Fridays usually are travel days for the NHL, but there is a solid five-game NHL DFS slate tonight. Surprisingly, the Winnipeg Jets and the Philadelphia Flyers are the only teams playing on the hind end of a back-to-back. Let’s unwrap the slate and highlight some of the top NHL DFS picks for Friday, March 25. As always, subscribers should check in the Awesemo NHL Discord chat for line updates, as there is a good possibility that there will be a lot of moving parts for a small slate. Staying up to date with news is key when it comes to succeeding at fantasy hockey. Following the Twitter beat writer lists is a huge advantage for getting last-minute news and scratches, outside of our premium Discord channel.
NHL DFS Picks Today, Top Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays
Nathan MacKinnon (COL vs. PHI): DraftKings – $9,200 | FanDuel – $9,900
MacKinnon will likely be the chalk of the night and rightfully so. The guy has been a machine, tallying 17 points over the last 10 games while averaging 5.5 shots per game. He comes in tonight riding a five-game point streak but he has tallied points in 17 of his last 18 games. Philadelphia played last night and surprised a lot of people after beating the Blues by a score of 5-2. The Avalanche are a much different team and playing them on the hind end of a back-to-back is going to be extremely tough. MacKinnon pivots one of the highest-paced and most potent offensive lines in the game and Philly is going to struggle to contain him. Vegas has given the Avalanche a massive 4.6 point team total and thinks this game is not much of a contest. Over the last month, the Flyers rank 30th in Corsi, 24th in expected goals against, 29th in shots against and 26th in scoring chances against. Colorado should be playing downhill hockey tonight.
Evgeni Malkin (PIT at NYR): DraftKings – $5,400 | FanDuel – $7,300
Ownership will likely sway towards the Penguins’ top line, but the second line led by Malkin is a very good pivot. Malkin has points in three straight games and looks to be fully healthy again. He is averaging 3.9 shots on goal per game over the last 10, which is a good indicator of how the line is playing as well. In a smaller sample, the Penguins’ second line is creating 3.84 expected goals per 60, 367 scoring chances and 16 high danger chances. Malkin will also benefit from the matchup as well. The Mika Zibanejad line will match up with Sidney Crosby for the majority of the night, while Malkin will get the plus matchup. Gerard Gallant decided to put newcomer Frank Vatrano on the second line with Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin, and none of them are real defensive players. Since Vatrano joined the team, the second line has a 36% Corsi and 4.02 expected goals against, while giving up 41 scoring chances and 17 high danger chances.
Alex Ovechkin (WSH vs. BUF): DraftKings – $8,300 | FanDuel – $9,800
Ovechkin has loved playing the Sabres this year. In the two games they have faced off, Ovechkin had six shots in each game. He also tallied four points for an average of 25.3 DraftKings points in each game. Buffalo has played better recently metrics-wise, but they are still giving up a ton. The Sabres rank 23rd in Corsi, expected goals against and high danger chances. The Sabres have been struggling on the penalty kill as well. Over the last month, they have had the 25th ranked kill. If they give Ovechkin any time on the power play, he is going to make them pay. Ovechkin has averaged just under the shot on goal bonus for the entire season, and he should continue tonight.
Ovechkin looks to be one of the better NHL picks today for fantasy hockey lineups. According to the Awesemo NHL DFS optimizer, he is one of the top projected plays. Check out all of our free NHL DFS picks today in our DraftKings NHL Cheat Sheet and FanDuel NHL Cheat Sheet when building fantasy hockey lineups tonight.
Matthew Tkachuk (CGY vs. ARI): DraftKings – $6,500 | FanDuel – $8,200
Hopefully, Tkachuk moving down to the third line takes some ownership away from him. This could be a phenomenal spot for a combo with Mikael Backlund or even a stack with Dillon Dube to be contrarian. Tkachuk has 15 points over the last 10 games while averaging over three shots a game. Since being moved next to Backlund they have dominated possession. It is an extremely small sample but it is a great pre-cursor. In 57 minutes, they have a 68% Corsi, creating 4.03 expected goals, 41.2 scoring chances and over 17 high danger chances. The Coyotes have been awful all around, but Tkachuk and the Flames’ third line will get to see the Phil Kessel line most of the night. Kessel and Alex Galchenyuk have been brutally bad in their time together, with 36% Corsi, 4.25 expected goals against, 42 scoring chances against and 19 high danger chances against. Adding in Matias Maccelli is not going to be a massive help either. Fire up the lower owned line.
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Noah Hanifin (CGY vs. ARI): DraftKings – $4,500 | FanDuel – $5,100
Hanifin appears to be a mainstay in the article until his price is out of reach. He may not be a point monster but he has been one of the most consistent peripheral producers. Over the last 10 games, he has been playing over 21 minutes on the top pairing and averaging over five shots/blocks per game. Arizona is 31st in every metric looked at for NHL DFS and their penalty kill has been just as bad. They have the third-worst penalty kill in the league and they are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing defensemen.
Andrew Peeke (CBJ at WPG): DraftKings – $ 3,000 | FanDuel – $4,300
Saving salary to fit higher-tiered stacks in lineups is always a good thing. Peeke is playing on the top pairing and he is averaging over 23 minutes of ice time. Over the last 10 games, he is averaging over 3.5 shots/blocks per game. The Jets are playing on the hind end of a back-to-back but they are still going to push the pace, which will also give Peeke more block opportunities. He does not need to do a ton to pay his salary off either. A couple of shots and blocked shots would get him there easily.
Top NHL DFS Stacks Today
COL 1: Rantanen – MacKinnon – Nichushkin
PIT 2: Heinen – Malkin – Rust
CGY 3: Dube – Backlund – Tkachuk
*Additional Stats from Natural Stat Trick
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The best DFS NHL projections model was created and is maintained by Alex Baker and Jake Hari. The NHL DFS rankings for fantasy points and value are derived directly from Alex's own hockey DFS projections. Find more DFS NHL strategy and DFS NHL stats as well as the best DFS NHL plays. Initial NHL DFS ownership projections FanDuel for main slates will be posted daily by 4 p.m.
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