For me, when building a GPP NHL lineup I like to include at least one line stack from a certain team. It is important that I know for sure exactly who will be skating on the line I want long before lineup lock, and usually most coaches will reveal their lines during morning skates. For example, Joel Quinville of the Blackhawks hasn’t touched the line of Patrick Kane-Artem Anisimov-Artemi Panarin pretty much all season, so you can go into the day knowing this will be the line and can be easily plugged into a lineup. However, there are a handful of coaches who will go right up until game time with their lines a secret or change them after warm-ups that make it very aggravating on a DFS player. I understand coaches are doing it to give the team a spark or a certain player a spark, but it is very difficult on lineup construction. No two coaches are more guilty of this than Mike Yeo of the Wild and Jack Capuano of the New York Islanders. Between pre-game and in-game line changes it’s enough to put you on tilt early.
Let’s start with Jack Capuano, and his season long quest to find skaters on the top line to pair with John Tavares. Let’s use Janurary 12th game against the Columbus Blue Jackets as an example. Earlier that morning, during morning skate, Jack Capuano has Tavares skating with Anders Lee and Josh Bailey, and it was assumed that this would be the top line leading into the Islanders next game. This was good news for DFS players because this was a very nice stackable line with skill and fairly cheap which would have allowed more expensive skaters throughout the lineup. So like many others I went and locked in this line in my lineup. A few hours later it was being widely reported that Jack Capuano was going to mix up his lines but no one had any idea what they were going to be so I left my Tavares-Lee-Bailey stack in there. Fast forward to the pre-game skate for the Islanders and not even the beat writers have heard of the possible changes.
At 6:38 pm Arthur Staple of Newsday tweeted out the lines during line rushes and neither Lee or Bailey were skating on the top line, and on top of that Tarvares, Lee, and Bailey were spread out over 3 lines. The new skaters with Tavares on the top line were Ryan Strome and Mikhail Grabovski. This left myself and I’m sure many other DFS players in a bit of a jam because as constructed on Draft Kings, Ryan Strome is listed as a center completely throwing a wrench into my lineup. This left me to either leave orginal skaters I had in there or completely pivot to another line or team with 20 minutes before lineups lock. Being rushed is never a good feeling and a lot of the time doesn’t end well when making a lineup. Last minute changes can be devastating. I ended up pivoting to a different line on the Islanders and got it submitted four minutes before lock. As the game unfolded it ultimately cost me in the end as the trio of Tavares, Lee, and Bailey ended up combining for 3 assists and 7 shots on goal which is 9.5 points on Draft Kings. The line I pivoted to combined for only 6 shots on goal which is only 3.0 Draft Kings points. In the end the urge from Jack Capuano to mix up his lines late cost me 6.5 Draft Kings points which is a significant difference, and I’m sure left many other DFS players other than myself a bit peeved.
Now, Mike Yeo mixes up his lines probably more than Jack Capuano, but he atleast will reveal and stick with them from practice or morning skate. However this is still very frustrating all the same. For part of the season, Yeo, was using a top line of Mikka Koivu-Zach Parise-Jason Zucker. Personally this line was one of my favorites to use because both Koivu and Zucker are both reasonably priced and excellent value plays allowing you to get another expensive stack or skaters into your lineup. This line was rolling for a good stretch of games and it was a line a lot of DFS players could lock in without much concern that it would be changed.
Soon after that the Wild went on a losing streak even with that line producing. Enter a panicked Mike Yeo, who completely mixed everything up looking for that proverbial spark. It seemed like every game for the next week to 10 days Mike Yeo was changing his lines every game. This made it almost impossible to roster the Wild because with the ever changing lines, there was no chemistry between any of them and they continued to struggle. Finally, the other day Mike Yeo settled on a line of Parise, Granlund, and Pomniville and let it have a few day run. I am cautiously optimistic that this line will stick together for a good stretch because again this line is moderately cheap to stack which leads to an easier lineup construction with pricier players.
There are plenty of other coaches guilty of this like Ken Hitchcock of the Blues and Bruce Boudreau of the Ducks. It is very frustrating to the DFS community when you think you have a good lineup to deploy and a last minute change leaves you scrambling for answers. To date none have been more frustrating to me than Jack Capuano and Mike Yeo, but thanfully this isn’t basketball.
~ Josh Harris @GrandStandJosh
Pioneer Press: Sherri LaRose-Chiglo