The One Time Shot – NHL DFS GPP Takedown – March 22, 2018

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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

Vegas Golden Knights at San Jose Sharks

Focus: Joe Pavelski (SJS – C), Evander Kane (SJS – W), Jonathan Marchessault (VGK – W), Colin Miller (VGK – D), Nate Schmidt (VGK – D)

Value: Tomas Hertl (SJS – W), Kevin Labanc (SJS – W), Dylan Demelo (SJS – D)

Every once in a while I feel like Vegas (the bookmakers, not the NHL team) makes a mistake when setting a line for a game. They did it for each of the last two articles I wrote when they made Colorado an underdog against both STL and CHI and they are doing it again today by giving this game a 5.5 over/under. I love to try to take advantage of these perceived mistakes because more and more people are using Vegas lines to help them with DFS, and if they do that today, then they are going to miss out on what I think can be a potentially high scoring game. Both goalies are struggling at the moment; Martin Jones with a 3.00 GAA over his last four games and Malcolm Subban with 3+ goals allowed in each of his last four starts. With offenses that are clicking like Veags and San Jose, I can definitely see this game hitting 7+ total goals. While it may look like it from the number of names on this list, I am actually not sure that I’m going to heavily stack this game (because the talent is there with both goalies to turn things around and make this a 2-1 type of game) but I do want to make sure I have some exposure. I really like Jonathan Marchessault (VGK – W) as he’s the guy that drives the Vegas offense and he’s starting to come around after a rough stretch. He’s got points in each of his last two games to go along with a relatively consistent 4 SOG per game. I don’t know if I want to spend up for a goal dependent player like William Karlsson (VGK – C), but I don’t mind putting all my defensive eggs in the Vegas basket with how well Colin Miller (VGK – D) and Nate Schmidt (VGK – D) are playing (a combined 8 points and 30 SABS over their last four games). San Jose is an interesting team in that you can big with guys like Pavelski, Kane, and Burns or you can hunt for value with Tomas Hertl (SJS – W), Kevin Labanc (SJS – W), and Dylan Demelo (SJS – D). All three get ice time with the top line (Labanc and Demelo on the PP) and the spill off has been outstanding recently (25 combined points over the last ten games, sixteen of which came via an assist). I really love the idea of using this game to hunt value so you can still spend big elsewhere on a high upside team like Columbus or Tampa Bay.

Carolina Hurricanes vs Arizona Coyotes

Focus: Teuvo Teravainen (CAR – W), Sebastian Aho (CAR – W), Justin Faulk (CAR – D)

Value: Elias Lindholm (CAR – W), Jaccob Slavin (CAR – D)

Darcy Kuemper will most likely be in net for the Coyotes tonight and that’s really good for your Hurricanes exposure. Kuemper has allowed 3+ goals in seven of his last nine starts and the Coyotes are playing on the second night of a back to back. Since December 1 the Coyotes have played eight back to backs, and they’ve allowed 3+ goals on the back end in six of those games. This sure smells like a situation where the Hurricanes are going to looking at a game of 3+ goals. I’m building my stack around Teuvo Teravainen (CAR – W) and Sebastian Aho (CAR – W) as they are the most likely goal scorers; a combined ten goals over their last ten gams. If I wanted to get sneaky I would stack them with Elias Lindholm (CAR – C), with whom they skate on the power play, so I can get exposure to all of their top six skaters. This also helps you win the ownership game against anyone else who is going to stack Carolina and use Jordan Staal (CAR – C) as their third man. If you plan on using a defender I prefer Jaccob Slavin (CAR – D) over Justin Faulk (CAR – D) as his production is very similar for a significant discount. I’m a Slavin truther, though, so you’ll have to keep that in mind with this recommendation. In fairness the numbers to bear out my preference; Slavin with 7 points and 32 SABS over his last ten games compared to Faulk with 6 points and 34 SABS over the same time frame (Slavin is about 20% cheaper on DK and 10% cheaper on FD).

