NHL Breakdown 11/08/16
Tonight we have a 10 game slate with a few heavy favorites that are likely to command a very high ownership in DFS. I will take a look at the stronger plays from those games as well as some high upside options from the lower owned games.
Vancouver Canucks at New York Rangers
This game is the biggest mismatch so far this season. The Canucks are the worst team in the league at the moment and are coming off a loss last night against the Islanders. They have lost 9 straight games overall and are visiting a Rangers team that has just been dismantling opponents for most of the season. The Rangers lead the league in SCF% (scoring chance for percentage) and the Canucks are near the bottom of the league in that category.
The Rangers offense is very deep and balanced which makes them a difficult team to figure out exactly where the offense is going to come from on any given night. The Rangers don’t usually match specific lines at home and there are no matchups to avoid on the Canucks side. In cash games, I prefer using any of the top line of Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello, who have been the most dominant line on the Rangers from a puck possession and SCF% standpoint. I imagine they will be one of the highest owned on the night so it would not be a bad strategy to move down to either the second or third lines in tournaments. Ryan McDonagh is one of the top point-per-dollar plays for defensemen tonight given his consistent shot rate and block rate. Add to that the fact that he mans the point on the top PP unit against a tired team and I think he makes for a great cash game play.
Goaltender Antti Raanta is in net tonight for the Rangers and I think he is a no brainer cash game play, especially on Fanduel where many of the other top goalies are overpriced.
Edmonton Oilers at Pittsburgh Penguins
I am very interested to watch this game as Connor McDavid will be going head-to-head against Sidney Crosby for the first time in their careers. McDavid’s offensive production has slowed after an excellent start to the season while Crosby is red hot after missing the early part of the season with a concussion. The two lines will most likely match up at even strength as the Penguins have been deploying Crosby’s line against opposing teams’ top lines at home. I love that matchup for the Crosby line (which includes Patrick Hornqvist and now Carl Hagelin) as they are one of the best possession units in the league, while the McDavid line (with Jordan Eberle and Patrick Maroon) creates a ton of scoring chances but also gives up one of the most chances in the league per 60 minutes.
LA Kings at Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs are a high flying team that plays a wide open style of hockey. This allows them to create a bunch of scoring opportunities, but also give up a bunch as a result. Enter the LA Kings who are annually the best puck possession team in the league but also one of the lowest scoring teams. This bump in pace of play should be a huge boost to their offense and they will still likely go way overlooked in this matchup. The Leafs will most likely match the Kadri line against Anze Kopitar, leaving the Bozak line to go up against Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli. The Bozak line has one of the worst CA60 (shot attempts against per game) in the league which puts Carter and Toffoli in a terrific spot. I think they make for a great low owned stack with either defenseman Alex Martinez or Drew Doughty who join them on the top PP unit.
Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets
I think this game will be one of the highest scoring on the night but still remain lower owned than it should be in tournaments with all of the other heavy favorites going. Both teams are poor defensively and have terrible penalty killing units. I really like the top lines from both sides which include Tyler Seguin-Jamie Benn-Patrick Eaves from Dallas, and Mark Scheifele-Nikolaj Ehlers-Patrick Laine from Winnipeg. These lines have multi goal upside on any given night. Ehlers and Eaves are particularly cheap and offer excellent salary relief and exposure to the rest of the studs.