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NHL DFS Picks & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Tonight | Vancouver Canucks and Auston Matthews 11/2/21

Michael Clifford



A medium-sized daily fantasy hockey slate tonight provides a plethora of options from which to make NHL DFS picks. The Awesemo Premium NHL DFS Tools are one of the best ways to get the most up-to-date NHL DFS advice and information for building DraftKings and FanDuel lineups. Keep an eye out for breaking news throughout the day, and tune into the Awesemo NHL DFS Strategy Show today at 2 p.m. ET for live analysis from Awesemo’s NHL experts.

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NHL DFS Picks, Tops Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays


Auston Matthews (TOR vs. VGK): DraftKings – $8,800 | FanDuel – $8,400

It has undoubtedly been an awful start to the season for Matthews, who was late getting to the ice due to injury. Since then he has just one goal and 2 points in six games. The concern would be if he were not generating offense, but he is, with over four shots per game. The team is also generating more shot attempts and more scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five than any full season in Matthews’ career. The problems are all percentage driven and not related to performance. He still leads Awesemo projections in raw points for a very good reason.

Matthews had two separate stretches of five games without a goal last season, a campaign where he finished with 41 goals in 52 contests. Much like how they finished last season, the Vegas Golden Knights are among the worst defensive teams to begin this season. Their injuries are part of the problem, but their issues run deeper and all that makes this a great matchup for Matthews and his linemates. He is fine to use in any format, but with a lack of high-end options, Matthews should carry a lot of ownership in all contests. Some creative stacks are necessary in tournaments.

Tomas Hertl (SJ vs. BUF): DraftKings – $5,200 | FanDuel – $5,500

Injuries and COVID have ravaged the Sharks and thrown their lines into complete disarray. On the bonus for Hertl is that he has been moved to the top line with Timo Meier, and he received a season-high 21:47 in ice time. Hertl is a threat for the shot bonus, even if he is not a big volume shooter himself, simply because of how much time on ice he should receive. Skating with Meier is a big bonus for Hertl too. Over the previous three seasons, the team has generated over three goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five with these two on the ice. They also controlled over 58% of the expected goals, as they have similar styles that complement each other.

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Buffalo is in town, and while they are better than almost everyone thought they would be, they are still not much better than a middle-of-the-pack team. The Sharks have myriad COVID issues, but as long as they keep loading the top line, Hertl and Meier will continue to be in play. Hertl is fine to use as a one-off, but due to his position he might be best in a stack with his linemates. Beware of lines because Logan Couture was skating for San Jose on Monday. Couture would make a fine GPP replacement for Hertl.

NHL DFS Picks: Winger

Matthew Tkachuk (CGY vs. NSH): DraftKings – $6,600 | FanDuel – $6,700

It has been a weird start to the year for Tkachuk. His team has looked phenomenal, starting 6-1-1 and leading the NHL in scoring chance share. His linemates are off to a great start, as Elias Lindholm has seven goals and 10 points, while Johnny Gaudreau has 11 points in eight games. Tkachuk is  stuck at 5 points. He has zero goals at five-on-five (on 18 shots and 18 scoring chances), and 3 of his 5 points have been with the man advantage. He is registering a point on just 20% of Flames goals, a huge decline from the near 70% over his last three years. All these will regress positively, and that should mean a big five months from Tkachuk as long as the team keeps playing as they are.

Nashville in town means the Tkachuk line gets the second-line matchup from Nashville. When the Predators have their top line off the ice this year, the team’s shots allowed rate increases by nearly a third. This is a plum matchup for Tkachuk and his linemates, whom Awesemo projects for single-digit-ownernship. Tkachuk is a volume shooter, so he can be used in most any format. However, he is best in tournaments with his linemates. It is a good matchup, they are a great line, and they correlate at both five-on-five and on the power play.

Travis Konecny (PHI vs. ARI): DraftKings – $5,600 | FanDuel – $5,500

Another winger whose line is off to a great start this year. Konecny has six points in seven games, but Claude Giroux has eight and Sean Couturier has nine. They are controlling 56% of the shot attempts as a line, which is very good for a line that often gets the shutdown roles.

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The big key here is the Arizona penalty kill. It is awful, allowing the most goals and the fifth-most shot attempts per 60 minutes on the season. While the Flyers power play has not been anything special – middle of the league in most respects – a middle-of-the-league power play at home has the advantage over a bad penalty kill on the road.