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Florida Panthers

Focus: Artemi Panarin (CBJ – W), Cam Atkinson (CBJ – W), Nick Foligno (CBJ – C)

Value: Boone Jenner (CBJ – W), David Savard (CBJ – D), Ryan Murray (CJB – D)

I know, I know, it’s too easy of a pick. On the other hand, look at how well the Jackets are playing right now and tell me that you’re eager to fade them. I’d much rather take my chances and fade Tampa Bay if I had to choose between the two teams. In the last three games alone, the trio of Nick Foligno (CJB – C), Cam Atkinson (CBJ – W), and Artemi Panarin (CBJ – W) have combined for 14 total points. The obvious stud is Artemi Panarin (15 points and 38 SOG over his last ten games), but Cam Atkinson has become a SOG machine with no less than four in any of his last four games. That kind of volume is going to lead to many more great games from him, and you can still get him for about $2k cheaper than any top level winger. I’d love to have Nikita Kucherov in my lineup but is he really in that much better of a spot than Atkinson right now? Roberto Luongo has given up 3+ goals in four of his last six starts, 30+ SOG in eight of his last ten starts, and the Blue Jackets are averaging 4.1 goals per game during their nine-game winning streak. That’s a pretty darn high ceiling/floor combination for a very reasonable price. You could go even further down the price list and look at a very hot Boone Jenner (CBJ – W), who has points in six of his last seven games. Super stud defender Seth Jones (CBJ – D) is banged up and if he can’t play then I expect Ryan Murray (CBJ – D) to continue to play a prime roll on offense (3 points and 7 SABS over his last two games) for a rock bottom price. Of course Murray isn’t in the Fanduel player pool, because why would he be? If Jones does play, then I may look to David Savard (CBJ – D) for a salary saver position as he’s a SABS monster with 41 over his last ten games (29 via blocked shots).

Other Thoughts

Tampa Bay Lightning:
If you’ve been reading me for any length of time then you know that I try to fade what I consider to be the most obvious stack each night. Lately that’s pretty much consisted of teams facing the Islanders (PIT on Tuesday and now TB tonight). The Lightning have the highest goals per game average and second best power play in hockey, while the Islanders are at, or near, the bottom of the league in goals against, penalty killing, and SOG allowed per game. It’s very likely that Tampa pops for 4+ goals tonight but they will do so with a pretty high ownership. Yanni Gourde (TB – C) is a guy that’s been getting consistent ice time, including on the power play, that you can still roster for a cheap price. He’s not a high scoring player but he’s put up points in five of his last ten games, two of which were multi-point efforts. The Islanders are a great matchup for you to take a shot with Gourde for some salary cap relief.

New York Islanders:
Not for nothing but this game has a ridiculous 6.5 over/under and the Islanders have been averaging 3.6 goals per game over their last five. Peter Budaj should make his first start since returning from injury in this game and a combination of fatigue and his total lack of ability in net (9 goals allowed in the two games prior to his injury) should lead to a surprisingly nice game from the Islanders. Mathew Barzal (NYI – C) continues to impress with 6 points over his last four games, while Anders Lee (NYI – W) is a similarly priced option with upside (3.5 SOG per game average over his last four games; 3 points over his last two games).

Ottawa Senators:
I continue to be unable to quit the Senators. They are slight home underdogs tonight, although the game has a 6.0 over/under and Cam Talbot has given up 3+ goals in six of his last ten starts. Matt Duchene (OTT – C) continues to be my play of choice, but if Ryan Dzingel (OTT – W) is able to suit up he’s an intriguing option at a value price tag.

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.

Cam Ward (Carolina Hurricanes) vs Arizona Coyotes

Arizona is bad on offense to begin with (last, or near last, in goals per game, SOG, shooting percentage, and faceoff winning percentage), and now they are playing their second road game in as many nights. This is a terrible spot for the Coyotes despite the fact that Cam Ward scares the beejezus out of me. He’s given up 3+ goals in seven of his last ten starts, but he had those other three starts thrown in there that give me some hope. Ward is a lot better at home (2.57 GAA vs 3.11 GA on the road) so we have that going for us as well. The biggest issue I have with using Cam Ward is that the Hurricanes give up the fewest SOG per game in the league so you’re not using him in the hopes of a 40-save game. What you are relying on is that Ward can find a way to keep a clean sheet (can you tell who has been obsessed with soccer recently?) or give up, at most, one goal. This is strictly a matchup play, but one that can pay off with a one goal or less allowed winning performance.

