Monday night, but luckily they have a matchup with a reeling Canadiens squad that has to make a long flight up north to Minnesota from Nashville. The Wild still managed to put up 3 on the Stars, and should find themselves in a much easier matchup with the Habs, who have won 1 of their last 9 games. They are a mess right now, and don’t have a solid goalie (let alone Carey Price, whose importance to this team cannot be understated) to back up their mistakes. Suter plays 30 minutes a night, which sounds just as ridiculous as it is. He’s a great player to sweat on DraftKings, because with no +/-, he can only produce positive points and he is on the ice every time you look up at the game. He is underpriced on this slate, with a salary that ranks 8th on the slate for D and a 3.8 DKPts/G average that puts him in 4th. He is better at home, as a point per game player, and the team around him is good enough that they should make easy work of this Canadiens squad that is just biding time until Carey Price comes back. Suter is my favorite defenseman of the night.
Stack: Thomas Vanek (W) – $5,100
There are a lot of high end options on the slate, with Kane and the Stars facing off, and tons of other options. The key to Vanek’s value is just how explosive he can be within a single game, with upside that rivals that of the superstars. He had a goal and 3 assists against the Canucks a few games back, and has looked great skating alongside Mikko Koivu on the Wild’s new second line. Seeing as the two of them play with Suter on the Min PP1, and combined for 13 points in the 3 games prior to the Stars last night, I like Vanek’s chance to explode on a Canadiens team he is very familiar with. Vanek routinely torched the Habs during his time in Buffalo, having registered 10 multi-point games in only 55 games against Montreal. I think he can repeat this feat again tonight, and land himself among the top scorers of the night.
Target: Ben Bishop (G) – TB (v. Van) – $7,400
I really like Tampa’s matchup if Henrik Sedin remains out. As of 1PM EST, Sedin is questionable to play, pending medical clearance. The Lightning’s main struggle is killing penalties, and with only half the recommended daily dose of Sedins, Vancouver looks to struggle even more than Tuesday than they have the rest of the season, where their ineptitude has led to a bottom 5 ranking in their matchups vs. Goalies. Giving up points to goalies means you are not scoring, and losing a Sedin certainly won’t remedy that situation. Bishop is the biggest favorite on the night, and is at a very cheap price compared to where his .928 Sv% and great track record should place him. Utilize him as often as you can.
Stack: Steven Stamkos (C) – $7,400
Stamkos is an uber-elite level talent, and has a lot of regression to do towards his career point-per-game average. He has recently caught fire, shooting 12 times in the last 2 games and being rewarded with 3 goals for his efforts. He combined for 8 shots in the 7 games before that stretch, making it clear that he has flipped the proverbial switch, conveniently occurring right after his Toronto-related drama. Vancouver should yield a great opportunity for Stamkos, as they are a bottom 10 team in GAA, Shots Against/G, PK%, and Sv%. That’s a lot of good news, so take advantage of it while your opponents flock to the much flashier plays of Kane, Seguin, etc…
If you can do it once, you can do it twice. I am looking forward to this last day of action prior to the holiday break, and would love to be able to look back on a great couple of days over break as I patiently wait for Saturday to come.
If you have any comments or questions regarding Tuesday’s NHL DFS action, you can find me on Twitter @Mattman1398. Good luck tonight, and as always:
Thanks for reading!