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NHL DFS Picks & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups | Toronto Maple Leafs & Connor McDavid 11/16/21

Michael Clifford



Tuesday night provides an enormous 11-game slate with top-tier talent across the board, as well as some immense value plays to focus on when making lineups. 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 Tuesday, Nov 16.

NHL DFS Picks, Tops Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays


Connor McDavid (EDM at WPG)

DraftKings – $9,200 | FanDuel – $9,700

It seems as if the league’s biggest star has not had a monster game in a while. But remember that even without monster games, Connor McDavid has 12 points in eight games, averaging over 3.5 shots per. That is a cold streak these days, it appears.

While the opposing Jets are an improved team at five-on-five, ranking top 10 by shot and expected goal share, their penalty kill remains a huge issue; they are bottom 10 by shots, expected goals and goals allowed per 60 minutes. It may not take long for the league’s top power play to get on the board, and McDavid is obviously a significant piece of that power play, along with Leon Draisaitl.

Despite Winnipeg’s improved five-on-five play, the Oilers are controlling 55% of the shots and expected goals with the top line on the ice. They are controlling the play as well, and the power-play matchup is a tantalizing one. McDavid is at the top of the list for consideration in all formats, even on the road on an 11-game slate, as he tops Awesemo’s center projections. For those using him in tournaments, perhaps some sort of power-play stack would be the route here.

Vincent Trocheck (CAR at VGK)

DraftKings – $4,500 | FanDuel – $5,900

It has not seemed like a great start for Vincent Trocheck, but 11 points in 13 games is good for nearly a 70-point pace, and that is good for a player in this price range. His largest issue is his shot rate; he averaged 2.6 the previous three seasons but is sitting at 1.9 this year. The thing about that is he is just missing the net, as just half his five-on-five shot attempts have landed on goal. His last three seasons have averaged over 62%. That will naturally regress, and his shot rate will with it. In fact, his shot attempt rate at five-on-five is a career high.

The trick tonight with Carolina and Trocheck is his matchup. With Mark Stone back in the lineup for Vegas, he will match up a lot with Sebastian Aho’s line. That leaves Trocheck against the second line from Vegas, a line giving up 62 shot attempts and 3.9 expected goals in their 64-minute sample. The expected goal number will come down, but that is a lot of shot attempts to give up. Look for Trocheck’s line to trade chances tonight.

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Given his role on the top power play, Trocheck is fine to use by himself. Of course, bringing Teuvo Teravainen along with him for a mini stack is fine, just beware of lineups, as Carolina’s has been changing frequently this year. Regardless, he tops Awesemo’s center values in the mid-price range on DraftKings tonight.

With his price and matchup, Trocheck is near the top of all of the optimal lineups our NHL DFS lineup optimizer was producing. Our DraftKings NHL cheat sheet and FanDuel NHL cheat sheet have free daily fantasy hockey picks from our lineup optimizer, which uses all of the Awesemo expert projections, rankings and ownership.


Vladimir Tarasenko (STL vs. ARI)

DraftKings – $6,200 | FanDuel – $7,800

Given the matchup at home tonight to Arizona, Vladimir Tarasenko and many of his Blues teammates figure to have a lot of ownership. On a slate this large, though, it is not really a massive concern. Even a 20%-owned line would be just fine, so long as they end up one of the highest-scoring lines.

Tarasenko’s line has not been shy to trade chances with the opposition this year: 58 shot attempts for and 72 against per 60 minutes, with expected goals working out at 3.2 and 3.4. What matters is that they are generating offence, and they are. Along with that, Tarasenko’s shot rate has stayed above 3.5, even over the last five games, including some tough ones with Nashville, Carolina, and Edmonton. Skating 18 minutes a night, he is a constant shot-bonus threat.

It is the matchup that matters here. Arizona has arguably the worst penalty kill in the league and their five-on-five defense is, generously, at the middle of the league. They also appear to have poor goaltending. Tarasenko is fine by himself in all formats, the question is how to stack him in tournaments. His line mates are not volume shooters, so you are relying on assists in particular. At the price, though, they are fine to two-man stack in any manner. Awesemo’s early ownership run has Tarasenko well under 10%, which is a good sign for him and his line mates.

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Anthony Duclair (FLA vs. NYI)

DraftKings – $4,200 | FanDuel – $6,200

The sneaky secret of the NHL so far this season is the Islanders have been average-to-poor defensively, depending on your metric. That doubles for the top line, which has struggled with the loss of Jordan Eberle, seeing their defensive numbers tumble dramatically without him. Great goaltending has usually saved them, but it cannot always save them.

