There is a short three-game slate from which to make NHL DFS picks, so gamers will need to dig a bit deeper for value. This article will look to some high-end options and some lower-end ones using Awesemo’s premium NHL tools. Below is a position-by-position breakdown of the players popping in Awesemo’s NHL DFS optimizer as the top NHL DFS picks today for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
NHL DFS Picks, Tops Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays
Tyler Seguin (DAL vs. NSH): DraftKings – $6,800 | FanDuel – $6,800
It has not been a terrible start for Seguin, scoring-wise. He is averaging a shade over three shots per game and is on pace for 30 goals over 82 games. The assists are lagging, and that is a function of the team not scoring to their potential this season.
Though Seguin is lining up on what can be called the third line, he will find his way to ice time. He has played under 18 minutes just twice this year, and never fewer than 16 minutes. He is also getting Denis Gurianov as his winger, and Gurianov might be the team’s best goal scorer; he leads them in shot rate at five-on-five and is second in goal rate over the last three seasons. And he has not had near the quality of teammate that players like Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski have had. Gurianov is a good goal scorer, and that should only help Seguin’s point totals. In a way, they can help each other lift out of the early-season rut.
His price tonight likely keeps a lot of people away from Seguin, but Nashville is one of the most penalized teams in hockey, and that means lots of power-play time for him. He makes sense in a two-man with Gurianov, especially for anyone not playing the expensive Maple Leafs tonight.
Frederick Gaudreau (MIN at ARI): DraftKings – $3,600 | FanDuel – $3,700
Minnesota has not had a reliable lineup this year, and that is not great for DFS. It makes stacking harder, which is unfortunate for a team that has so much high-end talent on the wings.
For Gaudreau, though, he is getting a lot of help tonight. At least, they are lining up to give him help, as he is projected to skate with Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello. That lineup slotting, along with the matchup against Arizona, has Gaudreau as one of Awesemo’s top center values tonight and the top value for any center over $3,000 on DraftKings. He does not have the power-play correlation, but he is getting the linemates at five-on-five, and that is worth a lot in a plum matchup.
That plum matchup needs to be expounded upon. Arizona is bottom 10 in the league in shot attempts and goals allowed at five-on-five, and it gets worse on the penalty kill: Last in both shot attempts allowed when down a man and last in goals allowed. They are arguably the worst defensive team in the league. Comparatively, the offense is worse, so that is what makes this a plum matchup. A full-line stack makes the most sense, but anyone needing a one-off center can look here in tournaments.
Kevin Fiala (MIN at ARI): DraftKings – $6,500 | FanDuel – $5,600
While Fiala does not get Zuccarello or Kaprizov, he does get Joel Eriksson Ek, and he has rounded into one of the top two-way centers in hockey. While he is not an elite, young offensive center like Sebastian Aho, he is likely just a tier below that, and that is more than enough for this Arizona matchup.
Fiala’s shot rate is sitting at a five-year high right now, and he also has a career high in individual scoring chances per 60 minutes. That has resulted in zero goals, so he is clearly just getting very unlucky and is not playing poorly. That is an important distinction when paying his price on either site.
Fiala can be used in a full-line stack – even with Marcus Foligno’s lack of correlation – or in a two-man with Eriksson Ek for the power-play exposure. In this matchup he is fine as a one-off as well. He can blow the doors of Arizona by himself.
Jason Robertson (DAL vs. NSH): DraftKings – $4,700 | FanDuel – $5,500
Like much of Dallas, it has been a tough start for Robertson. He began the season with an injury and just returned not long before Halloween. He does have 4 points in five games since returning, though, and he is averaging three shots per game in that span. The added shot dimension is a wrinkle at this price because shot-bonus candidates who are 70-point threats usually are not priced in this range.
This is a case where the line just has not exploded yet, but it will. It is like Fiala, in that sense, only extrapolated for an entire line. The Pavelski-Hintz-Robertson line is controlling 70% of the expected goals when they are on the ice, and nearly 60% of the shot attempts. They are rolling, they are just getting unlucky: 0% shooting as a line when on the ice together. Once the puck starts going in, those point totals are going to inflate, and the prices will too.
