NHL Live Final Q Winning Lineup Breakdown

Later this week I will be competing in the DraftKings 2018 Fantasy World Championship in Toronto, Canada.   The tournament is a 40 man field with a total of $400k in prizes and $100k to first place.  No pressure right!

I have been entering Q’s and even some satellites into the larger Q’s all season long.  Most of the DraftKings qualifiers have been either $33, $333 or $1k.  Obviously the $1k qualifiers are MUCH smaller entry fields, but dropping 1k over and over for a seat doesn’t really add up in my mind when you consider that the total value package is $16k, of which some of that is just the trip value itself that you never really get in cash.

So full disclosure here and I believe that anyone who touts their winning of a live final seat should do this.  I spent $2,517 in entry fee’s attempting to qualify for the Live Final.  Which, I obviously successfully did.  Why do I mention this?   Couple of reasons.

You need to approach all live finals or qualifiers/satellites as lost money.  These are winner take all contests, and if you are someone who is just grinding out a bankroll playing double-ups or single entry contests then you won’t get very far throwing away $ into qualifiers.

That said, nobody should blindly accept losing money in any walk of life.  So, identify a target goal and then attack it, but within reason based upon your playing style or your other winnings.   I am certainly not one to go out and just throw $2500 on a live final seat — I used winnings along the way and put them aside to invest into the qualifiers.  Kind of like a savings account for a big vacation to go see your favorite team play.  Who knows, they might end up losing and the trip is miserable and you feel like you just wasted your savings.  Or, maybe its the trip of a lifetime and it was worth it.  That’s just how I rationalize it and I figured I’d share my …. perspective.


Now onto the winning lineup

I won the $33 Q on Saturday, February 17th that had 585 total entries in it (some overlay).  This was one of the last qualifiers into the tournament, so I went with 9 total entries on what was a 7 game NHL slate for that night.  My lineup posted a total score of 58.2 which won the Q by 0.4 (less than 1 SOG!).

The core of this lineup was all mentioned in my write-up for Saturday and also discussed in the NHL PODCAST I did for the slate as well.

Vegas Stack — I was very confident that Vegas was going to beat the Canadiens and mentioned that I liked their top line of Karlsson, Smith and Marchessault in this match-up.  The key here though was when Montreal announced Carey Price was not starting this game and Antii Niemi was going to start.   This gave the Vegas stack the potential multi-goal upside that I was hoping for as Niemi is an absolute trainwreck of a goalie.  Nate Schmidt was the highest owned player here, but he was someone I highlighted as a core defenseman with Shea Theodore being questionable for this game.   His goal and assist were huge to help.

New Jersey/Tampa Bay Exposure — The Devils have been a go to team of mine for a good portion of the season and especially lately.  Rookie Nico Hischier along with some other rookies around the league hit a wall in late December/early January but had started playing better of late.  In my research I noted that Tampa/New Jersey played a high scoring game earlier this year and that the Bolts have been in some higher scoring games of late.  That combined with Nico’s play of late and the fact that he skates with Taylor Hall one of the hottest players in the game gave me enough reason to get Nico in here as a one off.  In my other 8 lineups I had plenty other lineups with Nico and Hall combined in them.   But I wasn’t just playing the Devils here, I wanted game exposure and so I added Yanni Goude on the other side who was a good value one off play in Utility to get exposure to a game I felt would have a decent number of goals (and it did, with seven)

Detroit! — This game on paper screamed Predators.  But when the coach of a team says they struggle with an opponent you have to consider it credible and that’s the situation we had here.  The Predators came into this game not playing exceptionally well and so I was willing to take a shot with whichever Detroit goalie started and with Mrazek I got that one low owned sneaky play that we need to win tournaments.  I thought the goal he gave up late in the third was going to be a back breaker as it cost me the shutout bonus, but luckily it did not.  One of the things I frequently discuss in NHL construction is pairing a skater with your goalie.  In this case, I needed a one off winger and went with Tomas Tatar (my top value winger per my write-up) as the one off for correlation.  He didn’t do much, however I will note that he scored when these two teams played again last night — figures.

The MAN — DOUGIE HAMILTON … Did I get lucky here?  Sort of.  Dougie Hamilton was my #1 defenseman and I could say he was my #1 play overall, but that doesn’t matter.  A defenseman with a hat trick?  How often does that happen?   Not that often.  Not only that, but his third goal was a “throw it at the net and hope something good happens” shot.  I needed him to get an unassisted goal in the third as I had other Calgary stacks chasing me.  He got an unassisted goal!

I went Hamilton because I have my own beliefs or trends that I play.  They’re not necessarily backed up by data, they’re not necessarily 100% accurate.  But I play them and they work out for me often and they’re usually a little under the radar.  One of these is that I love targeting defenseman against the Panthers and with Calgary and Florida looking like a high scoring match-up, I jumped all over Dougie in the majority of my lineups.


So now it is off to Canada to compete in the 40 man tournament for the FHWC title.   Check back on Saturday afternoon this week for my write-up on the slate — because I don’t play without doing my write-ups!

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Writing and doing analysis on MLB, NFL and NHL DFS