There is an eight-game slate for NHL DFS picks tonight, with one game postponed. Another reminder that COVID is running through the league, so more postponements and player scratches are possible. Be sure to keep up on news in Awesemo’s Discord. 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 us go position by position and pinpoint some of the top plays and stacks for Tuesday, Jan. 4.
NHL DFS Picks, Tops Stacks & Optimizer Projections
Dylan Larkin (DET vs. SJ): DraftKings – $6,200 | FanDuel – $7,300
Following a couple of un-Dylan Larkin-like seasons, he sits with 30 points in 29 games sitting at 2.9 shots per game. Tyler Bertuzzi being (mostly) healthy and the emergence of Lucas Raymond as an immediate top-line threat has brought Larkin back to the promise he showed earlier in his career. As a trio this year, they are scoring 3.5 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five, similar to the opposition’s top line, and that of the Boston Bruins. They have been great, and Larkin is a big part of their chemistry.
The matchup with San Jose in town is important. That aforementioned top line has been good, but the depth has been much worse defensively, and that’s where Larkin can take advantage. They do not use Larkin and co. as a shutdown line like most teams do with their top line, and they have a significant matchup advantage of San Jose’s second and third trios.
All three are in play for their own reasons here tonight, as Larkin is a reasonably priced center, Bertuzzi is a 30-goal scorer, and Raymond is priced down cheaper than the other two.
Cole Sillinger (CBJ vs. DET): DraftKings – $2,500 | FanDuel – $3,700
The Jackets have gotten a couple important wingers back recently, namely Oliver Bjorkstrand, and DFS players should check out their reasonable prices on DraftKings tonight. What that also does is give this team talented wingers to use all the way down to their third line, giving them more scoring balance than any point in the last month or so. This should help Cole Sillinger, who is skating with Patrik Laine and Jakub Voracek, arguably the team’s best goal scorer and distributor, respectively.
Sillinger has just six points in his last 21 games going back two months, which should not be surprising for an 18-year-old rookie in the NHL. It should be noted that in that span, he is third on the team in shot attempt rate, so he is still getting involved offensively. It is just a tough league for young players, and as mentioned earlier, they have had some significant winger injuries of late. With this team closer to full health, Sillinger is in a good spot again.
Anyone needing a bargain-priced pivot does not need to look any further here. It is a difficult matchup with Tampa Bay in town, but he will not see much of the Brayden Point matchup and that is the most concerning line here. He is a fine min-priced punt as a center tonight in tournaments.
Brad Marchand (BOS vs. NJ): DraftKings – $7,400 | FanDuel – $9,200
Though his line mates have not produced to their expected levels this year, Brad Marchand has 30 points in 23 games, showing no signs of slowing down as he skates in his age-33 season. He is just shy of three shots per game, perfectly in line with recent seasons. He is also shooting a six-year-low shooting percentage at five-on-five this year, so he may even be leaving some goals on the ice, so to speak. He truly may be the best at his position in hockey, or at least in the conversation.
New Jersey visits for this game and that will likely put Marchand out against the Jack Hughes line. As good as Hughes is offensively, he is still a young center in the league, and his defense has not come along to the same level just yet. Yes, the Devils generate over 80 shot attempts per 60 minutes with their top line on the ice, but they are also giving up 66 in return, and 34 scoring chances as well. Trading scoring chances with Boston’s top line, which is considerably better defensively anyway, is good for Marchand’s fantasy upside.
Using one member of this top line and not the rest can be dangerous because they do play so many minutes together. With that said, Marchand is the playmaker on that line and should be involved in their scoring, if they score. He is a target in all formats, though David Pastrnak, Craig Smith, and Patrice Bergeron are as well, for tournaments.
Andrew Mangiapane (CGY at FLA): DraftKings – $4,200 | FanDuel – $6,400
The usage of Andrew Mangiapane remains one of the mysteries of the NHL. It seems as if the team knows he is so good that they can just move him all over the lineup depending on which players the coach thinks need some offensive help. While his white-hot start has slowed down of late, that slowdown is still four goals in his last 11 games. Not great, but if that is a downturn, it speaks to how much upside he has. The problem is that because they move him around the lineup, his ice time can be erratic; his last 10 games have seen him crack the 20-minute mark twice and also fallen below 15 minutes twice. It makes him unreliable for cash games.
