COVID protocol has been making a strong onset through the NHL in the past week or so. Keeping an eye on new is imperative to succeeding at NHL DFS. Following this list of Twitter beat writer is a huge advantage for getting last minute news and scratches. 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’s go position by position and pinpoint some of the top plays and stacks for Tuesday, Jan. 11.
NHL DFS Picks, Tops Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays
Aleksander Barkov (FLA vs. VAN): DraftKings – $7,100 | FanDuel – $9,000
Florida is starting to get healthy as a team, and that has given Aleksander Barkov back a pair of regular-ish wingers, including Sam Reinhart. This iteration of Florida’s top line does not have much time together this year, as Reinhart has often played further down the lineup. What is known is that in a limited sample, the duo of Reinhart and Barkov has generated 3.4 goals per 60 minutes and controlled 55% of the shot attempts. That is a very good start for this top line.
Of course, the big attraction here is the matchup against Vancouver. The Canucks have not played in 10 days due to COVID cancelations, so this team is about to be as rusty as a two-handed saw from the frontier days. This sentiment, along with the general quality of the Canucks, is reflected in the fact that the Panthers are massive favorites, and the game has a 6.5 total. As a result, Barkov is third among all Awesemo’s center projections today.
The only question is how to use Barkov. He is well over three shots per game this year, so he can be used in cash games. In tournaments, he is certainly fine as a one-off, but with Reinhart jumping to the Barkov power-play unit, a full stack is in play here. Just beware of ownership because as games keep getting cut from this slate, more ownership will move in this direction.
Evgeni Malkin (PIT at ANA): DraftKings – $5,000 | FanDuel – $5,900
The Penguins have endured their fair share of injuries, but Evgeni Malkin has yet to play a game this season. He is expected to return to the Pittsburgh lineup, and that means he is worth discussing.
Malkin is in his age-35 season, but he still has 102 points over his last 88 regular season contests spanning two years. That is superlative production for where he is priced across the industry. The problem is ice time. Last year, his ice time per game fell to a career-low 17:44. That is not near low enough to drive his value into the dirt, but there is a difference between 19-20 minutes a night and 17 to 18 minutes. That is why the $5,000 price tag on DraftKings and $5,900 on FanDuel feel reasonable; there could be as few as 16 minutes tonight or as many as 20, and it is unknown where he will fall.
It should be noted he was skating with the team’s top man advantage unit in practice, and he walks onto a team with a top-10 power play by expected goals for per 60 minutes over the last six weeks. If Malkin returns to his for from a couple of years ago, he is far too cheap at the price. That is the risk we, as DFS players, must decide to take, or not, today with a future Hall of Famer.
Nikita Kucherov (TB at BUF: DraftKings – $6,800 | FanDuel – $8,400
Nikita Kucherov has returned from injury and is still far too cheap, particularly on DraftKings. Over his last 73 regular season games, he has 91 points and over three shots per game. He is still one of the elite offensive producers in the NHL and his price just has not climbed to where it should be. Because of this, he is the best value on DraftKings of any winger over $6,000 this evening.
The matchup is also the other side of this. Buffalo is bottom-10 by shot attempts and expected goals against since the start of December and they will be without top-line center Tage Thompson. Beyond their five-on-five numbers and lack of top center, Buffalo is allowing the most expected goals on the penalty kill in that same span. The only thing saving them from sky-high goals against rates is great goaltending, and teams cannot rely on great goaltending every night.
With his price and matchup, Kucherov should draw a fair amount of ownership, and he is among Awesemo’s highest-owned wingers. It is not enough to move completely away from Tampa Bay and their top line tonight. Kucherov, at least, is in play in all formats because of his low price, but stacking him with his linemates in tournaments is just fine.
Kucherov was one of the most popular names showing up highly in the Awesemo fantasy hockey cheat sheets today. Check out Awesemo’s DraftKings NHL Cheat Sheet and FanDuel NHL Cheat Sheet for more of Awesemo’s FREE NHL DFS lineup optimizer picks today.
Oliver Bjorkstrand (CBJ vs. CHI): DraftKings – $4,800 | FanDuel – $5,800
One problem with Oliver Bjorkstrand is his shot rate has started to dip a bit: Down to 2.5 shots per game over his last 10. That is against just shy of three shots per game prior to that. The flipside is that his price reflects this change, as he spent a good portion of the season over $6,000 on DraftKings. He is still the team’s top point producer and that all brings him into play tonight.
