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NHL DFS Picks Today & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups | Dallas Stars & Aleksander Barkov 3/26/22

Michael Clifford

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NHL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel fantasy hockey lineups tonight Aleksander Barkov

We have a healthy nine-game NHL slate ahead of us tonight after a few very light Saturdays in a row. That gives us plenty of options for our NHL DFS picks today, but we need to narrow things down a bit. Subscribers should check our Discord for updates on lineups throughout the day, as there are sure to be many. Let’s dig into this slate and dish out some fantasy hockey advice for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups on Saturday, March 26.

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NHL DFS Picks Today, Top Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays

Center

Aleksander Barkov (FLA at OTT): DraftKings – $8,800 | FanDuel – $9,300

Adding Claude Giroux to the lineup is a huge boost for an already-great offensive squad. He is both a capable playmaker and finisher, something that will play right into Aleksander Barkovs own offensive strengths. Not that Barkov was having a slow season, or that the top line was struggling. Rather, it just adds another offensive dimension they were lacking, rather than just playing very well defensively.

Barkov makes an interesting proposition in NHL DFS tonight. He has a great matchup, particularly on the power play, where Ottawa is 30th in the league by expected goals against (xGA) over the last six weeks. But there are a lot of elite centers on this slate, and at least one of them is in a similarly strong matchup. There are big decisions to be made, though Barkov will certainly not be overlooked.

The Finn’s top line has been generating 36 scoring chances every 60 minutes at 5-on-5 this month, just an outstanding number. Giroux should not hurt in this regard. Because Barkov plays at every strength for this team, he is perfectly acceptable as a one-off in tournaments tonight. Now that Giroux is on his line, a power-play linemate, full stacking the line is just fine as well.

Ryan Hartman (MIN vs. CBJ): DraftKings – $6,400 | FanDuel – $6,500

Columbus played last night in Winnipeg and used its starting goalie. The backup should be in goal for them, and the back-to-back situation was a disadvantage to begin with. Toss in the fact that Columbus is one of two teams in the league with an xGA over 3.0 spanning the last six weeks, and one of four teams with an actual goals rate over 3.0, does not bode well tonight.

Minnesota’s top line, conversely, has been outstanding in the month of March, controlling 64% of the scoring chances and scoring 2.9 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Ryan Hartman has had a good month as a result, with 7 goals and 11 points in 12 games, averaging over three shots per game. The trio has been great most of this season and Hartman is a shot-volume center. The matchup just makes a potent top line that much more dangerous.

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As a volume shooter, Hartman can be used all by his lonesome in tournaments tonight. But his linemates do play all the offensive minutes with him so including at least one of them is another route to go this evening. They may be popular because of the matchup, so be sure to check the Awesemo NHL ownership projections.

Winger

Timo Meier (SJS vs. ANA): DraftKings – $7,300 | FanDuel – $8,800

Back in the middle of January, Timo Meier had a five-goal game. In the 24 contests since, he has just 7 goals. It has been a slide, but it isn’t as if he’s been uninvolved offensively: he has averaged 4.4 shots per game in that span. For DraftKings players, he reached the shot bonus in nine of those games. It is just a shooting percentage under 7% that is crushing his absurd upside. Once the percentages turn around, he will be filling the net.

When that happens is up in the air. But the fact his peripheral floor is so high to begin with is a good start in the DFS game. There is also the matchup to consider tonight. Anaheim traded its best defensive defenseman and its top winger at the trade deadline. They are already without three other top-9 forwards due to injury. This team – that was not a playoff team to begin with — has seen its roster decimated over the last couple weeks. They had been improving defensively at even strength for several weeks now, but it’s hard to see that trend maintaining. Anaheim is also 26th by goals against per 60 minutes while short-handed in that same span, and that was with a more rounded roster.  Meier should be considered in all formats tonight.

Meier was one of the players showing up well in the projections and soaring up the optimal lineup rate in the NHL DFS optimizer today. Check out all of our free NHL DFS picks today by viewing our DraftKings Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet and FanDuel Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet.

Jesper Bratt (NJD at WSH): DraftKings – $5,400 | FanDuel – $7,300

Quietly, Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier have been one of the top duos in all of hockey this year. With those two on the ice, New Jersey controls 61% of the expected goals and are scoring 4.4 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Those are phenomenal numbers for them, and that play has maintained all season (when healthy, anyway).

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As for Bratt, he is over a point-per-game on the season and is on pace for nearly 30 goals/82 games. He has also started to play more of late as well, averaging over 19 minutes a game in March. He hadn’t been over 18 minutes in any month this season. That additional ice time should help his shot rates, which sits at 2.8 per game, not an elite number.

