The NHL season is now in full swing so I wanted to share some strategies that I use when constructing both cash game and GPP lineups. I am going to split the strategy article up into two segments so let’s get started with one of the most important aspects of any daily fantasy sport, cash games.
CHOOSING A CONTEST
When playing any DFS sport, cash games are the key to building a bankroll and it is no different in daily fantasy hockey. Cash games include 50/50’s, double ups, triple ups, and head to head contests. The sites have different ways of collecting their rake and in 50/50’s they will pay out half the entrants but charge an approximate 10% rake($10 contest will net $8 with a win) while double ups will fully double up your entry fee($10 to $20) but will only pay out about 44% of the entrants. Either way you look at it, you are paying rake to the site so I don’t prefer one over the other and will have exposure to both on any given night. I also like to play head to heads as you can still have a bad night where your lineup may not cash in any 50/50 or double up contest but you may still take down some head to heads and get some money back. Some is better than none!
I am a player who plays just one lineup across all my cash game contests. When I start constructing that lineup I always start at the goalie position. You only get one in your lineup and selecting the right one is a key piece to cashing on a nightly basis. So what are we looking for? I will always start but looking at the Vegas lines and highlighting the 2-3 top favorites and then narrowing down that field to a goalie who is playing at home. Depending on the slate, this will not always work out and if one of the top goalies is not at home I will then look for a heavy favorite on the road. It may seem obvious but it is also important to target a goalie facing a weak offensive team. You can find this data in many place including my daily cheatsheet. Getting the win is #1 with goalies and #2 is finding a goalie that will see 25+ shots in game to help elevate that floor.
Next, I like to turn to my defense and in cash games I like to deploy a value approach. On most nights I will go with a mid-range option and a punt value option. This helps us get a higher floor with our forwards and allows us to stack teammates at that position. The first thing I look for in my defensive players is time on ice. I generally want my D-men to average over 20 minutes per game and they don’t necessarily have to skate on the top unit on their respective teams but I want them to either get powerplay time or lots of penalty kill time. After analyzing the ice-time I look at shots and blocks and either want a nice balance of both(average of 2 per game each) or heavy on one of them. These stats help us create a solid floor for our cash games.
Finally, I turn to the forward position to complete my cash game lineup. The first thing I do is highlight the top 3-4 teams who are projected to score the most goals on a given slate. I want to get as much exposure to these teams as possible. When selecting players from these teams I will try to pair two linemates together to get as much correlation for all the goals that come from that line as possible. Another strategy I will use is target two players on separate lines to get exposure to that teams top two lines but what I will look for is those players to skate together on the top powerplay unit. A couple team examples of this are the Washington Capitals who combine Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov(L1) with T.J Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom(L2) on the top PP unit. Another example is the Toronto Maple Leafs who put their top three centers(Matthews, Tavares, Kadri) and pair them together on the top powerplay with winger Mitch Marner.
Shot volume is key to creating a floor for cash games. I want the majority of my forwards in my lineup to average at least 2.5 shots per game. Points are not quite as predictable as shots as there was only 25 players in the league last year to average at least one point per game. Shots on goal is not the only stat I will look at either. Corsi may be a new term for some but all it means is shot attempts. In short, Individual Corsi means how many shots on goal + shots that miss the net + shots that are blocked a player takes during a game or 60 minute time period. Obviously, we want players who rank higher in this area as volume is everything. We will get more into the advanced stats in later articles.
I always start with goalies and if possible look for one who is a big favorite at home. I then turn to my defense and almost always try and target one mid-range and one punt value to allow more salary for my forwards. For those forwards, I am looking for shot volume, time one ice and powerplay upside(especially on FanDuel) and like to run two man stacks for correlation on high projected scoring teams.
Thanks for the checking out my cash game strategy article and stay tuned for the GPP strategy article coming soon. If you have any questions, hit me up in the RotoPros Slack Chat or on Tiwtter(@Jager_Bombs9). Not a RotoPros member yet? Get over and SIGNUP for a FREE two-week trial today!