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NHL DFS Picks Today & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups | New York Rangers & Nikita Kucherov 4/1/22

Jeff Votteler

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NHL DFS picks DraftKings FanDuel optimal lineup optimizer today tonight free expert projections rankings ownership

Most gamers know that Fridays are usually travel days for the NHL. Surprisingly, the NHL decided to fool fans on April Fools’ Day with a solid seven-game NHL DFS slate. There are three teams playing on the hind end of a back-to-back tonight. The Islanders, Blackhawks and the Ducks all played last night, so there will not be a morning skate from them. Let’s unwrap the slate and highlight some of the top NHL DFS picks for Friday, April 1st. 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 the 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

Connor McDavid (EDM vs. STL): DraftKings – $9,300 | FanDuel – $10,300

The high-dollar center position is pretty dry tonight outside of McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Both guys continue to smash on a nightly basis, averaging over four shots a game and both tallying at least 18 points in the last 10 games. St Louis has been a middling team at best defensively, outside of the Ryan O’Reilly line. Over the last 10 games, the Blues are bottom 10 in expected goals, Corsi and scoring chances. McDavid is matchup proof regardless, but he is going to benefit from having last change, as he will get the depth matchups when they need offense.

Trevor Zegras (ANH @ ARI): DraftKings – $4,800 | FanDuel – $5,900

The Ducks have been going through a rebuild and it has been sledding for them for a year now. After trading away Rickard Rakell to the Penguins and the aging Ryan Getzlaf dealing with injuries, Zegras and teammate Troy Terry have been relied on heavily for the production. Zegras has a ton of talent and he is only going to get better as he progresses through the league. The young pivot has seven points in the last 10 games while averaging over three shots a game. He gets a great matchup against the Arizona Coyotes tonight. Arizona is either dead last or second to last in every metric looked at for NHL DFS. Even with the Ducks on the hind end of a back-to-back, Zegras is a great play tonight at just $4,800. Awesemo has Zegras as the third-highest projected Center on the slate and the second-best value at the position.

Winger

Nikita Kucherov (TBL vs. CHI): DraftKings – $7,100 | FanDuel – $9,200

Kucherov has struggled to light the lamp with only one goal over the last month, but he still managed to average over 3.5 shots on goal per game and chip in 11 helpers. The Lightning also rank dead last in goals for over the last month, but a date with the Blackhawks could be a get-right spot tonight. Chicago has been awful defensively over the last month. They rank 29th in Corsi, 29th in expected goals against, 30th in shots against, 30th in scoring chances against and 29th in high danger chances. Vegas has given the Lightning the highest team total on the night, which means they will likely be a popular play. If you are stacking, it is wise to find separation from the ownership by using a power play stack or adding a defenseman.

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Kucherov 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.

Frank Vatrano (NYR vs NYI): DraftKings – $3,500 | FanDuel – $4,100

Since Vatrano has joined the Rangers, he has tallied a point in each game. He has played alongside Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin, but Gerard Galant continues to shuffle lines. The Rangers look to take advantage of the Islanders, who are playing on the hind end of a back-to-back and will possibly send out Corey Schneider in goal tonight. The Islanders have struggled defensively over the last month. At five on five they rank 27th in Corsi, 30th in expected goals against and they are giving up the third most scoring chances and high danger chances in that time.


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Defensemen

Roman Josi (NSH @ BUF): DraftKings – $9,000 | FanDuel – $7,100

It is pretty insane to see a defenseman be the second-highest priced player on a DFS slate. Josi has been nothing short of amazing and his production has been insane. Over the last 10 games, he has 20 points… yes 20 real points, while averaging over six shots/blocks per game. He is averaging almost 28 minutes of ice time nightly and has had great success against the Sabres in their previous game this year. He had six shots on goal, three blocks, and an assist for a 23.9 DraftKings point night. The guys play in every situation, and when they are on the power play all offense runs through Josi. If you can afford him tonight he is the top blueliner.

Alec Martinez ([email protected] SEA): DraftKings – $ 4,500 | FanDuel – $3,800

Martinez missed over four months of playing time with an orbital injury but in the two games since returning, he has started to settle back into a full-time role. His ice time has increased in each game, with his last game logging just under 19 minutes. Before his injury, he was a high $5,000 to low $6,000 player that played in all facets of the game. He is not afraid to shoot the puck when the opportunity arises and does not mind getting in front of shots either. Look for Martinez to get back over the 20-minute mark tonight. He will not have to do a ton to get to that $3,800 price on FanDuel.

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Top NHL DFS Stacks Today

TB 1: Kucherov – Point – Stamkos

Tampa’s top line is going to be popular at 35% ownership, but they are the chalk for a reason. Vegas expects this game to be lopsided with the Bolts carrying a team total over two times the Blackhawks’. The trio has only played 63 minutes together this year, but they were a dominant force a couple of years back. They are not going to run into a ton of trouble from the Hawks, as both of their top six lines bleed scoring chances and sub 50% Corsi. If you want to ride the Bolts you will need to find ways to get different from the field by either adding a defenseman like Victor Hedman or mixing it up with the rest of your lineup. Making a lineup with 3-3 stacks is going to be repeated by a lot of people.

NYR 1: Kreider – Zibanejad – Vatrano

The Rangers’ top-line figures to have a decent amount of leverage tonight (4.7%), as it will be hard to fit them in stacks with the other high-dollar stacks. You are going to be forced to fade the popular stacks like Tampa Bay and Edmonton. The Rangers will get to take advantage of an Islanders team playing on the hind end of a back-to-back after beating up on the Blue Jackets last night. The Islanders have been pretty bad defensively over the last month, ranking 27th in Corsi, 30th in expected goals against, 29th in shots against, 29th in scoring chances allowed and 28th in high danger chances allowed. The Rangers are going to welcome Vatrano with open arms, as he is a playmaker that can effortlessly get pucks to the net and has a knack for finding twine. Zibanejad is an elite playmaker that can snipe as well, and Chris Kreider has been on a massive heater with points in six games.

*Additional Stats from Natural Stat Trick


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

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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