There is a healthy 10-game slate ahead of us tonight but there may be a couple trouble spots for your NHL DFS picks tonight. Be sure to check our Slack chat frequently for updates so you can get the most up-to-date NHL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel.
NHL DFS Picks and Top Stacks | March 18
NHL DFS Picks: Center
Aleksander Barkov (FLA vs. NSH)
DraftKings – $7,700
FanDuel – $7,400
Despite spending most of the season away from usual winger Jonathan Huberdeau, Barkov is currently tied for his career high in goals per game and surpassed his career high in assists and shots per game. Plus, over his last 10 games, he’s averaging over 22 minutes a game (up from a little over 20:30 earlier in the season). That level of ice time at home against a team missing their two premier defensemen is a good spot for one of the top producers on the season. One of those premier defensemen, Ryan Ellis, has arguably been their best penalty killer for a couple years now. The Florida power play remains one of the best in the NHL, coming in the top five, and all this makes Barkov appealing in any format tonight. The nice thing about him is that there are many viable ways to use Barkov in a stack, so he’s one of the more flexible options available tonight.
Yanni Gourde (TB vs. CHI)
DraftKings – $4,100
FanDuel – $3,900
After a strong start to the season, Chicago’s team defense has started to falter. They were at 2.3 expected goals against per 60 minutes at five-on-five and 2.4 actual goals against per 60 minutes through five weeks. Over the last three weeks, however, those marks have gotten much worse, coming in at 2.7 expected goals against per 60 minutes and 2.8 actual goals against. Over his last 10 games, mostly with the Tampa line shuffled, Gourde has played 18:31 a night, posting 7 points in 10 games and 2.5 shots per game. His line with Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn has been good in their games together, posting 2.9 goals per 60 minutes and an expected goal share of 60.6%. Using Gourde separate from Killorn and Stamkos certainly doesn’t make sense in tournaments, but I think he’s cheap enough to use as a one-off in any format tonight.
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NHL DFS Picks: Winger
Andrei Svechnikov (CAR vs. CBJ)
DraftKings – $5,800
FanDuel – $6,000
The return of Zach Werenski has improved Columbus defensively (they’re eighth by expected goals against over the last three weeks), but the team is still below average by expected goal share, so it’s not as if this is a good team all of a sudden. That said, Svechnikov is certainly well above average, with 22 points and nearly three shots per game this year. The key here is Svechnikov’s ice time. It has been uneven their last four games – as low as 14 minutes and as high as 21 – but that’s kind of a good thing for tournaments. This is a guy who has shown himself to be one of the burgeoning elite goal scorers over the last two years, and there is potential for 20-plus minutes tonight against a mediocre-at-best team. The uneven ice time should cause some nervousness in cash games, but it seems as if Svechnikov is well suited to be a one-off in tournaments.
Nick Ritchie (BOS at BUF)
DraftKings – $4,200
FanDuel – $4,200
The big note here is that Buffalo canceled morning skate today as one of the Bruins players entered COVID protocols. There has been no determination on the game tonight, but there is a chance it will not get played. Watch for news and updates.
Aside from that, Ritchie has found his way back to the Boston top power-play unit. While that Boston power play has been scuffling of late, we’re talking about one of the perennially great power-play units in the NHL and a team that is heading for the lottery again. The Boston top line is very expensive tonight, and a slate this big brings lots of options. It means that we aren’t forced into playing guys like Patrice Bergeron or David Pastrnak, but if anyone wants to get a piece of that top power play and not pay exorbitant prices, this is the conduit.
Oliver Wahlstrom (NYI vs. PHI)
DraftKings – $3,000
FanDuel – $3,800
For the first time all season, Wahlstrom has played at least 14 minutes in back-to-back games, as the team lost Anders Lee and Wahlstrom was asked to play a bigger role. That includes top power-play minutes of late, which is wonderful news on a night the Islanders host a bottom-10 penalty-killing team over the last three weeks.
Wahlstrom is not a household name, but he was picked just outside the top 10 in the draft a few years ago and put up 10 goals in 45 AHL games as a 19-year-old. It is not a surprise that he has found success in the NHL, and he is a one-off target for tournaments tonight.
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NHL DFS Picks: Defensemen
Miro Heiskanen (DAL at DET)
DraftKings – $5,500
FanDuel – $4,700
It took some time for Heiskanen to find his production this year, posting zero goals and nine assists in 15 games, with 1.3 shots per game. The assist rate has declined this year, but he’s up to 2.5 shots per game over his last 10, averaging a massive 26:22 in ice time per night. Detroit continues to be a bottom-10 team defensively, making this a good matchup for Heiskanen at five-on-five. Truthfully, though, this is all about ice time. It is hard to ignore a defenseman regularly playing over 26 minutes a night, with top power-play time, especially for his price on FanDuel.
Dylan DeMelo (WPG at EDM)
DraftKings – $2,500
FanDuel – $3,500
DeMelo has been a frustrating player this year because he can be productive with adequate ice time; he averaged nearly three shots/blocks last year in roughly 20 minutes a night. His ice time has cratered this year to 16:45, and he is frequently around the 14- to 15-minute mark. That has changed of late, though, as DeMelo has been over 20 minutes in his last two contests. He has six shot/blocks in those two games. Tonight Winnipeg is on the road, playing a back-to-back against a team they are chasing in the standings. DeMelo, at this level of ice time and min prices, is very much in play as a punt in any format. Those guys are helpful on slates this big with so many prime spots.
NHL DFS Picks: Goalie
Pekka Rinne (NSH at FLA)
DraftKings – $7,200
FanDuel – $6,800
In the games since both Ellis and Roman Josi have been missing, Rinne has hit the 35-save bonus in two of them. Juuse Saros was taken off the injured list, so he may start tonight, but the assumption for now is it will be Rinne again. The Predators are a bottom-10 team by shots against over the last three weeks, and Florida is second in the league per 60 minutes, making Rinne a target tonight on either site. He should face reasonable volume, and we like any goalie who is cheap that should face volume.
(*note: an earlier version has this as Nashville at Carolina. This has been corrected.)
Florida PP1: Barkov – Huberdeau – Yandle
As mentioned a couple times in this piece, the Predators will be without Ellis and Josi, and Ellis is Nashville’s best penalty killer. Florida has a top-five power play this year, and Nashville has a worse penalty kill than the Senators and Canadiens over the last three weeks. Florida’s power play and their components are firmly in play tonight.
TB1: Cirelli – Palat – Point
Since being assembled, this line has been outstanding for the Lightning, posting 2.6 expected goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five and a 65.7% expected goal share. That is not unusual when considering the quality of all three players involved. As mentioned in the section on Gourde, this is a great matchup for Tampa Bay tonight, and two of the three top-line Lightning forwards (Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point) are both on the top power-play unit. Anthony Cirelli was even over 20 minutes in Tampa’s last game, so there isn’t much concern about minimal ice time here, even for a guy not on the power play.
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