Daily Fantasy Sports

NHL DFS Picks 12-13-18


I finally caught a bit of a breakthrough last week, and I could be picking up steam here.

Last Week – Recap

I am not normally part of the #screenshotmafia – especially when what I hit was fairly meager at best, it is still a lesson in process.

My process led me to be interested in some particular lines last Thursday, which I wrote up here. I just want to take a second to show you what I did just with the information I have given you here.

NHL DFS DraftKings

As you can see, I put together PIT1/VGK1, added Letang to PIT1, correlated my goalie with DeSmith, and used a value defensemen than fit in after all of that. Some of this kind of construction can be attributed to trial and error, but after doing it for a while, you can look at salaries and have some idea what is going to fit together. Pricing out all the stacks you want to use with go a long way with putting these things together.

I acknowledge that I got a bit lucky using Letang in this lineup mostly because Simon ended up getting banged up and Kessel played the majority of the game with Crosby and was BURYING the Islanders. If we only had him in there, too, somehow.

Enough about last slate for now, we can revisit lineup construction another time.

Let’s carry some of that momentum into this 8 game slate.

NHL DFS Picks 12-13-18

Vegas/Special Teams

GameAway GoalieHome GoalieAway PP%Away PK%Home PP%Home PK%
ARI @ BUF - 155, 5.5oHillHutton17.290.618.681.5
CAR @ MON -115, 6oUNDECIDEDPrice168013.576
LA @ CBJ -220, 6uQuickBobrovsky14.174.515.378.7
TOR @ TB -140, 7uAndersonVasilevskiy25.98029.283
VAN @ NSH -220, 5.5oMarkstromRinne17.575.915.181.6
FLA @ MIN -175, 6oLuongoDubnyk27.27825.384.8
EDM @ WPG -190, 6oKoskinenHellebuyck20.277.330.382.6
DAL @ SJ -200, 6oKhudobinJones21.28423.284.6

We have a 7 total! Not sure if that game will truly be fireworks, especially with the return of Andrei Vasilevskiy, but I am sure there will be chalk in that game across all 4 top lines.

Lowest total is in Buffalo, and for good reason. The Sabres have been solid lately, and Arizona is a surprisingly defensive team, as exhibited by their PK% being north of 90%.

Every home team is favorited tonight, with the closest to being a pick’em being the Carolina-Montreal game.

This is looking like an interesting slate for once.

Key Statistics

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As usual, you can not take too much stock into the lines with very small samples, but they were included so everyone is clear that these lines have not played much together.

Heating Up

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This is something I am adding, just as an idea of what lines are getting hot, or have been on fire, in the last 10 games.


Every line listed here has scored at least 6 goals as a line in the last 10 games, listing their goals for, goals against, Corsi For %, and their PDO.

I know what everyone just thought – what the hell is PDO?

PDO (which stands for nothing at all, merely was a three letter combination in the forum name of the person who invented this) is essentially shooting percentage + save percentage. The shooting percentage portion comes from the line itself, whereas save percentage is the save percentage of that team’s goalies. The idea behind this is that if you are generating more quality shooting chances and scoring more often, you also tend to give up opportunities going the other way, leading to a decrease in your save percentage. Both factors are primarily driven by luck, but being more offensive-minded leads to an increase on one side, but also a decrease on the other side.

I know that isn’t the easiest thing to wrap your head around, but essentially it is a measure of luck. The idea behind PDO is that over a long enough sample, you should always regress to 100.

If a line has a PDO higher than 100, it means their shooting percentage is high compared to their save percentage – so they have had some positive luck.

On the contrary, if your PDO is lower than 100, it means that you have likely played some pretty good hockey, but the pucks aren’t going in like you would expect based on how you are playing.

It makes sense that most of these lines that have scored 6+ goals in the last 10 games have 100+ PDOs, but oddly enough not all of them do. Obviously, the lines that have also been giving up goals in bunches as well as scoring them are the ones with the low PDOs, which could sway you to maybe make a game stack with that line and the line that opposes them, since goals are going in both directions according to the analytics.

