Groundhog Day Tuesday brings us a dynamite slate of NHL DFS action, with a full half of the eight-game slate carrying juicy totals in Vegas. With some marquee stars and some scrappy scrubs on the board, we have plenty of players to consider as we make NHL DFS picks for this one. Our goal here is to parse through some of the noise and identify some of the leading plays 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.
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NHL DFS Picks: Centers
Mark Scheifele ($7,100 DraftKings / $7,400 FanDuel), A/B(A) Grades
The top-line pivot for the Jets is a frequent play when the salary is right for NHL DFS. On today’s slate he slots in as a less expensive high-end option rather than any kind of special value play. Scheifele centers the top line and is expected to skate between Andrew Copp and Nikolaj Ehlers, but he loses power-play correlation, as those two typically land on the second power-play unit, while Scheifele remains on the wing on the top unit. Still, the even-strength upside is firm, and the price looks appealing by comparison with some of the other top-end options.
Playing in the high-total game with by far the closest line, Scheifele and his linemates should see plenty of opportunities to generate chances and fantasy production. That said, they will be facing a Flames team that has done well controlling the puck this season, posting a 53.11% Corsi-for percentage to the Jets’ 50.88%. In 16:38 of ice time together this season, this version of the Jets top line has a 50% Corsi-for and has generated just one high-danger chance while yielding four. There should be action with this line on the ice.
Scheifele is off to another strong start to his season, potting 4 goals, 8 assists4 points on the power play, 6 blocked shots and 2.88 shots on goal per game. A reliable point-per-game producer, Scheifele hit the 73-point mark in 71 games last season, 84 in 82 games the year before and reached the point-per-game rate the two seasons prior to that. At the price, there’s no reason to skip him for your DraftKings and FanDuel NHL contests tonight.
Leon Draisaitl ($8,400 DraftKings / $8,700 FanDuel), A/A Grades
Edmonton’s second-line center is one of the pricier pivots on today’s slate, but he looks like an excellent play as usual. The skilled German has made a major impact over the past two seasons, posting 110 points in just 71 games last year and 105 in 82 games the year before after never previously cracking the 77-point mark. Draisaitl centers a second line with Dominik Kahun and Kailer Yamamoto, who he surpasses in ice time with his prominent power-play role, averaging a full 21:53 per game.
Draisaitl plays on the team’s top power-play unit and has racked up 9 points on the power play already this season. He adds 6 goals and 15 assists for a monster 21-point start over the team’s first 11 games. Draisaitl’s line has been together for 128:25 this season but manages just a 47.2% Corsi-for percentage. The unit has generated 18 high-danger chances but converted on just one this season.
Draisaitl picks up significant value from playing on the team’s top power-play unit and adds some fantasy-point safety of floor by blasting nearly 3 shots on goal per game. The center is a quality pay-up option, and his line ranks out very well in our top stacks tool while coming in at a significant discount from the team’s top line and several of the other high-ranked choices.
Additional Center Values
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NHL DFS Picks: Wingers
Brendan Gallagher ($5,800 DraftKings / $7,200 FanDuel), A/A Grades
Gallagher is significantly discounted on DraftKings at just $5,800. His FanDuel salary is more in line with the anticipated production but still pulls in an “A” value grade in Awesemo’s rankings, showing just how far off value the pricing is on the other site.
Gallagher is off to a slightly slow start, potting 4 goals and adding just 2 assists in the team’s first nine contests. He has never seen a shot he doesn’t like, however, blasting a full 3.88 shots on goal per game this year. Gallagher posted 43 points in 59 games last season and 52 in 82 contests the year before.
He is skating on the right side of Phillip Danault and Tomas Tatar on a line that has been together for 88:58 this season and posted a dominant 59.66% Corsi-for percentage and 61.76% high-danger chances. They have created 21 such chances, converting on two of them this season. The Montreal top line ranks among the best available stacks and provides some salary savings by comparison, putting Gallagher and his linemates firmly in play in DraftKings and FanDuel NHL contests.
Rickard Rakell ($4,400 DraftKings / $5,700 FanDuel) B/A Grades
Taking a step down into the value range, Rakell looks like he has a big flashing sign saying “pick me” on the board today. With an extremely discounted salary for DraftKings NHL contests and a quality value mark on FanDuel, Rakell is an excellent option for some salary savings on both sites, though his line is not among our top-rated stacks.
Rakell is expected to be skating on the left side of Ryan Getzlaf and Troy Terry, a line that has seen 2:22 together this season and 77:25 going back to the start of last year. In that period they have managed a strong 58.65% Corsi-for percentage while generating 19 high-danger chances and converting on 1 of them, yielding only 8. The line could be slightly underrated on this slate and will not be expensive at all.
