3 Daily Fantasy NHL Stacks for 4/1/21
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.
A nine game Thursday slate is on tap for the NHL, so let's see what stacks stand out above the rest tonight.
New York Rangers
It's been a strange season for the New York Rangers -- on and off the ice. They've had players miss games for reasons that don't have anything to do with hockey, and they've had their entire coaching staff sit out due to COVID protocols. They've started to turn things around on the ice, going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. The offense has really turned it on in that stretch, scoring 44 goals over those 10 games. They are now up to 11th in the NHL in goals per game, and some players have been putting forth some really strong performances.
The tricky thing about stacking the Rangers is that there are options from two different lines. The first line has Mika Zibanejad ($7,800) centering Chris Kreider ($6,400) and Pavel Buchnevich ($5,900). Zibanejad and Kreider play together on the top power play, and each has two hat tricks this season. It's hard for a team to have other players to match that upside, but the Rangers do.
Ryan Strome ($5,900) is the team's leading scorer and has a point streak of 10 straight games. He plays with Artemi Panarin ($7,700) at even strength, and Panarin might be the most dangerous offensive player on the team. He had a brief absence from squad but has been great since then and is now third in the NHL in points per game, behind only Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Strome and Panarin join Zibanejad and Kreider to make up the four forwards on the first power play.
The defenseman on the first power play has been perhaps the Rangers most impressive player -- Adam Fox ($5,800). Fox. has been on an absolute tear, with 15 points in his last seven games. He is third in points and second in power play points for blue liners, so you'll definitely want him in stacks with Rangers forwards who are on the power play.
The Rangers take on the Buffalo Sabres, who finally snapped their 18-game winless streak on Wednesday night. They did it against the Philadelphia Flyers, another team that has been struggling mightily of late. The Sabres still allowed 2.83 expected goals and 16 high-danger chances, according to Natural Stat Trick, so they didn't exactly slam the door shut. They aren't expected to do that in this game, either, as the Rangers have an implied team total of 3.39 goals.
We should want to get a piece of the Rangers in some way, whether it's with the first line, the second line, or some combination of the two that can correlate on the power play.
This season has been a roller-coaster for the Montreal Canadiens. They started off the year looking like a juggernaut and then were quickly to the point of the season where they felt it was necessary to fire their coach. Then last week, they had an interruption in their season due to COVID. They came back with a very strong performance on Tuesday, beating the Edmonton Oilers 4-0.
While they aren't quite scoring at the same pace as they did early in the season, Montreal is still ninth in the league in goals per game. Tonight, they should have a great chance to net some goals.
Unfortunately for the Habs, Tyler Toffoli will still be missing this game. The good news for fantasy players is this will condense the attack into two main lines we can stack, as opposed to players from three different lines when Toffoli was healthy. The line that's listed as the first line had a great game on Tuesday, as they combined for five points. Brendan Gallagher ($6,300) had a goal and an assist and now has 13 goals on the season. Tomas Tatar ($5,400) also scored, and Phillip Danault ($4,600) had his second straight two-assist game. Gallagher and Tatar will play together on the power play, and Danault is now getting time on the other power-play unit. The downside to this stack is that Gallagher and Tatar don't play the minutes that typical first liners would normally.
The line that gets more minutes is the second line. Nick Suzuki ($5,300) leads the team in minutes for forwards, and he correlates with Josh Anderson ($4,400) and Jonathan Drouin ($4,700) at both even strength and on the power play. This makes it a cleaner stack than the first line, and it's also more affordable. Drouin has only two goals on the season but is due for positive regression as his 3.6% shooting percentage is much lower than his 9.3% career mark. Shea Weber ($5,000) is on the power play with them, and even though it hasn't been his best season, he could still unleash his booming slapshot for a goal.
Montreal will face the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. This is a great matchup for Montreal despite their struggles against Ottawa this season. The Habs average the third most shots on goal per game, and the Sens allow the third most shots per contest. Ottawa also allows the most goals per game (3.72), so either of Montreal's two top lines should be in a good spot to score goals.
The Carolina Hurricanes let us down on Tuesday night. They were one of the most popular teams to stack that night, and they put up just one goal. They had plenty of chances to change that, though, and it was just one of those games where they couldn't find the back of the net. They were able to produce 62 shot attempts and 11 high-danger chances in the game, so they were able to control the game like we expected. Tonight they'll face the same Chicago Blackhawks team that they did in that game on Tuesday, and the 'Canes will hope for a different outcome.
The Hurricanes' first line was the usual possession-dominant line we would expect. The trio of Sebastian Aho ($7,700), Martin Necas ($5,300) and Nino Niederreiter ($4,600) was able to control the shot attempts, with more than 65% going in their favor. Necas was able to keep his spot on the top power play as well, even with Vincent Trocheck ($5,400) returning to the lineup.
Speaking of Carolina's power play, it didn't really get a chance to shine, as they had only one opportunity with the man advantage in the entire game. This was the matchup we were looking to exploit, as Carolina's league-best power play has a huge advantage over Chicago's penalty kill, which ranks fifth worst in the league. Chicago's opponents average 3.35 power-play opportunities per night, so it's unlikely the 'Canes muster only one again today.
We definitely want Dougie Hamilton ($6,600) if we are stacking the Hurricanes. His 14-game point streak ended on Tuesday, but he should have a chance to start a new streak if the Hurricanes get the power play working tonight. He leads all defensemen in shots on goal, so he will definitely fire the puck if given the chance.
Carolina's implied team total is 3.59, the second highest on this slate. We should definitely consider going back to them, especially if fantasy managers will be scared off after they disappointed in the same matchup just two days ago.
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.