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NHL DFS Picks & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Tonight | Florida Panthers and David Pastrnak 11/4/21

Michael Clifford



There is a nine-game slate from which to make NHL DFS picks tonight, including a couple of very important players. As usual, Awesemo’s Premium DFS tools and data are going to help make the best lineups. Let’s get into the picks for Thursday, Nov. 4.

NHL DFS Picks, Tops Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays


Auston Matthews (TOR vs. TB): DraftKings – $8,900 | FanDuel – $8,600

It really was just a matter of time. Matthews started the season with just 2 points in six games, but he doubled that the last time out, with two goals and a shot bonus for those on DraftKings. His rates at five-on-five across the board continue to be the highest of his career. It is still early in the season and a lot can change, but a player who has already proven himself elite before the age of 24 is still improving somehow. It could very well be that Matthews and his cohorts are better this year than in years gone by; they just hit a bit of a cold streak shooting-wise at the start of the year.

Matthews will see a reasonable amount of Tampa Bay’s top six, and the second line has seen their defensive stats predictably taken a dive since Steven Stamkos took over at center for Anthony Cirelli. That leaves the Matthews line – which is taking 90 shot attempts per 60 minutes – with some good five-on-five matchups.

Tampa Bay is a tougher matchup than most, but Matthews is one of the players that is in consideration no matter the opponent. Hopefully the matchup will shy people away from him in tournaments, where he makes sense as part of a line stack. He obviously is fine by himself and without his teammates in a stack, but watch for high ownership rates. It is worth noting that despite the matchup, he is still Awesemo’s highest-projected center.

Sam Reinhart (FLA vs. WSH): DraftKings – $4,100 | FanDuel – $6,800

This is a DraftKings special considering the considerable pricing discrepancy and that FanDuel has him listed at the wrong position.

It would not be a Power Plays column on a day the Panthers play without offering someone from the second line. Reinhart is here because the injury to Sam Bennett has shuffled the lines, pushing Reinhart to the second line with Jonathan Huberdeau. That should also mean top power-play minutes alongside Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and the rest of the gang. All that at home for a price that has not moved because he is usually a third-liner makes for a good play.

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Washington does not take a lot of penalties – 23rd in the league by times short-handed – but Reinhart’s price makes him playable even with only a few power-play chances tonight. The benefits for Reinhart are playing with Huberdeau – one of the game’s top playmakers – and getting a jump in ice time.

The question is how to use him tonight. His price, along with that of his linemates, make them very cheap to stack, and Florida is usually popular. His price also brings him into question for cash games, even if he is not a prototypical cash-game option.


David Pastrnak (BOS vs. DET): DraftKings – $7,600 | FanDuel – $8,600

Much like Matthews, Pastrnak is also enduring a tough stretch to start the year, though not nearly as bad. He has 5 points in seven games, though that is clearly not his upside. He has already hit the shot bonus three times in those seven games, as one of the game’s best volume shooters keeps shooting. His problem is shooting under 7%, but he has also played over 21 minutes in three straight games and is skating a career-high 19:41 a night. His typical shot volume means that he is a shot-bonus threat every night now, and that means he does not need to score to be valuable. A shot bonus and a couple of assists get there too.

While Boston’s power play has not looked the same since Torey Krug left, it is not bad by any stretch, and the Red Wings are tied for the 10th-most penalized team. Giving this team four chances with the man advantage is probably not a good idea.

Even better for Boston is that it does not look like Dylan Larkin will be suiting up, having missed practice on Wednesday. That weakens the top line, as they do not really have a center to step in and go up against Boston’s elite top line. Pastrnak is fine by himself or in a stack and should be strongly considered in all tournament formats. Awesemo’s projections have him as the top value for any winger on DraftKings north of $6,000.

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Pavel Buchnevich (STL at SJ): DraftKings – $4,400 | FanDuel – $5,300

The return of Brandon Saad has given Buchnevich another good winger to play with, but that is not necessarily the reason for using him tonight. The reason is the opponent. San Jose is really going through it right now. They got Jonathan Dahlen and Logan Couture back, but they are still without Erik Karlsson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, Matt Nieto and Radim Simek. That is a half-dozen regulars, including half their blue line. The team was struggling for depth scoring at times, and now that they are down to Hertl and Couture, it will be tough to move the puck. That is bad news for a team that was not able to generate a lot of depth offense to begin with.