I won’t go any deeper than that on PDO, as it is a strange statistic, and I wouldn’t use it as anything more than a tiebreaker when choosing between lines you like. You can also use PDO to identify some possibly contrarian options that are due for an upswing in offensive production.

Ok, back to the stuff we’re used to – I don’t want to fry anyone’s brain with analytics. If you want to delve deeper into something like this, there are plenty of resources online to point you in the right direction at least.

Line Matching

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LineTeamOpp LineOpp Team

I am not 100% confident in how Nashville has been matching up with teams, due to the sheer amount of injuries they have experienced lately. Their lines are beat up and it appears they think their best chance is to keep Johansen away from top competition and have Nick Bonino deal with it.

Same with San Jose – though lines 1 and 2 have been interchanged, those players are still matching up the same, so its virtually no difference. Pavelski’s line is still seeing the 3rd line competition.

Winnipeg seems to be trying to keep Laine away from the top 2 opposing lines at even strength also, matching that line with the 3rd line when it makes sense (when the 3rd line is not the shutdown line).

GPP Stacks

Power (Popular) Plays

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TOR2 – Auston Matthews, Andreas Johnsson, and Kasperi Kapanen ($17000) Defenseman Add On – Morgan Rielly ($6100)

Toronto has shaken up their lines some the last couple of games, but I think most people will lean towards Auston Matthews and his line here, especially since it comes at a bit of a discount with these particular linemates. TOR1 is actually $500 cheaper, but you have to stare at Connor Brown in your lineup, which most people have a hard time stomaching. Adding Rielly into your stack gives you another piece of the PP1 with Matthews, and in a 7 total, people are going to want any piece of this game. This should be popular.

TB2 – Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, and Tyler Johnson ($19900) Defensemen Add On – Victor Hedman ($5600)

On the other side of this game, the Stamkos line is the cheaper of the two by a good amount, but the Point line has been on FIRE the last 10 games, plowing 11 even strength goals. I could see how the Stamkos line could possibly be more owned here just by price alone, but this is the line that is murdering the league right now. It would be tough to add Hedman to this line particularly, but if you can find some extreme value, I could see getting there.

BUF1 – Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner, and Sam Reinhart ($20500) Defenseman Add On – Rasmus Ristolainen ($5900)

Despite the low-ish total, the matchup against the Schmaltz line is probably going to be too hard to ignore. They are giving up high-danger chances like fruitcakes on Christmas, and the Eichel line always looks hungry at home. Their price is mental to pay for, but people will hunt for extreme value to jam in a line like this. They have been making people money for over a month now, and nobody is getting off of this train tonight. Arizona’s goalie situation is becoming more and more dire, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they went off tonight.

EDM1 – Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Alex Chiasson ($18500) Defenseman Add On – Darnell Nurse ($5000)

I know my articles are starting to all look the same, but you can’t write off McDavid on any slate. I will eventually get to the point where I will just list him, and say “play him” and move on, but for now, I will keep talking about him. His line is a bit cheaper, all get PP1 exposure, and can always break a slate. I currently have them playing against WPG3, but that seems like it would be a grave mistake for Winnipeg. They just don’t have the speed to contend with McDavid. I will have him somewhere, no doubt.

Mid-Range/Value Dump Ins

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MIN1 – Eric Staal, Jason Zucker, and Mikael Granlund ($17600) Defensemen Add On – Matt Dumba ($5500)

The oft-forgotten line on bigger slates, this line has been seemingly on the down-low despite scoring 6 even strength goals in the last 10 games and still having a PDO below 100. I think they will be owned, but probably not more than about 10% on an 8 game slate, especially with people reaching to get some TOR-TB. This lineup always has that upside, and it matched up against a line who has just been assembled recently due to the injury-riddled nature of the Panthers. They may be on my main lineup. Dumba is also on fire if you have the room.

