Sunday in the NHL brings us a quick-hitting three-game slate. With just a few games to sift through, it’s important to make sure your research is on point and you’re targeting the best NHL DFS picks for your DraftKings and FanDuel lineups. To help guide you along the way, we have outlined some of the top plays at each position as well as some of the top stacks to look to based off Alex “Awesemo” Baker’s expert tools and projections.
We will be taking some more risks than usual with the smaller stakes.
Let’s get into the picks for Wednesday, March 24.
NHL DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel | March 24
NHL DFS Pick: Center
Sidney Crosby (PIT vs BUF)
DraftKings – $7,700
FanDuel – $8,100
This projects to be a typical Crosby-versus-Buffalo type of matchup. Pittsburgh dominates these most of the time, and Crosby averages over a point a game against the Sabres. Remember, it is not just that Buffalo is on a historic streak; they have also allowed over 60 goals in the last 14 contests. They yielded 5 more to the Rangers on Monday night. When one lets Kaapo Kakko score twice, that’s a problem of biblical proportions.
If one wants to stack and play a little different, the key is figuring out how to get Pittsburgh’s power-play unit on Wednesday night versus Buffalo. The risk is that the Sabres do take few minors (6 penalty minutes per game, fewest in the league), but they also allow 3.47 goals per game and more than 3.5 on the road.
Crosby has just a goal, assist and 5 shots against Buffalo in two meetings this year. However, with no Evgeni Malkin in the lineup, the thrust of the offense expects to fall on Crosby. The Sabres cannot match up against Crosby, and with Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust on his wings, expected goals for should be in the 60% range with ease, as it has been over the past five games.
There is a little inkling to use another higher-priced center, though Logan Couture is a nice option. After that, Anze Kopitar could be utilized. From the lower-priced options, maybe Eric Staal will get a look, especially if Jeff Skinner finds his way up to the second line for the Sabres again. Some believe there could be chemistry there.
NHL DFS Picks: Winger
Nikolaj Ehlers (WPG vs VAN)
DraftKings – $6,700
FanDuel – $6,600
Ehlers is one of my favorite plays on Wednesday because of the expected chances and shots. He has 12 in his last two games including five versus Vancouver on Monday. He can pile on the shots like Kyle Connor. The difference is Ehlers can create his shots and find offense on his own better than most any winger on this slate. He has 4 goals and 10 points over the past 10 games. Winnipeg scored 4 times on Monday, and if not for a post, Ehlers would have as well.
Ehlers’ shot volume is always solid, producing over 4 shots per game of late, and the shot bonus is in play — plus this is a matchup against the Canucks. See if Thatcher Demko is playing, but expect the same amount of scoring chances and shots for Ehlers tonight.
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Jeff Skinner (BUF vs PIT)
DraftKings – $2,800
FanDuel – $3,800
It is always worrisome when recommending value plays from Buffalo. With Ralph Krueger out, Skinner may get the chance to see more ice time. Also, the weight may be lifted from his shoulders. With time to create for what felt like the first time all season, Skinner scored on Monday and had 6 shots on goal against the Rangers. He has 2 goals in his last three games. While this may not be an offensive renaissance, at least Skinner should be more fantasy relevant going forward.
[osBestBetsSingleGameOdds league=”nhl” date=”03/24/2021″ team=”penguins”]
NHL DFS Picks: Defense
Josh Morrissey (WPG vs VAN)
DraftKings – $4,800
FanDuel – $4,600
Morrissey’s salary has gone up steadily over the past few weeks, which is great for the entire world but also not so good on a short slate like today. He will be higher-owned but not ridiculously so, so it has to be done. Morrissey has been a nice run with 7 points in his previous 10 contests while averaging nearly 3 shots and 2 blocks a game. Morrissey typically blocks more shots, so both bonuses on DraftKings may be in play on Wednesday. Might.
Sean Walker (LA vs SJ)
DraftKings – $3,000
FanDuel – $3,600
Walker is a good piece to play on Wednesday and can be used on both DraftKings and FanDuel. His ability to hit the blocks bonus makes him valuable, even at that low $3,000 salary tag. He has hit at least 3 blocks in several recent appearances and will move up and down the lines while playing some new situations.
For another alternative, Travis Hamonic from Vancouver has some appeal with his shots and blocks. He may not have a lot of points (just 2 on the season), but he is yet another candidate for shots and block bonuses on DraftKings. Statistically Hamonic’s possession numbers and chances have improved from the early part of the season where he was easily attacked. Brandon Montour is another counter-value play from the =Sabres tonight. He has taken on the offensive-defensive production from Rasmus Ristolainen it seems.
Tristan Jarry (PIT vs BUF)
DraftKings – $8,300
FanDuel – $8,200
The problem today is there are just three games on the slate. Jarry has the easiest matchup against a team on a 14-game losing streak and Pittsburgh has historically dominated Buffalo over the past several seasons. He is 3-0-2 over his last five starts and has seen at least 35 shots in four of his previous five starts. The only one in which Jarry did not was against Buffalo when he stopped 23 of 25 in a win. Buffalo showed a little more firepower on Monday against New York and could carry some shot load against Pittsburgh.
PIT1: Guentzel — Crosby — Rust
It does not matter here. One can use a defensive kicker like Kris Letang for the man advantage correlation. Either way, the top Buffalo line should thrive here, much like the Colorado top line did against Arizona yesterday. If anyone watched that game, having a dynamic player like Crosby helps against a depressive defensive and goaltender core like Buffalo. They cannot handle that intensity. Letang can bring that attacking mentality to the forefront. Crosby’s line has a greater-than-50% chance of accounting for at least two goals. It will be the highest-owned line stack.
As always, there will be some more line stacking options around warmups. From the top lines watch for Winnipeg’s top line with maybe a power-play kicker against a weaker Vancouver defense.
LA2: Athanasiou — Kempe — Carter
There are probably two Los Angeles lines in play tonight, but the second line is still rather good and sneaky. This is more for the speed of Adrian Kempe and Andreas Athanasiou. Also, taking advantage of Jeff Carter and then using Sean Walker as a sneaky defensive kicker could pay dividends. San Jose’s defense allows 3.4 goals a game versus the league and more than 3.5 goals per game against the Kings over the last 12 matchups. Going off the top line a bit with a line that has struggled to score while generating some quality chances is not a bad option Wednesday.
Several quality options should exist from this game alone.
Looking for more NHL DFS picks content? We have loads of articles, data, cheat sheets and more on the Awesemo NHL home page. Just click HERE.
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