Good morning everyone and welcome to volume 40 of the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Stacks! We have a cash-playable 7-game slate on this cool and crisp Friday morning here in San Diego, California.
As we start out 2019, I just wanted to thank you all very much for being loyal readers and subscribers of my work. It is an honor to have you spend your precious time reading my work every day. Keep an eye out for my book coming out soon in a store near you!
If you are a new subscriber to our NHL Core Plays, please make sure that you are playing all of the lineups that I post on any given day. NHL is such a highly-variant sport and there is truly no telling which lineup will go off. I do have my favorites each day, but even the lineups that I may not think have massive upside sometimes, in fact, have the upside you need to take down a tournament.
When you type in the numbers into the Nils Model, the Dallas Stars top line (Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Alexander Radulov – John Klingberg) mysteriously rates as the top stack of the night. That said, I will have exposure to the line because the statistics are telling me to play it, but I do not have to like it. Upper management harshly criticized Seguin a few weeks ago and the first line center responded with points in three consecutive games. Seguin and Radulov are each averaging at least a point per game over their last 10 contests and their prices, especially on DK, are very much what are driving the model rating. Keep an eye out for Benn, however, as he is listed as DTD. The Stars host a visiting Capitals team that is allowing an average of 34.6 shots against over its last five games. Couple this fact with the fact that the Stars are affordable and we will be rostering the home team’s top line.
Nathan MacKinnon might be playing the best hockey in the NHL right now (with all due respect to Connor McDavid). With 13 points and 54 total shots over his last 10 games, the center is safe for cash and has massive upside for GPP purposes. The Colorado Avalanche have not been able to win a game dating back to December 19, but, for DFS purposes, we only really care if they score goals. The Avs are playing host to the New York Rangers, a team that has lost seven of its last 10. Moreover, the team has allowed the fifth-most shots against per game this season and they also own the fifth-worst penalty kill. Keep an eye out for the final line changes after the team’s morning skate, but the Avalanche’s top line should be MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen – Gabriel Landeskog. Don’t forget Tyson Barrie as an add-on for a power play stack.
You all know that I love the Columbus Blue Jackets. I do not love them because I have an affinity for the city or the state of Ohio. I love them because they are quick, fast and shoot the puck a ton. Teams that play a wide-open style of hockey are so much more fun for DFS purposes than slow teams that play a trap style of game (aka the New Jersey Devils from the 90s). The Jackets are on the road in Carolina and I will have heavy exposure in cash games and GPPs to its top line of Pierre-Luc Dubois – Cam Atkinson – Artemi Panarin. Seth Jones is my top overall play at the D position, but Zach Werenski is my preferred cash game play. Carolina plays at a fast pace and, with shaky goaltending at best, lock in Columbus.
Other Notable Stacks
The stacks I wrote about above are the ones that I project to be highly-owned. When I write “highly-owned”, on a 7-game slate that typically means ownership of about 30% in GPPs. The stacks above also tend to be expensive. So, you will need to use some of the below mentioned stacks as fillers or as one-off individual plays to complement your high-priced stacks.
We did not have much exposure to the Washington Capitals last night, which worked out for us because the team’s top line did not perform up to projections, but I do think that we want exposure to them this evening. Do I think the Capitals will win the game? Maybe, but they are playing Ben Bishop, who has been seeing the puck well as of late with three Ws in his last four games. However, the team allowed an average of 38.75 shots against over its last four games. Whenever a team is allowing this many shots, the Capitals top line (Evgeny Kuznetsov – Alexander Ovechkin – Tom Wilson – John Carlson) and top power play unit are in play.
Other lines that I want exposure to this evening are: Golden Knights 1, Devils 3, Coyotes 1, Jets PP1 and Penguins 1.
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There were some questions in the Slack chat over the first month of the season about how to find the lines that I list as my top stacks on the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Cheat Sheet. Head over to either DailyFaceoff.com or LeftWingLock.com to see which skaters are on each of a team’s lines and then build your line stacks. For example, if you see that my top stack of the day is “PIT PP1 / 1”, look at one of the two sites listed above and you will see that the top power play unit of the Pittsburgh Penguins consists of Patric Hornqvist – Evgeni Malkin – Sidney Crosby – Kris Letang – Phil Kessel. The team’s top line features Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist. I decided to leave off the players’ names from the line stacks because of the fact that they may change before the game or after the team’s morning skate (if applicable). Both sites I mentioned are updated regularly and typically accurate. If you’re ever lost, just ask questions in our Slack chat.
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