Welcome to Stack the Deck, where we focus on the key players in action on February 9th across the industry, 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 twelve-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
Here’s hoping you “locked” in Pavel Datsyuk last night, as I managed to come away with a profitable night from a lineup that didn’t have a single Penguin and 2 players from both the Sens and Lightning that combined for 6.5 DKPts in a 6-goal contest. Datsyuk and Ryan Getzlaf combined for 18 DKPts alone, which made for an incredible sweat after being blitzed in most contests by Crosby’s awesome performance at a very high ownership. Killorn and Hedman were awful, which was tough to swallow, but even more disappointing for my lineups was how the duo of Karlsson and Hoffman managed to avoid a single point in a 5-goal Ottawa performance. Not everything has to break your way to make a profit in cash games, however, which makes them much less volatile than GPP games, which can swing significantly with a single play. With that in mind, here’s some of my top cash game options, with a GPP thought included with them to maximize your upside on tonight’s huge 12-game schedule, which has unfortunately become the norm for the NHL.
**DraftKings Prices will be used, however there are some other sites that have very similar scoring systems to DraftKings, so if you play on OwnThePlay or FantasyHub (or any site with shots, goals, assists, and blocked shots making up the substance of the scoring system, and no +/-), this writeup will be useful to you as well. Stay tuned for the FantasyHub Lock of the Night later on in the post!**
**News and Notes: Toronto traded Phaneuf and a plethora of organizational depth to Ottawa, receiving a couple viable NHLers, but they are unlikely to play tonight. Elsewhere, Johan Larsson (doubtful) and Artemi Panarin (probable) are GTD, and Drew Stafford (suspension) and Sasha Barkov (concussion) have been ruled OUT for tonight’s contests**
Target: Mark Giordano (D) – Cgy (v. Tor) – $6,800
Giordano has been a really solid performer, with only one game below 3 DKPts in his last 10. His matchup tonight could not be better, with the Leafs missing 3 of their top 4 players in Lupul, JVR, and Bozak, and now Phaneuf shipped out of town just this morning. They are struggling for players, and have a handful of non-NHLers forced into the lineup. While Calgary is no great team themselves, they have a really strong defensive core, and should make light work of a decimated Leafs squad. Of the Flames, their top line makes for a nice target, but Giordano’s salary is right around Gaudreau and Monahan, and he’s been much more consistent. In his last 5 games, Giordano has 10, 8, 1, 8, and 9 shot attempts, with the lone blemish being against the stacked Carolina back-end, who don’t get nearly enough credit for keeping the team afloat. He drives the play offensively, sees PP1 time, and has put up good rate stats, averaging right around 2.5 shots and 2.5 blocks per game on the season. You can count on this as a floor, and at least a point or two as the main facilitator on the PP and at even-strength.
Stack: Dougie Hamilton (D) – $4,800
For a GPP, you can count on Gaudreau/Monahan/Giordano being a highly owned stack. But not many people will complete the PP stack by putting Dougie, a Toronto boy, in their lineups. While yes, it is cheap to pick a Maple Leaf opponent because he’s from Toronto, as QuantHockey.com lists a whopping 33 active NHLers who hail from the area, Hamilton has a lot of merit as a GPP option. He’s only recently been promoted to the PP1 role, and gets Gaudreau and Giordano, two of the best players at their positions, to feed off of. With Dennis Wideman suspended, Russell has seen a slight bump in TOI as well, averaging nearly 20 minutes a night. Against his hometown team who ranks 2nd to last in preventing defensive points (per DvP), you can find much worse options for as cheap as Dougie Hamilton.
Target: Tyler Seguin (C) – Dal (@ Min) – $8,500
It’s a pretty safe bet that you knew Seguin was good at hockey, but do you realize just how bad Minnesota has been? They’ve won 3 games since the New Year. The Canadiens, who have broken into Auston Matthews fever after being in first place in the entire league to begin December, have at least won 5 in that same stretch. It’s bad, really bad. If you don’t believe me, just take a gander into some post-game quotes from recent games. The team is falling apart at the seams, and to make matters worse, they’ve now lost 2 of their top 3 defensemen in Jonas Brodin and Jared Spurgeon to injury, leaving Ryan Suter all alone against the ferocious Stars first line.
Stack: Patrick Eaves (W) – $3,100
I’ve written about him before, and that was before he was promoted from PP2 to PP1. Eaves is playing with Benn and Seguin in all situations now, #2 and #4 in the Art Ross race. You or I might be able to post a decent night at a near-minimum playing with those guys, and in such a good matchup, take the savings where you can and pay up elsewhere.
FantasyHub Lock of the Night: Travis Hamonic (D) – NYI (@ CBJ) – $3,900
Hamonic is a bit off the board, but he is the guy I am most excited to roster tonight. His rate stats have been outstanding, and the TOI has been there for him, as even with Boychuk’s return to the lineup he’s led the team in TOI in recent games. At a price a bit below both Leddy, he doesn’t have the same upside with exposure to PP1, but he still sees PP2 minutes, and has averaged 3 shots and 6.2 shot attempts per game to go with nearly 2 blocks per game over his last 10. His floor is elite, and there aren’t any guys at or below this salary that I trust more to get to 4 DKPts on the night. I don’t expect him to win anyone GPPs, but with the way he’s used in every situation and how he’s performed as a fantasy option as of late, he’s a safe value plug and play on a day where there’s tons of options to spend up at every position.
Stack: Ryan Strome (C) – $3,800
Strome is a good stacking option to put with Hamonic, if you want a very contrarian stack. Strome shares PP2 time with Hamonic and plays at 5v5 with John Tavares, so his upside is much higher than most sub-$4k players on this slate. While the NYI PP1 is the more dangerous unit (Okposo had a hat trick and an assist in the Beatdown in Brooklyn this past weekend) there is some merit to zigging where the opposition zags, as ownership should be through the roof on the Islanders PP1 tonight. A PP2 goal could both bring that group down and propel you up the leaderboards.
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!