Welcome to Stack the Deck, where we focus on the key players on the 12/29 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 ten-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
Target: Johnny Gaudreau (W) – Cgy (v. Anh) – $7,000
Gaudreau, at home in the month of December, in DKPts: 4, 15, 1.5, 5.5, 11, 14, 9. In 7 games, he has averaged 8.57 per game. That is flat out nuts, and he is going for $7k. While it is a full $1000 more than the price at which he started the month, it is still significant savings on the high end options. I will have 100% exposure to him until he lets me down or plays a game outside of the Saddledome.
Stack: Mark Giordano (D) – $6,000
I don’t mind Sean Monahan here, as the Flames have sustained the highest pace of play in the league over the month of December. Although Monahan has been a disappointment throughout all but a couple of Gaudreau’s monster games, their shared ice time leads to a great stacking opportunity. But Giordano has been over 7 points in 3 of his last 4 games, at a price nearly identical to Monahan, who has been over 1.5 points in 2 of 4, which is not very impressive. Against an Anaheim team that is inexplicably horrible, I think all the Flames make viable plays, but I will have Gaudreau in every lineup, and scatter in his teammates around him in some places. In this matchup at Gaudreau’s current pace, you can’t afford not to.
Target: Tyler Seguin (C) – Dal (@ CBJ) – $8,400
The high-flying Stars take their act into Columbus, where they are face off with Tortarella’s Tirefire. If you squint, you might be able to make out the same flaws that Ryan Johansen purportedly has in Tyler Seguin. Remember the immature kid who never committed to the game in Boston? Well, in a new environment Seguin has received a substantial amount of trust, rather than obsessive amounts of “motivational” tactics, and is currently sitting on 20 goals and 47 points in 37 games. Meanwhile, Johansen is undergoing nearly identical treatment, with John Tortarella doing what he does best, which is trying to force good players to submit to his foolish and rigid system of hockey. The Blue Jackets are in complete disarray, with their little talent being completely mismanaged. I trust Tyler Seguin and his line to produce in a big way Tuesday night, but may find my selection of Stars limited due to price considerations.
Stack: Patrick Sharp (W) – $6,600
Tonight looks like a Sharp night in the Lindy Ruff line creation game. With Nichushkin and Eakin seeing time on the first line recently, MNB XX Sharp may not stay put for long on the Dallas top line, as he has been there for a significant portion of games this year but can’t hold the spot, even with 30 points in 37 games. When he plays with Benn-Seguin, however, he is well worth a play, as he is a capable player in his own right.
Target: Jonathan Bernier (G) – Tor (v. NYI) – $6,800
Bernier started off the season really poorly, as his 3-9-3 record and .894 Sv% might indicate. This might be misleading, however, as he’s come back a bit as of late, going 3-1 with a .925 Sv% in his last 3 starts. What is really interesting is his consistent shot volume faced, he has faced between 26-29 shots in his last 6 starts. With this in mind, a 29 shot, 27 save performance (which is what his recent Sv% would lead us towards) and a Toronto win would give Bernier a healthy 6.4 DKPt night. This is completely acceptable at his salary, as he is one of the cheapest viable options out there. Toronto has scored 17 goals in Bernier’s last 4 games, so I foresee Bernier and the Leafs taking care of business at home against the Islanders, who they just beat 3-1 on the road Sunday.
Stack: James Van Riemsdyk – $6,200
I really like the Leafs in this matchup tonight, as the Islanders have allowed 67 shots over their last two games, including 37 last game against the Leafs. The Leafs play high event hockey, and Van Riemsdyk is leading the team in shots over the last 10 days, and trails only Nazem Kadri on the season. JVR averages 4.3 DKPts/G at home, which would place him 5th in production of all wingers on the slate, and he is the 12th highest priced player. I hate that JVR and Kadri no longer play together, but it might just work out, as the team is winning and JVR has 5 points in his last 3 games, all apart from Kadri.
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!