We’re back, baby! After almost a four-month layoff, the NHL resumes its regular season tonight. The Tampa Bay Lightning will open the season as reigning Champions, but with the slate wiped clean and a shortened 52-game season, anything can happen. The Lightning will also be missing their most important player, Nikita Kucherov, after he had hip surgery. In this Power Plays article, the goal is to highlight a couple NHL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy hockey lineups on each slate that will help you boost up the leaderboard. Use them along with our Premium tools and projections to make you a successful DFS player.
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NHL Power Plays: DraftKings + FanDuel Picks | Jan. 13
NHL DFS Picks: Centers
Nathan MacKinnon ($8,500 DraftKings / $8,700 FanDuel), A/C Grades
There’s a couple great pay-up options at the center position on tonight’s DFS slate. Starting your teams with MacKinnon or Connor McDavid is always a good idea. MacKinnon led the league last year with 318 shots on goal. He averaged over 4 1/2 shots per game, along with 1.35 real points. MacKinnon will also play the majority of all power plays. Last year he averaged over 4 minutes of power play ice time, along with 31 points. Even though the matchup isn’t the best (as he will likely see a lot of the Ryan O’Reilly line), MacKinnon and his mates have a ton of firepower, and they can score on any shift.
If you’re looking to save some salary, you can look at Nazem Kadri on DraftKings at $4,900. Kadri had a solid year and caught a stretch where he was lights out. In the playoffs, the veteran pivot came alive with 56 shots in 16 games (3.7 shots a game). Colorado added veteran winger Brandon Saad in the offseason, and I think he could be a great addition to the Avs second line with Gabriel Landeskog. Together that trio will see the better matchups against the Blues second and third lines. Along with the better matchups, Kadri will likely keep his post on the power play with his good net front presence, giving you some exposure to MacKinnon.
Dylan Strome ($3,100 DraftKings / $4,600 FanDuel), E/A Grades
The Blackhawks team has been decimated, and they are in a true rebuilding era. But the NHL must play on, and Strome finds himself pivoting the top line between Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat to start the year off. At $3,100 on DraftKings, he makes for decent punt value play. He is going to play on the top power play as well, giving you full correlation if you can stomach it. Getting exposure to Kane and an up-and-coming sniper DeBrincat for a cheap price is a good idea on a smaller slate that has a lot of good pay-up options.
Another value option is Nick Suzuki ($4,200/$5,400), pivoting the second line for the Canadiens between Jonathan Drouin and newcomer Josh Anderson. Suzuki and Drouin will both start on the top power play unit and get you some exposure to Brendan Gallagher.
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NHL DFS Picks: Wingers
Steven Stamkos ($7,400 DraftKings / $8,400 FanDuel), A/A Grades
The reigning champs are set to take on a decimated Blackhawks team. Corey Crawford was traded to the Devils then subsequently retired. Jonathan Toews has taken a leave of absence due to health concerns, and Saad was moved to the Avalanche. It’s all but certain that this will be the year to pick on the Blackhawks for its entirety. The Lightning will be missing Kucherov for the year after he had hip surgery. Kucherov will be hard to replace since he’s one of the most lethal snipers in the game. But Tampa will be led by Stamkos, who fully correlates alongside Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat on the top power play unit. They will have plenty of chances to light the lamp against the Hawks, who gave up the most shots against per game in the league. The Lightning top line will certainly be a popular stack, especially with Malcolm Subban in net for the Hawks with a wicked .899 save percentage.
Brendan Gallagher ($6,300 DraftKings / $ 7,300FanDuel), B/C Grades
The Montreal Canadians are going right back to the well with their top line of Phillip Danault – Tomas Tatar – Gallagher. Last year they were one of the best possession teams in the NHL. They carried a ridiculous 61.82% Corsi For while creating 43 shots and 16 high-danger chances per 60. The Maple Leafs will be a tough opponent, but the possession numbers are too good to ignore. The knock on Gallagher has always been the lack of major ice time, but he has a wicked shot and is not afraid to let it go. Last year the winger averaged 3.4 shots on goal per game. The Leafs play at a very good pace and give up plenty of chances. If they can play in the offensive zone with possession, I think the Canadiens top line could be in for a good night.
Mike Hoffman ($3,200 DraftKings / $6,000 FanDuel), B/A Grades
With Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen on LTIR, St. Louis had some extra cap space and signed Hoffman. He will surely be the uber-chalk value play of the night, but it’s warranted at his price tag. The veteran winger has a knack for the net, with at least 59 points in four out of the last five years. Hoffman is a goal scorer that doesn’t hesitate to shoot the puck. He will play on the Blues second line beside Robert Thomas and Jaden Schwartz. He will also play on the top power play unit. The Avalanche play at a very fast pace and give up plenty of chances. At $3,200, with Hoffman’s pedigree and opportunity, it’s hard to look away.
NHL DFS Picks: Defensemen
Victor Hedman ($6,200 DraftKings / $6,800 FanDuel), A/B Grades
There’s not much that Hedman doesn’t do for the Lightning. He averaged around 25 minutes of ice time last year and also quarterbacked the top power play unit. I mentioned earlier that the Blackhawks have been gutted and are in rebuilding mode. This should be a lopsided game, and with the offense running through Hedman, he’s probably the strongest play on the slate for blue liners. Just remember that he will likely be popular, so if your building Tampa Bay stacks, make sure you differentiate yourself from the masses.
Ivan Provorov ($4,900 DraftKings / $5,300 FanDuel), C/B Grades
Provorov will step up this year and become a focal point on the blue line for the Flyers. The 2016 draft pick won the Barry Ashbee trophy last year for best defensive player. In a shortened season last year, he was just four goals short of a career high. This Flyers – Penguins game will most likely go lower owned because of the defensive nature with shutdown lines. But I still think goals can be scored, and with Provorov planted on the top power play, he should get plenty of opportunity to stuff the stat sheet. Provorov averaged just under four shots/blocks per game last year, and he should only build on that this year.
On DraftKings specifically, Erik Gustafsson ($2,800) looks like a strong play if he can get 20 minutes of ice time. Gustafsson comes from the Blackhawks and is an offensive-minded blue liner. He will get pucks to the net, and he doesn’t mind blocking shots either. Gustafsson is slated to play on the second power play unit as well. If he gets the run, he should pay that tag off no problem.
Keep an eye on the Oilers blue line in the short future. Newcomer Tyson Barrie is slated to play on the depth pairing, but he will get the nod on the top power play unit. Darnell Nurse will get most of the even strength time with McDavid, if he gets pushed to the top power play unit, that would make him that much more valuable. Barrie should see plenty of regular minutes, but we need to see where he correlates best, whether it’s with the Leon Draisaitl line or the McDavid line. The power play is an added bonus, but correlation is key. I think both blue liners in the tonight’s matchup are in play at their respective price tags; just try to correlate if possible.
NHL DFS Picks: Stacks
Tampa Bay 1: Ondrej Palat – Brayden Point – Steven Stamkos
Toronto 1: Joe Thornton – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Vancouver 1: Elias Pettersson – Brock Boeser – Jake Virtanen
Montreal 2: Jonathan Drouin – Nick Suzuki – Josh Anderson
Colorado 2: Gabriel Landeskog – Nazem Kadri – Brandon Saad
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