Kevin Walsh| October 2nd, 2019
Hello everyone, and welcome to the first of many installments of my GPP article for this NHL season. I want to start by saying how grateful I am for these fine people at the Scorecrow to allow me to write for them for football and hockey and that I really want to make some money for myself as well as all the readers this season. I had a couple of near-binks last season, and I am committed to hitting one or two this year, so let’s get to the picks.
I will start by reminding everyone that this is opening night and you don’t have to unload your bankroll on a little four-game slate like this one. I know I will be overly exposed tonight, but I tend to be pretty loose with my bankroll, to begin with.
I want to explain how I construct my lineups, otherwise, the way this article flows will make little to no sense. If you know from other sports, we are often looking for correlation in our plays, and hockey is no different in that regard. In most cases, we want to stack two lines from different teams (with some variation depending) to get the most correlation. We may add a defenseman that plays on the power-play with two or more of those line-mates for additional correlation.
That being said, nearly all my lineups will be built 3+3 or 4+3, meaning three players from one line and three from another line, and if there is a four-man stack, there will be a correlated defenseman. I do not tend to stray from this strategy, at least until the new hype arrives and something stranger wins a big tournament.
There are also such things as the 5+2 stack, where you are typically stacking an entire power-play unit and add two correlated players as a mini-stack. You would use these when a penalty-prone team faces a power-play juggernaut, or if you just think that game is going to be a goal-scoring bonanza.
In future articles, I will highlight my lineup construction further to give specific examples.
All my plays are based on DraftKings pricing. It’s also important to note that when I list a player as a fade, I do not mean I will have 0% of them, but I will be way under the field as far as exposure goes, and likely will not play them on single entry lineups.
I will also leave this reminder here that you should always be checking lines close to lock time for any late news and/or line changes. NHL is not nearly as bad as the NBA with late scratches or bad reporting, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
For this first article, I will just be talking about full lines I like, especially since this is just a four-game slate.
TOR1 – Auston Matthews, Andreas Johnsson, and William Nylander ($18,600 DK)
Defensemen Add-On – Morgan Rielly ($6,200 DK) or Tyson Barrie ($5,600)
Unlike much of the beginning of a season, we actually have a lot of data on this full line. Last year they sported 57 CF% as well as 16 HDCF/60 in 173 minutes of ice time. They should mostly be matched up against OTT1, which does seem to limit the high-danger chances but has trouble with puck possession. Vegas expects Toronto to score four goals tonight, and you got to think Matthews contributes at least one of those. I do prefer the Morgan Rielly pairing for the four-man stack, but Tyson Barrie is serviceable if you need the savings.
VGK2 – Cody Glass, Max Pacioretty, and Mark Stone ($15,300 DK)
Defensemen Add-On – Shea Theodore ($5,300 DK)
The Golden Knights are often one of my favorite targets, and even though it appears that VGK1 remains intact from last season, I am particularly interested in this line for opening night. Cody Glass gets the call ahead of Paul Stastny to play between two studs in Patches and Stone, and they should see the bulk of their ice time against SJ1. While Logan Couture is reasonably responsible defensively, his wingers are not going to be up to snuff against this line.
VAN1 – Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, and Micheal Ferland ($16,600 DK)
Defensemen Add-On – Alexander Edler ($5,100 DK)
The combo of Pettersson and Boeser was very productive last season despite them never having played with each other before. They are the reason Vancouver has any shot to make the playoffs this year, and they will be called on to produce every game. They will likely be responsible for slowing down Connor McDavid tonight, but McDavid’s linemates are rather untrustworthy with the puck, so Pettersson and Boeser should at least get a couple of high-quality chances, and I expect them to bury one.
If you are familiar with MLB DFS, goaltenders are much like starting pitchers. Taking big favorites at home is often a good play. It is also reasonable to look for goaltenders who play for teams that tend to give up lots of shots, as the volume for saves provides a solid floor, especially since the scoring has changed and now gives a bonus for 35+ saves.
Frederik Andersen ($8,400 DK)
Toronto is the biggest favorite on the board, at home, and also tends to let a lot of shots through. I would imagine he is the highest-owned goalie on the slate, and for very good reason.
Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,100 DK)
The second-biggest favorite on the slate, Vegas opens their season against a Sharks team that has Joe Pavelski leave team and Evander Kane likely missing the game due to suspension. Currently, the Sharks lines look bad, and the Golden Knights’ lines should dominate them in every facet of the game. Even if they net one or two, a win here seems like the likeliest scenario.
This section will just highlight some value plays if you need a one-off player or some fill-in guys. Typically these will consist of guys elevated to bigger minutes due to injury, or promising talent that hasn’t seen the professional level yet.
Cody Glass ($2,800 DK)
Young prospect center that is playing opening night between Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty in a favorable matchup. If you need a cheap one-off, this one is my favorite.
Joakim Nygard ($3,500 DK)
I will be the first to admit that I know very little about him, but he is starting on Connor McDavid’s left-wing, and there is always value in that at this price.
Ethan Bear ($2,600 DK)
I think Edmonton expects Bear to make a bigger leap this season and take a step forward. Until he truly does that, his price will be down here in the basement. Get him now when the price is right.
Jonas Siegenthaler ($2,800 DK)
Siegenthaler is another young guy projected to play some big minutes alongside John Carlson for the Capitals on the first defense pairing. I could also endorse playing Nick Jensen ($2,900 DK) on the second pairing with Dmitri Orlov, if necessary.
Again, just a reminder that you do not need to play outside your means just because you are excited about hockey. It’s a long season, and this is a short slate, so just take it easy, get a little action, and sweat out the first of many NHL slates with me!
If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter @Walsh_Sports. I will answer any questions you have!
Let’s make that money tonight and every night!
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