The One Time Shot – NHL DFS GPP Takedown – March 27, 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

Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Redwings

Focus: Sidney Crosby (PIT – C), Phil Kessel (PIT – W), Evegni Malkin (PIT – C)

Value: Derek Brassard (PIT – C), Brian Dumoulin (PIT – D)

Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean that it’s not right. There is a lot to like about this matchup and, chalky or not, I have to get a piece of the Penguins tonight. While the Penguins are one of the league’s best offenses (first in power play, second in SOG, and fifth in goals per game), Detroit is one of the league’s worst in net (27th in goals allowed per game, 22nd in penalty killing). Over their last eleven games, the Redwings have given up 4+ goals nine times. That’s an insanely high number. The major problem with using Pittsburgh is that they go pretty deep so you may have the right team but end up using the wrong line; enough to make you gag on your Tim Hortons, especially at the cost it’s going to take to roster the main Penguins players. If I want to go for broke I think the guys I want to stack are Sidney Crosby (PIT – C) and Phil Kessel (PIT – W) to give me exposure to all six skaters and the top power play line, but if I’m looking to save a bit of money maybe the way to go is with Derek Brassard (PIT – C) and Kessel, as they skate together in even strength but you still get some Crosby/Malkin spill off with Kessel during the power play. I think it all depends on how you want to construct the rest of your roster, but I’m always looking for value and, with Brassard on a six game point scoring streak, I think I’m more inclined to save some money rather than spend up and run the risk of Malkin taking all of Crosby’s points.

St Louis Blues vs San Jose Sharks

Focus: Vladimir Tarasenko (STL – W), Brayden Schenn (STL – C), Jaden Schwartz (STL – W), Alex Pietrangelo (STL – D)

Value: Kyle Brodziak (STL – C)What we have here is a Sharks team that’s on the second night of a back to back and as long time readers know, I love to attack that kind of situation. I especially love it when I see that Martin Jones is likely giving way to Aaron Dell in net for the Sharks. Dell has been terrible in net with 3+ goals allowed in five of his last six starts. Meanwhile, the Blues are a strong home team that has scored 3.6 goals per game while winning seven of their last eight. The Blues aren’t considered an elite offense so I think that’ll help keep their ownership down quite a bit on this slate. When it comes to a team that’s not known for being high scoring, I tend to keep it simple with my stacks. I really like the safety of a stack like Vladimir Tarasenko (STL – W), Brayden Schenn (STL – C), and Jaden Schwartz (STL – W) gives you as you should see a combined shot total nearing double digits. With a guy like Dell in the net, the odds that a couple of them go in goes up. Schwartz is particularly interesting as he’s in the middle of a five game scoring streak. Even if I don’t go with all forwards in my stack, Alex Pietrangelo (STL – D) is someone to consider. He’s been giving you winger production at defenseman level prices (averaging 6 SABS per game over his last ten games with four multi-point games in his last eight games). On the cheaper end of the spectrum, Kyle Brodziak (STL – C) has points in three of four games and is averaging over 18 minutes of ice time during that stretch. He doesn’t see power play time but for rock bottom prices he’s still a good value skating in the top six for the Blues.

Dallas Stars vs Philadelphia Flyers

Focus: Tyler Seguin (DAL – C), Jamie Benn (DAL – W), Alexander Radulov (DAL – W), John Klingberg (DAL – D)

Value: Devin Shore (DAL – D)

At some point the Stars have to win a game, right? I get that nobody is going to want to be on them as they’ve lost eight straight and have looked terrible in doing so but doesn’t that make them kind of a team to target in a GPP? Let’s look at some factors that may help you come to the dark side. First of all, six of the eight losses from Dallas have been on the road. This game is at home where they have an outstanding record this year. Second, and most importantly, Petr Mrazek is a terrible goaltender. He has given up 3+ goals in eight of his last ten starts and is looking like one of the worst acquisitions of the season. He has done very little to help the Flyers when they need it the most (2-5-2 over his last nine starts). For all the poor play, their top trio of Tyler Seguin (DAL – C), Jamie Benn (DAL – W), and Alexander Radulov (DAL – W) are averaging nearly three points and eleven shots on goal over their last ten games. I honestly don’t give a hoot if the win or not, I’m pretty happy with that level of production. As a guy that’s always hunting value, the one thing that bothers me about Dallas is that they’re pretty hard to stack up with a high level second team. If you‘re going in on Dallas then you’re going all the way in, and I don’t know if that’s a bad thing. They are a super talented team with a great home matchup that nobody is going to stack. You could do a lot worse for your fantasy dollar. John Klingberg (DAL – D) hasn’t done much of anything lately but as the point man on the power play I think he’s in a good spot to take advantage of the league’s 27th worst penalty killing team. To that end, Devin Shore (DAL – C) is a very cheap play that sees time on the power play so if you are looking to save money and take a shot, maybe even as a one off with another big stack, then he’s a guy to keep in mind for some spill off potential.

