Tonight will be the first normal slate of the season, with nine games on tap. Early in the year there are some pricing discrepancies that to take advantage of. This column 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’s go position by position and pinpoint some of the top plays and stacks for Thursday, Oct. 14.
NHL DFS Picks, Tops Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays
Aleksander Barkov (FLA vs. PIT)
DraftKings – $7,400
FanDuel – $7,600
Barkov is fresh off a new deal that will keep him a focal point of the Panthers for the next eight years. He is an elite two-way player, and he will look to take advantage of the Penguins, who are still missing Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Sam Reinhart is a new addition to the Panthers top line, but Barkov will work him in seamlessly alongside Carter Verhaeghe. Together last year Barkov and Verhaeghe had some of the best numbers in the league, carrying a 60.4 Corsi-for and 3.29 expected goals per 60. Those are elite numbers. The duo both ranked second and third in the league in shots per 60 among players with 400 minutes of ice time. Pittsburgh is playing without their top two players, and they will likely struggle to keep Barkov’s line at bay.
Nolan Patrick (VGK at LAK)
DraftKings – $8,400
FanDuel – $3,400
Patrick makes for a good large-field tournament play if looking to free up cap space. He is playing on the third line alongside Evgenii Dadonov ($2,700). Both guys will see the top power time, providing exposure to Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone at a very cheap price. The Kings have the oldest top line in the league, but their depth is very young. Patrick dealt with health issues, but he was once a promising prospect. Playing alongside Dadonov could be a good way for the Golden Knights to find some high upside against the young Kings depth.
Nikita Kucherov (TB at DET)
DraftKings – $8,400
FanDuel – $8,800
Kucherov is expensive tonight, but there is still a possibility that the Tampa Bay top line will be a popular play tonight. Kucherov opened the season blanked in points, but he rifled off five shots on goal. There should be plenty of shots on goal tonight against a rebuilding Red Wings team. Kucherov will likely see Dylan Larkin all night, but he will have his hands full as they try to break in Lucas Raymond. The Lightning’s top line is lethal, and they can fill the net up in a hurry. Finding the $19,900 to stack the line should be somewhat easy given the mispriced players on tonight’s slate. If looking for a little salary relief, moving down to the second line could be a good ownership swerve.
Brendan Gallagher (MON at BUF)
DraftKings – $3,400
FanDuel – $5,500
Gallagher’s price here is puzzling. He is on the third line, but he is not a third-line player. The Canadiens have always rolled out their depth lines evenly, which leads to less time on ice for the top players. Gallagher will be playing on the top power play, and he will likely face all the depth of the Sabres, which is the entire team at this point. Gallagher should find a ton of positive matchups and plenty of chances to light the lamp tonight. He makes a great salary-saving play to allow for higher-priced stacks.
Ondrej Kase (TOR at OTT)
DraftKings – $2,500
FanDuel – $3,300
Kase’s salary is the bare minimum on DraftKings, and it is probably wise to keep taking advantage of it. In the opener against Montreal yesterday, Kase played just over 12 minutes, while managing six shots on net. He tallied 10 individual Corsi-for, nine individual scoring chances and four individual high-danger attempts. That screams value in the Awesemo NHL projections for a min-priced player to be creating those attempts against a solid team. Ottawa is still missing Brady Tkachuk, and they will likely be riding the struggle bus tonight against the Maple Leafs, even though they are missing Auston Matthews.
Roman Josi (NSH vs. SEA)
DraftKings – $6,300
FanDuel – $6,000
Josi is one of the most consistent blue liners in the NHL. He logs a ton of minutes and plays in every situation. The Predators offense runs through Josi on the power play as well. It is still unclear what kind of team Seattle will be, but Josi will be involved heavily in the Nashville offense. Last year Josi averaged over 25 minutes of ice time and over five shots/blocks per game.
Jakob Chychrun (ARI at CLS)
DraftKings – $6,200
FanDuel – $4,900
This is more of a FanDuel-specific play, as Chychrun is underpriced at $4,900. He is the 18th-highest-priced defenseman on FanDuel, whereas DraftKings has him priced as the seventh highest. Chychrun took a big leap with his play and production last year. After taking over the top power-play quarterback role from Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Chychrun’s production has been steady. Arizona is in the middle of a rebuild, and they will be leaning on Chychrun to produce at higher levels.
Value Defensemen: Tony DeAngelo, Noah Dobson, Brandon Montour, K’Andre Miller
Florida Panthers 1
Vegas Golden Knights 1
New York Islanders 2
*Stats from Natural Stat Trick
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