Robertson’s shooting means he is more viable as a one-off than he was last year, at least if this sustains itself. However, the line is playing so well that playing all three in a stack makes a lot of sense for tournaments.
James van Riemsdyk (PHI vs. TOR): DraftKings – $3,000 | FanDuel – $4,400
The truth of the matter here is that van Riemsdyk’s line has been great this year by almost any measure, controlling 55% of the shot attempts and over 60% of the expected goals. Going up against Toronto’s middle six is a tough matchup. The upside is that John Tavares looks like he may be out tonight, as he skated with the scratches and it appears he is injured. That greatly weakens the second line and brings van Riemsdyk into play on a short slate.
Van Riemsdyk has been snakebit this year, failing to score at five-on-five so far. But his scoring-chance rate is in the top six of the team and exceeds names like Claude Giroux and Joel Farabee. He gets some power play time, though that is not the reason for selecting him here. It is that the Leafs will be missing their second-line center, van Riemsdyk’s line will see some time against them, and he is a cheap scorer on a short slate. He is cheaper on DraftKings than FanDuel, though.
Roman Josi (NSH at DAL): DraftKings – $7,900 | FanDuel – $7,000
Josi is one of the two highest-owned defensemen on tonight’s slate, and for good reason: He is averaging a point per game and is averaging over three shots per game. He has one block and two shot bonuses on the season, so he is a threat for all the bonuses on DraftKings. His price is very high, but Dallas is not elite defensively, and Josi still grades out as Awesemo’s second-highest-scoring defenseman. He is fine in any format tonight, especially with his cheap price on FanDuel.
Dysin Mayo (ARI vs. MIN): DraftKings – $3,700 | FanDuel – $4,000
While many may hesitate to include too many Coyotes given the general state of the team, Mayo is an exception here. His shot-blocking rate is just outside the 90th percentile of defensemen at five-on-five in the NHL this year, and he has played at least 20 minutes in five straight games, achieving the block bonus in three of them. While his price is a bit high for someone who relies solely on blocks, a guy playing that many minutes is always a threat for both a block bonus and an assist. He is a target for lower-end defensemen in tournaments, and he is coming in with very little ownership on a short slate.
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Jack Campbell (TOR at PHI): DraftKings – $7,800 | FanDuel – $8,600
Quite simply, there is not a lot separating most goalies tonight. Juuse Saros, Braden Holtby, Carter Hart and Campbell are all within $400 of each other on DraftKings. They are also all within 8 percentage points of each other by projections. Unless someone is going to risk the Arizona goalie, who is comparatively cheaper with a lower ownership rate than the rest, the options tonight are largely interchangeable. Campbell has the third-highest shutout percentage and the third-fewest expected goals against. That is good enough for his price.
Top NHL DFS Stacks
PHI3 – Laughton – van Riemsdyk – Lindblom
This is a line that has played very well this year. The matchup is what is the tough part here, as Toronto’s third line has been tough defensively. The second line, referenced earlier, could be without Tavares tonight, and that could leave this Flyers line with a better matchup. Just taking two of the three forwards is fine to fit in expensive Dallas/Minnesota skaters, but this line needs to be considered in tournaments.
TOR1 – Bunting – Matthews – Nylander
On the other side of the Flyers game is the Leafs and their top line. It is a tough matchup for the Auston Matthews line, it needs to be said, facing the Sean Couturier line in this matchup. That is one of the tougher matchups in the league, but the Matthews line is near the top of the league in both expected goals and shot attempts. They are elite offensively and can wreck any matchup. They are coming in with very good leverage in Awesemo’s Top Stacks Tool.
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The NHL DraftKings rankings for fantasy points and value are derived directly from Alex's own NHL DraftKings projections. Initial most accurate NHL DFS ownership projections for main slates will be posted daily by 4 p.m. Find more NHL DFS and NHL DFS picks tonight as well as the best NHL DFS predictions. The most accurate NHL DFS projections model was created and is maintained by Alex Baker and Jake Hari.
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