Daily Fantasy Saturday: Hockey Week

Stephen Dotzel

2021-03-06

DraftKings has dubbed the next few days "Hockey Week" and I am here for it. You may be thinking what exactly qualifies this as "hockey week" since as far as the NHL schedule is concerned nothing is really out of the ordinary. Well in fact it has nothing to do with the NHL at all, it's simply "hockey week" because the NBA is on their All-Star break and DraftKings (and FanDuel) want to draw their NBA fantasy players over to hockey. The result is some jacked up NHL contests for the next few days. The combination of higher prize pools (albeit at the cost of larger contest fields) and unexperienced players could make this a great time to be playing NHL DFS.

If you are one of these new players giving NHL DFS a shot for the first time and stumbled across this article, here's a few tips to keep in mind.

  1. Shots are king. Outside of actually scoring goals, players who shoot often are who you want to target. With a bonus awarded for five shots on goal, a player who hits that mark will score more points than a player who simply has one shot and one goal.
  2. Correlation is key. Similar to MLB and NFL DFS, when one player is doing well there is a good chance that player is raising the performance of those around him. In baseball it might be the #3 hitter driving in the #2 hitter and in football it might be the wide receiver catching a touchdown from his quarterback. For hockey, when a player scores it's likely at least one other player on the ice is going to pick up an assist. Rostering multiple players from the same team who are going to be on the ice together frequently, or the NHL's version of stacking, is how you can achieve correlation.
  3. Know the lines and power-play units. If you're new to the game, this will be a bit difficult as you won't have them memorized. Luckily you can use our Line Tools to review past game lines or other sites like Daily Faceoff which list anticipated lines and power-play units. From there you can build correlated team stacks. Combining two to three different team stacks per lineup to form a 4-3-1, 4-2-2, or 3-3-2 stack with your eight skater roster spots are frequent lineup builds you will see used by the top NHL DFS players. 
  4. Confirm your goalie. Teams like to try and limit their goalie's workloads when possible, particularly in a condensed season like this. As a result, most teams are rotating two goalies. You'll obviously want to make sure you have the one who is actually starting in your lineup. Our Goalie Post tool is a great way to check this and is updated throughout the day.

Now that you got the basics, all that's left is picking the right players. Hopefully I can help point you in the right direction. There are eight games on the main slate for Saturday and it's a unique one because four of those eight games are a rematch from Friday night. This many back-to-backs are something we don't see very often, so admittedly it makes writing this article in advance a bit more difficult. You'll want to pay extra close attention to goalies as many teams will want to avoid starting the same goalie on a back-to-back. If there's any late injury news or line changes from Friday that impacts Saturday, I'll be sure to tweet an update during the day Saturday. You can follow me on Twitter @SteveDotzel to see these updates.

Now let's get to it. All players and prices are from