Thursday night’s NHL slate is one of the largest of the 2021 season, with most of the teams in action and 11 games on the schedule. It’s a much different dynamic after Wednesday’s main DFS contests only had three games and six teams to choose from, as there are many more choices to make today. Most of the key decisions will likely be at the high end of the salary range for this one, as teams like the Capitals, Leafs, and Penguins are all in nearly ideal matchups. Below we’ll cover some stacking strategy for the main slate, which locks at 7:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings.
Evgeny Kuznetsov ($4,500), Alex Ovechkin ($9,000), T.J. Oshie ($4,700)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews ($9,200), Mitch Marner ($8,500), Wayne Simmonds ($3,400)
Sidney Crosby ($7,600), Bryan Rust ($6,700), Jake Guentzel ($7,900)
The three teams here are facing three of the worst teams in the NHL, with the Capitals getting the Devils at home, the Leafs playing in Ottawa, and the Penguins drawing the Sabres at home (for the second night in a row).
The Capitals are the most affordable of this group, with Kuznetsov and Oshie sitting below 5K, making it much easier to afford Alex Ovechkin. Wayne Simmonds is accomplishing a similar goal for the Leafs, as this stack is viable too even with Matthews and Marner at a combined 17.7K.
The Penguins are the most expensive top-end stack across the board, but the matchup against the Sabres — as evidenced by last night’s 5-1 win — is just that appealing that they’d be one of the best plays on the slate at virtually any price.
Oskar Lindblom ($2,600), Nolan Patrick ($2,500), Jakub Voracek ($4,300)
Sebastian Aho ($6,800), Martin Necas ($4,800), Nino Niederreiter ($5,200)
Tyson Jost ($2,600), Valeri Nichushkin ($2,800), Joonas Donskoi ($2,900)
The Flyers are switching their lines around yet again, trying to find the right combinations to help end their losing streak. The third line as projected for tonight’s game is extremely cheap as a result, and it’s arguably the best value line of Thursday’s slate. Facing the Rangers has become a tougher matchup as they’ve gotten healthier, but they’re still fairly top-heavy and have exploitable depth lines.
The Hurricanes are in a good spot as well against the Blue Jackets, and their top line is priced closer to the mid-range while many other comparably talented combinations are more expensive.
No one is a cheap as the Avs third line, at least no one with this much scoring potential, and this line consists of three players who are all nearly the minimum salary.
Patrice Bergeron ($7,400), Brad Marchand ($8,000), David Pastrnak ($9,100)
New York Rangers
Mika Zibanejad ($7,500), Chris Kreider ($5,900), Pavel Buchnevich ($6,000)
Nathan MacKinnon ($9,000), Mikko Rantanen ($7,600), Gabriel Landeskog ($6,900)
The Bruins first line has struggled over the past few weeks and they’ve routinely been low-owned, in part due to the lack of scoring and in part due to the high prices. A turnaround for Boston is seemingly inevitable, and while facing the Islanders isn’t an ideal spot, the ownership is just going to be extremely low for how much upside they have.
The Rangers have been the exact opposite, dramatically improving their play of late, but the ownership on them should be depressed tonight for a road game in Philly while the aforementioned top stacks all figure to be much more popular.
This should be a semi-contrarian night for the Avalanche as well, facing the Golden Knights, but MacKinnon’s upside is obvious regardless of matchup.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.
All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.