Daily Fantasy Saturday: Shark Attack?

Stephen Dotzel

2021-03-20

I'd be remiss if I didn't start off this daily fantasy column with the fantasy performance of the week, if not the year. Yes, I'm talking about Mika Zibanejad from Wednesday who scored three goals and picked up three assists in ONE PERIOD. Those three goals matched his total from the entire season. Per @StatsBySTATS Zibanejad is the first player in NHL history to have a natural hat trick, score all three types of goals (power play, shorthanded, even strength), and have three or more assists in the same game. Of course, he didn't need the entire game, he accomplished all of that in just the second period alone.

Everyone knew the lack of production was not going to last for a player of Zibanejad's caliber, but I don't we expected all that regression to hit at once. That outburst resulted in 54.5 DraftKings points and helped Pavel Buchnevich rack up 34.5 points of his own. Obviously, you needed at least Zibanejad if you wanted any hopes of doing well in DFS tournaments that night and most likely needed Buchnevich as well. Buchnevich came in extremely low owned, around 2% in most tournaments, mainly because he was activated off the Covid-19 list just about 30 minutes prior to the game. That close to puck drop most people already have their lineups built and are either reluctant to change, or didn't even know he was playing because they did not see the news. This is a great example of two key concepts in NHL DFS that I often touch on – stacking linemates together in the hopes they both benefit from one another and staying on top of the news.

Personally, I had been playing Zibanejad frequently all season as he almost always rates very well for me. Until Wednesday, that had been mostly a losing proposition. However his 50 burger along with a swap from Chris Kreider to Buchnevich propelled me to a third-place finish in both the DraftKings Forecheck contest (4,458 entires) and the DraftKings Knuckle Puck contest (490 entries) giving me my most profitable night of the season thus far. Tip of the cap from me to Mika.

Saturday brings us new contests and a new slate of games where we can only hope to roster the next Zibanejad-like explosion. There are nine games on the main slate so here are some suggestions on how I'm handling the night. All players and prices are from DraftKings Main Slate (7 pm EST) but can be applied to FanDuel as well.

Top Options

MTL – Tyler Toffoli ($7,000), Nick Suzuki ($5,000), Shea Weber ($4,900)

If there's one thing we've learned this season, it's that you play Toffoli in fantasy against the Canucks. Yeah I know that hasn't been the case more recently, with no goals in the past three games against them, but he does have two assists in there and it's hard to block that eight goals in five games outburst from early in the season out of my mind.

Working in Toffoli's favor tonight is the fact that Thatcher Demko was in net Friday, w