NHL Daily Fantasy (DFS) is one of the most unique team sports in daily fantasy. It shares a lot of similarities with soccer, being that it is low-scoring in comparison to sports like the NBA, NFL, and even the MLB. The scoring system has a lot of variables that are not all related to scoring in games, being that scoring does not happen a lot. Yet, a player scoring a goal has a much higher value than a player scoring a three-pointer in the NBA. NHL DFS also has games pretty much every night of the season, so you can play as little or as much as you want.
How to Play
Even if you have never played NHL DFS or DFS, it is really not too difficult. With our help, you will be ready to start playing within minutes, and you may be on your way to big winnings. To do that, though, there are several things you should know about NHL DFS. You will soon be setting optimized lineups and have the tools you need to succeed. Whether you’re looking to play big money competitions or you want to play a $1 head to head to have a little fun.
Lineup Budget/Money/Cap Space
In every daily fantasy sport, whether it NFL, MLB, or even a sport like NASCAR, most lineups put together are based on a salary budget or cap space. Whether a lineup has three players in or the standard nine in NHL DFS, you only have so much salary available to put players in your lineup. Each player has a salary value directly tied to their predicted point total. Each site/app sets these predictions, and salaries are set by each site/app and can differ from one to another. You have to set a full lineup and stay at or under the cap space, you are given in setting your lineup.
Lineup types differ from platform to platform and even within platforms, it can differ between various competitions/games. The two biggest DFS providers, FanDuel and DraftKings, both have a standard nine-player lineup. Each has two centers (C), two defensemen (D), and one goalie (G). Yet where they differ a little is DraftKings has three wingers (W) and one utility player (UTIL), whereas Fanduel has two wingers (W) and two utility players (UTIL). Not a significant difference, but when you are trying to squeeze that last player in your lineup, having a second utility can sometimes be helpful.
Because their scoring systems are based on things other than just scoring, the NHL can really alter players’ value. Coming in with a mindset that you may use in other sports like NFL, CFB, or MLB can potentially hurt your lineup optimization. For example, shots on goals are valued at around 1.5 points, different by a little pending on the platform. So in an NHL DFS setting, a player may not even score a goal or get an assist but take ten shots. That would give them a decent scoring output.
For another example, let’s use Fanduel’s scoring system for goalies, which is “12 points for a win, 8 points for a Shutout, 0.8 for Saves, and -4 for Goals Against.” Goalie A and B both win; goalie A saves 35 shots but gives up three goals that give goalie A 28 points. In contrast, goalie B saves 20 shots and only gives up one goal giving them 24 points. So even though goalie A gave up two more goals, their significantly higher number of saves gives them more points.
As mentioned on the home page and the other sports pages like soccer, NBA, NFL, and more, setting lineups is all about value. What is a player’s salary versus the point output you get from them? The better the value, the more likely you should insert them in your lineup.
In NHL DFS, backup goalies are a great spot to get cheap value. Say a backup goalie is starting for a great defensive team, and the team they are playing has a low-ranked offense. That backup will be cheap salary-wise and stands to have a good game.
Do not gamble with injuries on most occasions because most platforms will not decrease a player’s salary cost because of an injury. You need to weigh if a star player’s high salary is worth it if they end up playing only half the game or even less.
Matchups are everything in DFS. A player playing against a very stingy defense may not have as good of a night as usual. The same could be said for a goalie facing a top-ranked offense. On the flip side, a mediocre player who gets moved up a line because of an injury and they are facing a bad defensive team may be a good value because of their increased opportunity and matchup.
Why is Daily Fantasy Better Than Season Long Fantasy?
Simply put, it is so much easier than season-long fantasy. There are no worries of your best player getting hurt and screwing up your lineup for the entire season. There are no issues with being in a league with many people who don’t set their lineup and are unwilling to make trades. Daily fantasy sports has so many options to play, wagering a lot, a little, and everything in between. Play with friends, strangers, or against large fields of users to win bigger prizes with low stakes.
Frequently Asked NHL DFS Questions
Daily fantasy sports is legal almost everywhere in America, with just six states currently not allowing it.
On FanDuel, it is $6,111, while on DraftKings, it is $5,555, and remember, it differs from each site and in different competitions.
On DraftKings, it is $2,500, while on FanDuel, it is $3,000.
The goalie is the highest average-wise, which is pretty typical across most sites/apps.
DraftKings and Fanduel are the two most prominent names in the market, but others like Yahoo Sports and smaller providers are worth taking a look at.