NHL DFS Lineup Advice – January 30, 2021

And just like that, the first month of 2021 is almost over. One week away from the Super Bowl and more importantly, two and a half weeks into the NHL season. As weird of a season it is with COVID, if you look at the standings, it’s actually not that weird. Most teams are doing what we all kind of expected. Montreal might be the one big surprise, but with the offseason additions and growth of their young stars, maybe we shouldn’t.

Getting into tonight’s slate of games. We currently (assuming no last minute PPD’s) have 11 games schedule to take place this Saturday evening. While there is another high-profile game in Edmonton, I will refrain from recommending the studs. At this point, you should know Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are always in consideration. Let’s break down the best plays for Saturday night.

Center

Mark Scheifele (WPG) $7,300 vs. VAN
– Even after allowing just three goals against over their last three games, Vancouver has allowed the most goals against in the NHL (tied now with Ottawa)
– Vancouver has the highest xGA by a large margin
– Mark Scheifele centers the top forward line and PP1 for Winnipeg
– He quietly has 10 points through the first seven games and is averaging 23 minutes of ice-time per game (first among forwards in the NHL)
– As the sixth highest priced center on the slate, Scheifele and the Jets will go overlooked as the “late-night hammer” which has a game total of 6 expected goals

Aleksander Barkov (FLA) $6,900 @ DET
– Averaging a point per game with one goal and three assists through four games
– Centers the top forward line and PP1 for Florida
– Detroit ranks as a bottom 10 team in the NHL in CF%, FF%, GF%, SCF%,…. and the list goes on
– Offers salary relief as a top tier center in the league, in a fantastic matchup

Ryan Strome (NYR) $4,100 vs. PIT
– Although New York has struggled out of the gate and lines have been shuffled, Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin have remained a pair on the second forward line
– Pittsburgh is a shell of their former, dominate selves, as their goaltending and defense has been far from good
– The Pens have allowed the fifth most goals against in the NHL, 30 through eight games
– Strome will be on the ice in every scenario, getting plenty of opportunities to chip in on all fantasy categories

Wing

Kyle Connor (WPG) $7,100 vs. VAN
– In addition to allowing the most goals against, Vancouver has allowed an absurd 371 shots against (most in the NHL as well) in 10 games – 37.1 per game
– Kyle Connor is the trigger man on the top forward line and PP1, especially without Patrick Laine
– Averaging over a point per game, Connor has scored four goals and recorded five assists through seven games
– As you can see, the Jets top line is my clear choice for the top stack on the night

William Nylander (TOR) $5,300 @ EDM
– Toronto at Edmonton has the highest expected goal total on the night so getting a piece would be wise
– Nylander scored a goal last game against Edmonton and recorded five shots on net
– The Oilers are ranked only behind Vancouver in xGA
– Playing alongside John Tavares on the second forward line and PP2
– The Maple Leafs have a red hot power-play, clicking at a 42.9% rate (2nd in the NHL), while the Oilers PK ranks 23rd at 72.4%

Carter Verhaeghe (FLA) $3,800 @ DET
– I am one of maybe 6 people in the world who has watched every Florida Panthers game this year – this kid looks good
– Skating on the top line with Barkov and Duclair, Verhaeghe has scored four goals and recorded two assists through the first four games
– While not a “household name”, the Panthers winger has shown a lot of upside and skill playing with one of the best centers in the game
– As discussed above, the matchup is great and another multi-point performance is certainly within reach this evening

Defense

Aaron Ekblad (FLA) $6,200 @ DET
– Bet you can’t guess who my second favorite stack of night is
– Averaging 27 minutes of ice-time through the first four games, Ekblad will log time on PP1 and penalty kill
– He has recorded 12 shots on goal in those four games, scoring one goal and two assists
– While expensive, Ekblad has similar upside to any top-pairing defenseman on the slate because of his time on ice and offensive impact

Adam Larsson (EDM) $3,600 vs. TOR
– So Larsson scored 13.4 DraftKings points against Toronto two nights ago and DraftKings decided to lower his price by $400…. ok, cool
– If you read my Thursday article, this will sound similar, but should not be overlooked
– Larsson leads the league in blocked shots by six, with 31 on the year (3.4 per game)
– *Copy and paste from previous article* “that is a floor of 6.9 DraftKings points in blocked shots alone”
– For context, Adam Larsson is averaging 11.3 DK points per game, which is more than; Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, Shea Webber, Mark Giordano, and Darnell Nurse (among others)
– This is a “free square” who no one else will play

Goalie

Petr Mrazek (CAR) $7,800 vs. DAL
– Despite facing the red-hot Stars, Carolina ranks first in the NHL in SV%
– Mrazek himself owns a .955 SV% to go along with a 1.01 GAA (albeit facing Detroit twice, but Tampa Bay once)
– Personally, I believe the Dallas Stars are playing above their heads and have found a lot of early success against some weaker opponents, Nashville and Detroit (common theme)
– This is a tough game to break down because both teams have only played four games each, however I am leaning Carolina and hitting the under
– By no means a safe play, but I also do not see Dallas blowing them out of the water if a team like the Lightning struggled to score

Like I mentioned, my two favorite stacks tonight are going to be WPG 1 and FLA 1. It is possible to fit them in together tonight. That being said I feel queasy fading the Oilers and Leafs game. The three games they’ve played though, we have only witnessed 17 goals (5.6 per game), which is a concern.

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