NHL Challenge: #6
NHL Challenge: #6
After reading the responses to the update I last posted, I’ve decided to do periodic blogs discussing my tournament play for a given slate. I’m going to let go of the bankroll challenge aspect of the endeavor and just analyze my regular play, whatever it may be for the slate in question. Like I mentioned before, I don’t plan on just discussing winning slates, so let’s start off with a losing one.
I played two lineups last night (Tuesday 12/20/16) on Draftkings and actually entered tournaments very similar to those I was playing throughout the challenge. I’ve been chasing King of Boston tickets as well as $400 Penalty Kill tickets a ton the last 10 days or so with numerous lineups and decided to take it a bit easier last night and just go with the two lineups. Here’s how things ended up at the end of the night:
Who did I play?
I keyed San Jose on both lineups and, as you can see, I did not manage to cash anything. The Sharks are a top-5 NHL team in 5v5 score and venue adjusted xGF/60 and Calgary falls in the bottom third of the NHL in xGA/60. This was a pretty obvious spot for me and I tried to take maximum advantage. Despite San Jose putting up 4 goals on Calgary, the production wasn’t significant enough to overcome some big scores from other teams, namely people who rostered the Penguins. Both teams had Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, and Brent Burns. One team also slotted in Logan Couture in lieu of Joe Thornton. Thornton is just a guy I don’t love to roster in tournaments because his upside is lacking given his total reluctance to shoot the puck. I paired these guys on one lineup with Chicago’s HHH line, which was extremely cheap to roster. This lineup obviously suffered a great deal from Marian Hossa going down with an injury which really hurt his linemates’ value. The other lineup jammed in Montreal’s top line of Max Pacioretty, Alexander Radulov, and Phillip Danault alongside the Sharks. Though Montreal seemed to completely dominate Anaheim in this game (and scored 5 goals), only Pacioretty hit the scoresheet for me.
Did I make a big mistake?
I don’t mind the fact that I keyed San Jose last night. The Sharks had a great match-up on home ice against a mediocre Calgary team and San Jose always has the potential to score a plethora of goals. I was actually very surprised at the relatively low ownership for these guys as both Pavelski and Burns came in around 10% owned in the $4 Forecheck. The HHH play was a salary-based choice given how reasonably they were priced—-not upset about this either. Montreal was actually one of my favorite plays of the slate and given how they crushed Anaheim, I’m not upset about that either. So what was the big mistake?
The mistake I made here is fading the Penguins. I’m still trying to be totally honest with myself and resolve how much of my Penguins fade was due to homerism (I’m a big NYR fan if you didn’t know). Obviously having biases is not productive for DFS and I actively try and combat my fandom. I’m worried it got in the way last night. At first glance yesterday, I was quite high on both of Pittsburgh’s top lines. The Penguins offense is arguably the best in the NHL (shhh Leafs fans) and both Crosby and Malkin have awesome ceilings. Also, I’m well aware of the fact that some of the NYR “stellar” defensive play of late has been a total mirage. Despite liking both PIT1 and PIT2, these lines were obviously really expensive to roster and I couldn’t fit them with the SJS guys. I initially planned on playing SJS1/HHH and MTL1/PIT2 (with some punts, obviously). When I saw that PIT had shifted their lines immediately before lock, I instinctively abandoned my Pittsburgh exposure. It was almost as if I was looking for a reason to get off of them and jumped at the chance. This is where I think my homerism really came into play. The lines shifting wasn’t a reason to bail. It was actually a reason to buy in further as most people probably didn’t see that news and there was an edge to be gained. Would love to hear others’ thoughts on this—-I can’t be the only one who actively tries to eliminate biases.
A note on goaltending
I rostered Semyon Varlamov (Colorado) and Jacob Markstrom (Vancouver) last night. Obviously both of these guys were underdogs, but they also were both very reasonably priced. Draftkings has maintained a tight range for goalie pricing this season, but the gap does appear to be widening (at least a bit) as the season progresses. Taking big underdogs is always a risky proposition, but there are a few benefits. Of course you get to save some salary, but these goalies also typically play for poor defensive teams who allow a ton of shot attempts against. A good goalie behind a bad defense is a recipe for the occasional massive DFS score when they survive the onslaught. Additionally, all that shot volume actually affords a pretty good floor. Keep an eye out on the cheap options (and how cheap they become) going forward.
Appreciate any and all comments and questions guys. Will respond to comments.