NHL $1,000 to $5,000 Challenge: Night #4

Night #4 – 12/6/16

Yet again I put 2 lineups into the $27 2-Max Cross Check and the $4 Forecheck on Draftkings. The minimum cash score was a full 2 points higher in the Cross Check, while the winning score was nearly 10 points higher in the Forecheck. Still wondering if the Cross Check is a particularly sharp field.

My Lineups

My lineups on Tuesday both had lines from the St. Louis Blues. I paired the Vladimir Tarasenko line with NJD1 and the Paul Stastny line with CHI1. I was able to correlate a mid-priced defenseman on each lineup and had to punt Matthew Benning, who has been impressive for Edmonton, in the other D spot on both teams. I rolled out Jake Allen and Cory Schneider in the cage and also had Adam Henrique, who was a strong value play at a thin center position, on both lineups.

Regarding ownership, Taylor Hall (24.7%) and Adam Henrique (20%) were both quite popular in the Cross Check. Though Patrick Kane (25.9%) was expectedly popular, Artemi Panarin (11.8%) was far less owned than I had expected. Again, this makes me wonder if people are playing cash lineups with frequency in this GPP. It is also worth noting that both St. Louis lines were substantially underowned. Alex Steen (10.6%) was actually the highest owned player from the Blues in the 2-Max which further speaks to how thin the center position was for this slate.

How Did I end up on St. Louis?

I ended up giving myself exposure to the top two St. Louis lines on this slate because Carey Price wasn’t playing and the Montreal Canadiens are not as good defensively as people think they are. Price is the best goaltender in the NHL and, I think for many, his superb play creates a perception that Montreal is really good at shutting down the opposition. The reality is that the Canadiens are in the bottom third of the NHL in 5v5 score and venue adjusted xGA/60 and similarly adjusted SCA/60. The drop off from Price to Al Montoya is also significant. This season, Carey Price has a HDSv% of .907 and GSAA of 12.90 (2nd in the NHL among goalies with at least 300 minutes) while Montoya has a HDSv% of .860 and GSAA of -0.4. For those who don’t know, HDSv% refers to “high-danger save percentage” and GSAA refers to “goals saved above average.” As always I’m pulling these numbers from Corsica.Hockey. To summarize: Price is elite and Montoya is probably average to below average. The match-up was solid for the Blues, who were playing on home ice, and I wanted exposure to both scoring lines.

NJD1 (vs. Vancouver) and CHI1 (vs. Arizona) were far more obvious spots given how weak their opponents were. If you’ve been following the blog, you’re well aware that Arizona is the worst defensive team in the NHL. Vancouver isn’t far behind (5th worst in 5v5 score and venue adjusted xGA/60 and SCA/60). I managed to fit both these plays fairly easily with my respective Blues lines as the Stastny line was cheap enough to squeeze in Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin combination. At the end of the day, my construction here combined two chalk lines with two contrarian lines. I expected St. Louis to be an under-the-radar play and in turn felt no need to zag with the rest of each lineup.

What went wrong?

First, let’s note that we actually cashed for the first time in the Challenge as our Tarasenko line / NJD1 lineup finished 15th in the Cross Check and 1,852nd in the Forecheck for a total of $48. While we still lost money on the night ($14), hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

St. Louis ended up scoring 3 goals against Montreal, which was a middling outcome. Kind of hard to be disappointed by that but simultaneously hard to get excited about it either. The lines in St. Louis actually ended up hitting the blender midway through the game as Hitchcock reunited Jori Lehtera and Tarasenko. This honestly just drives me nuts as Lehtera is an ineffective player in my opinion and undeniably a poor guy to roster for DFS given his pass-first mentality. Alas, I can’t really call this a mistake as it was impossible to predict. Schwartz had a great game and the wide exposure net we cast on this offense pushed one of the lineups into a cash.

Adam Henrique was actually my worst performing player and I had him on both lineups. Given that Henrique’s linemate Taylor Hall performed rather well and this line contributed two goals in the game, it’s tough to say that Henrique was a bad play. He was priced extremely reasonably and in a great spot—-unlucky that he didn’t factor into the scoring despite being on the ice.

I finally got decent performances from my goaltenders as well. Both Jake Allen and Cory Schneider notched the victory. It is worth noting that I ended up fading the chalkiest goaltender on the slate (Scott Darling), who posted a shutout and a substantial fantasy score. The fade was in part due to the fact that I expected Darling to be highly owned, but also because he was too expensive to fit the lines I wanted.

As always, appreciate any and all comments guys. Really have enjoyed them.

Night #4 Starting Bankroll: $814
Current Bankroll: $800

About the Author


  • barry

    Thanks for sharing this with us, I am enjoying the series.

    Have you noticed any particular stats or trends that have/have not been good predictors of performance throughout the first few days of the challenge?

  • ThreeZeroThree

    Do you think you’ll change strategy throughout the challenge and play different contests or more lineups?

  • yuda

    Could you go over your thoughts on not including Anisimov in your CHI1 stack? I did the same that night, mostly because he is extremely overvalued right now and not highly correlated with the other two.

  • maxeernst

    @ThreeZeroThree said...

    Do you think you’ll change strategy throughout the challenge and play different contests or more lineups?

    Definitely considering it. Obviously downswinging somewhat so may be worth exploring a change.

  • maxeernst

    @yuda said...

    Could you go over your thoughts on not including Anisimov in your CHI1 stack? I did the same that night, mostly because he is extremely overvalued right now and not highly correlated with the other two.

    He’s grossly overpriced and his current production isn’t sustainable. He’s shooting at 25% right now… that’s coming way down as the season progresses.

    Maybe I have a bit of bias as well because I watched him play for the Rangers for years and he was never an impressive offensive talent.

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