Flipping the Script (NHL) - Thursday 1/16

I am just your average DFS player who has found a way to become profitable in a cash game setting. For most of us, DFS is a losing battle and I am here to give an easy break down of the top plays in both the NBA and NHL on larger slates.

January 16

NHL Lineup (1/14):

CJonathan Toews (29.6)
CAuston Matthews (42.9)
WMitchell Marner (21.3)
WDominik Kubalik (38.4)
WBryan Rust (22.1)
WDominik Kahun (11.2)
DNeal Pionk (8.5)
DTyson Barrie (9.6)
G -Thomas Greiss (31.2)

Total: 214.8


If you read the blog on Tuesday you knew I was high on the Maple Leafs offense, with Auston Matthews being my cash game lock of the night. I started each one of my lineups with Matthews and Mitchell Marner, and then slotted Thomas Greiss into my goaltender position fully knowing he would be the highest owned goalie of the night. From there it was pretty simple as my remaining salary allowed me to plug in Bryan Rust and Dominik Kahun as some salary savers in a great spot and then went with my sneakiest plays of the night in Jonathan Toews and Dominik Kubalik in their matchup with Ottawa. Boy did that work out well as they each put up monster games, with Toews putting the icing on the cake in overtime with his game winning goal. The last two positions left to fill were both of my defensive slots. I loved Kris Letang but simply couldn’t afford him even at his discounted price. I decided to stick with my idea of Tyson Barrie as I assumed he would see more ice time with Morgan Reilly on the IR. He didn’t necessarily put up a dud, but only played a little over 15 minutes – a far cry from his usual 20-25. The last choice was either Pionk or P.K. Subban, and I inevitably went with Pionk in what I thought was the better matchup offensively. He also did plenty enough to pay off his price tag, but Subban did end up scoring a goal for the Devils to continue his own offensive resurgence.

All in all it was a great night of hockey as I was able to cash easily in each of my double-ups and rake in a solid profit for my first full night back. With that being said, let’s get right back to it as we have a full 13 game slate to dissect with plenty of mismatches to take advantage of and a few really intriguing real-life matchups on tap. Without further ado, let’s get to today’s top NHL cash-game plays of the day and flip the script.

Top Teams to Stack

1. Washington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils

Just as it was on Tuesday, tonight’s top team stack gets to take on an atrocious New Jersey Devils squad that is 4th in goals for on the year and second in goals allowed. We got to see how that fared against another top-tier offense in the Maple Leafs on Tuesday and they were lit up to the tune of seven goals. I will preface this with the fact that I do not see the Capitals scoring their own touchdown against the Devils, but Alexander Ovechkin grades out as one of my top cash game plays on the night along with a few of his other line mates. Jakub Vrana has been on fire over the last month and sees time skating next to Ovechkin on the Capitals’ first power-play unit. Along with Vrana, I would also consider Nicklas Backstrom a solid play at the center position as he is not overly expensive and gives you solid exposure to both the first line and first power-play unit.

Best PlaysAlexander Ovechkin, Jakub Vrana, & Nicklas Backstrom

2. Vegas Golden Knights vs. Ottawa Senators

The trend continues with Ottawa being picked on as my second team to stack against for the second straight time. This play is quite similar to my Chicago stack on Tuesday, not just because the opponent is Ottawa, but more due to the fact that they are not as expensive of an offense as your Capitals/Lightning/Maple Leafs. Sure, the Golden Knights may not look anywhere near like those three teams if you look at the statistics. However, Max Pacioretty has looked like a man with something to prove this year and is FAR too cheap for his offensive production. Add him to a line with the free shooting Mark Stone and they can produce multi-point games on any given night. To make matters even better, Jonathan Marchessault returned from injury and was able to play 16 minutes while skating on the top line alongside Reilly Smith who has been on a tear over the last two weeks offensively. All four of these Vegas skaters are on my radar in cash games, with Marchessault being the most risky as he still may need some time to get back up to his usual form.

Best PlaysMax Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Reilly Smith, & Jonathan Marchessault (preferred GPP play)

3. Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks

My third stack of the night is a pretty simple one, as the Avalanche are third in the NHL in goals for per game, trailing just the Maple Leafs and Panthers. With a matchup against a poor San Jose defense that was just shredded for 6 goals against a mediocre Arizona Coyotes offense, I love the spot the Avalanche skaters are in. A lineup featuring Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Nathan MacKinnon is certainly viable if you can find a way to afford each of them alongside a Capitals stack. Personally, I will be looking to fit at least two of them in with my Capitals stack and a mini Vegas stack, meaning I will be needing to find some seriously cheap value plays to compensate.

