4 Daily Fantasy Hockey Stacks for 1/14/21
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 that 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.
We've got the first really big slate of the season, with 10 games on tap for Thursday. Which line stacks stand out above the rest? Let's check it out.
The Carolina Hurricanes don't have brand name players on their top line, but that doesn't mean they don't produce. Sebastian Aho ($7,600) scored 38 goals last season, tied for the sixth-most in the league. His Finnish partner in crime, Teuvo Teravainen ($6,300), is the playmaker of the duo, ranking 12th in assists per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. The third member of this line is a salary relief play in Nino Niederreiter ($3,900). Niederreiter had a down season last year but has been a consistent 20-goal scorer over the past few seasons, so that salary is a nice value.
The main appeal for the Canes' first line on this slate is their opponent. They will face the Detroit Red Wings, who are coming off one of the worst seasons in modern NHL history. The Wings allowed 265 goals last season, 27 more than any other team in the league. They made some additions to their lineup, but the defense isn't looking much better on paper. Detroit had the worst five-on-five possession rate in the league, and they'll face the third-best team in that metric.
The one downside to this stack is that Niederreiter doesn't appear to be on the same power-play unit as Aho and Teravainen. To get power-play correlation with these two, you can add in Dougie Hamilton ($5,800). Hamilton was fourth in the league in points per game among defensemen last season and also has one of the highest shot rates for blueliners. He's definitely a piece you can add to this stack.
Carolina has the slate's fourth-highest implied goal total and is also the second-biggest favorite. The first line is a great stack, and not one that will really break the bank.
When the Nashville Predators made their run to the Stanley Cup Final in the 2016-17 season, their first line carried the offense. That line was Ryan Johansen ($5,500), Filip Forsberg ($7,000), and Viktor Arvidsson ($5,500). They didn't always play together last season and weren't always the best, which has kept their salaries low. If we go back to the last three seasons using this line tool, we can see that this trio has scored 3.81 goals per 60 when playing on five on five together, which is a great rate, so a bounce-back could be coming.
A great thing about this stack is the full power-play correlation from all three players. On FanDuel, you really want to try to get guys on the same power-play unit, as a power-play goal and two assists will get you three bonus points. With this trio, you can also add in one of the best offensive defensemen in the league in Roman Josi ($7,100). Josi won the Norris trophy last season, tying for the second-most goals among defensemen and leading all of them in shots.
Nashville could go overlooked on a slate this large in a matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets that lacks some spice. They are a decent contrarian stack on Thursday night.
As much as things change in hockey, some things stay the same. The Washington Capitals will be rolling out a top line that has been used in some capacity in 2015.
We all know what Alex Ovechkin ($8,500) brings to the table, as he once again was tied for the lead in goals and had the second-most shots on goal in the league. His setup man for over a decade has been Nicklas Backstrom ($6,200), who had 42 assists in 61 games last season. T.J. Oshie ($6,600) chipped in with 26 goals, the second-most on the team.
The Capitals will face the Buffalo Sabres in their season opener. The Capitals have the second-highest implied team total on the slate, and that could have to do with the matchup their power play will face. The Sabres' penalty kill was the second-worst in the league last season, which isn't good news when Ovechkin is firing pucks on the power play. An expensive piece to add to this stack is John Carlson ($6,600), but Carlson had the most points for defensemen with 75 and loves to feed Ovechkin for one-timers on the power play.
This should be a popular stack, but it's worth using, as not many others can match the upside because of the full correlation and the goal-scoring prowess of its components.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights have experienced unparalleled success for an expansion franchise in their first three seasons. They've acquired talent to load up their forward group.
Their top line has a good mix of players who do different jobs. Mark Stone ($7,400) is one of the best play drivers and possession forwards in the game. Max Pacioretty ($7,700) is a classic sniper who loves to shoot, leading the NHL in shot attempts per 60 minutes. The last piece is Chandler Stephenson ($3,300), who isn't as appealing as the other two but did score over two points per 60 minutes last season and comes in at a great salary to balance out the average cost of the players in this stack.
Vegas will take on the Anaheim Ducks at home in this game. Their implied team total is a whopping 3.85 goals, by far the highest on the slate. We can feel good about using Pacioretty and Stone because they are also on the first power-play unit, while Stephenson isn't.
With that implied goal total, you could also stack the second line of William Karlsson ($5,200), Reilly Smith ($4,700), and Jonathan Marchessault ($6,300). This was a unit that Vegas relied on heavily in their inaugural season in which they made a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Karlsson and Marchessault also are on the top power play with Stone and Pacioretty, forming a dangerous unit along with underrated power-play quarterback Shea Theodore ($6,300).
With the Golden Knights being the biggest favorites, they will be used by many FanDuel players tonight. So if you want to use them, you might want to get creative. Using all four forwards who are on the first power play -- or just using the second line instead of the first -- is a way to get a unique Vegas stack that could still have the upside to win a tournament.
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.