Tonight, Anthony Duclair gets the top line matchup against the Islanders, and Duclair’s top line has been great this year: 3.1 expected goals, 70 shot attempts, and 4.2 actual goals for per 60 minutes. It will not be the exact same top line tonight, as Jonathan Huberdeau has moved up, and adding a world-class playmaker will not hurt much. Despite the lack of top power play exposure, the second unit is still productive, helping Duclair add another dimension to his profile. He will not keep shooting 25%, but he is still a 25-goal scorer on a great line in a good matchup at a reasonable price.

It seems a night where the even-strength matchup is what we need to attack here, so stacking Duclair with his even-strength line mates makes sense. Using him as a one-off in tournaments is fine as well, but his price makes a lot more sense on DraftKings than on FanDuel.

Marcus Foligno (MIN vs. SJ)

DraftKings – $3,200 | FanDuel – $4,000

Since heading out on a road trip nine games ago, Marcus Foligno saw his ice time rise for the team, adding 90 seconds a game compared to earlier in the year. This makes sense, as he is lined up on the team’s second line and is even getting some secondary power play time now. The additional power play production brings him from a third-line producer to someone worth noting.

What hurts Foligno is his shot rate. He has never been a big shooting threat, even in prior seasons where he is played 15-16 minutes, we are looking at shot rates under 1.25 per game. That is also why his price is where it is despite all this ice time and good point production.

San Jose is in town, and they are just overcoming their COVID issues. About a third of their team has just one game under their belt after having, in some cases, weeks off. Look for the Minnesota second line to take advantage of the depth matchups, and hopefully Foligno can get in on the scoring. In that sense, a line stack is his best use, though just sheer salary relief as a one-off is fine.

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Adam Fox (NYR vs. MTL)

DraftKings – $7,200 | FanDuel – $7,000

Working against Montreal is the goaltending situation. Both their starting goalies are varying levels of injured, meaning one of their AHL starters is likely tonight. Goaltending can be very random, but there is a reason these guys are not NHL starters, or have been threats for starters, in an organization that has desperately needed backup help for years.

All that is to say that is one point in favor of Fox tonight. The other is Montreal’s penalty rate, the seventh highest in the league. If the Habs give up four or five power plays tonight to Adam Fox and company, it could go poorly for them. New York’s power play is 13th by goals rate, but top 5 by shot and expected goal rate. They could burst at any moment, and the Habs are giving up a lot of power plays and are 29th by short-handed goals against rate. Fox is at the top of the list for expensive defensemen in tournaments tonight, especially where his ownership is coming in much lower than other top options like Kris Letang.

Rasmus Andersson (CGY at PHI)

DraftKings – $4,600 | FanDuel – $4,000

Another special teams matchup to watch is Calgary in Philadelphia. The Flyers are giving up the third-most power play opportunities to the opponent and while Calgary’s power play is not elite, even a mid-tier power play can go off when given enough opportunities.

That is what makes Rasmus Andersson unique tonight. He does not shoot – one game with more than two shots this year – and does not block much, either. He is reliant on production, particularly on the power play, and the matchup tonight brings him consideration for that reason.

His lack of peripherals makes him worrisome to use but he can have a big night at his price without the team necessarily having a huge fantasy night. He is best used in a stack, but there is a path to him having success but the big guns not. Just keep him in mind when looking for mid-tier defensemen in tournaments.


Ilya Sorokin

DraftKings – $7,500 | FanDuel – $7,700

The Isles are on a back-to-back on the road, meaning it is Ilya Sorokin’s night to start. As mentioned earlier in this article, the team is struggling giving up shots, but that is good for Ilya Sorokin’s shot volume. All the focus on the Panthers will leave the Islanders unowned, including the goalie, despite the volume he might face. At his price, he is in strong consideration for tournaments.

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MIN2: Fiala – Eriksson-Ek – Foligno

As mentioned in the Foligno section, this line should be able to take advantage of the recovering depth from San Jose. The line, going back to last year, has huge rates together, generating 71 shot attempts, 2.9 expected goals, and 3.7 actual goals per 60 minutes. Hopefully they will get overlooked tonight on such a large slate, because this is a great line at a good price in a great matchup. Awesemo’s Top Stacks Tool has their ownership in check tonight as well, a good sign for GPP players.

TOR2: Kerfoot – Tavares – Nylander

The Leafs have re-imagined their lines again, to the benefit of some and detriment of others. As for this trio, well, the team scores 50% more often when William Nylander plays with John Tavares at five-on-five vs. when he plays with Auston Matthews. Whatever the reason, this works better for them scoring-wise, and us for DFS. They will get the depth matchups from Nashville, and that is where we want to attack tonight.

*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick and MoneyPuck

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Initial NHL DFS ownership projections for main slates will be posted daily by 4 p.m. The NHL projections DraftKings model was created and is maintained by Alex Baker and Jake Hari. The daily fantasy rankings NHL for fantasy points and value are derived directly from Alex's own most accurate NHL DFS projections. Find more NHL DFS picks today and NHL DFS advice as well as the best DFS NHL tips.
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