The big target tonight is Chicago and their penalty kill. Like the aforementioned Sabres, the Blackhawks are near the bottom of the league in almost all respects on the penalty kill over the last six weeks. Over his last few games, following his return from injury, Bjorkstrand leads all Columbus forwards in power-play ice time per game. They are heavily using their top power play, and it is a great matchup for them and Bjorkstrand.
Because of that fall in shot rate, Bjorkstrand’s status as a cash-game option is very much up for debate. Columbus should be targeted in tournaments, though, and that includes Bjorkstrand and his linemates. This is a great special teams matchup for them, and Bjork specifically is one of Awesemo’s best values on the entire slate today.
J.T. Compher (COL at NSH): DraftKings – $3,400 | FanDuel – $5,100
The Avalanche saw Gabriel Landeskog head to the COVID list and that has moved some players around the lineup. This pushed J.T. Compher to the second line and the top power play. For his price, on this team, that is a wonderful position to be.
Compher himself is not a great offensive player. Over the last six weeks, he is shooting less than any regular Colorado forward. He is fine in transition but is not asked to do a lot of it, and he is not a great in-zone playmaker either. Basically, there is a reason he is not a fixture of top six when everyone is healthy. But everyone is not healthy, and he is priced down in a great situation.
While this is a back-to-back for Colorado, Compher and his linemates should avoid the top competition from Nashville and that can be important here; the Nashville depth has been very fluid with their defense this season. The team is also among the 10 most-penalized teams in the league and their bad penalty kill is being saved by elite goaltending. That cannot always persist, and Compher’s price makes him a one-off punt target in tournaments.
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Seth Jones (CHI at CBJ): DraftKings – $6,600 | FanDuel – $6,300
While the revenge narrative might rule the day for some people here, the fact is that Seth Jones is just having a great fantasy season: in 35 games, he has seven DraftKings shot bonuses (20% of his games) and 13 block bonuses, or 37% of his games. He has even had a couple of nights with both of them. He has often carried a price in the $7,000-plus range, but is priced down reasonably today, making him a target against a team that is bottom-10 in the league defensively at all strengths over the last month or so. He has also added about a minute of ice time to his game of late, which is always a good sign.
MacKenzie Weegar: DraftKings – $4,900 | FanDuel – $6,100
Quietly, MacKenzie Weegar has been one of the top DFS performers on the blue line this year for someone who never gets top power play minutes. He has four shot bonuses and 12 block bonuses on the season, one of the rewards on playing for a high-octane offense. Even without those top power play minutes, he is still averaging over 50 points per 82 games over the last couple seasons, and the peripherals have come alive for him. At his DraftKings price, he is strongly in consideration in any format as he is one of Awesemo’s top defense values today.
Juuse Saros (NSH vs. COL): DraftKings – $7,200 | FanDuel – $8,000
Over the last three seasons, Juuse Saros is near the top of the league in high-danger save percentage and leads the league in goals saved above average per 60 minutes. Those are two indicators that he is truly among the top-end goalies in the league. If that is the case, then his price tonight is far too cheap, even if it is Colorado in town. They are a high-volume team for shot rate and Saros is at home against a roster that played last night. He is a strong target in tournaments tonight.
Top NHL DFS Stacks
CBJ2: Bjorkstrand – Sillinger – Voracek
As mentioned in the Bjorkstrand section, this is a great spot for the Columbus power play, and their top unit features Bjork and linemate Jakub Voracek. They are priced reasonably across the industry and, including Cole Sillinger, make a filler stack target on this slate. As a duo, Sillinger/Bjorkstrand help the team control 53% of the shot attempts and 54% of the scoring chances at five-on-five. This is a good matchup all around for them.
SJ1: Barabanov – Meier – Hertl
Without a doubt, Alex Barabanov drags down this line but they are still generating 61 shot attempts and 29 scoring chances per 60 minutes, all good offensive marks. The team is at home tonight to a Detroit squad that is playing their third road game in four nights and head home after this contest. The top Detroit line has fallen to about break-even by shot share of late, so it is an even matchup, but we will lean to the home side here.
*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick
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The NHL FanDuel projections model was created and is maintained by Alex Baker and Jake Hari. The NHL daily fantasy rankings for fantasy points and value are derived directly from Alex's own DFS hockey projections. Initial NHL ownership projections DFS for main slates will be posted daily by 4 p.m. Find more Yahoo! DFS NHL and NHL DFS advice as well as the best DFS NHL tips.
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