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Power Plays: NHL DFS Picks & Top Stacks for DraftKings + FanDuel with Auston Matthews | 5/1/21

Jeff Votteler



DraftKings & FanDuel NHL DFS picks for daily fantasy hockey lineups today Saturday April 1 with Auston Matthews as the No. 1 player in the Awesemo expert projections

Saturday’s are always a full day of NHL DFS. Tonight is no different with a massive 15 games going off from 1 p.m. all the way to 10 p.m.. For the purpose of the Power Play article, I will be providing plays for the enormous 13-game main slate. To help us juggle all of our choices, I’ll be using Awesemo’s industry-leading NHL DFS projections, along with daily fantasy hockey ownership projections and Awesemo’s Top Stacks Tool. Let’s find some of Awesemo’s optimal NHL DFS picks for our DraftKings and FanDuel fantasy hockey lineups for today’s slate.

As always, be sure to check our premium Slack for crucial fantasy hockey lineup information in the 20-30 minutes leading up to every game’s lock. With the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, teams have taxi squads and are ready to fill positions daily as teams scratch players. Our Slack chat is hands down one of the best places to get fantasy hockey news and line change notifications.

For more NHL DFS picks, check out our DraftKings and FanDuel NHL cheat sheets.

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NHL Power Plays: DraftKings + FanDuel DFS Picks | April 26

NHL DFS Picks: Center

Auston Matthews (TOR vs VAN)

DraftKings – $9,100

FanDuel – $8.700

Matthews is the highest-projected player on the night at 19.21 on DraftKings, according to the Awesemo NHL DFS projections. Matthews leads the league with 36 goals, and he’s been adding to his totals almost daily. He’s lit the lamp in seven of his last 10 games, and comes into tonight with goals in two straight. His shot volume has been insane, he has hit the shot bonus in SIX straight games. Vancouver is going to start dealing with rest issues after its layoff due to COVID. The Canucks are playing a ton of hockey to make up for their time lost. 

Vegas has the Leafs pegged with the highest team total of the night, with a 3.9 implied team total. That means we will likely see some ownership, but I wouldn’t get too worried about it because this slate is so big it should dilute some of it. In eight games against the Canucks this year, Matthews is averaging 18.2 DraftKings points per game. I don’t see that changing tonight – and the Leafs’ top line makes for a great stack as well. 

Aleksander Barkov (FLA @ CHI)

DraftKings – $8,300

FanDuel – $8,100

Barkov has enjoyed playing the Blackhawks this year. The Russian veteran has nine points in five meetings, and he’s averaging four shots per game as well. The Blackhawks are a rebuilding team that has struggled a ton on the defensive side, while getting bailed out by good goaltending. Chicago is allowing the second-most shots against per game, the seventh-most goals against per game and have the fifth-worst penalty kill in the league. Florida has been dealing with injuries and Joel Quenville has a tendency to swap lines out. Barkov should be playing with Anthony Duclair on the top line and they have a ton of chemistry. With a good sample, they carry a 60 CF%, while creating 41 SF/60, 14.5 HDCF/60. At 5-vs-5, they have a 67.5% XGF% and 3.2 XGF/60. Even on the road, they are going to find plenty of chances to find twine tonight.

Other Centers to consider

High Priced: Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, Sidney Crosby, Sebastian Aho

Mid Priced: Sam Bennett, Roope Hintz, Jeff Carter,  Josh Norris, Matt Barzal

Value (Under $4,500): Logan Couture, Sean Monahan, Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson

Latest NHL DFS Content

NHL DFS Picks: Wingers

Mikko Rantanen (COL vs SJ)

DraftKings – $7,700

FanDuel – $8,400

Rantanen came back last night after missing four games due to the COVID protocol. He lit the Sharks up for three points and four shots for a 27.5 DraftKings-point night. He’s now riding a seven-game point streak with six goals and six assists in that time. The Fin’s shot volume has been great as well, averaging just under four shots per game. When Jared Bednar stacks up that top line, it’s one the best in hockey. They have a 61 CF% with an expected goals of 2.96, while creating 36 SF/60, and 14 HDCF/60. They all fully correlate on the top power play and being that they are so expensive, it’s likely they be garnering many clicks from the player pool. Awesemo’s NHL DFS ownership projections currently have them at 13% ownership, and a 28% top 2 stack, for a great leverage of 15%. Over the last 10 games, San Jose is in the bottom 10 in expected goals, shots against, scoring chances and high-danger chances.

