COVID protocol has been making a strong onset through the NHL in the past week or so. Keeping an eye on new is imperative to succeeding at NHL DFS. 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 Friday, Dec. 17.
NHL DFS Picks, Tops Stacks & Lineup Projections
Sidney Crosby (PIT vs. BUF): DraftKings $8,100 | FanDuel $7,500
Crosby will look to take advantage of the Sabres on short rest after playing a long grindy game that ended in a shootout and a Sabres victory. Crosby has missed his favorite wing Jake Guentzel, but he is forming some chemistry with Evan Rodrigues and Kasperi Kapanen. The trio’s numbers are not as inflated as they are with Guentzel, but they are still carrying possession, and the price of the full line does not break the bank. Crosby has returned to form with 15 points in the last 10 games, and he has tallied multiple points in four of the last five games. The Sabres ran through a rough stretch, losing seven in a row, but have since stopped the bleeding and come into tonight on a two-game win streak. Though, after fighting off the Wild last night in a game that went to overtime, this could be a letdown spot for Buffalo. Over the last 10 games, the Sabres have been a defensive liability. They are in the bottom 10 of all NHL DFS advanced metrics.
Trevor Zegras (ANA vs. ARI): DraftKings $6,600 | FanDuel $5,700
The Ducks continue to rebuild, and Zegras is one of the focal points. He is a crafty playmaker that has meshed extremely well with veteran Rickard Rakell. As a 20-year-old, Zegras has taken on a large role, filling a role as the top pivot on the team while Ryan Getzlaf was sidelined. He gets a great matchup tonight against the Coyotes. Phoenix is one of the weakest teams in the league, and with the Ducks getting last change, Zegras will likely get to match up with the Travis Boyd line, which might be one of the worst defensive top lines in hockey. At five-on-five, Zegras and his mates have a 57% Corsi and 3.48 expected goals, while the Boyd line has a 43% Corsi and 3.16 expected goals per 60. Zegras and company will be playing a lot of hockey in the offensive zone tonight.
Alex Ovechkin (WSH at WPG): DraftKings $9,600 | FanDuel $10,000
Despite missing some key players, Ovechkin continues to produce at an elite clip. He is averaging just under the shot-on-goal bonus while tallying 16 points in the last 10 games. He comes into tonight looking to add onto his six-game point streak, and he will get plenty of chances to light the lamp. The Jets have dropped two straight games to subpar teams, and missing one of their best players, Blake Wheeler, does not help them. As a team over the last 10 games, the Jets are 30th in expected goals against, 19th in scoring chances against and 31st in high-danger scoring chances allowed. The Capitals are down three of their top players, but Ovechkin will take matters into his own hands if need be. Last game he fired off 10 shots on goal against the Blackhawks.
Jonathan Marchessault (VGK at NYR): DraftKings $4,300 | FanDuel $6,800
Marchessault’s price on DraftKings somehow keeps going down despite his play and production. He has at least four shots on net in four of the last five games. He has also tallied points in four of the last five games as well. That type of production does not warrant a price reduction. The Golden Knights are playing on the second of a back-to-back, and the matchup is not a slam dunk; Marchessault is still a phenomenal play at that price. The Rangers have not been a defensive juggernaut by any means, but they were getting bailed out by good goaltending. The Rangers are 31st in Corsi, 22nd in expected goals against and bottom four in shots and scoring chances against. It is possible that Vegas will have lower ownership because of the back-to-back situation.
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Alex Pietrangelo (VGK at NYR): DraftKings $6,000 | FanDuel $7,000
Pietrangelo becomes a premier pay-up option tonight if Shea Theodore remains out. Pietrangelo played over 28 minutes last night and should be in line for a massive workload again tonight. He will likely quarterback the top power play en route to spending half the game on the ice. Over the last 10 games, he is averaging over five shots/blocks per game. The Rangers have been spending almost seven minutes a game short-handed, and that just plays into the Golden Knights’ offensive abilities.
If Theodore sits again, going to a guy like Brayden McNabb ($2,500/$3,600) could be a beneficial move to save salary. McNabb played 23 minutes last night and had three shots on goal, five blocks and a point for a massive night. But if can contribute the shots and blocks, at minimum he should smash that price tag.
Roman Josi (NSH at CHI): DraftKings $7,400 | FanDuel $7,300
The defense position is kind of thin tonight. Consistency-wise, it does not get any more consistent than Josi. He logs a ton of ice time, and he plays in every situation. Over the last 10 games, Josi has contributed at a point-per-game pace while averaging over six shots/blocks per game. A defenseman averaging just about the shot on goal bonus is pretty tough to find. The Blackhawks have turned their game around, and they are not the team to automatically target anymore like the Coyotes. But Chicago still gives up a ton of chances, and they turn the puck over a ton. Josi gets involved in the offensive play on almost every rush, and with him quarterbacking the top power play, he makes for a great play tonight.
Top NHL DFS Stacks
ANA2: Sonny Milano Trevor Zegras Rickard Rakell
In the early numbers running, the Ducks second line carries the best leverage score on the slate. Zegras and his mates have formed some great chemistry so far this year. In a larger sample, the trio carry a 57% Corsi, 3.58 expected goals, 40 shots for per 60 and over 14 high-danger chances. They get a phenomenal matchup tonight against the Coyotes top line. The Coyotes top line has a 43% Corsi, 3.16 expected goals against, 32 shots against per 60 and 14 high-danger chances allowed. Zegras and company also fully correlate on the top power play and with the Coyotes having the third-worst penalty kill in the league, they make for a great play.
*Additional Data from Natural Stat Trick
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The NHL projections FanDuel model was created and is maintained by Alex Baker and Jake Hari. The NHL FanDuel rankings for fantasy points and value are derived directly from Alex's own NHL DFS projections DraftKings. Initial NHL ownership projections FanDuel for main slates will be posted daily by 4 p.m. Find more DFS NHL lineups tonight and NHL DFS lineups as well as the best NHL DFS.
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