In last week’s article Daily Fantasy Saturday: Cashing in With Cash Games, I discussed a few things I look for when targeting players for cash games such as Vegas lines, power-play units, and shots. Using these items can help you narrow down a sometimes-overwhelming amount of options on a given slate.
Another thing I like to do, similarly to tournaments, is review the previous day’s lineups to see what players carried the most ownership. Typically, players are high owned for a reason, either they are a good value or have a high projection for that slate. You can easily view ownership percentages on DraftKings by going to your contest history on a desktop and clicking on “results” for the contest you want to review. From there simply click “Export Lineups to CSV” and an Excel file will open which includes every lineup entered in that contest along with every player used and what ownership percentage that player carried.
I like to review these percentages to see if there were players that carried high ownership that I did not consider or if there were players that I used that had very little ownership. If a player was high owned but I did not consider playing them, I try to think through what others saw or what I may have looked past that put them on that player but not me. If I had a player that did not have much ownership, I go back and review why I liked that player compared to the field. If you do this enough, you can start to get a feel on how most lineups come together on a slate.
Let’s take a look at last Saturday’s (12/07/19) Single Entry $25 Double Up Tournament on DraftKings. Here’s a list of every player that was owned in 15% or more of lineups:
G: Ben Bishop (36%)
A quick glance and you will notice half of the ten players listed are from either PIT or NSH. I talked about the spot for each of these teams in last week’s article so it isn’t too much of a surprise to see them showing well here. Some of these plays worked out as Malkin, Guentzel, and Josi all scored 22 DraftKings points or more. Turris and Jarnkrok however only mustered 4.3 and 8.0 points respectively but these were simply cheap value plays in good game environments, so taking a shot on them makes sense as they allow you to pay up at other positions. I mentioned Nick Bonino as well last week, and he would also fit the mold of these players.
As for the other players on this list Aleksander Barkov, David Pastrnak, and Nikita Kucherov were all ones I mentioned in the article so this is reassurance to me that my process was on the right track. Erik Karlsson was not someone I considered, however, after looking it over his DraftKings salary was under $5,000 for the first time the entire season. Given his offensive pedigree I am sure many saw this as simply too cheap to pass up. As for Ben Bishop, the DAL-NYI game had the lowest Vegas total on the slate at five. You seldom see a total under 5.5 so coupled with the fact that Dallas was favored to win the game, implies that the Islanders were only expected to score roughly two goals in this game. Locking in the opposing goalie makes a lot of sense in this situation, especially one of the caliber of Ben Bishop.
As I’ve mentioned before, going back and reviewing past entries has helped me improve my fantasy game whether it be cash games or tournaments. So before looking ahead to the next slate, take a few minutes and review the previous one. You may just pick up on something that you could benefit from going forward.
As for tonight, we have a 9-game slate with first puck drop at 7 p.m. EST. All players and prices used are from DraftKings but can be applied to FanDuel as well.
C – John Tavares ($7,000)
The return of Mitch Marner has been a welcomed sight for John Tavares. With the line back to full strength, Tavares has been the major beneficiary with three goals and two assists in the past two games. Toronto plays at one of the fastest paces in the league and this matchup with the Edmonton Oilers features one of the highest Vegas totals on the slate. The fact Toronto is actually favored on the road speaks to the struggles Edmonton has had as of late having lost six of their last eight while allowing 4.0 goals per game. Tavares has been seeing in excess of 20 minutes of ice time over the past few games which should give him plenty of opportunity to fill the score sheet once again.
C – Ryan Donato ($3,700)
With Mikko Koivu missing time due to injury, Ryan Donato has slid up to the second line where he has been centering Zach Parise and Kevin Fiala and has also been receiving some run on the second power-play unit. In each of these three games, Donato has taken at least three shots and scored a goal. With close to 14 minutes of ice time and 15.4 DraftKings points per game in his new role, Donato represents a great salary saving option to help fit some of the more expensive pieces to come.
W – Brendan Gallagher ($6,700)
The Detroit Red Wings are the fantasy gift that just keep on giving. Yes, they won their most recent game on Thursday but that was their first win since November 12. That is not a typo, one win in an entire month’s worth of action. Prior to that 5-2 victory, they had allowed at least four goals in six consecutive games. Enter the suddenly hot Montreal Canadiens and there really isn’t a single top nine forward that shouldn’t be considered for this slate. Brendan Gallagher figures to be the best of the bunch, as he leads the team in goals with 14 and shots with 122. He has been on a roll as of late as well with a goal in four of the past five games while averaging 4.4 shots per game and 18.4 DraftKings points per game. If looking for cheaper exposure to Gallagher, both of his linemates come in at a discount.
W – Clayton Keller ($5,200)
Don’t look now but it’s not the Calgary Flames, Vegas Golden Knights, or Edmonton Oilers that sit atop the Pacific Division, it’s actually the Arizona Coyotes. Not very well known for their offense, they rank 23rd in goals per game, the Coyotes find themselves in what should be one of the best matchups on the slate against a New Jersey Devils team on a back-to-back. The Coyotes production has been spread across all lines, which makes it more difficult for fantasy purposes, but taking a shot with Clayton Keller makes sense here. His salary is very affordable and he has been hot as of late with eight points in his last seven games. He has averaged 4.7 shots and 16 DraftKings points during that span including an absurd 12 shots on goal in Thursday’s game. If he can muster half that number in tonight’s game, he will almost certainly pay off his price tag.
W – Alex Killorn ($4,500)
Alex Killorn has seen increased opportunity as of late and has been making the most of it. Besides sharing ice time with Steven Stamkos, Killorn has also been racking up minutes on the Lightning’s top power-play unit. This combination has led to over 19 minutes of ice time per game over his last four. During that span Killorn has two goals while adding four helpers. As long as Killorn continues to see time on a power-play unit that converts at a near 30 percent clip, good for second in the league, his salary will likely only continue to rise.
D – Shea Weber ($6,800)
There isn’t much left to say about the Red Wings that hasn’t already been said so just know Shea Weber should be a lock for 10+ DraftKings points tonight. He has hit that number ten straight games with an average of 16.4 during that streak. Given the matchup it would be surprising if he didn’t exceed that average tonight as he will likely be the highest-owned defenseman on the slate.
D – Jordie Benn ($2,600)
This one may be a bit of a stretch, but in an effort to open up salary taking a shot on Jordie Benn won’t take much to pay off. Benn has been shooting the puck as of late with 17 shots in his past five games. He has also picked up three assists during that stretch as well with an average of 11.7 DraftKings points. For just $2,600 anything close to that number of DraftKings points would be a great value.
Goalies (Be sure to confirm goalies at Goalie Post before rostering)
Tristan Jarry ($8,400)
Carey Price ($8,100)
Darcy Kuemper ($8,300)
The Five Hole
Five players to build cash lineups around:
Five tournaments stacks to consider not previously mentioned:
Feel free to reach out to me via Twitter for any NHL DFS questions. Follow me @SteveDotzel and I will do my best to tweet any major updates to players in the article throughout the day and before lock.