Daily Fantasy Sports

NHL DFS Picks 3-28-19

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We are in the home stretch!

The NHL Playoffs are a mere two weeks away, and we are trying to finish strong here of the long NHL season.

While I didn’t write nearly as much as I intended this season, I want to say that I have enjoyed every second of it, and I hope to get to continue to do so next season.


There is no time like the present, so let’s see what he have going here for this eight game slate!

NHL DFS Picks 3-28-19

Game Breakdown

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In a reversal of previous formats, I have been trying to do some different things just to see how they flow, and if they ultimately are a better reading experience for you guys.

In this game-by-game breakdown, I will give some insight into what I am looking for in these matchups.

The end of season slates are always strange, as motivations change, playoff teams tighten up, tanking teams play loose, and fringe teams crack under pressure. This is why I wanted to go game by game, especially for this particular slate.

Also at the end of the season, I tend to scale back my exposure and only enter a few single entry contests. It’s bad form to try and chase a big payday at the end of the season. Just stay the course.

The last thing is that the contests are smaller for us now because MLB starts today. While that means the top prizes are down, it does mean we have some smaller player pools to contend with. That’s the good news – the bad news is, anyone playing NHL is probably more on the side of the shark than the fish, as all the fish are jazzed up for Opening Day. Another reason I keep my exposure small.

Detroit @ Buffalo – 135, 5.5u

Buffalo just laid an egg against Ottawa on Tuesday. That can’t be good for morale for the players or the fans. Can Buffalo rebound in a positive manner while still testing out their new lines and younger guys?

Detroit isn’t a lot better overall than Ottawa is, but they have some scoring potential in a couple of places. Larkin is far and away their best player, and the Wings are still testing out new lines also, featuring some of their younger players such as Taro Hirose.

Washington @ Carolina -120, 6u

At least there are a couple of games like this one that has some playoff implication. The Metropolitan is still wide open, and the Capitals need another win to solidify their hold on the #1 seed. They just played a dominant game against this same Carolina team, though it was back in Washington. Can they repeat and make their lead nearly insurmountable?

Carolina is a team that shoots the puck a lot. They only hit Holtby with 28 shots on Tuesday – not the type of volume a team like Carolina needs to beat a team like the Caps or a goalie like Holtby. They are going to look to get their matchups straightened out at home and actually generate some positive offense. I’m sure they have a great Storm Surge prepared for a big win this late in the year.

Montreal @ Columbus -145, 5.5u

This game has MASSIVE playoff implications. These two teams are basically fighting for the 8th spot in the East to get the honor of getting ape-smashed by the Lightning in the first round.

Montreal has been shifting their lines around, but seem to have settled in on what they have for now. Tortarella has been putting the blender to the lines in Columbus, but only mid-game, which is good for player morale and game management from their perspective, but sucks for us on the DFS front. Tough to choose a top line when it could get cut to pieces by the 2nd period.

I do not have a ton of interest in this game for DFS – its a playoff environment, a low total, two teams that have struggled to score goals lately against two solid goaltenders… barring a meltdown from one of these teams, nothing is really standing out here.

The only thing I have a reasonable interest in is Max Domi‘s line, as it has been generating high-danger chances at a greater rate than any other line on the slate – but I don’t know that they will make it onto any of my rosters unless I play more than 3 lineups.

Florida -140 @ Ottawa, 6.5u

Oh boy, how is a Panthers-Senators game the first game we get excited about? Ottawa may be devoid of talent, but they are still playing to win. These kids are getting their chance at top minutes and they are not slowing down at all. They put the old, worn-down men in Bobby Ryan and Mikkel Boedker on the same line, so the others could live. I am mostly interested in OTT1 here, especially if they keep the lines from practice yesterday that have Duclair on the right wing instead of Veronneau.

FLA1, on the other hand, has 14 (!!) even-strength goals in the last 10 games, leading all lines over that span. While they are likely due for a little regression in shooting percentage, I can’t imagine they don’t find the scoreboard one way or another against this depleted Ottawa team. These are men amongst boys in this matchup. I would not be surprised if they ended up being chalk on this slate.

New York Islanders @ Winnipeg -170, 5.5u

The Islanders are doing the opposite of what you want to do before the playoffs. You want to enter the playoffs HOT. This team is NOT. Sporting a 47 CF% as a team in the month of March, and only scoring a mighty 22 goals in the last 14 games is not a good look. They are also letting up the 3rd most high-danger chances over that span. That’s the bad news.

There is not a ton to like for the Islanders, but one thing they have done is generate more high-danger chances than any other team in March. I wouldn’t normally target this team playing like this, but they could also be a contrarian slate-breaker, so we will loop back into this idea.

The Jets are another playoff team that is floundering a little bit, albeit not nearly as bad as the Islanders have. They are 8-5 in that span despite sporting a worse CF% than the Islanders as well as giving up high-danger chances almost as often. The Islanders are still a defensive-minded team, so it may be tough to target the Jets here at all.

Dallas (B2B) – 120 @ Edmonton, 5.5u

The Stars had a hard-fought win in Calgary last night, at the expense of the health of Ben Bishop. That pretty much locks up that Edmonton is going to see Khudobin tonight. While Dallas has been playing well, it has been a lot of tight, playoff-type hockey that has been getting the job done for them. It sucks that they have to play a back-to-back this late in the season as they make the playoff push, but them’s the breaks.

