The Tuesday NHL DFS slate is absolutely massive with 13 games lined up. We’re taking a quick tour through some of the highlights, and there is little time to waste on introductions. There are quality roster picks up and down the salary spectrum and all sorts of interesting line combinations in play. A few standout spots are emerging on the NHL odds board, and there is some concentration of ownership around expected plays. Our goal here is to parse through some of the noise and identify some of the leading NHL DFS picks for you as you put together your DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy hockey lineups. Using Awesemo’s premium proprietary player projections and the top stacks tool, we will highlight several players and situations that will be advantageous and help your team rocket up the leaderboard.
As always, be sure to check our premium Slack for crucial lineup information in the 20-30 minutes leading up to every game’s lock. With the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, teams have taxi squads and are ready to fill positions daily as they scratch players. Our Slack chat is hands down one of the best places to get news and line change notifications.
NHL Power Plays: DraftKings + FanDuel DFS Picks | Jan. 26
NHL DFS Picks: Centers
Connor McDavid ($8,500 DraftKings / $8,900 FanDuel), A/A Grades
This one probably isn’t knocking anyone out of their chair in shock. McDavid, the all-world pivot for the Oilers, is atop most lists of plays any day he appears on a slate, and tonight is no exception. Despite the lofty price tag, McDavid is still carrying top marks in Awesemo’s rankings for all sites in both production and value.
McDavid has been productive since joining the NHL as a 19-year-old in 2015-16, posting three 100-point seasons when he has had a full schedule, and a 97-point effort last year in just 64 games. One of the league’s truly elite talents, McDavid is off to a strong start already this season, averaging 4.74 shots, four goals and six assists in his 22:39 average ice time.
The Oilers are taking on a Jets team that ranks 17th in overall goals allowed this season with a 92.4% team save percentage (92% for starting goaltender Connor Hellebuyck) and 12th in Corsi-for percentage. Opportunities could be slightly on the stingy side, but McDavid should have no trouble overcoming any obstacles and posting another solid night.
Joe Pavelski ($6,100 DraftKings / $6,400 FanDuel), B/B (A) Grades
The center of a Dallas second line that ranks well on our top stacks board tonight, Pavelski looks like a quality option for line stacking and as a one-off center where necessary. He centers a line that includes dynamic Alexander Radulov and inexpensive role player Tanner Kero as well as the Stars’ first power-play unit (also alongside Radulov).
The veteran center saw his production decline dramatically in last year’s staggered NHL season, posting just 31 points in 67 games. For six seasons prior to last year, Pavelski recorded no fewer than 64 points, playing an average of roughly 80 games a year. There was a clear downward trend season after season through that stretch, and I would not advocate handing Pavelski a long-term contract at age 36, but as an NHL DFS option we can still invest in the nightly upside.
Pavelski is off to a strong start this season, with seven points (three goals and four assists) through the Stars’ first two games. The team is behind the pace of the rest of the league in games played due to cancellations from COVID-19 protocols, but their second-line center came to play this season.
The Stars draw a favorable matchup against a weak Red Wings team that has a lowly 46.67 Corsi-for percentage. Dallas should control the puck all night. At a reasonable price and with interesting line combinations, we can get to Pavelski tonight in FanDuel and DraftKings NHL contests.
Additional Center Values
Center is a relatively loaded position once again. Top-end options include: Nathan MacKinnon, Leon Draisaitl, Mika Zibanejad and Auston Matthews; Value options are: Elias Lindholm, Anze Kopitar, Nicklas Backstrom and Brock Nelson.
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NHL DFS Picks: Wingers
Taylor Hall ($7,300 DraftKings / $7,200 FanDuel), A/B (A) Grades
Hall is an excellent but pricey option on both sites tonight. Skating on a top line that ranks near the peak of our top stacks tool, albeit with a lofty price tag, Hall provides reliable production across his more than 21 minutes of average ice time per game.
Hall has always been a productive player when he’s on the ice. Splitting time between New Jersey and Arizona last season, he played in 65 games, posting a 52-point year and blasting 3.57 shots on goal per game. Hall scored four times playing on the team’s top power play unit last season, adding another 14 assists with the extra man. The top line has full power-play correlation, doubling as the top power play unit with Jack Eichel in the middle and Sam Reinhart on the opposite side, adding to the overall appeal of the stack.
The Sabres are taking on the Rangers in what should be a high-scoring affair with plenty of fireworks. The Rangers have a quality 53.25% team Corsi-for percentage this season, along with a 91% team save percentage, while the Sabres match with a 53.7% Corsi-for percentage of their own. The puck control battle should be interesting, but Hall and his top unit could prove too much for the Rangers defense to hold down.
Artemi Panarin ($6,800 DraftKings / $7,900 FanDuel) A/B Grades
On the other side of the above game, Panarin looks like an excellent option as well. He is not inexpensive, particularly for FanDuel NHL contests, and while not at all slow, his production has not been entirely explosive to start the season, This could have the public not looking his way quite as frequently as they were through his monster 2019-20 season.
