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NHL DFS Picks Today & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups | Florida Panthers & Nathan MacKinnon 3/18/22

Jeff Votteler

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Keeping an eye on news is imperative for tonight’s NHL DFS slate. There are five teams that are playing on the hind end of a back-to-back. That means there will be no morning skate for half the teams. Let’s unwrap the slate and highlight some of the top plays for Friday, March 18. 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 this Twitter beat writer lists is a huge advantage for getting last-minute news and scratches, outside of our premium Discord channel.

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NHL DFS Picks Today, Top Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays

Center

Nathan MacKinnon (COL @ SJ): DraftKings – $9,200 | FanDuel – $10,000

MacKinnon will likely be popular tonight, but for the right reason. The Canadian sniper has been a factory of production and shot volume. Over the last 10 games, MacKinnon is averaging over six and a half shots per game. He has tallied points in 14 of the last 15 games, and multi-points in three of the last five. San Jose is playing on the hind end of a back-to-back and will have their work cut out for them tonight. The Sharks were shut out last night against the Kings and they have been absolutely awful over the past month, only winning five of the last 20 games.  At five on five over the last month, the Sharks are dead last in team Corsi, 30th in expected goals against, 29th in shots against per 60, 30th in scoring chances allowed and 31st in high danger chances. With only six games on the slate, you are going to have to find ways to get different with the rest of your lineup.

Sam Bennett (FLA @ ANH): DraftKings – $5,900 | FanDuel – $6,400

Bennett got back on the scoreboard against the Golden Knights last night after a five-game drought. Many DFS gamers will likely look to the top line with Aleksander Barkov as a cheap filler stack and plus matchups. This also means the ownership will lean heavier on the top line as well.  The Panthers’ second line continues to be one of the best lines in hockey, creating over 15 high danger chances and an expected goals of 3.16. The Ducks have played better recently but they are still in the middle of a rebuild and they give up a plethora of chances. Vegas has the Panthers pegged as the third-highest team total for a reason.

Winger

Matthew Tkachuk (CGY vs BUF): DraftKings – $6,900 | FanDuel – $8,000

The Flames look to take advantage of a Sabres team playing on the hind end of a back-to-back, after getting railroaded by the Oilers 6-1. Tkachuk and the Flames’ top line have been nothing short of amazing, with 58% Corsi, 3.23 expected goals for per 60, 36 scoring chances per 60 and creating over 15 high danger chances. Buffalo has struggled defensively because they do not have any depth. On the year, the Sabres are in the bottom sixth of every advanced metric looked at for NHL DFS. Their recent play over the last month has not been better either. If you are looking to save salary or trying to fit in other high-priced stacks, going down to the third line with a combo of Andrew Mangiapane and Tyler Toffoli could get you some separation from the field.

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Kyle Connor (WPG vs BOS): DraftKings – $7,000 | FanDuel – $9,700

This game figures to have plenty of scoring on both sides, as Vegas stamps a 6.5 O/U on the game. Boston will be without Patrice Bergeron, which is a huge blow to their defensive metrics on the top line. Connor has been a shot volume monster, contributing 17 points over the last 10 games along with 4.3 shots per game. If Dave Lowry utilizes the Jets’ second line against the depth matchups with the last change like he did against the Golden Knights on Tuesday, then they will find plenty of chances to score. Boston has been a very good team possession-wise and they have a ton of firepower, but losing Bergeron is a huge deal and could force the Bruins to change lines up so, the matchups will not be known until morning skate. The Jets will likely go low-owned tonight and they could be a solid contrarian swerve.

Connor 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 most popular plays. Check out all of our free NHL DFS picks today in our DraftKings NHL Cheat Sheet and FanDuel NHL Cheat Sheet when building your fantasy hockey lineups tonight.


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Defensemen

Cale Makar (COL @ SJ): DraftKings – $7,400 | FanDuel – $7,000

Makar is priced up and would be the fifth most expensive forward on tonight’s slate. He is a massive part of the Avalanche’s offense, as he is a phenomenal facilitator. Over the last 10 games, the youngster has averaged over five shots/blocks per game and he is skating over 25 minutes nightly. Makar quarterbacks the top power play and all offense goes through him as the setup man. The Sharks have been horrendous defensively, allowing the third-most shots against and the second-most scoring chances. If you have the extra salary to get up to Makar, he makes a strong play tonight.

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Mackenzie Weegar (FLA @ ANH): DraftKings – $ 4,800 | FanDuel – $5,400

Weegar’s production has been down, but he is still averaging 5.2 shots/blocks per game and 23 minutes of ice time. He is playing on the top role alongside Aaron Ekblad and he gets you exposure to Aleksander Barkov. Over the last month, the Ducks have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing defensemen. Despite playing on the hind end of a back-to-back,  the Panthers will be playing a lot of hockey in the offensive zone tonight. Getting exposure to a blueliner is a wise decision.

Top NHL DFS Stacks Today

COL 1: Rantanen – MacKinnon – Nichushkin

CGY 1: Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk

FLA 1: Mamin – Barkov – Verhaeghe

VALUE STACK

CGY 3: Mangiapane – Ruzicka – Toffoli

*Additional Stats from Natural Stat Trick


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

As an avid competitor, Jeff "Votts" Votteler grew up playing all types of sports. But as he grew up, he gravitated towards hockey and played at a very competitive level. Fantasy sports became a passion of Votts' over ten years ago, which in turn moved over to the emerging world of daily fantasy sports for the last five years. Votts likes to dive into the analytics of all the sports, where he can turn over those value "rocks" that players depend on to win on a daily basis. You can contact Votts by emailing [email protected].

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