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NHL DFS Picks Today & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups | Toronto Maple Leafs & Brayden Point 4/2/22

Michael Clifford

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

There is a healthy seven-game NHL slate ahead of us tonight, so let’s not waste any time getting to our NHL DFS picks today. Some of these teams played last night, so there may be lineup updates coming all day long. Subscribers should check into the Discord for new information to drop. Non-subscribers can check out our NHL DFS Top Stacks tool for free today, and it’s a great way to check just how chalky (or not-chalky) your tournament lineup is. Let’s dive into some fantasy hockey advice and best picks for DraftKings and FanDuel NHL lineups today.

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NHL DFS Picks Today, Top Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays

Center

Auston Matthews (TOR at PHI): DraftKings – $9,400 | FanDuel – $10,300

Auston Matthews hit the 50-goal mark for the season in his last game, in just 62 games, a testament to his unbelievable season. While there have been some ups and downs in ice time over the last couple months, he’s sitting on his season average of TOI/game over his last 10 games. Other teams are really pulling back the minutes on their top players, but Toronto hasn’t gone that far yet.

Going into Philadelphia is a big part of the appeal for Matthews tonight. The Flyers have struggled most of the year, and their defensive woes have been at the forefront of late, as they approached 3.0 expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 in the month of March. Only four teams were worse, and that translated to a bottom-10 rate of goals against. The penalty kill hasn’t been as bad, but it also hasn’t been good, and that is a problem against an elite offensive team like Toronto.

A lack of top-end centers on this slate, plus the matchup, will drive a lot of ownership Matthews’ way. He is perfectly acceptable in cash games regardless, but it’s tournaments where that ownership may matter. Including linemates in a stack is one way to dilute that.

Matthews is almost always a cash game lock for NHL DFS lineups. Today, he looks great in the projections and NHL lineup optimizer as both a cash game DraftKings NHL and tournament option. Check out our DraftKings NHL DFS Cheat Sheet for all of the rest of our fantasy hockey advice today.

Brayden Point (TBL vs. MTL): DraftKings – $6,200 | FanDuel – $8,000

Tampa Bay is playing on a back-to-back tonight but being at home doesn’t make it as onerous on the team. Besides, Montreal is coming into town and this is not a matchup to shy away from. The Canadiens were last in the NHL in the month of March by expected goals against at 5-on-5, and bottom-10 in the NHL by actual goals against, despite above-average goaltending. The team simply allows too many shots and chances for their goalies to stand a chance of keeping the damage low.

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This is where Brayden Point and the Lightning come in. Like Matthews, he’s also a player that hasn’t been losing a lot of ice time, skating 19:16 in his last 10 games, very close to his season’s average of 19:33. What is similarly important are his linemates, as he’s skating with Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. That trio has been, predictably, dynamic offensively, scoring over 6 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5.

There will be a lot of ownership here and that is always an issue, regardless of the matchup. But whether stacking at even strength or through the power play, Point and his linemates warrant consideration regardless, particularly where they’re so reasonably priced on DraftKings.

Winger

Timo Meier (SJS vs. DAL): DraftKings – $7,200 | FanDuel – $8,900

Scoring his 31st goal of the season a couple nights ago set a career-high for Timo Meier, putting him on an 82-game pace for 40 goals. What is impressive about his fantasy hockey profile is how he keeps firing a lot of pucks, averaging 4.2 shots per game on the season, and 3.8 per night over his last 10 games. He has a high peripheral floor and is a wonderful goal scorer despite playing on a non-playoff team. They do, more or less, stack their top line, which gives him genuine help at 5-on-5.

Dallas had a rough month of March defensively, allowing about as many expected goals as this very poor defensive San Jose team. Part of that was Miro Heiskanen missing a lot of games, but it was something that pervaded the entire roster as nearly every player was below average by expected goals allowed. He can’t play 60 minutes, and Meier is elite enough to overcome what could be a tougher matchup.

With Meier being so prolific with his shooting, and the rest of his team struggling to score much of the year, he is an a great NHL DFS pick today for tournament fantasy players this evening. Of course, a line stack is another option as well.

Viktor Arvidsson (LAK at WPG): DraftKings – $6,100 | FanDuel – $6,600

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Another winger with high levels of shooting is Viktor Arvidsson. He is near 3.7 shots on goal per game this season and for DraftKings users, he has 19 shot-bonus games on the season. His problem is his shooting percentage sits under 10% for the season, which has kept his goal totals in check. But having such a high peripheral floor for his price is one of the reasons he is in this article.

A second reason for using Arvidsson is the matchup tonight. Winnipeg finished just outside the bottom-10 by expected goals allowed at 5-on-5 in March, with their excellent goaltenders helping keep their actual goals against in check. The second line was the one that struggled the most, and that’s the line that this winger is going to see tonight when the Kings visit the Jets.