Drake Batherson (OTT @ MTL)

DraftKings – $4,900

FanDuel – $4,600

If you’re looking to get different on tonight’s slate, Batherson makes for an interesting value play, per our NHL DFS projections. Batherson has had very good success against the Canadiens so far this year. The youngster has five goals and six assists in eight games. Batherson has great chemistry with his linemates Brady Tkachuk and Josh Norris. They will get the benefit of playing against the Senators, who are  playing on the back end of a back-to-back. They are also missing a couple key players like Shea Weber, Jonathan Drouin, Tomas Tatar and, of course, Brendan Gallagher is out until mid May. Batherson will likely get matched up with the Canadiens top line, who has been weakened a ton with injuries and he should get plenty of good looks tonight. 

Other wings to consider: 

High Priced: Mitch Marner Patrick Kane, Jonathan Huberdeau, Alex DeBrincat, Brady Tkachuk

Mid Priced: Oliver Bjorkstrand, Anthony Duclair, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Dominik Kubalik, David Perron 

Value (Sub $4,000): Tim Stuetzle, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Alex Galchenyuk, Brandon Hagel

NHL DFS Picks: Defensemen

Dougie Hamilton (CAR vs CBJ)

DraftKings – $7,200

FanDuel – $6,600

Hamilton has gone three games without a point, but he’s still getting plenty of ice time and opportunity. Hamilton is averaging over 22 minutes of ice time, and over the last 10 games he’s averaging just under five shots/blocks per game. Columbus is giving up the fourth-most shots against per game and they have given up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing defensemen. Hamilton will be one of the pay-up-to-be-contrarian options tonight – and he’s the No. 1 defenseman in the Awesemo NHL DFS projections. People will most likely try to pay down on defense because there are so many great options at the forward position.

If you’re looking to save money but stay with the Hurricanes blue line, Brady Skjei makes for a solid value play. He’s averaging over 20 minutes of ice time to go along with four shots/blocks per game. He doesn’t get the coveted power play role but at $3,000 it’s easy to pay that tag off. 

Rasmus Sandin (TOR vs VAN)

DraftKings – $2,900

FanDuel – $3,500

Sandin makes for nothing more than a dart-throw value play tonight, if you need to pay way down. He’s playing on the top pairing, which will get you exposure to the Auston Matthews full line. He;s also getting run on the second power play unit, getting you even more exposure to the rest of the team. His ice time has increased in each game over the last three, and he’s tallied a point in two of the last three games. If he can get a couple shots on net and a couple blocks he will smash that price tag. 

Other Defensemen options:

High Priced: Cale Makar, Jeff Petry, Shea Theodore, Adam Fox

Mid Priced: Ryan Ellis, Brent Burns, MacKenzie Weegar, Kris Letang, Devon Toews

Value (Under $4,500): Brett Pesce, Alexander Romanov, Mario Ferraro


Top Stacks

Toronto 1: Mitch MarnerAuston MatthewsJoe Thornton

Colorado 1: Mikko RantanenNathan MacKinnonGabriel Landeskog 

Carolina 1: Andrei SvechnikovSebastian AhoTeuvo Teravainen

Pittsburgh 2: Jason ZuckerJeff CarterJared McCann

Follow us on all of our social channels! Check out our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for more great Awesemo content. Looking for more NHL DFS picks content? We have loads of daily fantasy hockey articles, data, DraftKings and FanDuel cheat sheets and more on the Awesemo NHL DFS home page.

As an avid competitor, Jeff "Votts" Votteler grew up playing all types of sports. But as he grew up, he gravitated towards hockey and played at a very competitive level. Fantasy sports became a passion of Votts' over ten years ago, which in turn moved over to the emerging world of daily fantasy sports for the last five years. Votts likes to dive into the analytics of all the sports, where he can turn over those value "rocks" that players depend on to win on a daily basis. You can contact Votts by emailing

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