Konecny has not hit the shot bonus on DraftKings yet this year but has a handful of four-shot games. There is a reasonable floor to work with, though he is not necessarily recommended for cash games. Like Tkachuk, the correlation he has with linemates likely makes him a better tournament option than a cash-game one. His ice time just has not climbed enough this year – a shade under 16:30 a game – to rely on him in cash games at this price.

Kaapo Kakko (NYR at VAN): DraftKings – $2,700 | FanDuel – $4,300

Kakko has had a tough start to the year for Kakko, getting hurt in the team’s third game and recently returning. His line with Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin has not been elite – about break-even, possession-wise – an elite line is not neceessary in this matchup.

Going into Vancouver, the top line should see a lot of Mika Zibanejad. That leaves Kakko’s line against the depth, which has been bad for Vancouver this year; all of their depth pieces are all below 48% shot share. Unsurprisingly, the Canucks are a bottom-10 team by expected goals against.

Kakko has a legitimate floor of 0 fantasy points, something he has done twice in his five games. But he is still lining up with one of the league’s top offensive talents, and the Canucks are not a very good defensive team. They will also get softer in-game matchups than the Zibanejad line. Kakko should be used in some sort of stack, either with his linemates at five-on-five or on the second power play. Beware of his complete over-pricing on FanDuel compared to DraftKings, but Kakko is still one of the few players priced where he is that is skating in the top six.


Mathew Dumba (MIN vs. OTT): DraftKings – $6,200 | FanDuel – $4,600

The pricing discrepancy is one big reason for his inclusion here, but there are more. Ottawa is a much-improved team from recent seasons, but a lot of the improvements have been on the offensive side of things. Defensively this team is still near the bottom of the league in shot attempts and bottom 10 by goals against. They can score, but they also give it up in their own end.

Dumba is a true combo threat for shots and blocks. Last year’s COVID season was a tough year for him, production-wise. The year before that he had five DraftKings shot bonuses, nine block bonuses and one combo in 69 games. The year before that he had six of each and one combo in 32 games. This year it is two shot bonuses, five block bonuses and two combos. Against a team that both shoots a decent amount and allows a lot of shots, Dumba fits the profile of a one-off defenseman, preferably in tournaments. Despite the price discrepancy on FanDuel, Awesemo projects him for single-digit ownership.

Ty Smith (NJ at ANA): DraftKings – $2,800 | FanDuel – $4,300

Like Dumba, Smith is grossly mispriced on one of the sites. Smith had a good rookie season last year, with 23 points in 48 games. He is off to a slow start this year, partially due to injuries, but he is pointless in four games. He is a good puck mover, though: his shot-assist rate – again, as a rookie – was above average last year, as was his zone-exit rate. As a rookie those are good signs of his playmaking.

He is tough to use because he does not bring much in peripherals, so any fantasy upside is tied to production. That means tournaments only, but a cheap player with as much playmaking prowess as he does against a bottom-10 defense is always in play.


Robin Lehner (VGK at TOR): DraftKings – $7,300 | FanDuel – $7,500

It does not get much more complicated than looking at shot rates. On the season the Golden Knights are allowing the second-most shot attempts at five-on-five of any team. On the flip side, the Leafs are taking the most shot attempts of any team at five-on-five. That combination puts Lehner firmly on the radar as a high-upside goalie for tournaments.

Top NHL DFS Stack

DAL1: Robertson – Hintz – Pavelski

The return of Jason Robertson to the lineup means a reunion of Dallas’s best line from last year. That trio controlled nearly 59% of shot attempts, 58% of expected goals and 68% of actual goals at five-on-five. Those three are back, and they are facing a Winnipeg team welcoming back Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. The problem is those two guys, for whatever they bring offensively, make the team much worse defensively. Dallas is in consideration for tonight.

VAN1: Pettersson – Miller – Boeser

It has been a tough start to the year for the Canucks, but they reassembled a line that has scored over four goals per 60 minutes together dating back two years. The Rangers are also a bottom-10 team by shots allowed on the penalty kill, and this line is correlated on the power play. Plus, VAN1 might be under 5% owned at home.

*Additional data from Natural Stat Trick

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