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NHL DFS Picks & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups | New York Rangers and T.J. Oshie 12/15/21

Michael Clifford

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FanDUel DraftKings NHL DFS Picks fantasy hockey cheat sheet today optimal lineup optimizer projections rankings ownership TJ Oshie top stacks free expert advice tips strategy wednesday October 27

It is a short slate of just three games from which to draw NHL DFS picks. There may also be news, as COVID is running across the league, so checking news will be vital, and Awesemo’s Discord can help there. This Power Play article will use Awesemo’s Premium NHL Tools to help dole out the 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 us go position by position and pinpoint some of the top plays and stacks for Wednesday, Dec. 15.

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NHL DFS Picks, Tops Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays

Center

Mika Zibanejad (NYR at ARI): DraftKings – $6,800 | FanDuel – $6,800

Even for a short slate, the center position is very thin tonight. It would have to be for Mika Zibanejad, a player with five goals on the year, to lead pivot projections. But he does, and frankly, it is not particularly close. There really is only one expensive spot tonight, and that is the Washington Capitals, so the New York center will draw a good amount of ownership. But there are numerous reasons why this is a good spot for the Rangers tonight.

First, Jakob Chychrun is out of the lineup for the Coyotes with an injury. He has struggled this year, but this team is thin on the blue line as it is. It will give some guys more minutes, and that could be of interest, but it will undoubtedly make them worse defensively. That is quite a feat for a team in the bottom 25% of the league in nearly every defensive metric over the last month.

New York’s top line has been unlucky of late, driving 57% of the shots and expected goals, but shooting just 2.3%. As long as they are playing well, they are an option, and tonight is a great matchup. With Zibanejad’s upside as a goal scorer, he is fine as a one-off tonight, but is best used in a stack due to the plus matchup.

Jared McCann (SEA at ANA): DraftKings – $3,600 | FanDuel – $4,600

The Kraken have assembled Jared McCann with Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Eberle, which is likely their three top offensive options at each forward position. It is not intended to sound like faint praise, but there are only three games tonight and they are an expansion roster. It should not discount the season that McCann has had, either, with 11 goals and 16 points in 23 games, with over two shots per game. He is shooting 20%, but he would still be worth his price with seven goals instead of 11, so it is not a big concern.

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One reason for targeting McCann is that Anaheim uses their third line in a shutdown role. That means McCann is facing a line that is controlling just 36% of the shot attempts and 27% of the scoring chances when they are on the ice. While Seattle has not been strong this year, those are abysmal numbers.

By Awesemo’s projections, McCann is a top three center value tonight on both FanDuel and DraftKings. He should be strongly considered in all formats, especially those playing more expensive stacks, as a one-off. He is fine in a line stack of his own in tournaments as well.

Wingers

Rickard Rakell (ANA vs. SEA): DraftKings – $6,100 | FanDuel – $5,500

On the other side of that Seattle game is an Anaheim team that has two good scoring lines back with Ryan Getzlaf healthy. Rickard Rakell is down on the second line, but that is only in name, as he is skating over 18:30 a game on the season. His line has been excellent this year, largely thanks to Trevor Zegras, controlling 57% of the shot attempts and 61% of the expected goals in 140 minutes together this year at five-on-five. Seattle’s goaltending is improving, but still 25th over the last month by save percentage, so the improvement is all relative. As noted in the section on McCann, Anaheim’s third line takes the tough matchups, so Rakell will get easier ones down the lineup.

It seems that just stacking Rakell with his line mates may be the best option here. The Top Stacks Tool has them with positive leverage and there are very few lines that will have that profile on a slate this small. He is a goal scorer so using him as a one-off is fine in all formats, especially where he’s cheaper on FanDuel, but the whole line has been great together this season.

T.J. Oshie (WSH at CHI): DraftKings – $4,600 | FanDuel – $6,100

It appears as though Washington will be getting Nicklas Backstrom back tonight, and that makes the Caps a three-line scoring team now. They are still missing some talent, but that is a big boost to the lineup. It is good news for T.J. Oshie, who had been playing well this year, but now gets a world-class playmaker to play with. It is something he has not had all year.

