The One Time Shot – NHL DFS GPP Takedown – March 15, 2018

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March 15, 2018
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March 15, 2018

The One Time Shot (NHL HuLo GPP Plays)

The One Time Shot is back at my new home, Beeline Sports. Longtime readers of mine will notice that I’ve streamlined the article a little bit, but outside of that very little has changed.

For those that are new to my article I’m Doug Shain, the 2017 FSWA NHL Fantasy Writer of the year. I’ve been writing for the last four seasons for a number of sites for NHL, MLB, and NFL DFS (and now EPL right here at Beeline Sports). Although I’ve been writing about DFS for four years, I’ve been a fantasy player for the last 27 years. I hosted what I have convinced myself is the first ever NFL Fantasy radio show way back in 1997. Fantasy sports is a huge part of my life. I love talking about it, writing about it, and playing it.

I approach DFS with a GPP mentality; I want to win big or go home. I’m a lot like you, a small buy in player looking to wind down a bit after work and maybe put some extra cash in my pocket for a nice dinner out or a vacation.

My goal for this article is to provide you with some perspective. I don’t do optimal lineups and I’m not a guy that dives deep into advanced statistics. I want you to look at my thought process and then make some decisions to help you build your GPP lineups. I always give you a sample lineup or two, but those are there merely as an example of how I build lineups from my thought process. They are definitely NOT templates or optimal lineups. We have great content here at Beeline that can give you all of that, and I strongly suggest you use that in conjunction with this article.

I live by the theory of HuLo (High upside, Low ownership). HuLo is my take on contrarianism and it guides a lot of my thinking. I always want to find those few HuLo plays that will give you an edge in your GPP contest. As we go through this journey (I egotistically view my articles as an episodic journey) I hope you’ll get to learn a lot more about how I play and how I think. When all is said and done, my biggest hope is that your gameplay benefits from taking a few minutes to see how I figure out my DFS lineups. With that, let’s get to the good stuff. Best of luck with your One Time Shot!

**One note before you read on: I’ve created a stat called SABS. It stands for Shots and Blocked Shots and I use it a lot when evaluating defenders.**

Doug’s GPP Stacks of the Slate

Columbus Blue Jackets at Philadelphia Flyers

Focus: Cam Atkinson (CBJ – W), Alex Wennberg (CBJ – C), Artemi Panarin (CBJ – W), Seth Jones (CBJ – D)

Value: Alex Wennberg (CBJ – C), Pierre-Luc DuBois (CBJ – C)

The Blue Jackets are smoking hot right now. After averaging only 2.67 goals per game for the season, they’ve come out and scored 4 goals per game over the course of their current five game winning streak. Their main offensive threats have been the trio of Cam Atkinson (9 points and 32 SOG over his last ten games), Artemi Panarin (13 points and 30 SOG over his last ten games), and Seth Jones (7 points and 19 SABS over his last three games). I’m not normally a fan of paying up so much for a defenseman but if you’ve had Jones in your lineup at all over the last week or so then you know it can be a benefit in the right matchup. Tonight should once again be one of those matchups as they are blessed to go up against one of the two worst penalty killing units in the league; the Philadelphia Flyers. The power trio have been together for over 70% of the ice time on Columbus power plays over the last three games and it’s been a huge lift for their offense. Alex Wennberg and Pierre-Luc DuBois have both benefited from the spill off with a combined 16 points only 25 SOG over their last ten games. With Panarin, Jones, and Atkinson scoring so much there have been a lot of assists to go around. If you’re looking to take advantage of the power play then Wennberg is the guy to target, but if you’re focusing on an even strength line then you want to look at DuBois. Me? I’m all over Wennberg and the cap savings he gives you. One more reason to like the Blue Jackets; the goalie for Philly, Petr Mrazek, has given up 3+ goals in seven of his last ten starts, including a 3.67 GAA over his last six games in net.

