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NHL Yahoo Cup: DFS strategy, lineups for Round 9

·5 min read

The ninth round of the free-to-enter NHL Yahoo Cup runs on Thursday, and there's still time to join the contest and win your share of $5,000 if you haven't already!

There are 10 games on the slate, which gives daily fantasy managers lots of options to choose from. Most of the NHL's top offensive teams are squaring off against strong defensive squads, which means it may not be wise to stack powerhouses like the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.

With that in mind, here are three lineup options I recommend for the tournament.

Option 1: The Quack Stack

The Anaheim Ducks are set up well for a solid performance on Thursday night. (Yahoo Fantasy)
The Anaheim Ducks are set up well for a solid performance on Thursday night. (Yahoo Fantasy)

No, I'm not just stacking the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night because of Trevor Zegras's unbelievable assist... but it doesn't hurt.

The Ducks have been arguably the most pleasant surprise in the NHL this season, averaging 3.26 goals-per-game, which ranks 10th in the league, ahead of teams like the Maple Leafs and Flames. Their dynamic young talent has risen to the occasion, and it's unlikely the Columbus Blue Jackets are able to slow them down.

The Blue Jackets are allowing the second-most shots per game in the NHL, surrendering 34.6 shots on goal on a nightly basis and 3.33 goals-against per game, which is the eighth-worst mark in the league. This should spell success for Anaheim's top players, which is why I've included Zegras, Rickard Rakell, Sonny Milano, and Jamie Drysdale in my lineup. Zegras, Rakell, and Drysdale are featured on the Ducks' top power-play unit, while Milano skates alongside Zegras and Rakell on the squad's first line. All should see some quality opportunities to reach the stat sheet against a Blue Jackets team that hasn't been stingy defensively.

Stack up on young Ducks in this round of the Yahoo Cup. (Getty)
Stack up on young Ducks in this round of the Yahoo Cup. (Getty)

I've also included Mark Scheifele, Patrick Kane, and Seth Jones. Scheifele makes the cut as he's been red-hot of late, notching seven points in his last three outings. I went with Kane and Jones to create a Chicago Blackhawks skinny stack, since the team is in a prime position to produce offensively against a Montreal Canadiens squad that owns the fourth-worst penalty kill and the fifth-most goals-against per game in the league.

Between the pipes, I've selected John Gibson and Ilya Sorokin. For the reasons stated above, I like Gibson's chances of picking up a win against Columbus, while Sorokin and the Isles are home favourites against the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Option 2: The Chicago Stack Hawks

The Montreal Canadiens have been a team to pick on ins DFS this season, and the Chicago Blackhawks are the lucky squad that gets to play them on Thursday. (Yahoo Fantasy)
The Montreal Canadiens have been a team to pick on ins DFS this season, and the Chicago Blackhawks are the lucky squad that gets to play them on Thursday. (Yahoo Fantasy)

Any team that squares off against the Canadiens is usually a good one to target in DFS, and it's the Chicago Blackhawks I'm loading my lineup with in option No. 2.

As mentioned above, the Habs boast the fourth-worst penalty kill and are allowing the fifth-most goals against per game in the league. With that in mind, I've selected Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Kane, and Jones for my roster. All are featured members of the Blackhawks' top power-play unit and should be able to capitalize against a weak Canadiens penalty kill.

I also created a Winnipeg Jets skinny stack by choosing Scheifele and Kyle Connor. I like Scheifele for all the reasons stated in Option 1, and I'm rolling with Connor, too, because he plays alongside Scheifele at even strength and on the power play. Their opponent, the Seattle Kraken, currently owns the 12th-worst penalty kill in the NHL, converting at a mediocre 80.4 percent rate this season.

On the blueline, I also selected Detroit Red Wings defenceman, Moritz Seider. The rookie should be cleared to play on Thursday after getting shaken up in the team's Tuesday loss to the Predators, and I'll explain in more detail why I like him on Thursday night in Option 3.

In net, I went with Sorokin and Mikko Koskinen. Koskinen's Oilers will be a home favourite against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, who will be playing their second game in as many nights.

Option 3: The Detroit Red Winnings Stack

The Detroit Red Wings won't have to Jordan Binnington or Ville Husso on Thursday night. (Yahoo Fantasy)
The Detroit Red Wings won't have to face Jordan Binnington or Ville Husso on Thursday night. (Yahoo Fantasy)

With Jordan Binnington on the COVID list and Ville Husso's status in doubt after he left the St. Louis Blues' game on Tuesday with an injury, the Red Wings will likely get to rifle pucks onto netminder Charlie Lindgren on Thursday.

Lindgren has been solid for the AHL Springfield Thunderbirds this season, owning an 8-1-1 record, a 2.16 goals-against average, and a .925 save percentage, but his larger body of work shows why he hasn't had many chances in the NHL. Across 147 AHL games played, Lindgren owns a rough .899 save percentage, which has limited the 27-year-old to just 25 big-league appearances.

This development is obviously excellent for members of the Red Wings — specifically their top players. That's why I've included Dylan Larkin, Pius Suter, Robby Fabbri, Lucas Raymond, and Seider in my lineup. The five players all take the ice together on Detroit's top power-play unit, which means they'll get to tee off on Lindgren with some pretty good looks on the man advantage. Additionally, St. Louis has been hit hard by injuries and COVID, as nine members of the club are currently sidelined. This has impacted the team defensively, as, over the past two weeks, it's allowed 3.29 goals per game, which ranks 13th-worst in the league, and 33.7 shots per game, which sits eighth-worst.

This lineup also includes a Blackhawks skinny stack with Kane and Jones, while Sorokin and Koskinen slot in between the pipes.

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