NHL DFS Lineup Advice – January 20, 2021

Last night was an interesting one. I feel like we had a good grasp on the slate as a whole and got a lot right. The Panthers were my favorite team to target, they scored another five goals on the Blackhawks (that’s four games in a row Chicago has allowed five against). Washington and Colorado were the second and third team I was targeting. They were ok, scoring four and three goals each, respectively.
However, I was not as bullish on the Penguins and I certainly did not expect the Rangers to get upset by the Devils. We are still learning a lot about teams during the early stages of this COVID season. Hockey has a lot of variance as well, so expect a roller coaster ride. Let’s get into tonight.

There are five games scheduled this evening in the NHL. Realistically though, there is only one game. The Oilers travel to Toronto where titans will collide. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares headline a star-studded affair in their first meeting of nine. Last time these two met, Connor McDavid absolutely undressed Morgan Rielly and went on to score one of the nicest goals I have ever witnessed live. The highlight has been viewed around a billion times.

I am spending a lot of time on this game because it will garner the most attention in the DFS community and the hockey world tonight. I fully expect an offensive explosion, from both sides. The Oilers have been disappointing and have received a lot of criticism after their mini-series against Montreal. Their power play went 0/10. One that lead the league and was historical, just a season ago. Toronto does not have the same defensive system, nor personnel to shut down the talent Edmonton posses. Look for a hungry and pissed off team to lash out on a nationally televised game.
Meanwhile, Toronto looks like they are living up to the preseason hype as the divisional favorites. They sit in first place with a 3-1 record and are among the league leaders in CF%, FF%, adn xGF%. Edmonton has obvious defense and goaltending issues which will be exposed, yet again.
So yes, while there are four other games on this slate, this one is by far the most important to break down. If you fade this game, all-together, your lineup will be inherently unique. But do so at your own risk…

Center

Connor McDavid (EDM) $8,500 @ TOR
– Giving him the edge over Auston Matthews. If Edmonton is to stay competitive, it will be because of the Oilers captain.
– Originally from Ontario and every time he plays in Toronto, he puts on a show
– Averaging 22 minutes of ice time, per game, reaching up to 26 minutes
– 17 shots on goal through fist four games. Is shooting a lot more this year.
– Scored 53 DraftKings points against Vancouver last week. Has the highest upside of anyone in the NHL.

John Tavares (TOR) $6,600 vs. EDM
– Huge salary discount from McDavid ($8,500) and Matthews ($8400), with similar upside
– Tied for team lead in points, with six
– Has been shooting the puck a lot, averaging four shots on goal per game
– Edmonton ranks second in the league in scoring chances against and expected goals against

Nick Suzuki (MTL) $5,400 @ VAN
– Emerging as Canadiens top offensive player
– Will skate on second forward line and top power play unit
– Vancouver Canucks rank 31st in xGA, SCA, and HDCA (high danger chances against)
– Montreal is a -135 favorite tonight

Wing

Max Pacioretty (VGK) $7,500 vs. ARI
– Scored a goal in each game to start the season
– Averaging 17 minutes of ice-time and five shots on goal through three games
– Has scored at least 19 DraftKings points in all game this year
– Arizona ranks as a bottom 10 team in the league in goals against and shots allowed

William Nylander (TOR) $6,100 vs. EDM
– Slight discount ($500) from Mitchell Marner, albeit not as good of an option
– Plays alongside John Tavares on the second forward line and will see PP2 time
– Has recorded five points on the season through four games, three of which came in the season opener
– Exposure to the highest scoring game at a reduced ownership

Jordan Kyrou (STL) $2,800 vs. SJ
– Need to find value tonight to fit in the studs
– Kyrou will play on the second forward line with Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn while logging additional time on PP2
– Coming off a two point performance which lead to 18 DraftKings points against San Jose

Defense

Brent Burns (SJ) $6,900 @ STL
– Priced down to start the year and is a value, considering ice-time and opportunity
– Averaging nearly four shots on goal per game
– Coming off a 30.1 DraftKings point outing
– Averages 27 minutes of ice-time per game, logging time on the second defensive pairing and PP1

Tyson Barrie (EDM) $4,000 @ TOR
– Price is far too low for Barrie who sees PP1 time with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
– “Revenge” narrative against his old team
– Averaging 22 minutes per game and will see additional time if Oilers are trailing after two periods
– Oilers are among league leaders in blocked shots. Barrie had four last game

Goalies

Cam Talbot (MIN) $7,800 @ ANH
– Minnesota always produces good goalie stats due to their style of play
– Talbot owns a .926 SV% and 2.27 GGA to go along with two wins
– Will see a lot of shots, but low quality and easy to save
– The Wild enter the game as -135 favorites
– Provides salary relief on an expensive slate

* I will add an additional note here. The Vegas Golden Knights have five players projected to be in the top 10 for fantasy points tonight (TOR with three and EDM with two). It is impossible to pay up for everyone. If you have the balls to fade both TOR/EDM and load up on VGK, you might have a shot at winning all of the money tonight.

Reach me on twitter for any additional thoughts or questions @j_maw


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