DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown

nhl dfs strategyNHL DFS Strategy: Beginner’due south Guide, FanDuel & DraftKings Lineup Advice

This is a strategy guide for NHL DFS strategy, lineup advice, contest tips, selecting acme plays and more for NHL DFS on DraftKings and FanDuel. For farther questions, please

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This NHL DFS strategy guide is not intended to go in-depth on the intricacies of the NHL, nor is it going to give DFS picks. Instead, it’s meant to be a loftier-level strategy road map for FanDuel and DraftKings slates.


The below advice is for


contests only.

This strategy guide is written by Occupy Fantasy member and RotoGrinders top 10 ranked NHL DFS role player nolt0032 (known as MN Matt in our Discord server). Listen to his advice!

Scoring and Site Rules

Before you start building NHL DFS lineups, you must know the rules of the sites where yous’re playing. The scoring and roster limitations on the websites appear quite unlike on the surface, nonetheless, the approach to roster construction and stacking is quite similar in the end.

FanDuel specifically:

  • Points: Honour 12 points for a Goal, 8 points for an Assist
  • Peripheral Stats: 1.6 points for Shot on Goal, one.6 points for Blocks
  • Special Teams Bonuses: 0.5 points for Power Play Assists and Goals, 2 points for Brusk Handed Assists and Goals
  • Other Bonuses: None
  • Goalie: 12 points for a Win, 8 points for a Shutout, 0.8 for Saves, -4 for Goals Confronting
  • Require you roster 2 Centers, 2 Wings, 2 Defensemen, 2 Utility, and 1 Goalie.
  • Allows a maximum of 4 players per team. Must use at to the lowest degree 3 different NHL teams.

DraftKings specifically:

  • Points: Award viii.five points for a Goal, 5 points for an Aid
  • Peripheral Stats: 1.5 points for Shots on Goal, one.3 points for Blocks
  • Special Teams: 2 points for Short Handed Assists and Goals
  • Bonuses: 1.v points for a Shootout Goal, 3 points for 5+ Shots, 3 points for 3+ Blocks, 3 points for iii+ points
  • Goalie: half dozen points for a Win, 4 points for a Shutout, 0.70 points for Saves, -3.5 points for Goals Against, 2 points for an Overtime Loss, and three points for 35+ Saves
  • Require y’all roster 2 Centers, 3 Wings, 2 Defensemen, one FLEX, and 1 Goalie
  • Allows a maximum of 6 players per team. Must employ at to the lowest degree 3 different NHL teams.

The big takeaways are that DraftKings offers bonuses for shots and blocks within their scoring organisation while FanDuel rewards players who score points.

The bacon systems can range wildly betwixt the sites due to different salary floors/ceilings and pricing algorithms, and each requires slightly different NHL DFS strategy.

The Process

NHL is a daily sport that has the advantage of ‘morning skates’ where nosotros can obtain a majority of the slate information on projected starting lines, power play units, and starting goalies for the teams on that slate. The remaining ‘unknowns’ that might not get reported are resolved 15-20 minutes before a game locks when skaters are warming up.

At that place is a large window of opportunity to build beginning drafts of your lineup before lock (iii PM EST – seven PM EST approximately) from the information gathered in morning skate. Use the Occupy Model for updates to projected lines and Vegas Lines.

There are a variety of slate size implications that touch strategy and backing allocation. A majority of larger slates (8+ games) with larger prize pool contests will fall on Tuesday and Th in line with where the NHL schedules a bulk of their games. You lot will typically see smaller slates (half-dozen games or less) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Saturday and Sunday slates become split up and reduced in contest sizing frequently due to varying game get-go times and contest with other major sports leagues (e.m. NFL Sunday). See the NHL DFS Strategy department below for a detailed discussion on the topics of stacking and slate size implications.

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NHL DFS Strategy

Depression-risk competition choice:

  • The best ROIs volition likely exist institute in single entry 50/50s and H2Hs, and so wait at that place outset. Try to find H2Hs and small field double ups with inexperienced entrants.

Low-gamble lineup construction:

For low-take chances lineups, we want to maximize the floor of our lineup by looking for median outcomes instead of ceiling performances, siding with ownership, and focusing on the well-nigh projectable positions.

Here are the keys to edifice a proper low-risk NHL DFS lineup:

  • Play high volume shooters.