Rakell is not a standout star, but he has several strong seasons under his belt. The 27-year-old posted back-to-back seasons of fewer than 70 games — the second of which of course was not his fault — putting up 43 then 42 points. In 2017-18, playing in 77 games, Rakell managed a 69-point year, potting 34 goals and adding 35 assists and displaying the upside we’ll need from him tonight. Rakell does his part, firing 3.4 shots on goal per game this season, though he does not typically provide significant additional production in blocking shots. As a value play, Rakell makes for a quality one-off option, skating on what ranks out as a weak line in a low-scoring game.
Dominik Kubalik ($5,300 DraftKings / $5,500 FanDuel) B/A Grades
Another player who appears to be slightly underpriced for the opportunity for production, Kubalik should provide some high-end upside for the price on tonight’s NHL DFS slate on both sites. Kubalik’s Blackhawks are heavy underdogs in a contest that has a 6-goal total, pulling in just a 40% win share. The team has just a 48.89% Corsi-for percentage as a whole, and they are facing an excellent puck control squad in the Hurricanes that comes in with a 56.76% mark in the same statistic. The Canes are stingy with goals as well, putting up a strong 93.3% team save percentage to start the season.
Still, there is value in the asking price for a player of Kubalik’s talents. As a 24-year-old rookie last year, Kubalik put up a 46-point season in his 68 games, averaging 14:22 on the ice and ripping 2.3 shots on goal per game. This season his average ice time is up, sitting at 15:40. Though he has only produced 6 points in the team’s first 10 games, he is still firing away, putting 3.1 shots on goal per game. There is plenty of upside, as Kubalik mans the point on the team’s second power-play unit as well, though he does not have even-strength correlation with his linemates on the power play.
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: Matthew Tkachuk, Patrick Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Brady Tkachuk. Value options include: Jesse Puljujarvi, Jeff Carter, Alex Iafallo and Evgenii Dadonov.
NHL DFS Picks: Defensemen
Dougie Hamilton ($6,600 DraftKings / $5,400 FanDuel) A/A Grades
Some days you just take the top option off the board and don’t think about it too much. The top pair blueliner for the Carolina Hurricanes is one of those choices, and we aren’t even paying a heavy premium for him tonight. Hamilton is at a very reasonable price on DraftKings and comes in at a strong discount for FanDuel NHL contests tonight.
Playing on the team’s top pair gets Hamilton plenty of time with primetime players from his team, and quarterbacking the power play adds to the appeal of a player averaging 21:34 of ice time this season. Hamilton has not posted a season below 39 points since his 2013-14 effort, putting up 40 points last season in just 47 games, with 2 goals and 10 assists coming on the power play. The eager shooter averaged a whopping 3.61 shots on goal per game last season, adding 1.34 blocked shots per game. There is plenty to like about Hamilton either with some correlation in a stack or as a standalone defenseman tonight.
Ryan Graves ($3,100 DraftKings / $3,900 FanDuel) C/A Grades
Dipping further into the value end of the pool for a second defenseman, as has become our theme in this space, Graves seems to fit the bill. He sees 17:28 average time on the ice this season, so he will have to be efficient about finding us fantasy points. Fortunately, he produces for NHL DFS players in a number of ways, which explains the appeal of a third-pair defenseman who sees no power-play time.
In his 69-game sophomore season, Graves put up a quality 40 points, scoring 9 goals and racking up a healthy 17 assists while playing nearly 19 minutes per game. He took 1.94 shots on goal per game to pad fantasy totals with a bit of safety, but by far the most appealing feature he brings to the ice is his ability to block shots at his net. In those 69 games, Graves blocked a whopping 150 shots (2.17 per game), good for sixth in the league. This adds a significant safety net and helps Graves make value at such a low salary with relative ease. While he may not light the lamp as frequently as some of the flashier defensemen, Graves is a capable scorer and a bedrock defender who can absolutely slot into DraftKings and FanDuel NHL lineups tonight.
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 Mark Giordano, Connor Murphy, Shea Weber and Drew Doughty. On the value end, we can look to Colton Parayko, Alexander Edler and Neal Pionk.
Edmonton 1: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Jesse Puljujarvi
Colorado 1: Mikko Rantanen – Gabriel Landeskog – J.T. Compher
Winnipeg 1: Andrew Copp – Mark Scheifele – Nikolaj Ehlers
Winnipeg 2: Kyle Connor – Paul Stastny – Blake Wheeler
Los Angeles 1: Alex Iafallo – Anze Kopitar – Adrian Kempe
Montreal 1: Tomas Tatar – Phillip Danault – Brendan Gallagher
Colorado 2: Brandon Saad – Nazem Kadri – Andre Burakovsky
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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