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The Oshie/Backstrom duo has generally been good for Washington, controlling 52% of the shot attempts and the same share of scoring chances in their sample together. They also score 3.1 goals per 60 minutes, which is the most important part, and well above average. They also both skate on the same power-play unit.

Chicago has made improvements over the last month, but they are no better than middle-of-the-pack defensively still, and probably worse. How Backstrom will fare in his first game returning from injury is an open question, but there are few spots to play tonight. Oshie has skated at least 20 minutes in three straight games and finally gets a center who can look for him in the offensive zone. He is on the list for consideration as a tournament one-off

Brett Connolly (CHI vs. WSH): DraftKings – $2,500 | FanDuel – $3,000

On the rother side of the Washington game is a Chicago team that just recalled Brett Connolly. He is lining up on the second line with Jonathan Toews, so at least out of the gate, he should get decent five-on-five minutes. But the important part here is he was also seen on their top power play in practice. While the team tried different players on the power play, this team often changes their lines, anyway. A player that is min-priced who could get top power-play minutes is worth attention on a short slate.

From 2018-2021, Connolly scored 1.03 goals per 60 minutes, tied for 25th among all forwards in the league, and ahead of teammates Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane. He can score goals, he just cannot do much else, which is why he has been in the AHL. But goals are what are targeting in DFS, obviously.

For tonight, there may not be a need for a min-priced forward. Aside from Washington, options are reasonably priced across the board. For those needing a cheap forward that could get some prime minutes, look no further.

Defensemen

Shayne Gostisbehere (ARI vs. NYR): DraftKings – $5,600 | FanDuel – $5,100

Chychrun is out of the lineup for Arizona and that should mean more minutes for Shayne Gostisbehere. He has averaged over 23 minutes a night over his last five games anyway, about two minutes more than earlier in the season. But with the top defenseman out, there are not many options left to give minutes to.

Those additional minutes are a big reason Gostisbehere is top three by defense projections tonight on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He is averaging over two shots and one block per game as it is, which means he is a bonus threat for both shots and blocks on DraftKings. This is all at a price that is too low for what he has done and the minutes he will play tonight.

There will be a lot of ownership on this defenseman tonight, but for very good reason. He is in strong consideration as a one-off in all formats tonight. As for Arizona stacks, well, they are still the lowest scoring team in the league over the last month.

Adam Larsson (SEA at ANA): DraftKings – $3,300 | FanDuel – $4,200

On the season, Adam Larsson is averaging over two shot blocks per game, meaning he is a threat for the block bonus on DraftKings every time he takes the ice; he has eight of them on the season. One difference this year is he is averaging a career-high shot rate and while it is still under two per game, it is a positive change for him. Anyone looking for a cheap defenseman that can threaten the block bonus on DraftKings while adding an assist, Larsson is high on the list.


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Goalie

Scott Wedgewood (ARI vs. NYR): DraftKings – $7,300  | FanDuel – $6,900

No goalies are projected for at least 28 saves tonight, which is a rarity, considering the league average is 31.2 shots per team per game. That speaks to both the quality of some of the scorers and the slow paces expected across every game tonight. Scott Wedgewood is near the top of the short list in expected shot volume faced, and the Rangers are on a road back-to-back. Wedgewood is on the short list for tournament goalies tonight.

Top NHL DFS Stacks

NYR PP: Zibanejad – Kreider – Fox

While there are many configurations for a Rangers power-play stack, the reasoning remains the same: Arizona’s penalty kill is among worst in the league. It is not hyperbole, as over the last month, they are 25th by shot attempts allowed, 26th by expected goals, 24th by scoring chances, and 23rd in goals against. This is a fantastic spot for the Rangers power play, and provides an opportunity to change lineup construction on a short slate.

WSH2: Oshie – Backstrom – Sheary

By Awesemo’s Top Stacks Tool, the second line from the Capitals is coming in under 10%, and that is on a three-game slate. Their ownership may come up a bit during the day, but Oshie and Backstrom are both on the top power play against a penalty kill that may be worse than the one outlined above in Arizona. This second trio deserves attention on tonight’s slate.

*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick


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