In everyday fantasy hockey, stacking is a key strategy in tournaments. We want to correlate our rosters with up to four players to maximize our advantage, as if a player on a line scores goals their teammates are likely to get assists as well. Ideally, we want players who will have a lot of ice time together on an even-handed line and a power play line. LeftWingLock.com and DailyFaceoff.com are two good resources for row combinations, so be sure to check these sites for up-to-date row information.
Another series in the North Division is added to the mix, so again we have a four-game roster. Let’s look at the best stacks for this Thursday slate.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs may have their best chance of ending their Stanley Cup drought. They crossed the North Division with relative ease and should do the same in the playoffs. Toronto scored the sixth most goals in the league and was generally a team we liked to target in fantasy. This game shouldn’t offer a reason to walk away from them, so they’re a great target tonight.
The Maple Leafs had one of the best top lines in hockey this season. It consisted of two constants and a revolving door on the left wing. Auston matthews ($ 8,800) led the league with 41 goals and played just 52 games, the kind of pace we didn’t see in the salary cap era. He’s also led all the players in the penalty shootout, so he offers a consistency that many players don’t. His running mate all season has been Mitchell marner ($ 7,600), who finished the season with one point ahead of Matthews.
The left winger will be the return Zach Hyman ($ 4,700). It was the most efficient edition of that line, as their 21 goals as a line were the seventh best in the NHL, according to Left Wing Lock’s online production tool. Hyman also appears to be on the best power play according to out of practice reports, which makes this line fully correlated.
Toronto attracted the Montreal Canadiens like their opponent in the first round, which amounts to drawing the short straw. Montreal had the fewest points of any playoff team and was inconsistent for most of the season. They also allowed the second most goals of any team that made the playoffs. Auston Matthews has had no problem against them this season, with 14 points in 10 games with Montreal.
The Leafs have the highest implied team total tonight, and with the firepower provided by the top line, this is clearly a line we want to stack tonight.
Tampa bay lightning
Now with a 2-0 lead in the series, the Tampa Bay Lightning go home for Game 3. They look a lot like the machine we saw in last year’s playoffs to win the Stanley Cup. With their players back and healthy, they’re a threat to score a lot of goals and break a slate every time they’re on the ice. It has certainly been shown in this series and could be the case tonight.
The return of Nikita Kucherov ($ 8,300) was everything the Lightning could have hoped for and more. He has four points in both games, which were the first two games he’s played all season due to hip surgery. From the 2017-18 season to the 2019-20 season, Kucherov finished second in league points behind only Connor McDavid. He controls the game from the wing, something few winger in the league can do.
It combined perfectly with Brayden Point ($ 7,700) using its speed as we saw in game 2. Ondrej Palat ($ 5,600) was the benefactor of those talented players he plays with, as he managed to clean up a rebound for a goal. These three players only collected one point on that goal, but playing together on a dangerous power play gives them the advantage of scoring a few goals in every game they play.
The Florida Panthers pushed hard in Game 2, but failed to reach the tying goal, and that game was more about defense than Game 1. Florida might want to pick up the pace further, as it looked like they had a better chance of winning the first game. than Game 2, and they also get their second center line Sam Bennett back in the range. That would be good news for the Tampa frontline stack as they had better fantasy output in the first game than the second.
Either way, Tampa’s skill gives this stack an edge whenever they take the ice.
Vegas golden knights
It took the Vegas Golden Knights some time to enter the scoreboard of this series. After being shut out for three periods and a short overtime in Game 1, they took until the second period of Game 2 to score their first goal. It’s quite shocking considering they finished third in the NHL in goals per game, averaging 3.39. People can point fingers at the game, but it’s actually not as difficult as it might seem.
There are a few complications with the Vegas lines that might make it somewhat difficult to stack them tonight. Best striker Max Pacioretty ($ 7,800) is listed as a play decision again after missing the first two games of the series. If he is unable to leave, Alex tuch ($ 4,500) would be on the front row again, having scored two goals on Tuesday night.
Tuch would play with Chandler Stephenson ($ 4,800) and Mark Stone ($ 7,300), who each had an assist in Game 2. If Pacioretty is able to participate, he likely won’t be popular due to lack of clarity regarding his availability. One strategy you could use is to start with Pacioretty in your roster with a low-paying defender also from that game, and move on to Tuch and Alex Pietrangelo ($ 6,700) Should we exclude Pacioretty again.
The second line for Vegas is also at stake. William karlsson ($ 5,200), Reilly smith ($ 4,700) and Jonathan marchessault ($ 6,800) have great chemistry of playing together for four consecutive seasons and all play on the same power play unit. Shea theodore ($ 5,800) would be the defenseman to pair with this stack, as he’s one of the best offensive defenders on the list.
There is a perception that the Minnesota Wild is a locked-in defensive team. It goes back years when the Wild first entered the league, and that was their style. This is not entirely true these days, as they rank in the middle of the field for goals against and shots against.
Vegas was able to create chances against them in the first two games, and if they are able to do the same, it could be a devious stack that will be overlooked on this slate.
Nicholas Vazquez is not an employee of FanDuel. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. Although the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his / her personal opinions, he / she may deploy different strategies and player selections when participating in contests with his / her personal account. The opinions expressed in its articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.