Panarin posted a career year in his first season on Broadway, racking up 95 points in just 69 games. He is one of the league’s premier playmakers and an excellent scorer, making him a live option every night. Panarin’s lowest point total in his career came in his second season when he posted 74 points on 31 goals and 43 assists. He is a production beast and plays across from emerging wing Pavel Buchnevich, with Ryan Strome in the middle. Strome has been off to a slow start over the team’s first four games, posting just a lone assist, which could hamper the long-term production. The unit could still dominate puck possession while on the ice, posting a 54.29% Corsi-for percentage in 86 minutes together last season. This year, in just 23:46 together, they have a 62.16% Corsi-for percentage as a line and have generated four high-danger chances, converting on one of them. There is dominant, GPP-winning upside in getting to Panarin’s production.
Mark Stone ($6,200 DraftKings / $7,600 FanDuel) B/B Grades
The Golden Knights top line could be a slightly underrated asset on tonight’s slate. The team has a favorable matchup, coming in as a 59.18% favorite and carrying a 3.03 implied total, among the highest on the slate. Stone carries a salary that ranks in the upper-middle tier on both sites, making him a quality option that could get skipped over by the public. The opposing Blues have just a 49.77% team Corsi-for percentage on the season and a 90.8% team save percentage, making them ripe for plucking a few goals and a lot of fantasy points.
The Vegas top line has been productive to start the season. Stone leads the way with eight points on two goals and six assists, while opposite winger Max Pacioretty has three goals and an assist, and center Chandler Stephenson is at one and two for a three-point total. In 65:22 together on the ice this season, the top line has a solid 53.1% Corsi-for percentage as a unit, dominating puck possession. This has led to a healthy 11 high-danger chances generated in the team’s six games, converting on a whopping five of them. Vegas should dominate this matchup, Stone and the top line will likely be highly involved. The one negative for the stack is the loss of Stephenson on the power play, though defenseman Alex Pietrangelo could step into that spot or be included as a fourth man that adds power play correlation.
Additional Wing Values
There are values up and down the board on both sites tonight. Just a few names that are in play everywhere include: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Matthew Tkachuk, Kevin Fiala, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Anthony Mantha and Kyle Palmieri. Value options include: Radulov, Boone Jenner, Dominik Kubalik and Chris Kreider.
NHL DFS Picks: Defensemen
Ryan Ellis ($5,700 DraftKings / $6,400 FanDuel) A/A Grades
The top pair for Nashville is always on the board when the team takes the ice. Ellis and his partner Roman Josi make for fantastic options tonight. For this space we’ll take the less expensive Ellis, whose main negative is that he plays on just the second power-play unit.
Coming at a strong discount from his talented partner, Ellis provides upside in terms of offensive production as well as a high floor based on his addition of blocked shots. In 49 games last season, Ellis managed to block 96 shots while posting a 38-point year and putting 2.33 shots on goal per game. The year before he had 1.82 shots per game and a total of 41 points and 154 blocked shots. This year he has 14 blocks in five games, adding 3.6 shots on goal and converting one assist on the power play. Ellis is inexpensive for the safety and upside he brings to the defensive spot in both DraftKings and FanDuel NHL contests.
Kevin Shattenkirk ($3,400 DraftKings / $3,900 FanDuel) C/A Grades
Dipping further into the value end of the pool for a second defenseman again, Shattenkirk stands out for his salary and the opportunity that comes with playing on the team’s top power-play unit. For a very low price on both sites, the blue liner offers top pair time, averaging 24:16 on the ice so far this year.
In a bounce-back season last year, Shattenkirk was able to manage a 34-point year in 70 games for the Lightning. While he won’t reach the 50-point heights he saw in seasons before his injury-raddled tenure in New York, Shattenkirk provides nightly upside when he is priced this way.
The defenseman has an assist and eight shots on goal through the team’s first six games while adding seven blocked shots. He has been around two shots on goal and 1.5 blocks per game in recent seasons, adding a modest safety net to a cheap player we would like to see get on the scoreboard with a helper, or ideally light up a power-play goal.
Additional Defenseman Values
There are numerous top defensemen who are coming in with strong value grades on both sites. The high end of the list includes Josi, Kris Letang and Brent Burns. On the value end, we can look to Connor Murphy, Seth Jones, Zach Werenski and Darnell Nurse.
Colorado 1: Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Buffalo 1: Taylor Hall – Jack Eichel – Sam Reinhart
Edmonton 1: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Jesse Puljujarvi
New York 2: Artemi Panarin – Ryan Strome – Pavel Buchnevich
Calgary 1: Matthew Tkachuk – Elias Lindholm – Andrew Mangiapane
Minnesota 1: Zach Parise – Nick Bjugstad – Kevin Fiala
Dallas 2: Tanner Kero – Joe Pavelski – Alexander Radulov
Looking for more DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy hockey and NHL DFS picks content? We have loads of articles, data, DraftKings and FanDuel cheat sheets and more on the Awesemo NHL home page. Just click HERE.
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