Kevin Walsh| October 22nd, 2019
Ten game slates are sometimes hard to decipher. There are many matchups to consider and numbers to sort through. The most important thing is to not play too many lineups because you can’t decide between lines to play or narrow your overall player pool.
These slates make it hard to be a single-entry player, but you have to whittle down your plans to your absolute favorite plays. I’m here to help. Let’s get to it.
I will continue to leave this section as is for the first couple of weeks so everyone knows what my feelings are for lineup construction, at least for the time being.
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, 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 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.
This section going forward will contain the Vegas opening line information for each game, as well as the probable goaltender for that game. Please note that you should always be checking late news for starting goaltenders. ALWAYS. All games are listed by money-line favorites, the goal total, and whether the total is trending to the over or to the under (denoted by an “o” or “u”, respectively).
Toronto @ Boston -146, 6.5o
Michael Hutchinson vs Tuukka Rask
San Jose @ Buffalo -110, 6.5u
Pittsburgh @ Florida -142, 6o
Matt Murray vs Sergei Bobrovsky
Arizona @ New York Rangers -129, 6u
Darcy Kuemper vs Alexandar Georgiev
Vancouver -125 @ Detroit, 6u
Jacob Markstrom vs Jimmy Howard
Edmonton @ Minnesota -110, 6u
Mikko Koskinen vs Devan Dubnyk
Los Angeles @ Winnipeg -190, 6u
Jack Campbell vs Connor Hellebuyck
Anaheim @ Nashville -170, 5.5u
Vegas -140 @ Chicago, 6.5u
Marc-Andre Fleury vs Robin Lehner
Washington @ Calgary -130, 6u
Braden Holtby vs David Rittich
BOS1 – Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak ($22,100)
Defensemen Add-On – Torey Krug ($5,600 DK)
Their price keeps climbing and for good reason. Because of the price, I do not know how highly they will be owned tonight. They have the potential to break ANY slate. Add that Bergeron seems to be shooting more than he ever has in his career, and it really shouldn’t take much convincing to make the leap here. This is just one of those lines you should probably play every night if volume allows.
VGK2 – Paul Stastny, Max Pacioretty, and Mark Stone ($18,800)
Defensemen Add-On – Shea Theodore ($5,000 DK)
This line disappointed last night, and they are on a back-to-back. I think it’s too early in the season to put too much stock into rest when it comes to back-to-backs, and it may end up being low-owned to go here again tonight. This line is still producing at huge rates, are all on the first power-play line, and get a decent matchup at Chicago. I play this line most nights, and tonight it might be real contrarian (especially on a ten-game slate).
VALUE – CHI3 – David Kampf, Brandon Saad, and Dominik Kubalik ($12,400 DK)
This line only has 50 minutes of ice time together, but their shot metrics are through the roof in that short amount of time. Granted this is a third line that won’t see a ton of time on the ice tonight, the rate at which they get shots on goal has been absurd:
50 TOI, 4.41 xGF, 60.75 CF%, 41 SCF, 17 HDCF, 47 SF
Averaging nearly a shot per minute doesn’t sound like a lot until you put it in perspective – when your full line stack gets 15 shots in one game, that’s a lot of points without even hoping one of them hit the back of the net. When you are getting that kind of production at $12,400, you are looking at some next-level stuff. Granted this torrid pace cannot continue, even getting 10 shots out of this line and hoping for one goal would more than pay off, as they let you fit in nearly any line you want with them.
Get on the train before the price goes up, or an injury breaks up this line.
Also Like (in order): DET1, EDM1, PIT1, SJ2, BUF1, NSH2, CGY1, WAS1, MIN2, FLA2, MIN1
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.
David Rittich ($8,400 DK) – Calgary is a decent home favorite against the Capitals, who are shooting at a high rate. Rittich may let in one or two but is live for that 35 save bonus and he is in line for a win.
Connor Hellebuyck ($8,300 DK) – He isn’t likely to hit the bonus against the Kings, but he is certainly in play for a win, and the Jets need a win badly.
Sergei Bobrovsky ($7,500 DK) – The Penguins unloaded a ton of shots the other night on Fleury, and they could not get one buried. Despite their injuries, they are still shooting a lot. Florida is the favorite here at home, and Bob should see plenty of volume, granted he will need to stop most of them to pay off.
Don’t Forget About – Georgiev, Koskinen, Quick
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.
Mats Zuccarello ($3,700 DK) – Coming back from injury, he is severely mispriced for a guy that plays top-line minutes against an Edmonton team that tends to play firewagon hockey. These Wild players have to figure it out sometime, and this is a get-right spot. If you need a cheap one-off, I would look here.
Dominik Kubalik ($4,000 DK) – As mentioned before, CHI3 has been shooting the puck at an insane pace, and most of the shots are coming from Kubalik and Saad. Kubalik is the cheaper of the two and a solid one-off choice.
Cody Ceci ($3,600 DK) – Ceci sees top-pairing minutes with Morgan Reilly and is typically tasked with shutting down the opponent and blocking shots. He should have plenty of value against the Bruins top-line, who shoot the puck a ton. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit the blocked-shot bonus tonight, and at this price would pay off easily. He still has regular point upside too, considering how much he shares the ice with Auston Matthews.
Ville Heinola ($3,500 DK) – The absence of Dustin Byfuglien has given some opportunity to Jets’ defensemen, and Heinola is making the best of it. He is on the second pairing with Neil Pionk, as well as the second power-play unit. He shoots often enough at his price that he becomes a solid value play every slate he is on as long as he stays below the $4,000 mark.
Ten-game slates are often hard to navigate. If you are only playing one or two lineups, just find your favorite guys and jam them in. Do your best to not play extra volume just to incorporate all these lines you like. Conviction goes a long way, and ANYTHING can happen on a ten-game slate, especially in hockey.
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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