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NHL DFS Picks Today & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups | Florida Panthers & Nathan MacKinnon 4/8/22

Jeff Votteler

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Free NHL picks today, best expert hockey bets, player props and NHL predictions tonight

Fridays are usually travel days, which means smaller NHL DFS slates. Tonight is no different with only five games on tap. The Hurricanes and the Sabres are both playing on the hind end of a back-to-back, which means there will not be a morning skate or any news until right before lock. Let’s unwrap the slate and highlight some of the top NHL DFS picks for Thursday, April 8. 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 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 at WPG): DraftKings – $8,200 | FanDuel – $9,800

MacKinnon continues to be a monster producer, to no surprise. He is coming into tonight with multiple points in two straight games and a very good history against the Jets. In the two meetings this year, MacKinnon has tallied seven real points and 22 shots on goal. That comes out to 44.4 DraftKings points on average. Winnipeg is technically still in the hunt for a playoff spot, while the Avalanche sit in prime position for the Presidents’ trophy with 106 points. This game should have a ton of pace to it and MacKinnon should get plenty of chances to light the lamp tonight. Winnipeg has struggled down the stretch with their defensive metrics over the past month. At five on five, they rank 27th in expected goals against, 25th in Corsi, 30th in scoring chances against and 28th in high-danger chances allowed. MacKinnon and his even-strength linemates also fully correlate on the top power play. Winnipeg has not been taking a ton of penalties, but they have been awful at killing them when they do.

Sebastian Aho (CAR vs. NYI): DraftKings – $6,300 | FanDuel – $7,900

Aho lit the Buffalo Sabres up for two goals last night and looks to carry the momentum into tonight against the Islanders. He has points in eight of the last nine games and gets a great matchup on paper. None of the Islanders’ top three lines carry an expected goals against under three or a Corsi over 50%. That spells trouble as the Hurricanes are one of the best possession teams in hockey. Aho and his linemates carry a 57% Corsi and 4.06 expected goals for per 60 while creating 39 scoring chances and over 19 high-danger chances. They will likely match up with the Brock Nelson line, who has a 47% Corsi while giving up 35 scoring chances and over 13 high-danger chances. With the other high-priced stacks on the slate, it is possible depressed ownership is seen on the Hurricanes tonight, especially on the hind end of a back-to-back.

Winger

Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA vs. BUF): DraftKings – $7,100 | FanDuel – $8,800

The Panthers figure to be the chalk of the night and rightfully so. Huberdeau is in contention to win his first Art Ross trophy, trailing Connor McDavid by six points. He has played some phenomenal unselfish hockey, tallying 102 points in 70 games. Huberdeau playing alongside Sam Bennett has boosted both players’ games to another level, and with veteran newcomer Claude Giroux they are an extremely tough line to contain. Huberdeau has seven points in the three meetings with the Sabres so far this year and he should have plenty of chances to find the scoresheet tonight. The Panthers are going to be a popular play tonight according to Awesemo’s top stack tool, so getting different with the rest of the lineup is going to be imperative.

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Huberdeau 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 top projected plays. Check out all of our free NHL DFS picks today in our DraftKings NHL Cheat Sheet and FanDuel NHL Cheat Sheet when building fantasy hockey lineups tonight.

Nikolaj Ehlers (WPG vs. COL): DraftKings – $6,500 | FanDuel – $7,500

Ehlers continues to be one of the steady sources of production for the Jets. He is averaging over four shots on goal per game over the last 10 games while seeing top power play time as well. With the Jets having last change, Ehlers will likely stay away from the MacKinnon line, leaving him the Alex Newhook line or a positive matchup with the Av’s depth lines. Colorado has been a middling team outside of the MacKinnon line, and the Jets’ top line has been very good in the short amount of time they have been put together (125 min), with 53% Corsi, 3.85 expected goals per 60, 44 scoring chances per 60 and 18 high-danger chances per 60. To get contrarian, Winnipeg’s top line is a good play.


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Defensemen

Cale Makar (COL at WPG): DraftKings – $7,000 | FanDuel – $7,100

If paying up for a defenseman, Makar is the preferred option. He has been playing over 27 minutes a night and averaging 5.6 shots/blocks per game. He is also quarterbacking the top power play unit and has tallied six points on the extra man advantage over the last 10 games. Winnipeg has struggled to kill penalties and if they give up any power plays, the Avalanche will make them pay. Victor Hedman has a high ceiling, but a low floor as well. There is usually no in-between with him either. The matchup with the Bruins does not get any tougher and his history even shows it. In the three matchups this year, he is averaging six DraftKings points. Going down a little to Mackenzie Weegar is a very good option to correlate or get exposure to the Panthers.

Gustav Forsling (FLA vs. BUF): DraftKings – $ 3,800 | FanDuel – $4,400

The value is pretty thin for defensemen tonight, but Forsling makes a fine play. He has been an inconsistent producer because his shot volume has been down, but he is starting to shoot more often. He has put up at least four shots on goal in each of his last four games and has been logging over 21 minutes of ice time regularly on the top pairing alongside Weegar. He is a cheaper way to get exposure to the Panthers forwards to use other team stacks, and he does not have to do a ton to pay off his salary. Brett Pesce would be another value option in the mid $3,000 range.

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Top NHL DFS Stacks Today

COL 1: Rantanen – MacKinnon – Burakovsky ($18,100/$23,000)

CAR 1: Svechnikov – Aho – Jarvis ($15,100/$ 19,300)

FLA 1: Duclair – Barkov – Verhaeghe ($15,900/$20,700)

FLA 2: Giroux – Bennett – Huberdeau ($17,600/$21,800)

WPG 1: Ehlers – Scheifele – Stastny ($16,300/$19,800)

*Additional Stats from Natural Stat Trick


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

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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