With a full 10-game slate on Thursday night, there is no shortage of options to choose from for your NHL DFS lineups. There is a decent amount of question marks on this slate because of COVID protocols and injury statuses. This Power Play article will use Awesemo’s Premium NHL Tools to help dole out the NHL DFS advice to help with building lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel tonight. The Awesemo NHL projections and ownership projections are two of the best tools to utilize when constructing stacks and making the optimal NHL DFS picks. Let’s go position by position and pinpoint some of the top plays and stacks for Thursday, Oct. 21.
NHL DFS Picks, Tops Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays
Elias Pettersson (VAN at CHI)
DraftKings – $6,700
FanDuel – $7,200
Pettersson started the year out with six shots on goal in each of the first two games. He has cooled off a touch, but he is still a great playmaker, and he has had good zone entry playing alongside Brock Boeser and Nils Hoglander. The Blackhawks have looked awful to start the 2021 year off, with a negative-9 goal differential, which speaks to their lack of possession in the defensive zone. They have the 21st-ranked Corsi, and they are giving up 4.25 goals against per game.
Ryan Nugent Hopkins (EDM at ARI)
DraftKings – $4,200
FanDuel – $6,200
Nugent-Hopkins is simply too cheap for this matchup. He is pivoting the second line, and he provides exposure to Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the top power play. Zach Hyman also joins that top unit with Nugent-Hopkins, offering differentiation for power-play stacks. It is possible to get all four of them in a lineup, as both Nugent-Hopkins and Hyman are sub-$5,000. Arizona has been rebuilding, which means there will be lopsided scores along the way. Through three games this year the Coyotes are allowing 5.33 goals per game, the most in the league. The Oilers are just going to have too much pace for this game tonight, and they can put a handful on the board. Be cautious with the ownership side of things and find ways to get different.
DraftKings – $2,700
FanDuel – $4,100
If looking to save salary with a secondary stack, looking to the Flames third line could help tonight. Backlund has proven himself as one of top two-way pivots in the league, and he is a great playmaker. He will be flanked by Blake Coleman, who is a volume shooter, and the two have had some decent chemistry in the early goings of the season. The Red Wings are still managing their way through a rebuild and lack any high-quality depth. Detroit is bottom five in Corsi, expected goals against and scoring chances against. Backlund and Coleman make for a nice punt stack to fill out some higher-priced stacks tonight.
DraftKings – $6,900
FanDuel – $5,900
In two games Meier has tallied eight and seven shots. He is a volume shooter that does not hesitate to put pucks on net. The Ottawa top line will likely stay away from Meier and the Sharks top line for most of the night, which leaves the weaker defensive lines for the Sharks top line. The Senators have opened the season in the bottom 10 of all the advanced metrics, which is not a surprise, as they are still a young team that is working through a rebuild. There should be a good amount of pace in this game, which favors the Sharks side, and Meier should get plenty of chances to get pucks on net.
DraftKings – $6,700
FanDuel – $6,700
Going to the top line of the Flames could be one of the best leverage plays of the night. Awesemo gives the Flames top line an 8.5% chance of being a top-two stack and an ownership share of 4.8%. With the Red Wings rebuilding and their defensive woes, the Flames top line could be in for a good night. Calgary’s top line has been together for a decent sample size, and they have great possession numbers. In a 186-minute sample going back through last year, the trio carries a 55.26 Corsi-for, 2.6 expected goals per 60 34 shots per 60 and over 11 high-danger chances.
DraftKings – $5,800
FanDuel – $7,900
With all the talent that the Canadiens have, they have opened the year with a record of 0-4 in the Atlantic Division. They have allowed 15 goals while only lighting the lamp three times. It is clear they are missing chemistry, and it does not help having injuries from Shea Weber, Carey Price and Paul Byron. The Habs defensive numbers have not been awful, but the Hurricanes have been a great puck possession team for a while. Svechnikov is a volume shooter, and playing alongside Vinny Trocheck, they should be able to find some scoring chances. Svechnikov has 11 shots on goal in two games and has found the back of the net in each game. Good things come to those who shoot the puck.
Alex DeBrincat (CHI vs. VAN)
DraftKings – $5,400
FanDuel – $7,300
DeBrincat’s price has plummeted to $5,400 on DraftKings, and the only reason is that he has been moved to the third line. The line designation does not mean a ton because DeBrincat has logged the third-most ice time on the team behind Patrick Kane and Kirby Dach. DeBrincat will play alongside Kane and Dach on the top power play, and they make for a somewhat sneaky stack. The Blackhawks have let down a decent amount of NHL DFS players, and people may be off them just because of the line designations, but Jeremy Colliton has no issues changing lines mid-game. If a $5,400 DeBrincat gets moved back up alongside Kane for any time, there will be a ton of offense.
Seth Jones (CHI vs. VAN)
DraftKings – $6,500
FanDuel – $6,300
Jones is a mainstay on the blueline for the Blackhawks, and he will quarterback most of the power-play time. He is averaging over five shots/blocks per game since the season has opened. Although the season is in its infancy, Vancouver has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing defenseman as well. Jones has been playing around 25 minutes a night, and he likes to step up in the offensive zone. If paying up for defenseman, target the more offensive guys like Jones.
Evan Bouchard (EDM at ARI)
DraftKings – $3,700
FanDuel – $3,900
Bouchard makes for a decent value punt tonight against the Coyotes. His ice time has increased a little each game, and he is getting more opportunities. The goal scoring is random and cannot be factored into the decision to use Bouchard, but he has been a volume shooter at times going back to last year. It helps that Bouchard will see some power-play time on the second unit as well. He makes for a decent punt play tonight on a larger slate.
Calgary Flames 1 ($18,300 / $19,800)
The Flames make for a solid leverage play on a night where COL1 and EDM1 have such a large top-two stack projection. Calgary will likely play away from the Dylan Larkin line for most of the night. They fully correlate on the top power play as well. Detroit has struggled a ton in the defensive metrics, carrying the 29th Corsi, 25th expected goals allowed per 60, 26th shots allowed per 60 and 30th high-danger scoring chances against. The Flames set up nicely on a night like tonight where people are looking to get the two expensive lines in or they try to swerve to WPG1 or the Rangers top line.
One could also swing down to the Flames third line as a two-man combo with Backlund and Coleman and get some solid exposure to some depth offense.
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Find more NHL DFS picks for today and FanDuel DFS NHL as well as the best NHL DFS predictions. Initial NHL DraftKings ownership projections for main slates will be posted daily by 4 p.m. The NHL daily fantasy rankings for fantasy points and value are derived directly from Alex's own DFS NHL projections. The NHL DFS projections DraftKings model was created and is maintained by Alex Baker and Jake Hari.
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