    This advice applies to both sites but is stronger on DraftKings due to the nature of the bonuses. The players who shoot the puck gain points for the shot on goal and have a higher upside for generating the highest scoring event that can occur for your skater – scoring a goal. The high book shooters also create chances to accumulate points through assists off rebounds from their shots and deflections off their shots. The players who primarily pass the puck to set other players up for scoring chances have much lower floors due to the lack of accumulation of points from shots and dependency on assists for their points. In example of ‘ties’ where several players fit this high volume shooter mold, especially at the elevation end of the salary range, look to ownership, positional scarcity (C position), Vegas totals, and goal scoring upside.
  • Prioritize C position.

    The floor on the C position drops extremely quickly in the centre and lower tiers of players. Prioritizing the scarcer, high flooring players at the C position is ordinarily preferred.
  • Evaluating buying.

    Following buying isn’t quite as efficient in NHL when compared to a sport like NFL due to the twenty-four hours to day slate changes and less time for players to hone in on the “best” plays, but information technology does give you a guide where to start looking and can be used equally a ‘tiebreaker’ when in doubt between picking similar players.
  • “Punt” defensemen (DraftKings Friendlier Concept)
    : Due to the prioritization on the scarcity of floor at the C position and the high book shooters, you lot tend to discover the need for a inexpensive actor or two to circular out low hazard lineups. A cheaper defensemen tends to be a key nugget to help prioritize those players. Target cheap defensemen (<$3,500 DK, <$4,500 FD) with high Time On Ice (TOI), high blocked shot floors, and on a team with a high Vegas total.

    • TOI: In 2020, TOI correlated positively to fantasy points scored at about a ~0.seventy correlation on defensemen between the $2,800-$3,500 cost range.
    • Vegas TT: The emphasis on a high Vegas TT is due to the increased adventure for the cheap defensemen to accrue an assist to striking value.
    • Blocked Shots: The defenders in this range are not high book shot takers but you can find some that block shots at a high charge per unit to provide you the floor stats at a cheap toll with upside to the DraftKings bonus for 3+ blocked shots.

    There are exceptions to this rule depending on pricing, opportunity via water ice time, power play fourth dimension, etc. but wingers have the highest floor/ceiling combos in full general due to the fact they shoot the puck about often. In that location are also merely more than players at the West position to pick from that have prominent ability play roles and reasonable shot floors. There is a example on DraftKings to target ‘double bonus’ defensemen with upside to achieve both the 5+ shots on goal and 3+ blocked shots bonuses, simply they are by and large priced efficiently and you get-go to cede too much salary allocated to defensemen who historically have lower upside to scoring a goal versus allocating salary to the few elite shooters and scorers at the C position you will want to prioritize first.
  • Stacking?

    Playing a Center with one of his Wings or Defensemen is not a requirement for low-adventure lineups. On DraftKings, yous desire to build the cadre of your lineup around a ‘bonus hunt’ as at that place are players who come into games with iv+ shot projections/floors or 2+ blocked shot projections/floors that tin can hitting those shot/block bonuses to hit value OR get a single scoring issue in their favor (goal or assist) to aid striking value. If we do find a mispriced team or mini-stack (three players or less) it is OK to stack them to an extent, depending on the slate size. The larger the slate the more you are stretching yourself sparse chasing variance in three+ man stacks by requiring them to achieve value through points (goals and assists). There is an inflection bespeak to optimize your floor by dropping a slice of the stack to target a similarly priced player on a different team with more than shot book and individual scoring upside. Smaller to centre sized slates some stacking correlation is OK in low risk. There is more than room on FanDuel to target players that correlate due to the lack of shot and block bonuses and the addition of modest bonuses for ability play points.
  • Power play
    . The power play offers upside equally a high scoring effect and we desire players that get this ice time. You will naturally find that high volume shot players you selected from the criteria above have prominent ability play roles for the almost part. When assessing all plays, rely on a thespian with a ability play role when making a shut decision.
  • Picking a goalie
    . The strategy of picking a depression-take chances goalie is straightforward for both sites. Choice from the puddle of large Coin Line favorites and loftier OF index goalies using the Occupy Model.
  • Use all of the salary.

    Pricing is more often than not efficient and there’southward no benefit to leaving more $500 salary on the tabular array, specially in low-take chances contests.

High-take a chance contest option:

  • Satellites, satellites, satellites — expect to play contests that honour tickets to future contests first and foremost. This is especially useful for cantankerous-sport contests (satellites for non-NHL contests), as they are slower to fill up and unremarkably come with overlay.
  • Stick to Quintuple Ups, 10x boosters, Single Entry GPPs, Leagues and 3-Max tournaments unless you plan on making 20+ lineups.
  • Do not enter a contest unless you can enter the maximum number of lineups allowed.