While this seems like a good matchup for Washington – and it is – we should note these two teams have virtually identical xGA rates over the last six weeks, and Washington is 19th by actual goals against per 60 minutes. This is not the elite defensive team that has shown up at times over the last two seasons, at least not right now. Bratt and his linemates won’t carry much ownership tonight, making them ideal for tournaments.

Nino Niederreiter (CAR at STL): DraftKings – $2,500 | FanDuel – $3,900

With a pair of goals in his last game, Nino Niederreiter is just one short of a 20-goal campaign. Really not bad for a guy playing under 15 minutes a night. Getting 20-25 goals with basically third-line minutes is a good year from anyone. His line has been excellent of late as well, generating 32 scoring chances per 60 minutes of ice time, controlling 65% of the scoring chances, and scoring 3.6 goals per 60 minutes. They won’t have eye-popping raw numbers because they don’t play heavy minutes, but that fact is reflected in Niederreiter’s price.

The curious part of this particular matchup is Niederreiter’s line facing off against St. Louis’s third line. They do have a deep forward group, but their current third line gives up 41 scoring chances per 60 minutes, controlling just 44% of the scoring chances, allowing five goals against per 60 minutes. Those are putrid defensive numbers, which is another reason why we see the Carolina winger in this article.

Because of his lack of ice time, Nino is not a factor for cash games. However, he does have a good in-game matchup against what is an otherwise strong defensive team, and that gives him some appeal as a one-off in tournaments as a cost-saving punt.

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Defensemen

John Klingberg (DAL vs. VAN): DraftKings – $5,000 | FanDuel – $5,500

Since the time Miro Heiskanen exited the lineup 10 games ago, John Klingberg is skating nearly 25 minutes a night, a huge improvement for him. He is also the lone defenseman on the top power-play unit, and all this has led to him posting 11 goals in those 10 games, averaging three shots on goal per game. Not that we can expect him to be over a point-per-game as a defenseman, but his huge minutes change his fantasy profile significantly.

Coming to town tonight is a Vancouver team that is 26th by expected goals against on the penalty kill over the last six weeks. With his ice time and role, Klingberg is a target for us as a one-off tonight for tournaments. He is also fine in some sort of Dallas power-play stack.

Cody Ceci (EDM at CGY): DraftKings – $3,100 | FanDuel – $5,000

This isn’t typically a player we find in these pages, but this is a special circumstance. The Oilers are visiting the Flames tonight and Calgary is second in the league (behind only Florida) in shot attempt rate at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks. That level of shot volume plays well for Cody Ceci as a fantasy hockey option, particularly on DraftKings where blocked shots can be valuable. He is skating 21 minutes a night of late which gives him plenty of time to get hit by pucks against a high-volume team. He is also pacing for well over 30 points/82 games since coach Jay Woodcroft was hired and the team turned their season around. He is fine as a punt-y option tonight on the blue line on DraftKings. Over on FanDuel, he is wildly over-priced. As such, on FanDuel, we should look to a much more appropriately priced option like Sean Durzi (LAK – $4,500) at home to Seattle.

Goalie

Jake Allen (MTL vs. TOR): DraftKings – $7,000 | Jake Allen – $6,700

Toronto coming to town poses a difficult matchup for Jake Allen and the Canadiens. Just behind the aforementioned Flames in shot rate over the last six week is this Leafs team. Of course, with a lot of shots comes the prospects of allowing a lot of goals. However, high shot volumes can make for huge NHL DFS nights for goalies, and Allen has looked sharp since returning from injury, posting a .922 save percentage across his four games. He doesn’t need to win and can even allow a couple goals and still have a great fantasy night. It is a double-edged sword, but that is what makes him an intriguing tournament option tonight.

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DAL1: Hintz-Pavelski-Robertson

As mentioned in the section for Klingberg, this is a good matchup for the Stars’ power play. It has been struggling of late, but that is why it’s important to get a bad penalty kill on the other side for a line stack. This line has seen some defensive numbers slide, but they’re still dynamite offensively, with both expected goals and actual goals scored at 5-on-5 per 60 minutes sitting north of 3.0 in the month of March. With a lot of high-octane teams in good matchups tonight, we may not see excessive ownership on this trio in tournaments.

LAK2: Arvidsson-Danault-Moore

The return of Viktor Arvidsson in Los Angeles’s last game reunited one of the best lines in hockey. On the season, they control 61% of the expected goals when they’re on the ice and score 4.1 goals per 60 minutes. They are an absolute juggernaut and get a Seattle team that is middle-of-the-road defensively. They are also a team whose goaltending has been, at best, inconsistent. The prices have come up a bit on these guys, but that is just a reflection of how good they are, and that might scare off some people who would otherwise play them. They should at least be considered tonight.

*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick


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

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