NHL Contrarian Plays: Living the Hulo Life, Mar 20 – Mar 26
March 20, 2017 | Doug Shain
NHL Contrarian Plays for the Week of March 20: Living the HuLo Life
Welcome to the latest edition of NHL Contrarian Plays: Living the HuLo Life. If you’ve never read any of my material before, you’re most likely wondering, “What the heck is HuLo?” HuLo is a term I created two years ago to describe guys that I think believe can provide us high upside with a low ownership (HuLo).
Being contrarian is a big thing now in DFS but I try to take it to another level with the concept of HuLo. I don’t want to get dumb with my picks but I want to dig even deeper than the contrarian level of play. Let’s be honest, there are no sleepers anymore. Thanks to Twitter and SiriusXM radio, being contrarian is much more wide spread than it used to be. Even if you get a contrarian play into your lineups at 10% owned, the 10% that do own your guy are probably the 10% best DFS players in the field. I don’t want players in my lineup that sharks are going to use as their contrarian plays. I want to avoid the sharks and feed on the fish.
Living the HuLo life is very risky and high variance. You’re going to lose more than you win but the expectation is that the wins you do get will more than make up for your losses. It’s so much fun to hit on a player that nobody else was using and watch your team soar to the top of your tournament leaderboard. It’s obviously very hard to project what the DFS landscape is going to look like tomorrow, let alone a week from now, but we have to start somewhere when doing our research and it’s never too early to key in on certain players that may win you a GPP. The intention of this article is to give you a preview of some of the HuLo players I’m going to be keeping an eye on in the coming week.
I’ve included a chart with matchups that I’m looking to attack in bolded italics.
The HuLo Five
The HuLo Details
Conor Sheary (PIT – W)
Sheary has been a monster this year and nobody has any idea. His price is finally starting to come around to his production levels but people are still overspending on guys like Phil Kessel, Patric Hornqvist, and Evgeni Malkin instead of looking to Sheary. He’s averaging nearly a point a game on the season with 44 points in 50 games but over his last 10 games he’s upped that production to 13 points. He, Jake Guentzel (more on him below), and Sidney Crosby are totally in sync with one another and they are thriving right now. I’m not sure there’s a trio I’d rather stack on a game by game basis than these three. To get Sheary at any ownership discount is huge.
Jake Guentzel (PIT – W)
I’ve decided to split Guentzel and Sheary because I get it if you don’t want to spend up for a pretty expensive Penguins stack. If you want exposure to the productivity of Crosby and Sheary but don’t want to spend the cap dollars to get it then you can just go with Guentzel for some salary relief and at least get one-third of that monster stack. Guentzel has pretty much matched Sheary point for point over the last couple of weeks but is even more under the radar. I’d feel comfortable using Guentzel in any matchup but I’m positively giddy to use him on Tuesday against the Sabres and on Friday against the Islanders. Both should be very high scoring games for Pittsburgh.
Jeff Skinner (CAR – W)
I could have really labeled this Jeff Skinner and friends (Rask, Staal, and Lindholm are all playing great) but I wanted to put the focus on the leader of the bunch, and that’s Skinner. People tend to overlook him because he plays for the low-scoring Hurricanes but he’s been putting up about a point per game over his last nine outings, more than good enough to be a valuable play. He’s a bit pricey but with his aggressive nature (over three SOG per game during his nine game run), he’s going to be a good bet to keep putting up points nightly. The Hurricanes don’t have a great schedule this week but that makes them an even more attractive GPP play. I’d love to fire up Skinner against Montreal on Thursday, especially if we can find a way to get Al Montoya in net instead of Carey Price. Keep a close eye on that during morning skate on Thursday.
Jay Bouwmeester (STL – D)
Let me be clear about this, Bouwmeester will never win you a GPP. What he will do is give you a nice punt play with a pretty reasonable floor relative to his price. Over the last two weeks he’s seen a huge increase in his SABS productivity and with the way STL is playing, I see no reason for them to try to change this. It would sure appear that he is the biggest beneficiary of the Kevin Shattenkirk trade. If he can keep putting up four SABS per game with an assist here and there, then you’ll never be upset locking him for near min-price every night.
Jonathan Bernier (ANH – G)
Bernier has sure stepped up for the Ducks in the absence of Jon Gibson. Over his last five starts Bernier has posted elite numbers with a 4-0-1 record and a 1.00 GAA, all while facing over 30 shots on goal per game. That combination of low goals against with a high volume of shots is exactly what you need from a goalie to win a GPP. I love the idea of using Bernier in every one of his matchups this week because none of them would lead to him being a chalk play in net. If you can get him for under 10% ownership, that’s a huge plus for you GPP squad. One thing to keep an eye on as well, DK tends to factor opponent into the price of a goalie so not only should you get him at a low ownership, but you may also get him for a discount as well.
Thanks for reading NHL Contrarian Plays: Living the Hulo Life, Mar 20 – Mar 26