Other Thoughts

Ottawa Senators:
They have a permanent spot on this list until they figure things out (déjà vu, much?).  Lord help me this team is going to do something at some point. Tonight they are up against an Islanders team that is dead last in the NHL in goals allowed, shots on goal allowed, and penalty killing; and they are also on the second night of a back to back. Christopher Gibson is starting for the Islanders and he’s given up 5+ goals in two of his last three starts. It’s seriously now or never for the Senators. If Erik Karlsson (OTT – D) plays, then he’s clearly the go-to option if you have enough cap space. He’s had five multi-point games in his last ten outings while racking up 13 points and 47 SABS. He’s a beast and well worth the money. If he plays then I’m probably stacking him with Mike Hoffman (OTT – W) and Matt Duchene (OTT – C) and calling it a day. If Karlsson isn’t in the lineup then maybe I take a shot on Bobby Ryan (OTT – W) who is starting to play a little bit better with a point in each of his last two games.

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 Talbot (Edmonton Oilers) vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Normally I like to go a little bit safer with my goalies but I love the way that Talbot has been playing lately. Over his last ten starts he has a stellar 2.30 GAA while going 7-2-1. Columbus isn’t an ideal matchup for him but when you take into account his price then this starts to look more and more like a matchup we can profit off of. CBJ, for all their offensive struggles this year, are fifth in the league in SOG per game so we know that Talbot is going to see enough shots to put up a big score. Columbus is also one of the two worst power play units in hockey so it’s not like we’re worrying about Talbot going up against the ’81 Oilers or anything. I don’t think that Talbot works well with a “safe” stack like Pittsburgh, instead he’s a high variance goalie for a high variance stack (think: Dallas). Being a home dog only further excites me as I won’t have much ownership to deal with when I use him.

Keith Kinkaid (New Jersey Devils) vs Carolina Hurricanes

Kinkaid looked amazing his last time out (35 saves with 1 goal allowed in a win against Tampa Bay), and quite frankly that’s pretty much in line with what he’s been doing all year. Over his last ten starts he’s compiled a 7-2-0 record with a 2.41 GAA and just about 32 saves per game; 2 goals or less allowed in three of his last five games. This will be Carolina’s third game in four night, including a game last night that they played in Ottawa. That kind of travel can be tough on a team and it wouldn’t shock me at all if they were dealing with some tired legs. Vegas has Kinkaid as a heavy favorite in this one (-150) and I highly agree. I prefer to save a little money and use Kinkaid on FD, while I’ll be using Talbot on DK where his price is significantly cheaper.

Other Thoughts

I’m pretty much all in on Kinkaid and Talbot tonight as their prices align very well with what I want to do with my lineups. If I end up deciding to hunt for some value at forward, then I might consider spending up to guys like John Gibson (ANH – G), Matt Murray (PIT – G), and/or Pekka Rinne (NSH – G). Although he’ll be the most popular player of the trio, I’ll most likely settle in on John Gibson as a monster road favorite against a bad Vancouver offense. If you’re playing cash games (yuck!), Gibson is a lock.

Sample Lineups

Analysis: 2015 NHL called to say how very proud they are of this lineup. One way or the other I’m definitely having a drink after this slate; either to celebrate my brilliance or to drown my sorrows. There really doesn’t appear to be a middle ground for this team; it’s winning or it’s losing – a total Talladega Nights situation. I definitely got a little too cute here but if Dallas pops, and I think they are in a great situation to do so, then we are in business. If not, then all the Zach Parise (3 game point scoring streak) in the world won’t help me.

CENTRE
Tyler Seguin
(Dallas Stars)
$7300

CENTRE
Kyle Brodziak
(St. Louis Blues)
$3000

WING
Alexander Radulov
(Dallas Stars)
$46200

WING
Jamie Benn
(Dallas Stars)
$6700

WING
Zach Parise
(Minnesota Wild)
$5200

WING
Thomas Chabot
(Ottawa Senators)
$3900

DEFENCE
John Klingberg
(Dallas Stars)
$5700

GOALIE
Cam Talbot
(Edmonton Oilers)
$7200

UTIL
Alexander Steen
(St. Louis Blues)
$4800

Analysis: There was in iteration of this lineup that had both Pietrangelo and Klingberg in it (with Brassard over Crosby) but I got stars in my eye and couldn’t quit Sid the Kid. I feel we’ve got a bit of cash game feel to this team but the inclusion of guys like Brodziak and Ryan should differentiate it enough from the rest of the Penguins backers. If those two guys do anything, it could be the key to moving up a GPP. If they don’t do anything, at least they were cheap and we still have a shot of cashing given the relative safety of the other player in the lineup.

CENTRE
Sidney Crosby
(Pittsburgh Penguins)
$8800

CENTRE
Kyle Brodziak
(St. Louis Blues)
$3400

WING
Phil Kessel
(Pittsburgh Penguins)
$7700

WING
Jake Guentzel
(Pittsburgh Penguins)
$5500

WING
Bobby Ryan
(Ottawa Senators)
$4600

WING
Jaden Schwartz
(St. Louis Blues)
$6600

DEFENCE
Alex Pietrangelo
(St. Louis Blues)
$5800

DEFENCE
Justin Schultz
(Pittsburgh Penguins)
$4700

GOALIE
Keith Kinkaid
(New Jersey Devils)
$7800

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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