Buchnevich was also moved to the top power play, and the Sharks, when mostly healthy, were a mid-tier penalty-kill team to begin the season. Despite the back-to-back situation, this is a good spot for Buchnevich and his linemates, making them a target for a stack where they get depth matchups. The additional power-play time is a bonus now.

Craig Smith (BOS vs. DET): DraftKings – $3,000 | FanDuel – $4,000

Smith’s price has just fallen too far. He just returned from injury but is averaging three shots on goal per game this year. It is a small sample, but he also averaged over three shots per game last season down the stretch once Taylor Hall was acquired. Smith has long been a volume shooter; he just does not get a lot of ice time and usually does not have great linemates. Hall is a great linemate.

On the season Smith’s line is averaging 3.5 expected goals per 60 minutes and is controlling 58% of the shot attempts. It is just a continuation of what they did last year, except David Krejci was the center then. Charlie Coyle is here now, but the wheel keeps churning.

Anyone staying away from the expensive Boston options should look here. Detroit’s depth is taking a hit with Larkin out, and that is more good news for Smith. At this price he is just too hard to ignore, and he can be used as a one-off or as part of a stack in tournaments. Among all wingers tonight on DraftKings, Awesemo has him as the second-best value for low-priced wingers.


Mark Giordano (SEA vs. BUF): DraftKings – $5,400 | FanDuel – $5,300

The Kraken’s tough start to the season is forgivable, as they started the year on a five-game road trip in eight days across three time zones. The team seems to be settling in a bit, posting strong shot differentials over the five games since returning home. The results are not there yet, but the process is promising, and good process with bad results presents opportunity in DFS.

Buffalo is on a different trajectory, having started the season strong but seeing their shot share numbers decline over their last six games. These are all small samples, but the season is less than a month old.

Giordano’s price has dropped to a reasonable range for who he is now, but the problem is he is not secure enough in peripherals for cash games. This leaves him as a one-off or stack option for tournaments, especially where he looks to be single-digit owned tonight.

Filip Hronek (DET at BOS): DraftKings – $3,100 | FanDuel – $4,100

It appears Hronek’s role has shifted a bit with the introduction of Nick Leddy and Moritz Seider. He is starting considerably less often in the offensive zone than he ever has before as those guys take that role. As Hronek transitions to a more defensive role, it takes away from his offense, but it adds other dimensions like shot blocking; he is averaging over 1.5 blocks more per 60 minutes than last year.

At this price on DraftKings, Hronek with a block bonus and an assist is a great night. He does not have the true upside he has had in recent seasons given the loss of his power-play role, but that does not mean he is useless, and at this price he needs to be considered in a matchup where he will play 23 minutes.

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Matt Murray (OTT vs. VGK): DraftKings – $7,200 | FanDuel – $7,000

While not a great start to the year for Murray (.897 save percentage), the matchup tonight matters. Vegas is in town, and the Golden Knights are missing Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, William Karlsson, Alex Tuch, Nolan Patrick and Zach Whitecloud. They are missing, quite literally, over half their top nine forwards. A team can only endure so much, and it is why they are a bottom-10 team on the season.

Ottawa still allows a decent number of shots, but Vegas has lost most of their top scorers. Murray is dicey because he has not been good in recent seasons, but the price is too cheap to ignore in a home matchup against a hobbled team.

Top NHL DFS Stacks

SEA1 – Schwartz – Wennberg – Donskoi

Joonas Donskoi is over 18 minutes a game this season, while Jaden Schwartz is over 19 minutes. Meanwhile, Alex Wennberg is over 19 minutes in three straight games. This is a genuine top-line price at $10,000 flat on DraftKings. They will carry ownership close to double-digit ownership, but they allow fantasy players to do basically whatever they want with the rest of their lineup. As mentioned in the Giordano section, this is a good matchup.

FLA2 – Huberdeau – Reinhart – Tippett

While gamers can debate the merits of going from Bennett to Reinhart, the fact is that Reinhart is $1,400 cheaper than Bennett would have been, and that matters. Reinhart is no slouch himself, being a proven 20-goal scorer who is very good defensively. He just needs to get open for Huberdeau, and the power-play time is just icing.

*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick

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The NHL daily projections 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 NHL daily fantasy projections. Find more NHL DFS picks for today and NHL DFS advice as well as the best NHL DFS predictions. Initial DFS hockey ownership projections for main slates will be posted daily by 4 p.m.
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