The issue with Arvidsson is that he’s not used on the top power-play unit, but that is also keeping his price reasonable. His shot rate is still elite even when he’s not on the power play, and volume is always a good thing. His linemates are getting expensive so using him in a line stack is an open question, but he is certainly acceptable as a one-off this evening in tournaments.

Blake Coleman (CGY vs. STL): DraftKings – $3,300 | FanDuel – $4,600

St. Louis played last night in Edmonton and that puts them at a disadvantage immediately. They may have their regular starting goalie and that could help a bit (the backup was eventually pulled), but it’s still an uphill climb against an elite team like Calgary.

Blake Coleman has seen his ice time decline a bit as the Flames figure out their playoff configuration, and he’s down on the third line for now. That actually could favor Coleman here tonight. St. Louis’s top two lines had a good March, but the third line finished above 3.0 expected goals against per 60 minutes, controlling roughly 40% of the expected goals. There is no way to sugar-coat that: it is flat-out bad. That is the matchup Coleman will get tonight, which is a big advantage for him.

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Of course, the big appeal here is Coleman’s price. His ice time is factored into that, which is why he’s basically priced as a punt option. But his price, combined with good historical shot rates and a very favorable matchup, is what separates him from other punt options on the wing tonight. He is in play as a salary-saver for us tonight.


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Defensemen

Mikhail Sergachev (TBL vs. MTL): DraftKings – $4,700 | FanDuel – $4,600

The injury to Ryan McDonagh has opened minutes for other players, and one beneficiary has been Mikhail Sergachev. He has skated at least 22 minutes in five straight games, something he hadn’t done since just after the All-Star break. That kind of consistent ice time is a boon to anyone’s fantasy hockey profile, and we talked about how good this matchup is in the section on Point. There is no need to go over that again.

On the season, Sergachev has four DraftKings shot bonuses, and all of them have come in the last seven weeks. The lack of power-play time is what keeps him from getting to the next level in the fantasy game, but he’s also priced very reasonably and is a good alternative to spending up big on the blue line.

Andrew Peeke (CBJ at BOS): DraftKings – $2,900 | FanDuel – $4,100

On the season, Andrew Peeke has 140 blocks in 68 games, or over two blocks per game. That is very valuable on DraftKings as this has translated to 22 block bonuses, or nearly one every three games. That kind of shot-blocking proficiency is important for a cheap defenseman. There is also the fact that Zach Werenski will miss the game and that should give Peeke enough ice time to seek that bonus.

Going into Boston, a team that finished March fourth in shot rate at 5-on-5, means lots of opportunities for Peeke to step in front of the puck. At his price, he really only needs to do it a few times to give us the points we need on DraftKings.

For another cheap option on FanDuel who doesn’t rely on peripherals the aforementioned Heiskanen (DAL – $4,700) is perfectly acceptable.

Goalie

Connor Hellebuyck (WPG vs. LAK): DraftKings – $7,800 | FanDuel – $7,200

While we talked about Arvidsson, we mentioned his low shooting percentage. It is something that pervades this whole team: they had the second-worst shooting percentage at 5-on-5 in the month of March and are last in the league in this regard on the season. They are, however, seventh in shot rate on the year and were 10th last month. This is a team that shoots a lot but does not score a lot. That is a perfect mix for an elite goalie like Connor Hellebuyck. He is reasonably priced across the industry and that makes him a target for us in all formats.

Hellebuyck was popping in the NHL projections, and was showing up as one of the best goalies in our NHL lineup optimizer. Look to Hellebuyck in your FanDuel NHL lineups. Check out all of the rest of our free fantasy hockey picks by viewing our FanDuel NHL DFS Cheat Sheet.

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TORPP: Matthews-Marner-Tavares

As mentioned in the section on Matthews, this is just a phenomenal matchup for the Leafs. While the Flyers PK has been okay, the goaltenders have very much let them down while short-handed, and this team is still without much depth among their skaters. Toronto’s top power play finished the month of March with over 11 expected goals generated per 60 minutes, and roughly one goal every three and a half minutes. There are players from this PP unit across three lines, which makes stacking them one way to lessen the ownership concerns of their top-line players.

DAL1: Hintz-Pavelski-Robertson

Though the top line did struggle defensively for the month of March, this trio still generated north of 3.3 expected goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, a fantastic offensive number. The return of Heiskanen should help matters a bit, but it’s the matchup with San Jose that is important here. Their top line is also good offensively, but has similarly been poor defensively, sitting at 3.4 expected goals against per 60 minutes for the last month. There are three other excellent, high-priced spots tonight, and that should keep the ownership on this Dallas line in check.

*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick


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

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