High-hazard lineup construction:

In high-take chances contests, our sole goal is 1st place. In guild to beat all of the opponents, nosotros must maximize correlation and look for outlier performances. Fortunately, in that location is a tried and truthful method to get to the peak of NHL DFS contests.


Playing through correlated players at even strength and on the powerplay is the key to unlock leaderboard upside in daily fantasy hockey strategy.

  • 4/three/i:

    The most assisting and most prevalent stack across all slate sizes. C/W/W/D strongly preferred as the ‘four’ stack with C/West/Westward preferred as the ‘three’ stack with some wiggle room for C/W/D in corner cases.

    • FanDuel Only: iv/4 is similar and an adequate replacement when you can detect 2 potent C/West/W/D stacks that fit together.
  • 3/3/X:

    “10” being 2 uncorrelated one-offs or a 2 man mini stack. The 2nd most profitable and prevalent stack at about 50% the success of the 4/3/1 only more successful than other stacks noted below. The most common form of this stack is C/W/W and C/W/W, cutting out the defensemen and playing two ane-offs at D. This focuses on capturing tightly correlated C/Westward/W groups with a lack of a stiff defensemen that plays a lot of ice fourth dimension with them and/or doesn’t play and correlate well on the power play with them. This stack only works across slates of 5 games or larger and is not suggested for 2-four game slates.
  • DraftKings just: 5 or More than! 5/2/1 or 6/1/1.

    These stacks are massively nether utilized by the field but win at clips larger than iii/two/X, 4/2/X, and “greenbacks” lineups. They taper off in forcefulness on slates 8 games and higher, but you will see a couple winners per year use them in those slates too. This stack rivals a 4/3/i stack in priority on slates with 4 games or less. These stacks focus on capturing massive upside games (one team on a small slate scores many goals between their tiptop couple lines) and/or goals scored beyond multiple ability play units/even strength lines.
  • One-off
    : The most common 1-off decision is at defensemen when you look at the suggested stack types noted above.
    • The cheap one-off defenseman normally comes through increased opportunity due to injuries and power play time he didn’t have before. This information is unremarkably flushed out in morning skate for DFS players to leverage. The higher end, salary-heavy defensemen become optimal every bit a ane-off when teams funnel shooting opportunities into that particular player, the actor has high finish TOI, and the player plays shifts fairly evenly across multiple lines. To an extent ‘all’ defensemen play with more than one line since there are iii pairs of them skating with four lines, but assessing which defensemen spend a bulk of their time with particular lines (stack friendly defenseman) vs. that defensemen that plays across several lines evenly and caps his stacking upside. Final things to consider include defensemen who get deployed for offensive zone faceoffs ofttimes and some defensemen merely have a pass starting time play style which means targeting a defensemen that shoots the puck has a chance to realize a college ceiling to accomplish the multi signal or goal slate. The Occupy Model is a good starting indicate to identify a bulk of these players ultimately, just a more avant-garde MME approach can dedicate a little more time to identify additional ideas noted above.
    • For i-off wingers, look at the low-run a risk FLEX section and apply the same criteria (high shot volume, power play time).

Finally, as noted in the low gamble section, there is an elite tier of C that the field clusters ownership around and volition one-off at a much higher clip than any other position. These players primarily include Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews with some smaller ownership funnels into the tier just below such as Sidney Crosby, Marker Scheifele, Patrice Bergeron, Mika Zibanejad and Aleksander Barkov.  We advise that you can proceeds leverage past just stacking the teammates effectually these players and use them in full stacks. The teammate stacks around these players are more often than not used at a lower rate than the one-off role player themselves and information technology prevents you from playing into non-optimal stack compositions that were noted previously.