VAN2 – Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, and Josh Leivo ($14800) Defensemen Add On – Alexander Edler ($4900)

I feel like this line may end up being forgotten about, especially since they will likely not have the best matchup on the ice, but I am such a mark for Pettersson that I play him nearly every slate in one capacity or another. Considering how expensive all the top options are, I think some people end up landing here, and also maybe on VAN1, but I can never ignore Pettersson, especially at this price.

CAR1/MON2 ($15100)/($15100)

This is a bit of a cop-out, I will admit, but I have no idea what side of this I actually want. This game is nearly a pick’em, and both of these lines are not only playing against each other, but both have great CF%. Somehow, they are exactly the same price. There are two sides to this coin, though. MON2 gives up way less high-danger chances, but CAR1 generates much more. I think CAR1 probably has more upside, mostly just because Philip Danault is no sniper or playmaker, he is a defensive forward. I made money playing Aho-Teraveinen last year, and that I won’t be getting off that train anytime soon. If you are going to add defensemen, look to Shea Weber or Justin Faulk.

Contrarian Corner

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DAL1 –Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov ($20000) Defensemen Add On – Miro Heiskanen ($4600)

I imagine not a lot of people are going to talk about them tonight. Their price is still pretty high, they don’t have the best matchup against the Couture line, and they have been a bit cold lately. If you have actually watched any Stars games lately, they have been dinging posts left and right, smashing crossbars, getting robbed by great goaltending, and they still have 5 even strength goals in the last 10. I would think this is going to be sub 5% owned, and can easily be the late night hammer slate-breaker. Either this or MIN1 will be on my main lineup as of right now.

LA2 – Jeff Carter, Brenden Leipsic, and Matt Luff ($11600)

This is a price play, primarily. They have not been hot, the team has issues scoring goals at all, and they are on the road. Here me out – if you have been watching Columbus games at all lately, they get out to these 2 or 3 goal leads, then turtle in the 3rd period and fall apart in spectacular fashion. The morale in that room just isn’t there. Tortarella is losing them, and they are playing like it.

SJ2 – Joe Pavelski, Evander Kane, and Joonas Donskoi ($15200) Defensemen Add On – Brent Burns ($6300)

I admit, this is where PDO has swayed me a bit. This has been a line that has been streaky, and often they go as Evander Kane‘s shot goes. This line has a season PDO of 96 and a PDO of 94.4 over the last 10 games. That is EXTREMELY low and is bound to regress to 100 sometime. I want to bet that they start that tonight. Dallas has not been great defensively, and they should be matched up against DAL3, so it should be pretty far slanted in their favor. Burns plays on both PP lines, and just has more upside right now than Karlsson does.


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As usual, I typically correlate my goalies with one of my stacked lines, but here are my top goalies on raw points:

Pekka Rinne ($8400) – Big favorite at home.

Devan Dubnyk ($8300) – Home favorite against a (now) 1-line team.

Sergei Bobrovsky ($7900) – If you think Columbus can turn it around today, and not melt down in the third period.

Martin Jones ($7900) – but he scares the hell out of me, especially when he is chalk, which is another reason I am on DAL1.

Carter Hutton ($8200) – Arizona is not known for blowing people out.

Carey Price ($8100) – this is a volume play, Carolina shoots the puck a TON, and getting saves is the safest form of production. If you think they win, that is a bonus. Probably has a safer floor than some of these other guys.


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This is shaping up to be a great slate. I hope you can navigate through all the information and figure out what you are looking at. Always trust your own research and instincts – DFS is a grind, and “process over results” is the life you need to live to make it in this industry.

I should have some more free time with the holidays coming up, so I will try to have a lineup building type article out for you guys, just to see what other players are doing and having success with.

Until then, stay frosty.

About Kevin Walsh

Kevin Walsh hails from Pittsburgh, PA and has been playing fantasy sports for 15 years and DFS for 5 years. He is a huge football fan and and even bigger hockey fan. Perfect blend of sports fan and math nerd. Try to look past the Steelers/Penguins bias. Follow him on twitter @FuryOTStorm

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