Colorado Avalanche at St Louis Blues

Focus: Nathan MacKinnon (COL – C), Mikko Rantanen (COL – W), Tyson Barrie (COL – D)

Value: Tyson Jost (COL – W)

Despite being an offensive force (4.00 goals per game over their last eight games), the Avalanche come into tonight’s game as the underdog in St Louis. I love this as it should help to bring ownership down in a situation where it has no business being down. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Tyrson Barrie have combined for over 40 points over their last ten games and we have no reason to believe that they are slowing down any time soon. It’s a little up in the air as to who will start in next for the Blues. It looks like we will get Jake Allen in net (not ideal), but if it ends up being Carter Hutton (unlikely due to a neck injury) then we need to bump up the Avs even more as he’s not only coming off an injury but he’s also given up 3 or more goals in five of his last seven starts. As for Allen, he’s been alright in net but far from the dominant player we’ve seen in years past (only 1 shutout the entire year and a save percentage under 90% over his last ten games). I really like Tyson Jost as a salary saver because he’s been seeing a ton of time on the power play and has points in each of his last two games. Spill off is a real thing, kids, and we are going to try to find it everywhere we can.

Winnipeg Jets vs Chicago Blackhawks

Focus: Nikolaj Ehlers (WPG – W), Patrik Laine (WPG – W)

Value: Andrew Copp (WPG – C)

It’s almost unfair to recommend the Jets tonight but with teams like Boston, Florida, Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Washington expected to see a decent amount of ownership it’s not out of the question to think that we can stack Winnipeg up and still not lose the ownership game. Chicago has been awful in net all season and Vegas has the Jets as a massive favorite in a game with the highest total on the slate. Combine that with the hot play of Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers (a combined 28 points and 73 SOG over their last ten games) and I think it’s going to be really hard to fade this duo tonight. There is no combination of players that you can stack who have the upside that you can get out of Winnipeg.  Make sure to keep an eye out for who is starting at Center alongside Ehlers and Laine on the second line, because if Paul Stastny can’t go then we have serious spill off potential coming from Andrew Copp at a ridiculous value. He is able to lower the effective cost of his line mates in a way that allows you to pair the Jets with another big stack for a monster lineup.

Other Thoughts

Washington Capitals: The Islanders can’t stop anyone from scoring so you know that the Caps are going to be a very popular target tonight. As I am one to look for spill off potential, Tom Wilson should be getting plenty of ice time with Alexander Ovechkin. I’m not sure there’s any one player who provides better spill off then Ovi. You can team the two up for a reasonable cost given Wilson’s value.

Pittsburgh Penguins: My only issue with the Penguins is that you never know where they production is going to come from. They’re like the Manchester City of hockey (shout out to my EPL Sharp Tongues article!). That said, they have the best power play unit in hockey while the Canadiens are one of the worst penalty killing teams. One other stat that favors Pittsburgh heavily is that Montreal is near the bottom of the league in faceoff winning percentage, meaning more opportunities on net in the offensive zone during power plays for Pittsburgh.

Doug’s Goalies to Target

My philosophy on selecting a goalie has changed a lot over the last year or so. I used to try to find a total HuLo play and run with that. I found that all too often I’d get burned by that guy because he was just too risky. Sometimes it’s just a good idea to look at the Vegas lines, look at who is playing well, and just pay up for a favorite. The worst thing in DFS is when I hit on all my other picks but I got cute at goalie and didn’t maximize profit. I try not to do that anymore.

Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings) vs Detroit Red Wings

Hey, look who came back for a third appearance in a row for me! I can’t complain with the results that we got the last time we used Jonathan Quick (on Monday night against the Canucks) as he posted a 35 save shutout. That’s about all you can ask out of a goalie. Tonight he gets a very similar matchup against a terrible Red Wings team that is even more terrible on the road. The one thing you can say about Quick is that he beats the teams he’s supposed to beat. While we can’t realistically ask for another 35 saves and a shutout, it is not at all unreasonable to expect 28 saves and a win, with maybe one goal against. This is a team that Quick should beat as he is one of the heaviest favorites on the board tonight.