Metrics for Picking Stacks

  • Projected fantasy points — wait at the combined fantasy projections of Centers and their Wingers. Correlate a defensemen that skates with two or more of them on the power play as the priority. Utilize our NHL Stack Dashboard for stack rankings.
  • Vegas totals — target games with high Vegas totals.
  • High Danger (Hard disk)/Expected Goal (xG) metrics — The OF model considers some of these data points and is a good starting resource for stacking. Teams that produce a large corporeality of high danger chances confronting teams that allow a lot of high danger opportunities is a solid starting indicate to realize NHL DFS upside. The basic premise of HD chances and xG are that not all shot attempts are created equal. These metrics endeavor to capture that in that location are particular shot attempts that have a higher likelihood of scoring than others. A wrist shot taken from the bluish line lx feet away from the goalie has miniscule chances of scoring while shots generated closer to the net have a much college chance of ending up in the back of the net. A free resource to await up basic stats as well as high danger and xG metrics:

    . This website likewise has a convenient glossary to aid understand the advanced metrics they employ:

  • Ability play — teams with a strong power play going up against a weak penalty kill unlocks upside to multi point days for the power play stacks.
  • ‘Line Matching’  — fugitive teams that will match upwardly a line of defended and/or potent defensive players confronting a particular offensive orientated line all game to reduce that offensive line’s scoring chances. This is accounted useful because of the idea that the defensive orientated line will stifle the scoring chances of the other line they match against, which lowers that line’s ability to achieve ceiling game results. On the surface, this statement is true for the situations the defending team tin can control at even strength. Even so, do non lose sight of the fact that you tin can’t line match against a ability play where the nearly NHL DFS upside is gained.


Don’t play any skaters against your goalie. There are two predominant paths for goalie depending on your salary resource allotment.

Always prioritize your salary allocation to your stacks first
. From at that place yous accept 2 routes:

  • If you tin afford a goalie that stacks with one of your lines then you should lean into that. A goalie stacked with one of your line stacks is still 1 of the virtually successful and stress gratis ways to option your goalie and ends upward in winning lineups between 50-60% of the time.
  • If you lot don’t have enough salary to beget the goalie with 1 of your stacks, or for general MME diversification purposes, just pick your goalie terminal with the salary remaining. Equally noted previously, goalie is highly volatile, any given game an underdog generally isn’t given much worse than a 40% odds of winning by Vegas lines, and ownership tends to cluster around several top end goalies leaving y’all massive leverage opportunities dipping down to under owned goalies given their unsaid odds to win the game. There is massive opportunity and leverage to be had utilizing lower owned underdog goalies, peculiarly on DraftKings with a bonus for 35+ saves, and then comprehend the volatility and brand sure your stack salary resource allotment comes earlier the goalie decision.

Finally, there are some goalie specific notes depending on slate size. Information technology is generally advisable to stack your goalie more frequently on slate sizes 6 games and lower. Goalie stack success rate on top lineups jumps to over 60% in these cases every bit you run out of goalie options to even employ with less teams on the slate. On large slate sizes over x games the volatility is increased dramatically with a larger pick of goalies with varying paths to hit bonuses and shutouts. Cover that volatility, gain leverage on the field ownership being too full-bodied on certain goalies, and reap more upside in the long run.

Projected Ownership

  • The field does embrace stacking at a reasonably loftier rate which increases chances for duplicates in popular stacking formats such as 4/3/one, however…
  • The take a chance of duplication is extremely low in smaller field size contests (i,000 or less) and not worth the time to analyze for potential duplication.
  • For larger slates, larger field contests and MME players, a rule of pollex is if your 4/three/1 lineup crosses over 150% ownership on a vii-10 game slate or 100% ownership on an 11+ game slate you tin can consider leaving salary to remain unique.
  • For smaller slates under 6 games, consider leaving $200+ salary in iv/iii/1 stacks only.

Bacon Usage

  • Focus on your stacks and permit the salary fall into place from there. You lot tin can have competitive 4/iii/1 lineups that get out over $1,000 on the table.

Mass multi-entry NHL DFS strategy:

Step 1, use our

Lineup Builder
. Step ii, attach to the above high-risk lineup strategy rules. There are a variety of ways to successfully build 20-150 NHL DFS lineups. Hither are what we’ve institute works best:

  • Assess your stack strategy for the slate using notes provided in the high risk strategy section.
  • Selection iii-half dozen teams, playing the fifty-fifty force and powerplay correlated C, W, and D primarily from the team’south top 2 lines with more emphasis on 1st line and 1st powerplay stacks where possible.
  • Go on a tight C puddle and consider only stacking through your C and only allowing Due west into your FLEX/UTILITY positions.
  • Depending on your stack strategy, appraise your one off pool needs using notes provided in the high run a risk strategy section.
  • Open upward your goalie pool and embrace mixing in lower owned underdog goalies with your stacked goalies.
  • Don’t play any skaters confronting your goalies.

These are the basic lineup rules for NHL DFS strategy. Adhere to these and you’ll watch your ROI climb.

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Source: https://occupyfantasy.com/nhl-dfs-strategy-guide/