COVID protocol has been making a strong onset through the NHL in the past month or so. Keeping an eye on new is imperative to succeeding at NHL DFS. Following this Twitter beat writer list is a huge advantage for getting last-minute news and scratches. This Power Play article will use Awesemo’s Premium NHL Tools 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’s go position by position and pinpoint some of the top plays and stacks for Tuesday, Jan. 18.
NHL DFS Picks, Top Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays
Josh Norris (OTT vs. BUF): DraftKings – $5,900 FanDuel – $7,300
Josh Norris is a center who likes to shoot, evidenced by his 2.7 shots per game so far this season. He has 33 goals over his last 82 regular season contests, giving us an idea of his goal-scoring prowess for a pivot. He plays on a line with two other potential 30-goal scorers, and that is what makes them so dangerous as a trio – any player on that line can score basically at any moment.
For Norris specifically, it is the matchup that attracts us here. Buffalo is playing on back-to-back days and three in four nights. Buffalo is a team that is near the bottom of the league by shot share at five-on-five since Christmas and while Ottawa has not been a lot better, they do have a legit top scoring line; 2.6 expected goals per 60 minutes since returning from their COVID pause in late November, leading to 4.5 actual goals. They are very poor defensively, but so is their opponent, and they have a better track record of high-end scoring.
On most slates, the mid-range pricing for centers is usually an easy pass but Norris is a special case in a soft matchup. He is a one-off target in tournaments but is best used as part of a stack.
*Edit: Tyler Ennis is expected to skate on the top line, per the Ottawa coach. It could make them more popular as they’re considerably cheaper now.
Claude Giroux (PHI vs. NYI): DraftKings – $4,200 FanDuel – $5,600
This is largely a function of pricing and ice time. With Sean Couturier missing from the lineup, Claude Giroux has been over 20:30 per night in ice time since Christmas. He is the team’s top-line center and on most nights, has been their only passable NHL center. He is also priced way down on DraftKings as the Philadelphia Flyers endure just a brutal stretch that has seen them go 1-6-2 over their nine games since Christmas. They have not scored more than three goals in any of those games.
Giroux’s price is what makes this palatable. If he is closer to $6,000, this is likely an easy pass. But as this price, the Flyers do not need a 5-goal game for the top line to hit value. Giroux and his line mates are being priced as a top-end third line and are performing at least as a break-even top line in terms of shot share, with lots of ice time.
There is a question of ownership here. Because of the pricing, this trio is highly owned, but it is hard to get away from a top line that could flirt with 20 minutes being priced where they are. At the minimum, Giroux can be used as a cheap one-off, but the entire top line is in play tonight.
Nikita Kucherov (TB at LAK): DraftKings – $7,900 FanDuel – $9,300
While Nikita Kucherov’s price is rising and is close to where he should be, he’s still not priced among the top three wingers on the slate tonight on DraftKings. It actually is a question whether he is rosterable or not tonight, though, so it is a step in the right direction.
Ondrej Palat is injured and unlikely to skate with the Kucherov line, but it is not a big deal for them offensively. In fact, over the last three seasons, Tampa Bay’s top line generates about 9% more expected goals, more shot attempts, and considerably more goals without Palat, in roughly the same ice time sample (431 minutes with and 439 without). People may shy away from the Lightning tonight because of Palat missing, Kucherov being on the road, and his price coming up. They should still be strongly considered.
Los Angeles is playing a back-to-back and that gives Tampa Bay a small advantage here over a rested opponent. While Los Angeles does boast a good top line, they are a top-five team by time shorthanded over the last seven weeks, going back to early December. Kucherov is firmly in play for us as a one-off here tonight and line stacking with Brayden Point and others could be beneficial, given their likely less-than-optimal ownership by Awesemo’s Top Stacks Tool.
Brock Boeser (VAN at NSH): DraftKings – $4,700 FanDuel – $6,800
Tanner Pearson was added to Brock Boeser’s line and he’s made a remarkable difference for them over the last six weeks: 58% shot share with him and 49% without him. That translates to more scoring chances, and in turn to more actual goals scored as well. With Pearson on that line, they score like an actual top-six line at five-on-five, and in all honesty, that is something that has been sorely lacking from the Vancouver lineup basically all season.
Regardless, with the better play of late has come more ice time: 20:41 over four January games thus far, leading to three shots per game. Boeser had been closer to 18:40 than 20:40 for much of the year, so this level of ice time, at his price, is a nice little value jump for fantasy players.