Semyon Varlamov (Colorado Avalanche) vs Los Angeles Kings

I will continue to write about Varlamov as long as he continues to play well when I do. All things considered he’s pretty pricey tonight but that’s still not going to stop me with the way that he’s playing currently. Over his last ten games he’s 5-1-3 with a 2.06 GAA and over 30 saves per game. He’s given up one goal or less in four of his last five starts, all four of which resulted in wins. The Kings are probably the best team he’s faced in his last three starts but that’s not saying much given that the other two teams were the Red Wings and Blackhawks. Varlamov is a beast at home (13-5-2 with a 2.26 GAA) and the Kings are playing their third road game in four nights. Add in the altitude of Colorado and this game looks like one where LA could struggle to find their legs. Vegas has Colorado as a favorite to win in a low scoring game; music to my ears. He’s my top goalie play on the night as his ownership continues to fall well below his high level of performance.

Alex Lyon (Philadelphia Flyers) vs New York Rangers

Petr Mrazek, like most Philly goalies of the past, is steaming hot garbage in net. This has lead the way for Alex Lyon to most likely get the start today for the Flyers against an anemic Rangers offense (although somewhat hot as of late). Lyon has looked good in his limited amount of starts this year with a 2.33 GA in his three starts since February 20. He actually has faced the Rangers once this year in a relief effort and he only gave up one goal in two periods of play while stopping 25 shots on goal. Those 25 saves represent the most he’s had in a game this year so, like with Cam Ward, you’re not going to use Lyon with the expectation that he’s going to give you a 40 save outing. That said, he’s pretty inexpensive and with his most prolific game having come against the Rangers in only two periods of work, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he could give you a win (he’s the biggest favorite on the slate by a wide margin at -220) with 30 saves and maybe 2 goals allowed. For his price, I’d take that all day long.

Other Thoughts

Philip Grubauer (WSH) and Pekka Rinne (NSH) are both relatively safe options with a tremendous amount of upside. I prefer Varlamov if I’m paying up, or Lyon if I’m going cheap, but I can’t fault you for using one of these two instead.

Sample Lineups

Analysis: Because I wanted to spend up in net and with Panarin, I had to use the cheapest stack that I liked today and that was the Hurricanes. Sadly, they’re far from a cheap stack so I really had to make some concessions and go with full value plays on defense. I actually like how that turned out (especially if Seth Jones is out again tonight). I chose to use Marchessault for my SJS/VGK exposure but I really wish I was able to have found a way to include a guy like Tomas Hertl as well (although I couldn’t because my “open” spot was at Center where I ended up with Lindholm).

CENTRE
Elias Lindholm
(Carolina Hurricanes)
$4800

CENTRE
Nick Foligno
(Columbus Blue Jackets)
$4900

WING
Teuvo Teravainen
(Carolina Hurricanes)
$6100

WING
Sebastian Aho
(Carolina Hurricanes)
$6200

WING
Artemi Panarin
(Columbus Blue Jackets)
$7200

WING
Ryan Murray
(Columbus Blue Jackets)
$2900

DEFENCE
Dylan DeMelo
(San Jose Sharks)
$2900

GOALIE
Semyon Varlamov
(Colorado Avalanche)
$8100

UTIL
Jonathan Marchessault
(Vegas Golden Knights)
$6800

Analysis: The first name I locked into this lineup with Alex Lyon because I knew that I wanted to spend up at forward. My intent was to go with a CBJ/TB double stack but I just wasn’t comfortable with how that looked so ended up ditching it and going with SJS/VGK instead. I know I said that I prefer Karlsson to Marchessault, but when I made that move for this lineup I didn’t love the Center options I was left with. I feel more comfortable with Karlsson/Foligno than I did with Marchessault/anyone else I could afford. Nate Schmidt wasn’t my target at D (I had David Savard in there originally) but when I saw that I had $400 left over I made the move to try to secure more offensive fire power rather than relying on SABS to accumulate points. Goals/Assists > SABS when all else is equal.

CENTRE
William Karlsson
(Vegas Golden Knights)
$7700

CENTRE
Joe Pavelski
(San Jose Sharks)
$7300

WING
Artemi Panarin
(Columbus Blue Jackets)
$7600

WING
Cam Atkinson
(Columbus Blue Jackets)
$6400

WING
Tomas Hertl
(San Jose Sharks)
$5500

WING
Nick Foligno
(Columbus Blue Jackets)
$5300

DEFENCE
Nate Schmidt
(Vegas Golden Knights)
$4100

DEFENCE
Dylan DeMelo
(San Jose Sharks)
$3600

GOALIE
Alex Lyon
(Philadelphia Flyers)
$7500

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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