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Intermediate NHL DFS: Blocked Shots

We continue our breakdown of intermediate NHL DFS. In this section, we look at blocked shots, with definitions and some strategy.

Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome.  Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

In daily fantasy hockey, like in most things, getting the fundamentals down is integral toward laying a foundation of knowledge to build from as you progress as a player. We go over blocked shots, with a definition and how to approach using them in everyday strategy.

Blocked Shots

Definition

This is another pretty straightforward one. Whenever a player gets in front of a opposing players shot and deflects it in any way, that is considered a blocked shot.

Strategy

Blocked shots were implemented into NHL DFS to even out scoring throughout all positions. It was mostly done because defensemen have a tough time keeping up with forward scoring. The blocked shot stat gives D-Men a little bit more juice since there aren’t many forwards known for their ability to block shots. That isn’t to say forwards never block shots. The stat adds a very interesting wrinkle to the way we approach lineup construction in both cash games and GPPs.

Blocked shots in cash games

Defensemen are generally cheaper than most forwards because of the obvious: they score fewer points. Obviously, there are elite defensemen who score at a high clip, but there aren’t many in the NHL. So when crafting a lineup for 50/50s, Double-Ups and Head-to-Heads, blocked shots are an easy source of value.

If we take a look at the top scoring defensemen in the NHL, none of them rank in the top 30 in terms of blocked shots. We have to go all the way down to Predators D Roman Josi, who is tied for 33rd with 108 blocked shots this season. Same goes for Capitals D John Carlson, who also has 108 BS on the year. Both are at the top in terms of points among defensemen — Carlson with 75 and Josi with 65. So if you’re going to spend up for any type of defensemen in NHL DFS, those two are going to be worth the hefty price tag for cash games.

You’ll also notice there is only one forward among the top 40 in BS this season — Panthers C Noel Acciari. Now, Acciari is a bottom-six grinder who gets most of his BS on the penalty kill. He’s not somebody who is going to provide much value on the scoresheet, but it’s worth noting that he can produce some points through BS. That’s worth consideration in cash formats, since Acciari will almost always be priced way down. Deciding whether to use a forward like Acciari will most likely come down to matchup.

If you’re new to NHL DFS or still learning, think of blocked shots (and shots on goal) as receptions in PPR for NFL DFS. Usually receivers who average a lot of receptions are strong cash-game options. The same can be said about defensemen or forwards who average a high amount of blocked shots (or SOG).