NHL Breakdown – 11/29/16
The NHL is back tonight with a 12 game slate and there are lots of big DFS contests across the industry. Most teams are well rested as only the Dallas Stars are playing on back to back nights. The Oilers and Sharks are the chalk offenses tonight so I will break down those games in depth and then will briefly touch on a few other spots I would like to target for lower ownership.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers
This game is going to be a popular target for many tonight as it’s one of only two games with a 5.5 Vegas total. The Leafs play a very wide open style of hockey at 5 on 5, generating a ton of shots and goals but also giving up a bunch. The Leafs have been awful on the road this season going 1-5-4 so far away from home. There is some hope for them however, as all 4 of those OT/SO losses have come after blowing huge leads late in the game. With everybody targeting their opponents very heavily, it’s worth keeping in mind that they have been scoring as well in order to build those leads. The Oilers have been much better defensively at home this season and Cam Talbot has played very well so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Leafs didn’t put up a big showing here, but there are a few spots that are worth targeting. It’s difficult to tell how the Oilers will match lines in this game, but the Auston Matthews line has been the best offensive option on the road this season while the Bozak line has been much better at home. Matthews is among the league leaders in shots on goal and has been consistently generating scoring chances all season long. He is still way underpriced on FanDuel so I love him as a play there as opposed to DraftKings. His regular linemate William Nylander missed the last game due to injury, but is expected back tonight. He was practising on the 4th line and it’s anyone’s guess how long he will stay there. If he gets bumped back up with Matthews, then it is a great boost for the duo. The other strong play on the Leafs is winger Nikita Soshnikov who was recently bumped up to play with Nazim Kadri. The promotion really helped as he was able to record an assist, 4 shots on goal, and 2 blocked shots in 15 minutes of ice time, which included time on the power-play. For the absolute minimum price on FD, and only $3,500 on DK, he makes for the best cheap option on the night.
The Oilers will be the chalk tonight with Connor McDavid easily being the highest owned player on the board. The Oilers have been very streaky and inconsistent so far this season as can be expected from a young hockey team. McDavid is an easy cash play tonight as he is the safest bet for a goal on the whole slate. I’m not quite sure how I will handle him in tournaments however, as his price and ownership concern me a little. On a 12 game slate, he will likely have to put up 3+ points to make it worth playing him. His winger Milan Lucic has played very well over his last 4 games with 7 shots on goal last game alone. Lucic is still priced very cheap on both sites and is a strong point per dollar play tonight. It should be noted that Lucic did miss practise this morning, so keep your eye on his game time status before putting him in your lineups. If Lucic is out then I think fading McDavid is a reasonable play in tournaments tonight. One way to capitalize on the Oilers’ offense tonight and avoiding huge ownership is to use the 2nd line of Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Patrick Maroon who have all been shooting the puck a ton lately. 3rd line center Leon Draisaitl also makes for a strong one-off play tonight as he has been on fire lately and plays on the team’s top PP unit. He also got bumped up to play with McDavid for part of last game so his ceiling is pretty high. Defenseman Oscar Klefbom is a strong play once again as his shots and blocks output has been very high after seeing an increase in playing time. I prefer him on FD as he is $4,300 there compared to $5,300 on DK.
Arizona Coyotes at San Jose Sharks
The Sharks will be the other chalk offense on the night as they are the biggest favorites on the board at -250. The Coyotes are one of the worst defensive teams in the league but have already defeated the Sharks twice this season. However, both of those wins have been at home and the Coyotes are a much worse team on the road. Last game in Edmonton, they were massively outplayed, getting outshot 42-23 and somehow pulled out a 2-1 victory after goaltender Mike Smith stood on his head. The Sharks are a dominant possession team and should have no problem outshooting the Coyotes again tonight. Smith is a very streaky goalie and is playing well right now, so I think he is a very high risk, high reward GPP option tonight.
The Sharks have been very inconsistent this season alternating 3 game winning streaks with 3 game losing streaks, but there is a lot to like for their offense in this matchup. Brent Burns will be the highest owned defenseman on the slate as usual as he leads the league in shots on goal and already has an 11 shot game against the Coyotes this season. His shot volume has gone down over the last 10 games or so as teams have figured out how to take away his time and space so I am a little hesitant to pay up for him tonight. Winger Joe Pavelski has played great lately and has been shooting at a much more consistent rate game-to-game than Burns. He is my preferred cash play on the Sharks offense. Logan Couture is right up there with Pavelski in terms of shot rate and is a great GPP option tonight as he plays on the 2nd line and top PP unit. Couture was snake bitten early in the season but his luck as turned lately as his shooting percentage is now up to a healthy 10%. Winger Patrick Marleau has seen a nice boost to his offense lately after being bumped up to the teams’ top line. He is a great salary relief option and can be paired with Pavelski and/or Burns as part of a stack.
Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers
The Bruins have not been scoring a ton on the road lately but typically play very well in Philly, going 4-1 in their last 5 games. The Flyers are tied with the Dallas Stars for the most goals against allowed per game and have recently lost shut down center Sean Couturier to a multi week injury. The Bruins top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have been one of the absolute best possession lines in the whole league and may go overlooked in this matchup as underdogs on the road in a low total game. Pastrnak should be the highest owned of the trio as he is 2nd in the league in goals and makes for a great cash game play due to his consistent output. Bergeron should be fairly low owned with all the other options at center tonight but I think that he makes for a great GPP play as he is top 10 in the league in shots on goal per game and has just not been getting the bounces. His very low 4% shooting rate is due for positive regression and he is in a great spot against the Flyers weak defensive game.
Dallas Stars at Detroit Red Wings
As I mentioned above the Stars are tied for last in the league in goals against per game and are playing on a road back-to-back so I think many people will be on the Wings offense tonight. It is a fantastic matchup for them and I love the line of Dylan Larkin, Thomas Vanek and Gustav Nyquist as the trio has the most offensive upside on the whole team. Anthony Mantha and Ryan Sproul also make for great cheap options on the Wings offense and should not be very highly owned.
I think that the Stars top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Patrick Eaves will go under-owned tonight due to the back-to-back and all the other high priced options tonight. They are in a decent spot against a Wings team who doesn’t boast any strong shut down options and are starting goaltender Petr Mrazek who has been awful this season and has a sub .900 SV%. As the underdogs in the only other 5.5 total game tonight, I think they make for a great GPP stack.