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NHL DFS Picks Today & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups | New York Islanders & Tony DeAngelo 3/31/22

Michael Clifford

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Free expert NHL picks today and Fantasy Hockey advice for DraftKings FanDuel NHL DFS picks predictions

There is a very nice nine-game NHL slate tonight which means lots of options for NHL DFS picks today. There could be some significant injury news, namely in Colorado, so subscribers are encouraged to check into our Discord for updates throughout the day. Non-subscribers should check out the free ownership tools on the site today to help guide decisions a bit this Thursday, March 31.

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Center

Nazem Kadri (COL vs. SJ): DraftKings – $6,900 | FanDuel – $8,500

An injury to Nathan MacKinnon has pushed Nazem Kadri to the top line for the Colorado Avalanche. In that role against Calgary a couple of nights ago, Kadri skated 21:45 and had six shots on goal. Even with the injuries the team has up front, he is still on an elite offensive line and should see heavy minutes in prime situations as long as MacKinnon remains out. He was seen skating without the team back in Colorado so his status leans more uncertain than before.

The matchup against San Jose is what stands out here. This team has just fallen apart, allowing 2.8 expected goals against per 60 minutes at five-on-five this month and controlling just 43.9% of the expected goals. Colorado is at the other end of the spectrum by expected goal share and with the Sharks having played last night, this is a great spot for the Avalanche tonight.

Kadri will be highly owned in all formats tonight, so it is a question of how to use him. He is second on the team in shot rate this month, behind only MacKinnon, so he is acceptable in cash games. The bigger issue is how to finagle the tournament ownership. Adding in a defenseman to make it a four-man line stack with the pivot’s linemates is one way to do it.

If MacKinnon is back in the lineup, the matchup is still good enough to use Kadri in a power play stack, but he would no longer be in consideration for cash games.

Kadri was popping in the NHL lineup optimizer and looks great in the projections as well. He should be a solid play for tonight’s fantasy hockey slate. Check out all of our free NHL DFS picks today in our DraftKings NHL Cheat Sheet and FanDuel NHL Cheat Sheet. Be sure to check back throughout the day for more fantasy hockey advice before building lineups tonight.

Brock Nelson (NYI vs. CBJ): DraftKings – $6,300 | FanDuel – $6,800

It has been an up-and-down season for the Islanders, but it has certainly been a productive one for Brock Nelson. His 32 goals are already a career-best, and seven more points will set a career-high. The second half of the season has been particularly beneficial, but a lot of it is how well his line is playing: 2.7 expected goals generated per 60 minutes, the most of any Islanders line with 150 minutes together. That has translated to a massive 4.7 actual goals scored per 60, which is running a bit hot but they are also just playing well.

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Tonight, they get a Columbus team that is 27th by expected goals allowed and actual goals allowed this month as their team defense continues to struggle. The Islanders tend not to play any one player a lot, and that can be a problem for very expensive players, but Nelson is not. His price with this matchup is palatable.

He has generally been a good goal scorer for his career and that prowess means he is a one-off candidate for tournaments tonight. Realistically, a full line stack may be better because his wingers are relatively cheap, which helps alleviate ice-time concerns.

Winger

Joe Pavelski (DAL at ANA): DraftKings – $5,600 | FanDuel – $7,400

It seems as if the Dallas top line has been on a downturn, but Joe Pavelski has been doing just fine: 11 points in 13 games so far this month. He is still skating over 18:30 a night of late, which is a good sign because lots of teams are cutting back the ice time of their top stars. Pavelski can be relied on for 18-19 minutes here and that is important at this stage of the season.

Going into Anaheim is a good matchup these days. The team had been doing better defensively but injuries and trades have gutted their already thin depth. They have still been in the middle of the league by many metrics, but their goaltending has also let them down, and it has resulted in the third-most goals allowed per minute in March. Pavelski’s line, conversely, is generating nearly 3.5 expected goals per 60 minutes this month, just a huge number.

The fact that Pavelski’s linemates skate all their minutes together both at five-on-five and on the power play means that using them in a full line stack is one option here tonight. Of course, Pavelski is a good enough scorer that he can be used as a one-off option in a pinch.

Michael Bunting (TOR vs. WPG): DraftKings – $3,800 | FanDuel – $5,300

On the topic of great years, Michael Bunting has 20 goals and 51 points in 66 games this season. It is quite the feat when considering he gets very little power play time, but playing on the top line for the Leafs has its advantages. That line has been dynamic this month (as it has been most of the season) generating 4.3 expected goals and 5.1 actual goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five. They are decimating the opposition.