In tournaments, though, he makes a one-off target for tonight. The team generates over 36 shot attempts per 60 minutes, spanning his last 20 games, and the Florida Panthers play at a high pace, which plays to Mangiapane’s strengths as a player. He can make clean entries and find dangerous areas to shoot from and the more opportunities he gets, the more dangerous he is. He is fine as a one-off tonight in tournaments on DraftKings. On FanDuel, it is a bigger question because of how expensive he is.
Paul Stastny (WPG at CHI): DraftKings – $3,500 | FanDuel – $4,500
Since going back to Winnipeg last year, it has been a good resurgence for Paul Stastny, as he has had 21 goals and 45 points in 79 games, taking two shots per game. He has been skating on the top line with Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele of late, and they are controlling 65% of the shot attempts and 67% of the scoring chances, in an admittedly small sample of about three games’ worth of ice time. However, he has been great in a much larger sample with just Ehlers, and adding a talented playmaker in Scheifele should not hurt them that much. This should be a very talented, very potent offensive line.
Winnipeg is on the road in Arizona tonight and to Arizona is just not a strong team. They are in the bottom 10 of the league by shot attempt share over the last month and continue to be without Jakob Chychrun. The last month has seen them play just seven games because of all the cancellations, and they have just one game in their last 17 days. Six have passed since their last contest, an 8-7 loss. Though Winnipeg has not played much of late, at least they played on Sunday night.
Stastny should be considered with his line mates in tournaments tonight, but he can be used by himself because of his price. He does not need a lot to happen to pay off his price, which is not the case for his line mates.
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Alex Pietrangelo (VGK vs. NSH): DraftKings – $6,400 | FanDuel – $6,900
Alex Pietrangelo’s price keeps dropping, at least on DraftKings, but it’s not as if his production is falling off. He has three shot bonuses in his last 10 games, to go with four shot-block bonuses, and eight points. He has been excellent since the calendar rolled to December, and he continues to be at a good price.
Nashville is in town tonight and though they are a good defensive team at five-on-five, they are in the bottom 10 defensively by most metrics on the penalty kill over the last 10 games. They are also among the most penalized teams in the NHL. Vegas has a couple key injuries, but that just puts more offensive burden on Pietrangelo. He is a target tonight in all formats.
Devon Toews (COL at CHI): DraftKings – $6,100 | FanDuel – $6,300
Though he does not get top power-play minutes, Devon Toews produces like a true elite defenseman: 52 points in 70 games with the Avalanche, averaging over two shots and 1.5 blocks per game. He is not elite in peripherals yet, but the Colorado Avalanche are one of the top scoring teams in the league, so his production helps make up for the lack of shots and blocks.
Tonight, they face an improved Chicago team that is still below average by shot attempts and expected goal share. Cale Makar makes a fine option for the power-play matchup, but anyone looking for a cheap pivot that can also rack up points, Toews is a target.
Jacob Markstrom (CGY at FLA): DraftKings – $7,400 | FanDuel – $7,700
Jacob Markstrom is priced down on DraftKings tonight despite the fact that he has a .930 save percentage on the year and Florida is one of the shot-happiest teams in the league. While there is certainly a chance the Panthers fill the net, as elite scoring teams can, Calgary is elite in their own right and Markstrom has been great this season. He is in consideration in tournaments.
Top NHL DFS Stacks
WPG1: Ehlers – Stastny – Scheifele
As mentioned in the section on Stastny, the particular duo of Ehlers-Stastny has been great together this year, offensively, and Scheifele should only help. Though they will carry a lot of ownership because of the matchup, they are a top-five line to be a top-two stack tonight by Awesemo’s Top Stacks Tool. This is a great spot for a very good line.
SJ1: Barabanov – Couture – Meier
Also among the top five lines by top-two stack probability in Awesemo’s Top Stacks Tool is the San Jose top line. They are also coming in with positive leverage, too, which is always a good sign when we are stacking a top line. Alex Barabanov is a true third wheel, as the team’s offensive numbers are better without him than with him. With that said, the matchup against Detroit’s depth is good enough that it does not hurt their upside, as evidenced by their top-two stack percentage.
*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick
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Find more DraftKings DFS NHL and NHL DFS as well as the best Yahoo! DFS NHL. The NHL DFS projections today model was created and is maintained by Alex Baker and Jake Hari. Initial NHL DFS ownership projections today 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 best NHL DFS projections.
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