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NHL DFS Picks and Analysis for December 5, 2023 (Premium Content)

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An eight-game slate on a Tuesday night? Yes, please! Lately, we’ve had Tuesday slates at least 50% larger than this, making it much more difficult to hone in on the stacks we want to use. Eight games is a perfect slate size, and the games are spread out nicely. There are usable teams throughout the night, including a couple of strong late-night hammers in Colorado and Minnesota. The value is spread nicely as well, with multiple third and fourth lines projecting well on the Heat Map. 

DraftKings has its usual array of low-cost GPP options; five of which cost $20 or less to enter and have a top prize of $1,000 or more, highlighted by the $20-entry Tuesday Twenty with a top prize of $20,000. Meanwhile, Fanduel has a $4.44 entry tournament with a $3,000 first prize and a $33 entry, 142-person GPP with $1,000 for first place. There is a lot of money out there for big spenders and casual players alike. Let’s get that cash!

This is going to be a fun slate with a ton of stacking options. My goal is to help you narrow down your plays to get the most bang for your DFS buck. Be sure to check out all of our NHL articles and NHL DFS tools, including our daily NHL Heat Map. NHL Premium members can find many members of the RotoBaller NHL team in Discord leading up to lock to answer all of your lineup questions.


Top Three Stacks of the Night

New York Islanders (NYI1 - Bo Horvat, Anders Lee, Oliver Wahlstrom, Noah Dobson) 

No team has a better matchup than the Islanders, as they face the San Jose Sharks. San Jose has been awful on the road, allowing 3.91 goals per 60 minutes in five-on-five play and allowing 14.68 high-danger shots per game. Even with regression, the Sharks would be terrible; Mackenzie Blackwood gives up 3.56 goals per game (4.12 on the road) and that’s better than the 3.70 goals per game he has been projected to allow. Like I said, the Sharks are bad. 

As this line is currently constructed it’s not all that appealing, but that could change if Mathew Barzal gets over his illness in time to play in this game. Barzal is white hot, having scored two goals and having assists over his last two games. He’s a far better player than Oliver Wahlstrom who only has two goals and three assists all season. Anders Lee and Bo Horvat can put up tournament-winning scores, as they’ve combined for seven double-digit fantasy scores in the last six games (four for Lee and three for Horvat). Noah Dobson is a must in any Islanders stack with his high SABS (shots and blocked shots) floor and his offensive skill on the power play. 


Colorado Avalanche (COL1 - Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Valeri Nichushkin)

John Gibson, the Anaheim Ducks goalie, has been playing above his head for most of the year according to advanced data but regression is already starting to set in. He’s allowed three or more goals in five of his last seven starts after starting the year with eleven straight starts of three goals allowed or less. Anaheim has allowed over three goals per 60 minutes in five-on-five play on the road this year, with an average of 12.63 high-danger chances surrendered per game. The defensive pairing we want to attack on the Ducks is Mintyukov/Lyubushkin, and they’ll be spending the majority of time on the ice with the Avalanche top line. 

That’s bad news for the Ducks, as the Avs have one of the most lethal duos in the league in Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon. Valeri Nichushkin isn’t too bad either, recording 12 points and averaging over three shots on goal per game over his last ten games. The Avs have scored a ridiculous 3.85 goals per 60 minutes in five-on-five play at home over their last ten games. Even with regression, they’d be looking at nearly three goals, which is a very high number. If Cale Makar plays he’s a must-grab for this stack, but if he’s out then this becomes an even more affordable line to play. 


Minnesota Wild (MIN1 - Kirill Kaprizov, Mats Zuccarello, Marco Rossi)

Some teams look like they have a better matchup than the Wild, but if you dig into this matchup you’ll see that no line is in a better position to dominate than Minnesota’s top line. They are in such a good spot because they should be spending most of their ice time against the defensive pairing of Gilbert/Oesterle for Calgary. They have played four games together as a pairing and their xGA/60 (expected goals allowed per 60 minutes) is 4.26 with an HDCA (high-danger chances allowed) of 22.43. Those are some of the highest numbers we’ve seen all year, and the Wild is a team that’s capable of taking advantage of that poor play. 

This trio is just starting to heat up; Kaprizov and Rossi have combined for six goals, ten assists, and 40 shots on goal per game over their last ten outings. Mats Zuccarello is in the midst of a nine-game point-scoring streak that’s seen him record multiple points three times with an average of three shots on goal per game. 


Others in consideration: LAK1, NYR1, DET2, BUF1, NSH1


Top Value Stack of the Night

San Jose Sharks (SJ2 - Anthony Duclair, Mikael Granlund, Fabian Zetterlund)

Don’t look now, but the Sharks are starting to heat up every so slightly. The team has now scored an average of 1.47 goals per 60 minutes in five-on-five play on the road, a number that is up nearly half a goal over the last handful of games. Advanced data shows that they should be over two goals, so there’s a lot of room to grow. Meanwhile, the Islanders are due for negative defensive regression. They are allowing over half a goal less per game than expected, and they have surrendered 12.8 high-danger shots per game at home this year. 

Mikael Granlund has scored 19 or more DraftKings points three times over his last five games, Anthony Duclair has scored 16 or more points in back-to-back games, and Fabian Zetterlund has scored 12 or more DraftKings points in four of his last six games. The combined cost of this stack is $11,300 (an average of just $3,766 per player). That’s incredible production for such a cheap stack, making them an ideal secondary team to a bigger stack like Colorado, Minnesota, or the Rangers. 


Others in consideration: OTT2, DET3, NSH3, MIN4


Top Goalies to Target

Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks)

Thatcher Demko has been incredible at home this season, averaging just shy of 20 DraftKings points per game. That’s twice as many points per game than he scores in road games. I’ve been waiting all year for regression to kick in, but thus far it just hasn’t. Demko is allowing nearly three-quarters of a goal fewer per game than the data suggests, but every time he holds an opponent to less than four goals (a feat he’s accomplished in 80% of his ten home starts) his high standard of play seems more and more legitimate. Demko also has one of the highest save percentages on unblocked shots on the slate, stopping 96% of those shots. 

New Jersey is a decent matchup, as they’ve struggled on the road. The Devils have scored only 1.79 goals per 60 minutes in five-on-five play away from home, a number 1.25 goals less than expected. Positive regression may come their way with Timo Meier and Jack Hughes back in the lineup, but they take so many shots that Demko can afford to let a couple in and still maintain a big fantasy score.


Others in consideration (GPP): Alex Lyon, Igor Sherterkin, Juuse Saros, Alexandar Georgiev


Others in consideration (Cash): Cam Talbot

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