NHL Yahoo Cup: DFS strategy, lineups for Round 11

Round 11 of the NHL Yahoo Cup is running later than planned after the league decided to take an earlier-than-expected holiday pause last week. With NHL action now back, so is the free-to-enter tournament which allows you to compete for a share of $5,000.

Thursday's slate is smaller than usual as there are only seven games to pick from to build a lineup, but it sure beats not having any games at all.

Here are the lineups I recommend playing in Round 11 of the Yahoo Cup.

Option 1: Fantastic Flames Stack

The Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers combine to make one fiery stack. (Yahoo Fantasy)
The Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers combine to make one fiery stack. (Yahoo Fantasy)

With the Calgary Flames getting back pretty much everyone after their COVID-19 outbreak, the team is positioned well entering Thursday's tilt against the Seattle Kraken.

For starters, the Kraken just played the night before, losing 3-2 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers. Additionally, Seattle has been one of the best teams to pick on in DFS as the 3.57 goals-per-game it's allowed this season sits third-worst across the NHL. Its defensive woes are why I'm stacking members of both Calgary's first line and top power-play unit in Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. To complete the always-valuable power-play stack (power-play points are worth an extra two points), I've also added Sean Monahan and Rasmus Andersson, as both are featured members of the top man advantage unit.

Secondly, I've selected a Florida Panthers skinny stack with Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad. Both are featured members of the team at even strength and on the power play, and will also benefit from playing a Tampa Bay Lightning squad that has both starter Andrei Vasilevskiy and backup Brian Elliott sidelined.

Between the pipes, I've gone with Jonas Johansson and Semyon Varlamov. The two puckstoppers are projected to start for teams that are favored to win their respective games, and that's all I'm really looking for in net.

Option 2: Sweet Carolina Stack

The Carolina Hurricanes have a mouth-watering setup for Round 11 of the Yahoo Cup. (Yahoo Fantasy)
The Carolina Hurricanes have a mouth-watering setup for Round 11 of the Yahoo Cup. (Yahoo Fantasy)

Round 11 of the Yahoo Cup might be short on games, but it certainly isn't short on great options for daily fantasy managers.

The Carolina Hurricanes have a very appealing matchup slated for Thursday, as the team will host the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs have been one of the worst defensive squads in the NHL this season as they sit fourth-worst in both goals-against per game and penalty killing, which is a horrible combination against a Canes team that is absolutely loaded with star power. To make matters even worse, starting netminder Jake Allen is sidelined entering the contest, too.

All of the notes mentioned above are why I've stacked the four forwards on Carolina's top power-play unit: Vincent Trocheck, Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Martin Necas. The Hurricanes' man advantage ranks 10th-best in the NHL, so it should be able to capitalize on this clear mismatch. Aho and Teravainen also play alongside each other on the first line while Trocheck and Necas skate on the second line, so there's some even-strength stacking involved with this quartet of forwards as well.

Additionally, I've also decided to employ the Panthers skinny stack with Ekblad and Huberdeau for all of the reasons outlined above. Andersson was also added to the lineup due to his placement on Calgary's first power-play unit.

I've gone with the same goaltending tandem as above with Varlamov and Johansson because I'm just looking to get the cheap win.

Option 3: Full-On Florida Stack

The Tampa Bay Lightning-Florida Panthers game on Thursday figures to be a full-blown shootout. (Yahoo Fantasy)
The Tampa Bay Lightning-Florida Panthers game on Thursday figures to be a full-blown shootout. (Yahoo Fantasy)

If you like goals, there will likely be plenty between the Lightning and Panthers on Thursday.

Both squads feature high-powered offenses and both will also be dressing backup goalies for the occasion as Sergei Bobrovsky will likely get the night off after starting on Wednesday while both Vasilevskiy and Elliott remain sidelined.

That bodes well for both sides' top forwards, hence why I've combined the two to fill out all of my forward slots. From the Bolts, I've selected Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn. All three are featured on the top power-play unit, while Point and Killorn play alongside each other at even strength. Point, who returned on Tuesday after missing over a month with an upper-body injury, showed no signs of rust as he potted two goals and an assist in the contest.

From the Cats, I've stacked Sam Bennett and Sam Reinhart. Bennett and Reinhart play together on Florida's second line at even strength in addition to the man advantage.

On defense, I selected the two guys who man the point for their respective squads' power play. Victor Hedman and Ekblad are two of the best at the position and have shown that they can chip in offensively as Hedman's 33 points sit first among blueliners while Ekblad's 24 points rank eighth.

In net, there's a slight change as I've subbed Johansson out for Malcolm Subban. Considering how much the success of this lineup hinges on Tampa Bay's offense scoring a lot of goals, there was just too much negative correlation with Johansson on the squad. Having both Subban and Varlamov does cap my lineup's ceiling as only one will be able to win the game, but I'm not playing with much extra cash after loading up on key members of this Lightning-Panthers game.

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