Now that we’ve established this piece on the site, I figured today would be a good opportunity to try something a little different. Instead of individual plays for cash games and GPPs, I’ll be giving my favorite GPP line stacks as well as my top cash game play or value play at each position.
In my opinion this makes more sense and will be more beneficial to you since stacking is a common GPP approach. We haven’t covered this extensively, and maybe it is best suited for its own article, but in short, stacking lines in GPPs gives you the highest upside as you can potentially account for the goal scorer and all possible assists.
In cash games, full line stacks are advised against as you want to target players with high individual floors. While I’ve seen it done plenty of times before, I don’t recommend full line stacking in cash games, no matter how good the spot is. If the line doesn’t produce on that given night, you can pretty much assume your cash game lineup won’t be cashing.
I can go over this in greater detail if there is a high level of interest, just let me know in the comments or on Twitter @bmfischetti. Let’s get to the plays.
*This article was written on 11/1 prior to starting goalie announcements and lineup news. Make sure to check dailyfaceoff.com for current lines and starting goalie news.
Cash Game Plays
This is an ugly slate for selecting a cash game goalie, since I think a lot of teams are in good offensive spots. Even if we could accurately project each team’s starter as the goalie getting the nod, I don’t particularly love any matchup and wouldn’t necessarily consider any goalie a lock for the win. My safest bet for a win would be the starter for Tampa Bay — though I am more comfortable if the Bolts start Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Rangers in three road contests this season have allowed an average of 42.3 shots against per game and are dead last in GA/G at an astounding 5.33. I expect the Lightning offense to have no problem putting points on the board here. While they’ve been dominant, the Bolts are still allowing over 30 shots per game on home ice, so the goalie’s floor should be fairly high, and a win seems probable.
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
The dynamic Senators blueliner has points in five of seven games since returning from injury. After posting a -6 in his last game, Karlsson gets a great home bounce-back spot against the Red Wings. He skates over 25 minutes per night, shoots the puck, blocks shots, and gets PP1 time. Karlsson checks all the boxes as a cash game d-man, and the minimal threat from Red Wings forwards should allow him to activate plenty in this game.
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
After a record-breaking start to the season, the Golden Knights have finally encountered a goalie injury they can’t seem to overcome. Vegas has allowed six goals in each of their last two games and head into Boston allowing over 35 shots per game. In three road games this year, the Golden Knights have yet to produce a regulation win (0-2-1) with the club’s only road win coming in overtime at Arizona. Even starting the year without linemate Patrice Bergeron, Marchand has quietly racked up eight goals and 5 assists in 10 games. Now, with Bergeron back in the fold, Marchand has goals in four of his last five games. Joined on the top line by David Pastrnak, this group should have no issue producing against whatever journeyman AHL goalie the Golden Knights throw at them.
Adrian Kempe, Los Angeles Kings
In the absence of Jeff Carter, Kempe has slotted in nicely between Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli on the former “That 70s Line”. The Kings are finally back home after a six-game road trip and draw a Toronto Maples Leafs team that has lost four of its last five games and will be playing on the tail end of a back to back. With excellent two-way center Anze Kopitar likely to draw the Auston Matthews assignment, Kempe and his linemates should be in a nice spot against a Leafs team that ranks bottom-10 in the NHL in xGA/60 and has allowed 35 shots/game on the road this season. Potentially drawing a matchup with the JVR-Bozak-Marner trio that last year ranked dead last in the NHL in venue-adjusted CA, I like Kempe as a salary-saving center option tonight.
Special teams add-ons: Victor Hedman (PP1)
Even on a 12-game slate these guys will be the chalk, but I’m absolutely not convinced this is the spot they finally slow down. Obviously regression is coming — and if you decide to fade them for this reason or for ownership purposes I wouldn’t argue it — but at home facing a Rangers team that is dead last in the NHL in xGA/60, a number that skyrockets to 4.79 xGA/60 on the road, and dead last in venue-adjusted CA/60 at a whopping 76.18, I just can’t write up any other line as tonight’s elite play.
Special teams add-ons: Aaron Ekblad (PP1)
Sergei Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets goalie I assume will draw the start tonight, is not a goalie I typically like to pick on — especially this year as he has been arguably the best netminder in the league. On the other hand, the Panthers top line, which also serves as the first power play unit, has been a force this season, particularly on home ice. The Panthers lead the league in venue-adjusted GF/60 at 4.9 and the top line has more than pulled their weight. The trio ranks top five in the NHL in SF/60 while leading the league in venue-adjusted GF/60 at 7.48. With most DFS players wired to avoided skaters against a goalie as good as Bobrovsky, we should get depressed ownership on the line that has been best in the league on home ice this year. They aren’t always pretty and you don’t always feel great about them, but these are the kind of plays that win large field tournaments.
Best of luck!