3 Daily Fantasy Hockey Stacks for 1/13/21
In daily fantasy hockey, stacking is a key strategy in tournaments. We want to correlate our lineups with up to four players to maximize our upside, as if one player on a line is scoring goals, it's likely that his linemates are getting assists as well. Ideally, we'll want players who will get a lot of ice time together on an even strength line and a power play line. Two good resources for line combinations are LeftWingLock.com and DailyFaceoff.com, so be sure to check those sites for up to date line information.
After much what felt like a long layoff, it's finally opening night in the NHL. FanDuel has introduced two utility spots this season, which is particularly helpful for stacking. It opens up a lot of optionality and focuses less on positions.
Let's see which lines could open the season with a bang on Wednesday night.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning couldn't ask for a better matchup in their opening game of the season. They'll face off against a Chicago Blackhawks team that is without its top two centers in Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach, has two goalies who have never been quality NHL starters, and allowed the most shots on goal per game last season, according to Natural Stat Trick.
The only challenge for the Lightning here is the absence of Nikita Kucherov, who will miss the entire regular season. They do get Steven Stamkos ($8,400) back after he missed all but one game in the postseason last year, so that helps.
The other two members of the top line are Brayden Point ($7,900) and Ondrej Palat ($5,500), who played together in the postseason and combined for 51 points in 25 games. The salary on Palat is a good value and helps keep this stack's cumulative salary below some other first lines. These three all play together on the top power-play unit, as well, and Victor Hedman ($6,800) is the quarterback of that power play and can be used with these forwards.
Tampa Bay has the highest implied goal total on the slate and is also the biggest favorite. This line should feast on an overmatched Blackhawks team.
Whenever the Edmonton Oilers are on the slate, they are in consideration for stacking. That will be true this season, as they are in a division that doesn't contain any matchups they should be afraid of from a defensive standpoint.
The main targets for the Oilers won't surprise anyone. Connor McDavid ($8,800) will center the top line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($7,300) and Zack Kassian ($4,000) on his wings. Reigning scoring champion and league MVP Leon Draisaitl ($8,400) will play alongside Kailer Yamamoto ($4,800) and Dominik Kahun ($3,900). Both of these lines have merit to use, but if you want to capture the most upside, you can roster McDavid and Draisaitl with Nugent-Hopkins, and/or Yamamoto because they will all play together on the power play.
Edmonton had the best power play in the league last season, so focusing on getting exposure to that makes a lot of sense. Tyson Barrie ($5,300) joins the team after a disappointing season but has had some elite seasons as a power-play quarterback in the past. He is definitely usable in any of these stacks.
The Oilers have the third-highest team total on the night. The nature of the team over the last two seasons is that they are carried by McDavid and Draisaitl, so if they are to reach this team total, it's likely to be through some combination of those two players.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are another team that we typically will like to stack. They scored the third-most goals per game last season and have star players on their top two forward lines who we like to roster. This season, they have some new additions to the mix.
The top line remains a combination of the team's two highest-scoring players last season in Auston Matthews ($8,400) and Mitchell Marner ($7,600). Matthews was well on his way to his first 50-goal season before it got paused. Marner was accused of having a down season, but 67 points in 59 games is nothing to sneeze at.
Playing on their left wing will be 41-year-old Joe Thornton ($4,200). It remains to be seen if Thornton can keep up with his two much younger linemates, but he does still have great playmaking ability, and this should come in handy when they all play on the power play together. Thornton's fantasy appeal is somewhat limited because he doesn't like to shoot that much, but at this salary, you can play him if you are interested in playing the Leafs' first line.
If you want a bit of a narrative, Matthews loves playing on opening night. We all remember his debut in 2016 when he scored four goals, and in total, he has nine goals in four career season openers. That could continue tonight with Toronto at a healthy 3.45 implied team total, so he and his teammates are definitely in play as a stack.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.