Welcome to Stack the Deck, where we focus on the key players in action on February 16th 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 eight-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
Happy Tuesday, I hope your NHL Monday was as exciting as mine! But first: Keep your eye out for free contests, my friends. Last night, a buddy of mine shipped the Stadium Series Experience contest courtesy of the NHL and DraftKings, and the $2,000 prize that went with it. I can’t wait to hear a firsthand account of what this sort of experience will be like, as it seems like the DFS industry really takes care of its players, and I look forward to one day attending something like this myself! Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Patrick Kane, and Scott Darling were all keys to both his contest winning lineup, and my cash games, ending in a great night for all involved, as the trio combined for 30 DKPts on their own. Let’s try to dig up the next batch of DFS gold in tonight’s juicy slate, with 5 of the 8 games currently at a 5.5 O/U.
**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.**
Target: Jaccob Slavin (D) – Car (v. Wpg) – $3,700
With Justin Faulk confirmed out yet again, Slavin has immense value at this price. In Faulk’s absence, the Hurricanes have had six powerplays in two games, and Slavin has seen 75% of the available PP TOI. Even with Faulk in the lineup before the previous two, Slavin has still seen a huge amount of ice time, with over 22 minutes/game in his last 10. Over that stretch, he has posted a floor of over 4 blocks + shots in addition to his newfound PP time, making him a great value option in a game with the Winnipeg Jets, who have been very inconsistent all season and are starting Ondrej Pavelec in net.
Stack: Jeff Skinner (W) – $4,800
Pavelec did very well in his first start back off injury, but he is still trying to find his game after missing over three months due to injury. On the season, he is still a .909 Sv% goalie, which is only slightly below his career average. Pavelec will do nothing to help the Jets’ freefall in the Western Conference, and Carolina should be able to score a few goals on him. Jeff Skinner is the guy to target for Carolina’s goal scoring. The former Calder trophy winner is another staple in Carolina’s PP plans, seeing two thirds of the PP TOI alongside Jordan Staal and Phillip Di Giuseppe. While they aren’t the biggest names on the team, they’ve played well enough to earn coach Bill Peters’ trust, it seems. With 35 shots in the last 10 games and only two goals, I expect his shooting luck to turn, and for him to exceed his 3.4 DKPts/G pace over the last 10 games in tonight’s matchup.
Target: Cam Atkinson (W) – CBJ (v. Bos) – $4,800
Atkinson is in play due to his torrid stretch as of late, with 5.3 DKPts per game over his last 10, better than the seasonal averages of every skater in the league. If Patrice Bergeron is ruled out after allegedly struggling with his lower-body injury in the morning skate, Atkinson gets an even bigger boost in value. In the case Bergeron plays, he will be limited in his skating ability, making it even tougher for the Bruins best defenders to keep up with the speedy Atkinson. Playing as well as he has, against a Bruins team that just gave up 6 to the Detroit Red Wings, Atkinson is yet another value option for your DFS lineups today.
Target: Boone Jenner (C) – $5,000
Cam and Boone, besides sounding like a Western currently airing on TVLand, ride together in nearly every situation, lining up with Brandon Dubinsky at 5v5 and with Alexander Wennberg on the PP. The two have seen the most ice time at both EV and PP of all forwards on the team in the past few games, making them a great stack at a cheap price. They correlate well, and have each averaged nearly 5 shots + blocks on a per game basis in their last 10, making them safe options in what I project to be the highest scoring game of the night, giving them great upside in a home matchup, where each has been overwhelmingly better than on the road.
Cory Schneider (G) – N.J (v. Phi) – $8,300
In the only 4.5 O/U I’ve seen in quite some time, the home goalie, who is also one of the best goalies in the world, usually makes for a great play. But when his opponent is the Philadelphia Flyers, a team of 1 great line and then some AHLers, and his team has been suppressing scoring chances while still allowing shots, he becomes a lock. There’s always a risk that the Phi PP1 goes for 3 goals and the Devils lack of offensive talent leads to a loss, but that risk stands for most every goalie, on any slate. Schneider is about as safe as they come, with a .930 Sv% on the season, and coming off a fantastic outing in Philadelphia, where he stopped 31 of 32 shots in a big win for the Devils, who are surprisingly in the playoff hunt this late in the season. Since the All-Star break, the Devils have allowed at least 28 shots in 6 of 7 games, with the only exception being Edmonton, who despite Connor McDavid, still are an atrocious possession team. Schneider has a very high floor among goaltenders, and in this matchup has the best chance of a shutout of any goalie on the slate. With tons of value out there, pay up at goalie and feel safe on a night of many questionable starters.
Stack (Last Night): Patrick Kane (W) – $8,700
Can we get Kane in our lineups tonight, against the Leafs? Please? That was too much fun last night. No? Just checking. Fine, I guess I’ll just go Ovechkin. He’s good too.
Seriously, in cash games just don’t play any Devils or Flyers, as whatever shooting floor they might have is mitigated by the low-scoring affair this should be. With 5 games projected at a full goal higher, there’s more than enough available to build an excellent cash lineup from. If you are itching for some GPP exposure to this game, the Devils PP has been good as of late (5/10 in last 3 games), and could be in line for a few goals against the undisciplined Flyers (9th in penalties taken) if the game takes an offensive turn.
If you have any comments or questions regarding Tuesday’s NHL DFS action, or just want to say hi, you can reach out me on Twitter @Mattman1398. Good luck tonight, and as always:
Thanks for reading!
Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/3484734701