Of course, this is a difficult game tonight, going into Nashville, as the Predators are near the top of their division, just a couple points behind Colorado. But Nashville played yesterday and that should put a backup goalie in net. With reasonable ownership and a low price, Boeser and his line mates are firmly in play for us in tournaments, especially when considering the number of penalties the Predators usually take.
Blake Coleman (CGY vs. FLA): DraftKings – $3,300, FanDuel – $4,800
The last time these two teams played, Blake Coleman had 12 shots and five blocks. While one should not expect anything close to that again here, the Florida Panthers are a high-pace, high-even team that can play to the strengths of someone like Coleman, at least fantasy-wise. He is a shot-volume winger, and the more the opponent wants to trade chances, the better opportunity he has to rack up his shots. That is what makes him appealing on this particular slate in this matchup at his price.
What also makes him appealing is Andrew Mangiapane joining his line. The team had been using him all over the lineup, but on the second line, he helps the team control 65% of the shot attempts and 66% of the scoring chances, and that is in a 120-minute sample; it is not just a few games. With Mangiapane, this line is utterly dominant, and Coleman is very cheap.
Going up against Florida’s top line is a tough matchup, but as mentioned, the team is high-paced, and Coleman’s line is elite themselves. Anyone looking for a cheap winger tonight should look at Coleman, though the entire line itself is in play for tournaments.
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Charlie McAvoy (BOS vs. CAR): DraftKings – $5,400 FanDuel – $6,400
This is also a play about pricing. While Charlie McAvoy does not belong with the elite fantasy defensemen, he is not quite a mid-tier guy, either. He has three shot bonuses and 10 block bonuses on DraftKings this year, so he can bring peripherals. He is also on pace for over 50 points, so he can do that as well. He got his power-play role back on the top unit, so he is all set to return to his normal level of value, but he is priced down on DraftKings.
Carolina is in town and that is a tough matchup. However, that tough matchup brings the block bonus firmly into play here and the Hurricanes are still among the most penalized teams in hockey. The penalty kill is elite, but he should get his chances. McAvoy is perfectly fine as a tournament one-off tonight.
Justin Schultz (WSH vs. WPG): DraftKings – $3,000 FanDuel – $3,600
With John Carlson on the COVID list, Justin Schultz has jumped to the top power play for the Capitals. That has just led to more ice time in general, getting all the way up to 23 minutes in his last contest. Though Winnipeg is not an easy matchup by any stretch, he is priced in a range for 18-minute defensemen that get no power-play time. He will cruise past 20 minutes with top power-play time. While it is unlikely, he has a big night without someone else on his team having a good night themselves, his price makes that choice a lot easier to make, meaning he has one-off status for us tonight.
Thatcher Demko (VAN at NSH): DraftKings – $7,000 FanDuel – $7,200
There are only so many cheap goalies available on a slate, and usually goalies that have performed like Jacob Markstrom in Calgary over the last three years are not available. For Thatcher Demko, he gets a team that is on a back-to-back with a backup goalie in net and that gives him a bit more win equity than a normal $7,000 DraftKings goalie. He is firmly in play for us in tournaments.
Top NHL DFS Stacks Today
TB1: Perry – Point – Kucherov
With Corey Perry on the top line, Tampa’s top trio has gotten a lot cheaper. As mentioned in the Kucherov section, the Kings are on a back-to-back today and that plays into Tampa Bay and their top line. Not only that, but they are also taking too many penalties and though Perry plays the second unit, they all get power-play time. Awesemo’s Top Stacks Tool has them as a decent leverage spot tonight, so they need to be considered.
CGY2: Coleman – Backlund – Mangiapane
The matching tonight should probably have Calgary’s second line out against Florida’s top line and that is, ostensibly, a tougher matchup than the second line. It should also mean more ice time in general and as mentioned in the Coleman section, this is an elite line in their own right. Watch out for ownership because their price does make them very easy to fit in with expensive stacks, but they are a filler target for us tonight.
*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick
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Initial NHL ownership projections FanDuel for main slates will be posted daily by 4 p.m. The NHL daily fantasy sports rankings for fantasy points and value are derived directly from Alex's own best NHL DFS projections. The NHL DraftKings projections model was created and is maintained by Alex Baker and Jake Hari. Find more DraftKings DFS NHL and NHL DFS picks for today as well as the best NHL DFS picks.
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