Edmonton is no longer playing for any playoff considerations – but they are playing for themselves. They put on a show earlier this week against the Kings that featured two hat tricks by players not named Connor McDavid. Assuming they keep that top line together, and they keep them away from Seguin’s line, that line will be in play for me.



The low total, the Dallas B2B, and the general volatility of both teams as far as upside goes makes me want to write this game off – but you can’t ever really write off Connor McDavid.

Los Angeles @ Vancouver -130, 5.5u

The Kings just aren’t much of a talented team anymore. Outside of Kopitar and some flashes from guys like Toffoli and Iafallo, this team’s offense is dreadful. Most of what I am looking for in this game is who ends up in net. If it is Quick, I have some interest in Vancouver, if its Campbell, I may write this game off entirely. There is just not a ton to love here. I will admit I have been playing the very cheap line of Kempe-Toffoli-Grundstrom the last couple of slates, and I may take a stab here again with them if I find the right fit.

The Canucks have one solid line, and that is really about it. Bo Horvat is a good hockey player, but he isn’t good enough to drag two trash cans around with any sort of productivity. If Quick is in, I like the Pettersson line – if its Campbell, I will probably look for upside elsewhere for that price.

Chicago @ San Jose -220, 6.5u

This is easily the other firestorm-type game on this slate. San Jose is a strong, deep team playing against a frail Chicago team that has been just ceding goals to everyone they face. Arguments could be made for any of their 3 lines tonight, so we will need a deeper dive to find exactly who we want to target.

Chicago keeps messing with their lines, so it’s hard to tell who they will end up rolling out tonight this far in advance. Last game they had Toews-Kane-DeBrincat all together on one line and were summarily shut out by the Coyotes. Not sure if that is circumstance, or chemistry, or something else, but it’s hard to tell if they will all stay together. I personally prefer when Toews-Kane are on one line, and Strome-DeBrincat on the other, but I do not coach their team.

Chicago’s lines are going to be the catalyst here, so really there could end up being 4-5 viable lines in play here in this game.

GPP Stacks

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Expensive Stacks

FLA1 – Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Evgeni Dadonov – Defensemen Add On – Keith Yandle

I want a piece of this FLA-OTT game. The pace should be pretty high, and this is the line that pushes that pace. Ottawa will score some goals in this game, but this is the most dangerous line featured in the game tonight.

CHI1 – Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Alex DeBrincat – Defensemen Add-On – Erik Gustafsson

A very high-priced stack – especially if this line stays together for this game, but the Sharks are not shutting down top lines lately like they used to. It probably has something to do with Logan Couture being sick and playing through it, but between this line not being full strength, and their goaltending not stepping up to pick up the slack, this line has some merit tonight.

Mid-Range and Value Stacks

OTT1 – Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Brady Tkachuk, and Anthony Duclair – Defensemen Add-On – Thomas Chabot

On the other side of this game, if this is truly the line they run with as they did in practice yesterday, I think Duclair can bring something good to this 1-2 punch of Tkachuk and Pageau. There ought to be goals aplenty in this one, so getting some exposure to both sides is probably a good thing. The rest of Ottawa’s lines are just so far from dominant or talented.

LA2 – Adrian Kempe, Carl Grundstrom, and Tyler Toffoli

As I said, I have played this line the last couple of slates, and it hasn’t quite come to fruition yet. This line is mega-cheap – helping you stack the CHI1s and EDM1s of the world while not crippling your defensemen and goaltender. They have a 60+ CF% over the last 10 and will be another low-owned possible slate-breaker.

SJ1 – Logan Couture, Timo Meier, and Gustav Nyquist – Defensemen Add-On – Brent Burns

The injury to Joe Pavelski, as well as the illness that is afflicting Couture, has depleted this line’s true talent and upside – but they are still playing against one of the less defensively-efficient teams in the NHL. The Sharks are pretty locked into the 2nd seed, but a win here would all but guarantee Vegas doesn’t catch them. They need a win here, especially against a flawed team like Chicago. I don’t hate SJ2 either, so long as Donskoi is the 3rd linemate and not Radil.

Gut Calls

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NYI2 – Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, and Michael Dal Colle

Nothing sexy about this pick, but as I mentioned before, the Islanders are generating the highest number of high-danger chances over the course of March, and have very few goals to show for it. Granted it is a limited sample, this line has a ridiculous PDO of 0.889, which just isn’t sustainable, and has to regress towards 1.000 as it always does. The goals have to start sometime, and why not tonight? They will be virtually unowned. I may be picking the wrong Islanders line to go off tonight, but I know they are due for a little offensive explosion, and they need to get something going and make sure they secure their spot in the dance for Lord Stanley.

Netminders

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As always, I often correlate my goaltenders to my stacks, but here are my top 5 in raw points:

  1. Connor Hellebuyck
  2. Sergei Bobrovsky
  3. Braden Holtby (on sheer volume of shots gives him a good floor, if you think he wins, he will be worth it)
  4. Anton Khudobin (or Bishop if he’s okay to play tonight)
  5. Jimmy Howard

Breakaway

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This has been a great season for NHL DFS. While my bankroll doesn’t exactly reflect that sediment, I learned a lot this year, and I hope those of you that read this can also say they at least learned something about game theory and research this season.

Let’s go out with a bang!

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I hope to be back next season to continue writing for you all but 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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