Semyon Varlamov (Colorado Avalanche) at St Louis Blues

Every time I write an article I preach safety with my goalies, and then I go and make my second goalie pick a risky play. The thing about Varlamov is that he’s a pretty decent goalie when he’s playing at home but not so much on the road. I just don’t buy that there’s something to him playing in Colorado. I guess you can attribute his success to a lack of adjustment to the thin air by the other team, but if that’s the case then why was he so bad for the last few seasons? We know that Varlamov is going to see about 30 shots and we should be able to feel comfortable that he’s not going to get blown out; he’s given up more than 3 goals only three times in his last ten starts and those were against better offenses (CBJ, CGY, and NSH). The key for Varlamov is him getting a win and I think he’s a very live dog in this game with the way that the Avalanche is scoring. Am I jumping for joy over the prospects of a 4-3 win with 28 saves? No, I am not. On the other hand, Varlamov is the cheapest of all the goalies you’d consider starting tonight (Quick, Rinne, Hellebuyck, Jarry, Rask, Bobrovsky, and Grubauer) and he should see, by far, the lowest ownership. If he can outperform expectations by even a little bit then you are looking at a goalie play that can separate you from the rest of your GPP field. Let’s not pretend that he’s a terrible goalie, you know? He’s giving up 2 or less goals in six of his last eight starts. There’s reason to believe here. In Varlamov I trust!

Pekka Rinne (Nashville Preators) at Arizona Coyotes

Do you want to be safe with goalie? Do you want to be smart with goalie? Do you want the best matchup from your goalie? If so, then just click on Rinne and call it a night. The guy is 9-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA and 2 shutouts over his last ten starts. For the year he has almost as many shutouts (7) and he does losses (9). The guy is money and he’s got a money matchup against a bad Coyotes offense (30th in the league in goals per game). I don’t care that this game is on the road because Rinne actually has a better goals against average (2.13 vs 2.35) and more shutouts (4 to 3) on the road than he does at home…and he’s played seven less road games. If I want safe then I want Rinne, high ownership or not.

Other Thoughts

Whoever starts for the Maple Leafs, be it Curtis McElhinney or Frederick Andersen, has a great matchup against the Sabres. The only reason I’m not higher on Toronto is that they are one of the few teams on the second leg of a back to back and I tend to avoid that if I’m able (and tonight I am).

Sample Lineups

Analysis: Winnipeg is my top stack on the night and with the savings I got from Copp and Jost I knew I’d be able to stack them with another one of my top teams. The pricing worked out better in this case to use the Blue Jackets and give myself enough money for Pekka Rinne. I love that I’m able to get two high powered stacks and still have room for my top goalie. This lineup has a ton of potential and it shouldn’t get burned by a bad mistake in net.

CENTRE
Andrew Copp
(Winnipeg Jets)
$3100

CENTRE
Alex Wennberg
(Columbus Blue Jackets)
$4400

WING
Patrik Laine
(Winnipeg Jets)
$7400

WING
Nikolaj Ehlers
(Winnipeg Jets)
$6400

WING
Artemi Panarin
(Columbus Blue Jackets)
$6700

DEFENCE
Seth Jones
(Columbus Blue Jackets)
$6300

DEFENCE
Josh Morrissey
(Winnipeg Jets)
$3600

GOALIE
Pekka Rinne
(Nashville Predators)
$8400

UTIL
Tyson Jost
(Colorado Avalanche)
$3700

Analysis: I was unable to stack Colorado and Winnipeg and still afford Rinne, so I decided that this was the spot to take a chance on Varlamov. This lineup is much more hit or miss than my DK lineup but the high ceiling is worth taking the risk for, especially if Varlamov comes through with a low ownership. If he’s a bust I can still cash but I’m probably not winning anything. Because I couldn’t afford to stick to my guy, I decided to go a little off the board at defender with a couple of offensive-minded players in good matchups. It’s always good to be flexible with your lineups.

CENTRE
Nathan MacKinnon
(Colorado Avalanche)
$8600

CENTRE
Andrew Copp
(Winnipeg Jets)
$3400

WING
Mikko Rantanen
(Colorado Avalanche)
$7100

WING
Tyson Jost
(Colorado Avalanche)
$4200

WING
Patrik Laine
(Winnipeg Jets)
$8300

WING
Nikolaj Ehlers
(Winnipeg Jets)
$56300

DEFENCE
Morgan Rielly
(Toronto Maple Leafs)
$4900

DEFENCE
Mike Matheson
(Florida Panthers)
$4500

GOALIE
Semyon Varlamov
(Colorado Avalanche)
$7600

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and check things out. Make sure to keep an eye here as I will be writing a few times a week for NHL. You can also check out my EPL article, Sharp Tongues, every Friday night with a look at that weekend’s EPL main slate. You can follow me on Twitter @bankster17; I answer everyone who sends along questions or comments.

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