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In town tonight is a Winnipeg team that played last night in Buffalo. A road back-to-back is never easy for a team, and there is a chance their backup goalie gets the nod in the net. As it is, Winnipeg’s team defense has not been particularly good this month, ranking just ahead of Detroit, San Jose and Vancouver by expected goals against at five-on-five. It is a good matchup for Bunting and the Leafs tonight.

The winger finds himself here because of a price drop on DraftKings. There have been times where he has been around the $5,000 mark, certainly in the $4,000 range for much of the year. Being priced where he is means he can be used as a cheap one-off in tournaments, though he is just fine as part of a stack with his linemates.

Andrew Mangiapane (CGY vs. LAK): DraftKings – $3,500 | FanDuel – $6,000

Another player having a wonderful campaign is Andrew Mangiapane, who has cracked the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career. It is not often 30-goal scorers are priced where he is on DraftKings, but as the ice time is being spread out amongst Calgary forwards, many prices have dropped.

The big issue for Mangiapane is his shot rate of late. He sits at 2.3 per game on the year but is down to 1.8 over his last 10 games, but a player with mediocre ice time numbers will have fluctuations like this. Back in the fall, he had a 10-game stretch of 1.7 shots per game. He followed that up with 2.9 shots in his next 10 games, scoring seven goals. He is a player that is very good at driving offense and creating dangerous shots for himself and his linemates. That, alone, makes him worth his price. He is perfectly fine as a one-off option from a high-octane Flames team tonight.

Over on FanDuel, he is far over-priced for his role and his likely ice time rates. Teammate Tyler Toffoli (W – $6,100) is nearly the same price as him, though, and gets top power play minutes. He makes more sense on that site.

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Defense

Tony DeAngelo (CAR vs. MTL): DraftKings – $5,600 | FanDuel – $6,000

The defensive issues for the Montreal Canadiens are varied, but the simplest way to put it is that they are poor on their own end. They are last in the NHL by expected goals against at five-on-five this month and 30th on the penalty kill. When Tony DeAngelo is running the top power play unit for Carolina this year, the team is generating a whopping 12.2 goals per 60 minutes. He is very good at running a quintet with the man advantage, and his price is very reasonable tonight. He is fine as a one-off in tournaments tonight but given the quality of the opponent, bringing along some power play linemates in a stack is a very viable avenue tonight.

Seth Jones (CHI at FLA): DraftKings – $5,400 | FanDuel – $6,300

On the year, Seth Jones is averaging well over two shots and two blocks per game. That kind of peripheral floor is always nice to work with. On DraftKings, that has translated to either a shot or block bonus in nearly half his games played (31/63) and both of them on a couple of occasions. Of course, because he plays heavy minutes and is on the top power play unit, he is on pace for well over 50 points as well. His recent price drop on DraftKings makes him a target in what could be a high-paced matchup against a great offensive Florida team.

Over on FanDuel, where peripherals are not as important, John Klingberg (DAL – $5,300) makes more sense.

Goalie

Calvin Petersen (LAK at CGY): DraftKings – $7,300 | FanDuel – $7,800

Calgary is spreading out the ice time, but it has not greatly affected their shot rate, as they are second in the league in this regard for the month of March. Los Angeles played last night without Calvin Petersen in the net, which means he is likely to start tonight. He stands a good chance of seeing a lot of volume, which is good news for tournament goalies. Against a great team like the Flames, there is always the chance of a goalie blowing up and providing little fantasy value. However, he will need to be good for this team to stand a chance to win. If he is on his game with a lot of volume faced, there is significant upside.

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CAR PP: Aho-Teravainen-DeAngelo

As mentioned in the section on DeAngelo, he makes a big difference on the power play and the top unit is elite with him there. Montreal’s penalty kill is awful, but they also take a lot of penalties, with the third-most time short-handed this month. At least on DraftKings, a lot of the Carolina forwards have been priced down and with the power play forwards spread across to even-strength lines, there are many ways to create a power play stack. That is important on FanDuel where Vincent Trocheck, also on the power play, is much cheaper than Sebastian Aho.

NYI1: Beauvillier-Nelson-Lee

The praise has gone to Nelson, but the entire line has been very good offensively this month: 3.1 expected goals generated per 60 minutes at five-on-five and 5 goals per 60 minutes. Islanders forwards do not play heavy minutes, but that has been factored into their price. They will likely carry heavy ownership, but on a slate this large, there are many ways to get different with the rest of your NHL DFS lineups.

*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick


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

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