NHL DFS Primer: Tuesday (11/23)
Tuesdays in the NHL have been jam-packed with massive slates, but the Thanksgiving holiday has slowed its pace, offering three games and six teams to construct DFS lineups. Stacking becomes more critical than usual on lighter slates, meaning two or three players can be inserted from the same team, especially if they skate on the same line or powerplay unit. It presents a risk if the offense stalls out or if other players account for points. However, double and triple-dipping into scoring plays make the difference between cashing or losing a lineup.
Edmonton versus Dallas offers the highest over/under goal total (6), but Calgary’s offense is humming, and Tampa Bay has found its stride lately. Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia are battling to stay in contention for a playoff berth in their divisions, so expect these games to be closer than they appear on paper. Two games from Monday’s slate saw the winning team score seven goals, so perhaps the production will replicate itself on the smaller Tuesday slate with a mixture of talented offenses and good goaltenders.
Here are a few of my favorite players to insert into Tuesday’s DFS lineups.
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Mikael Backlund (C – CGY): $3,400
Mikael Backlund enters Tuesday’s home contest against an improving Chicago Blackhawks team riding a three-game point streak. The veteran center skates on Calgary’s second line and second powerplay unit, averaging just over 17 minutes of time on ice. Backlund managed four shots on goal, his highest in the last five games, while he added a couple of blocked shots into the box score to raise his floor. The Chicago Blackhawks will deploy veteran netminder Marc Andre-Fleury on Tuesday, coming off of his first shutout of the season. Fleury’s play has improved lately, but Backlund has been heating up as well, netting three of his eight points scored this season during the last week. Backlund is an outstanding value and will continue to produce in the offensive zone, making him a quality investment in Tuesday’s lineups.
Andrew Mangiapane (RW – CGY): $4,400
Fifth-year Calgary winger Andrew Mangiapane finds himself amid his best season with the team, scoring five goals in his last three games while racking up 15 shots on goal. The 25-year old has the third-highest point total (17) on the Flames and averages around 16 minutes of time on ice. He is an excellent value at under $5,000 on DraftKings, and if you opt to stack Mangiapane alongside any of his linemates, such as Mikael Backlund, your point production from these two alone could seal and cash a lineup on the light Tuesday slate. While Marc Andre-Fleury has played great in the crease, he has been exposed and allowed four or more goals in half of his starts this season. Calgary has been relatively poor on home ice with a 2-3-1 record, but Mangiapane should be locked into all lineups based on his current salary and recent goal-scoring production.
Evan Bouchard (D -EDM): $5,100
Edmonton has been one of the most potent offensive teams in the league to start the season, and they get a favorable matchup against a Dallas Stars team that struggles to score and defend the goal. One of the Oilers’ first-line defensemen, Evan Bouchard, has been relatively spotty with his point-scoring, but he just ended his point slump against Chicago over the weekend. Earning 0ver 20 minutes of time on ice helps make a case for plugging Bouchard into lineups against the Dallas Stars, as their projected goaltender Braden Holtby (G – DAL) has surrendered three or more goals in four consecutive starts. Bouchard will continue to be the beneficiary of skating alongside Connor McDavid (C – EDM) and Jesse Puljujarvi (RW – EDM) on the Oilers’ first line, making him a good prospect in Tuesday’s lineups.
Stuart Skinner (G -EDM): $7,600
23-year old reserve goaltender Stuart Skinner has been impressive in net for the Oilers during his last two starts, allowing a total of three goals during this span. Last week, he also saved 46 of 47 shots against a talented Winnipeg Jets offense and continued to perform at a high level against the Chicago Blackhawks this past Saturday. Skinner has consecutive wins as the Oilers’ starter and should have a reasonably straightforward path to victory once again facing a lackluster Dallas Stars offense on the road Tuesday night. He’s a cheap asset, and following the probability of a goaltender securing a win, which adds additional points into lineups, is the best statistic to focus on when analyzing goaltenders to roster. Save a few dollars and plug a quality relief goaltender into lineups with confidence.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Anthony Cirelli (C -TB): $4,400
The Tampa Bay Lightning are finally hitting their stride after a bit of a rocky start. Second-line center Anthony Cirelli fired off a pair of goals to lead them to a decisive 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild in their most recent win. The 24-year old skates on the team’s top powerplay unit, which affords him additional opportunities to rack up points while skating for over 24 minutes of time on ice during his last week of action. Cirelli is starting to become more active, blocking shots as well, raising his floor. His involvement in setting up scoring plays via assist has dwindled, but the five goals scored in November indicate Cirelli is moving in the right direction. He is a good value at under $5,000 on FanDuel and will face young goaltender Carter Hart (G – PHI) for the second time in a week on Tuesday night. Hart surrendered three goals in the previous loss, but Cirelli failed to find the back of the net, so expect him to be motivated to bury one in the net against the Flyers on home ice.
Alex Killorn (LW – TB): $5,500
Veteran Tampa Bay Lightning winger Alex Killorn has chipped in assists consistently for most of the season. The 32-year old usually doesn’t take more than one or two shots on goal, but he is a master at setting up scoring opportunities for the Lightning, netting at least one assist in six of his last seven games. Since he skates on the second line alongside Anthony Cirelli, Killorn is a preferable stacking option that could load lineups with points by the dozen if paired with Cirelli. Even as a standalone prospect, Killorn’s consistency with assists is appealing enough to warrant inserting him into Tuesday lineups. In his last game against Flyers goaltender Carter Hart, Killorn racked up two assists, which makes his ceiling higher than it would be in other matchups.
Seth Jones (D – CHI): $7,000
Chicago has begun to climb out of the massive deficit they found themselves in a couple of weeks ago, winning five of their last six games. A big piece of this turnaround is Blackhawks’ defenseman Seth Jones, who just saw his point streak end against Vancouver on Sunday. Jones’ eight-game point streak before its conclusion on Sunday included a pair of goals and six assists, making him a quality blue-chip prospect on a lighter slate. He’s expensive as a defenseman, but his floor becomes massive if he continues to average three to five blocked shots a game. A return to scoring a point will be difficult against Calgary goaltender Jacob Markstrom (G – CGY), who has been the best goaltender in the league thus far. However, Jones has been matchup-proof since Chicago’s winning streak began a couple of weeks ago, so expect him to be heavily involved and potentially reignite his point streak on the road against the Flames on Tuesday night.
Jacob Markstrom (G – CGY): $7,800
31-year old netminder Jacob Markstrom has been an absolute stud defending the red pipes this season, averaging 1.71 GAA and earning seven wins in 14 starts for the Flames. He has four shutouts in the last month, but when Markstrom cannot stonewall opposing offenses, he has allowed more than three goals only once. As a result, he is as much of a solid bet in DFS lineups as any player in the league during Tuesday’s three-game slate and will face a Chicago Blackhawks team that is still trying to find ways to manufacture goals. Chicago has a minus-18 goal differential this season, and Markstrom is playing with extreme confidence with talented offensive personnel in front of him, which makes him the unquestioned alpha goaltender to target when constructing lineups.