FanDuel NHL Lineup Advice: Thursday (10/4)
NHL season is upon us, and we have an eight-game slate today with plenty of options across the board. There are some big home favorites, which are the teams you want to target when building a roster. Since this is the start of a new season, we don’t have any stats to work with, so we will be looking at some previous year stats and solid line combinations.
Mika Zibanejad (NYR): $5,600 vs. COL
Zibanejad signed a big offseason deal and comes into this year as the first line center for the Rangers. He is the start of a little three player stack we have here, and in a game where the Rangers are a -200 home favorite, we want plenty of players from their top lines, since they have last change. Zibanejad had 37 points in 56 games last year and averaged over two shots on goal per game. He is their top center and is on the first power-play unit, plenty of time for him to score and produce points.
Nick Schmaltz (CHI): $3,400 vs. PIT
Schmaltz had a very modest season last year, 28 points in 61 games, but is in line to have a big bump in production this year. Why the increase in production you ask? Well, he is the second line center for the Blackhawks and will be alongside one of the best goal scorers in the league, Patrick Kane. They have a high-powered offense, and getting playing time with Kane, who will draw plenty of defense attention, will naturally open up space for Schmaltz. He is also set to be on the second power-play unit, so even more ice time to put up points.
Chris Kreider (NYR): $5,100 vs. COL
The next part of the Rangers stack, is Chris Kreider, the powerful and fast left winger on the Rangers top line. He is coming off a career-high in points, at 53 in 75 games, and is in a year where he needs to prove he is an elite forward. He averaged nearly 2.5 shots per game last season, and with those being valuable on FanDuel, we want to take a look at players who put it on net. Kreider is also on the top power-play unit and will see plenty of playing time.
Patrick Kane (CHI): $8,300 vs. PIT
Kane is paired up with one of the centers, Nick Schmaltz, and always has multi-goal upside in any game. Kane is coming off a nearly 90-point season, where he averaged over one point per game along with over 3.5 shots per game. There aren’t that many players in the league that provide the amount of volume he does, so when he is on the ice, he gets the puck. Although Chicago tapped out of the playoff early last year, they are retooled with young talent, which should create more consistency around Kane, and thus lift everyone’s production.
David Pastrnak (BOS): $6,900 vs. NSH
Pastrnak signed a lucrative $40 million dollar contract with the Bruins, and he is looking to be their future star. He averaged nearly one point per game last year with almost 2.5 shots per game. He plays on the top line for the Bruins and is on the first power-play unit. See the trend we are going with here? We want players that see a ton of ice time and have the most opportunity to produce points. As the season goes on, we can dive deeper into stats, but at the start, this is what we have to work with.
Mikael Granlund (MIN): $6,900 @ DET
Granlund is another player who is coming off a strong year, where he tallied 69 points in 81 games, along with over two shots on goal per game. He makes a good pick tonight because being on the road, the visiting team doesn’t have last line change, and they generally send out their second line to counter the home team’s top line. It may seem like a minor detail, but second line players can often average more time on ice on the road compared to at home. He also plays on the top power-play unit and plays on the point, which means plenty of shots at the net.
Kevin Shattenkirk (NYR): $5,600 vs. COL
Rounding out our three-man Rangers stack is the newly signed Kevin Shattenkirk. He was picked up in the offseason and took a bit of a pay cut to play for his hometown team. Love the storyline going into this game. He specifically wanted to play for the Rangers, and the opening game of the season, the first time as a Ranger, you see where I’m going with this? The narrative is there, and he has the stats to back it up. Averaging over two shots on goal per game, an assist machine, and will be on the top power-play unit.
Brent Seabrook (CHI): $4,7,00 vs. PIT
Seabrook is a long time defenseman for the Blackhawk and plays on their top D pairing. He is rounding out the three-player stack for the Blackhawk and is yet another player who produces. Over 1.6 shots per game, plays on the top line as I mentioned, and is on the second power-play unit. More upside when it comes to assists rather than goals, but with the amount of ice time he sees, there is no shortage of opportunity.
Devan Dubnyk (MIN): $8,400 MIN @ DET
Goalies in hockey are somewhat like pitchers in MLB. Generally, I like to target home favorites and pick your spots for guys on the road. Well, this is a road spot, but it is certainly good. Dubnyk is coming off a career year, where he finished in the top 10 for save percentage, wins, and goals against average. Absolutely stellar from the netminder, who will be on the road against the Red Wings, who finished last season with the sixth fewest points. Until they prove they can be better, they are a team you want to target.