Best PlaysNathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, & Mikko Rantanen



1. John Carlson vs. New Jersey Devils – Each of these high-tier defensemen are more then likely going to be out of my price range tonight as there are just far too many good skaters to pass on, so I will be looking to pay down at the position. Regardless, Carlson rates out as the top defensive option on the night in a plus matchup and would be a welcomed addition to the Capitals stack. If I can find a way to fit him I will, I just don’t see it happening right now with his cost.

2. Cale Makar vs. San Jose Sharks – The young man Makar has made quite the splash in his rookie year, showing flashes of the offensive upside that he can unleash on any given night. He has been a bit quiet as of late, but if there was any time to have one of those breakout games, tonight would be it. Colorado is a easy favorite at home in a plus matchup offensively and pairing him alongside a MacKinnon/Landeskog or MacKinnon/Rantanen stack could pay off huge. At a much more affordable price than Carlson, Makar may just be my favorite pivot at the position.

3. Shea Theodore vs. Ottawa Senators – Although Theodore is not a household name in the DFS community, if you take a closer look at his game logs you will see he is quite consistent when presented with good matchups. Tonight he gets one of those and should be another under-the-radar play that gets to skate alongside Pacioretty and Stone on the man advantage. I do prefer Makar to Theodore in their respective price range but I don’t see any issue in plugging them both in at the defensive position.


1. Matthew Dumba vs. Tampa Bay Lightning – I never condone playing anyone against Andrei Vasilevskiy, as he is clearly the best goalie in the league even despite having himself a down year by his standards. However, Dumba is skating on the first power-play unit an at his price could easily make value just by putting a couple of shots and goal and blocking another couple. The upside of being able to sneak in a point in a fast-paced matchup is worth it when trying to fit in all of the other pieces. If I need to go to the bottom of the barrel Dumba will be my guy, much like I wrote about P.K. Subban on Tuesday.


Andrei Vasilevskiy vs. Minnesota Wild – It’s always a pretty good bet that Vasilevskiy will get you a win and 30+ saves when he gets to face pretty much any team in the NHL. When he gets to face a team with hardly any offensive firepower, it would be ridiculous of me to not have him ranked as the top goalie play of the night. However, just like every night that he is the top play, he is also the most expensive and tends to be pushed aside in favor of cheaper goalies in good matchups. Tonight will be no different.

Ilya Samsonov vs. New Jersey Devils – Much like Thomas Greiss on Tuesday, Samsonov should end up as the highest owned goalie in cash games tonight. He sees a fantastic matchup against the Devils who are near the bottom in offensive efficiency and should have plenty of support offensively to secure the much coveted victory. Samsonov currently leads the NHL with a 2.11 GAA, further solidifying his spot as the most popular goaltending option on the slate.

Philipp Grubauer vs. San Jose Sharks – If you are one of the many people who have been burned by a Washington Capitals goalie who was in a fantastic spot and was the highest owned on the slate say “I.” I’m not sure what it is about them, but I can just never fully trust anyone who slaps on the pads and mans the crease for the red and white as I have been burned over and over again by the “easiest” pick of the night. So, if you’re like me and a bit weary, Grubauer makes for a fine pivot off of Samsonov. He gets to face a depleted Sharks lineup that historically plays poorly on the road and will have one of the top three offenses in the league providing the offensive support out in front of him. I’m still not 100% sure I will be fading Samsonov, but if I feel confident in Grubauer even if I do.

Salary Savers

Below is a list of some skaters I will be looking to as one-off plays in order to save some salary and pay up for my top skaters of the night:

C – Nazem Kadri (COL)
C – Derek Stepan (ARI)
W – Tom Wilson (WAS)
W – Tyler Toffoli (LA)
W – Alex Iafallo (LA)
W – Conor Garland (ARI)
W – Ilya Kovalchuck (MON)
W – Ondrej Kase (ANA)

I hope all of this information helps those who have been struggling a bit and I look forward to continuing to cover both the NBA and NHL (and soon MLB!). Best of luck tonight flipping the script! As always, leave any comments or suggestions below.

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