The NHL DFS main slate gets underway at 2:30 p.m. E.T. on Tuesday, with five games spread out from the afternoon until late at night. The last two days of hockey have included both Round Robin and Qualifying Round playoff games, but today is purely a playoff hockey day with all of the Round Robin teams getting the day off. Today we take a look at different types of stacks to target, for different purposes across the slate.
Sean Monahan ($4,900), Johnny Gaudreau ($5,700), Elias Lindholm ($4,900)
The Flames underwhelmed in Game 2 against a Winnipeg Jets team that was short of Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine, and they’ll have a chance for redemption in Game 3 today as both players figure to be out of the lineup once again. The matchup dynamics against the Jets change with those players out, as the lack of prolific scorers should slow the game down as it did in Game 2, but the more important element is simply that the Jets are a far worse team without Scheifele and Laine and the Flames should be able to dominate puck possession for large chunks of the game.
It may have gone overlooked as this was a very recent change for Calgary, but they’ve opened this series with Erik Gustafsson ($3,600) as the point man on the first power play unit, supplanting Mark Giordano ($5,700) who held that position for most of the season. Gustafsson was acquired from the Blackhawks in late February and has become an interesting DFS play as a component of power play stacks.
Ryan Johansen ($4,200), Filip Forsberg ($5,600), Viktor Arvidsson ($4,500)
It’s unusual to have a recognizable first line pop up as a value stack, but the Predators top forwards are simply too cheap for any matchup, and this one against the Coyotes isn’t especially threatening. Johansen, Forsberg, and Arvidsson actually didn’t play together all that much in 2020, due to regularly shuffling lines and also a multi-week injury to Arvidsson. In 2019, however, this was one of the best lines in hockey and they put their talent on full display in Game 1, albeit in a 4-3 loss. Forsberg scored twice in that game, with Johansen assisting on one of the two goals.
One of the more underrated players in hockey in recent years has been Ryan Ellis ($6,000), who is probably as valuable on the back end as just about any defenseman in the league, but he tends to be overshadowed by the more well-known Roman Josi ($7,200). Ellis missed about a third of this season, which definitely explains some of the Predators struggles, but he’s back and healthy and should help Nashville’s top line get back to producing in the way they did last season. Ellis scored a goal in Game 1, and both he and Josi make for solid additions to a Predators top line stack.
Possible Low Owned Stack
New York Rangers
Mika Zibanejad ($8,100), Artemi Panarin ($7,500), Pavel Buchnevich ($4,100)
The Rangers shuffled their lines in Game 2’s ugly 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, uniting their two best players in Zibanejad and Panarin on the top line. It’s unclear at this point if the Rangers will stick with this combination for a do or die Game 3, but if they do, this could be a sneaky stack to watch out for. Zibanejad and Panarin in particular are relatively expensive compared to some of the other top players on the slate, but they are among the best offensive players in the NHL and capable of lighting it up in any matchup.
The uncertainty with the Rangers lines should work to suppress ownership, but more importantly, this is a hard team to trust after the two lackluster performances they’ve had to start the playoffs. If you’re buying the Rangers best players, you’re definitely buying talent and definitely not buying recent form. The Hurricanes are a tough team to generate scoring chances against but the Rangers did beat them all three times that these teams played in the regular season.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.