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NHL Yahoo Cup: Strategy, lineups for Round 1

·4-min read

Hockey's back and that means the NHL Yahoo Cup is ready for another season!

The free-to-enter DFS tournament allows players to create a lineup every week with $5,000 in prizes being awarded.

Every round occurs on Thursday, except for Week 1, as the contest will run on the NHL's opening night.

With just two games on the slate for Tuesday, here are some potential lineups you can play in the contest.

Option 1: The Seattle Stacken

Stacking the Seattle Kraken could be a winning strategy on opening night. (Yahoo Fantasy)
Stacking the Seattle Kraken could be a winning strategy on opening night. (Yahoo Fantasy)

Assuming a lot of people are going to be cramming lineups filled with members of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights, stacking the Seattle Kraken isn't a bad idea.

For starters, getting key members of this team is very easy considering their price. With the news that Jared McCann is expected to be out due to COVID-19 protocols, none of the team's projected first-liners carries a value higher than $17, and the power-play quarterback, Mark Giordano, is $21. 

In net, Philipp Grubauer is the second-least expensive goalie on the slate at $30, making him a solid option.

I did also make sure to incorporate some members of the Lightning, as admittedly the team is set up really well on opening night. The Bolts will be at home and facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who'll be missing Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jake Guentzel. 

Lastly, I also placed Chandler Stephenson into my lineup because of his role on the Golden Knights. Entering the 2021-22 season, he'll once again be the squad's top centre, which means he'll see a lot of ice-time playing next to Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone.

Option 2: Pile on the Penguins

There won't be too many Penguins stacks in the Yahoo Cup. (Yahoo Fantasy)
There won't be too many Penguins stacks in the Yahoo Cup. (Yahoo Fantasy)

As mentioned above, a lot of people in the Yahoo Cup will likely be on the stars from the Golden Knights and Lightning. Picking the same players as everyone likely won't get you into the prize money in a tournament like this, so going against the grain with Kraken and Penguins stacks is a good idea.

Pittsburgh will be without Crosby, Malkin, and Guentzel, but Jeff Carter and Danton Heinen will be sliding onto the first line alongside Bryan Rust while Jason Zucker and Kris Letang get ice time on the top power-play unit. Needing a big night from the Penguins' top offensive players makes selecting Jarry the preferred move as he'll likely win if that scenario plays out.

I took Robin Lehner on this team as Vegas is the favourite to win its game, which makes him the preferred option over Grubauer on this squad. Additionally, I once again threw in Stephenson given his role on the Golden Knights.

Lastly, you'll see I have Victor Hedman on this squad, too. This does have some negative correlation with my Jarry selection, but in the Yahoo Cup all rosters need to have players from at least three teams. Given his ability to rack up solid shot totals and blocked shots, Hedman could theoretically have a decent fantasy game even if he doesn't record a point.

Option 3: Get the Goalie

Want to pay up for both of the top netminders? This is how you should do it. (Yahoo Fantasy)
Want to pay up for both of the top netminders? This is how you should do it. (Yahoo Fantasy)

If you're not willing to submit a team full of Kraken or Penguins, this is how you should approach your lineup construction.

Pay up for Vasilevskiy and Lehner as the set up is pretty sweet for both. Vasilevskiy is battling a Penguins team that is missing its top three forwards while Lehner plays a shorthanded Kraken in their first-ever game. The two netminders are in a solid position to dominate and pick up a win.

Then, instead of loading up on Tampa Bay's first line, go for the much more affordable second-line stack of Anthony Cirelli, Alex Killorn, and Mathieu Joseph. By doing this, I was also able to squeeze in a Lightning power-play stack with Killorn, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman.

Up front, I also picked Nolan Patrick as a middleman. Entering the season, he's pencilled into the Golden Knights first power-play unit, according to Daily Faceoff. From the same game, I also chose Adam Larsson. He finished second in the NHL in shot blocks last year with 128, and one block is worth one point, so he should be able to have success that way.

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