Fantasy hockey: 5 line stacks to target

Stacking is an interesting fantasy hockey strategy that has gained some popularity in recent years. Stacking is the practice of taking two players from the same team whose outcomes should be correlated.

For example, if Auston Matthews scores 60 goals again in 2022-23, it’s a pretty good bet that Mitch Marner had a very good season again as well. Now, Matthews and Marner are commonly drafted in the first round of fantasy drafts so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get both of them on your team this year, but there are plenty of other places to look for high-potential stacks.

It’s worth noting you don’t need to grab all three members of a line to create a stack. In fact, doing so can sometimes make it hard to adjust your lineup on heavy nights when almost all teams are playing. Instead, you can focus on finding a pair or two throughout the draft who should provide those big boom games that can win you a matchup. Let’s take a look at some top lines across the league that are worth targeting for stacking purposes:

Dallas Stars - Robertson/Hintz/Pavelski

Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Joe Pavelski have formed one of the league’s better top lines for the past two seasons. Hintz and Pavelski are easy to get if you take Robertson at or around his fourth-round ADP (Pavelski going in the seventh and Hintz in the 11th). Hintz in particular looks to be undervalued by current ADP and if I do find myself taking either Robertson or Pavelski early on, you can bet I’ll be looking to take Hintz a round ahead of ADP to secure the stack.

Line stacking is a solid strategy in fantasy hockey and the Stars have one of the best options for it. (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Line stacking is a solid strategy in fantasy hockey and the Stars have one of the best trios for it. (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Kings - Fiala/Kopitar/Kempe

With Kevin Fiala’s arrival in Los Angeles, both he and captain Anze Kopitar now have arguably the best linemate of their respective careers to work with. It’s very possible both Fiala and Kopitar improve on last season's numbers and therefore become strong values at their current ADPs.

Fiala is the highest ranked of the Kings’ top line with an early sixth-round ADP, making him very easy to obtain and stack with either Kopitar in the 11th round or Kempe in the 14th. One underrated part of this stack: The Kings’ second line of Phillip Danault/Trevor Moore/Viktor Arvidsson was so effective as a unit last season that the top two lines seem very unlikely to change and therefore affect the stacking potential of these three.

Columbus Blue Jackets - Gaudreau/?/Laine

The new-look Columbus first line looks like a potent one with the arrival of Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau currently sports a second-round ADP on Yahoo while Laine is going in the seventh, making it very attainable to select both in your drafts. If you miss on one of them you’ll still be able to get their center later on. Early word is captain Boone Jenner (ADP 166.7) will get the first look between the two:

Personally, I’m most interested in sophomore Cole Sillinger and his potential breakout despite still being on the shy side of 20 years old. The nice part about these Columbus centers is you can grab Jenner in the 14th and then grab Sillinger or Jack Roslovic off the waiver wire if they replace Jenner in that top-line role later on.

Florida Panthers - Verhaeghe/Barkov/Tkachuk

This is one of the more difficult stacks to pull off, but if you’re drafting late in the first round there’s a very good chance you can get star Florida center Aleksander Barkov there and pair him with new Panther Matthew Tkachuk in the second. Either way, you should be able to find room on your roster for Carter Verhaeghe (currently sporting a 15th-round ADP). Verhaeghe has been attached to Barkov at the hip for most of the past two years and Tkachuk’s addition should only make that duo all the more potent.

There is some risk with this stack that Tkachuk doesn’t stick as the everyday right-winger on the Barkov line, but Tkachuk will still be a fixture on the top power play and will get plenty of Barkov exposure there.

Buffalo Sabres - Skinner/Thompson/Tuch

This is the cheapest high-potential stack in all of fantasy hockey: Tage Thompson is the most expensive of the three with an ADP of 141.5. Thompson found terrific chemistry with Jeff Skinner as well as Alex Tuch after he came over from the Vegas Golden Knights in the Jack Eichel trade. All three have 30+ goal potential and all three could exceed 70 points this year.

Finding that kind of potential this late in your drafts is the kind of value that can really elevate your squad from good to great, and the easy path to stack a couple of these Sabres is the cherry on top.

Of course, these are just a few of many options across the league and you can find stacks throughout your draft if you so choose. Be sure not to overdo things and hurt your roster flexibility by drafting too many players from one team, but grabbing a couple stacks throughout your draft is a fun and easy way to build positive correlation into your lineup.

Nate Groot Nibbelink is the creator of Apples & Ginos Fantasy Hockey and the originator of the #ZeroG draft strategy. You can find him pontificating about obscure fantasy hockey strategy topics in the Apples & Ginos Discord Server or on Twitter @applesginos.

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