FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – January 18, 2021

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We won’t go over the results, but it was another profitable night with our last FanDuel NHL DFS picks lineup that came on Saturday. We took the option on last night’s two-game slate with games at noon and 7 p.m. ET.

That’s three profitable nights over the first four nights of the NHL season, so let’s keep it going on tonight’s eight-game main slate in what will be an optimal lineup suitable for cash and GPP contests!

FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – January 18, 2021

C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $8,500 vs. WPG

It hasn’t exactly been a great start to the season for Auston Matthews as he’s notched just one goal in three games. That said, to say he’s been a non-factor is incorrect.

Matthews was all over the place in the Maple Leafs’ season-opening win on Wednesday against the Canadiens, registering seven shots on goal and 13 shot attempts, but wasn’t on his game in the Leafs’ loss in Ottawa on Friday. That said, he bounced back in the rematch on Saturday as his one-timer goal from he high slot stood as the game-winner on the team’s 3-2 win.

With one under his belt, I would expect a tear from the 2016 first overall pick. After all, this is a guy that collected 47 tallies last season — second-most in the NHL — and put a whopping 290 shots on goal in just 70 games. He’s already fired 16 shots on goal in three games this season with a goal and two assists on his ledger in the early going.

The Jets have played just one game to Matthews’ three so far, and it’s a weak defensive club that will likely have plenty of rust on the tools in this one. I’ll look for Matthews and the high-powered Maple Leafs offense to go to work in this one tonight.

C – Tyler Bozak (STL) – $3,900 vs. SJ

Bozak is a little bit of a GPP look as he and the Blues take on the San Jose Sharks tonight on home ice. The Blues were pummelled 8-0 their last time out against the Colorado Avalanche, but this is a far superior matchup this time around.

The Sharks are coming off a 5-3 loss to the low-scoring Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, a team that ranked 23rd on offense a season ago. The Blues tied for 14th, but also ranked third on the power play a season ago and it’s a group I believe will exceed their production from last season this time around.

Bozak brings a low-floor to the table as he doesn’t shoot the puck much with just 109 shots on goal in 67 games last season and has just one shot to his credit in two games this season along with an assist.

The Sharks will give the starting nod in goal to Devan Dubnyk tonight and while he appeared in almost 13 minutes of relief against the Coyotes on Saturday, it’s his first start in a Sharks uniform tonight. I’m willing to put him to the test after his 3.35 GAA and .890 Sv% were the worst numbers among all NHL goaltenders that appeared in at least 30 games last season.

It was a curious move to trade assets for Dubnyk on behalf of the Sharks, but clearly the club expects a rebound campaign after he worked to a far superior 2.54 GAA and .913 Sv% in the 2018-19 season, numbers that would be satisfactory if he’s able to return to form this season.

At the end of the day, I expect this Sharks team to struggle defensively on the whole, so let’s see if Bozak can deliver some value at a sub-$4K price tonight.

W – Mitch Marner (TOR) – $7,700 vs. WPG

Marner and Matthews are set to become one of the more productive top-line pairings in the league this season as the 23-year-old is off to a fine start this season after posting 67 points in 59 games a season ago.

The Markham native also scored in the club’s win over the Sens on Saturday, scoring his first of the season while he’s added three assist for four points in three games this young season. He’s recorded only four shots in that time, but also put 233 shots on goal in his last full seasons two years back, so he’s not afraid to shoot the puck despite his play-making label.

The Maple Leafs have spread the wealth on their power play units this season as John Tavares and William Nylander have moved to the second — or 1B — unit, but Matthews and Marner remain on the top group and Marner has two power play points to his credit in three games so far. he tallied 24 power play points in those 59 games last season.

Like Matthews, Marner struggled on Friday only to redeem himself Saturday, so we’ll look for him to build on that bounce back effort tonight.

W – Mike Hoffman (STL) – $5,900 vs. SJ

I love the Mike Hoffman signing for these Blues. The team’s power play was elite last season, and adding a player of Hoffman’s ilk should help maintain their spot as one of the league’s better man-advantage clubs.

Over the last four seasons, Hoffman’s 49 power play tallies ranks fourth in the NHL after he bagged 11 man-advantage goals last season. He would score 29 goals and 59 points in 69 games with the Florida Panthers last season and his 65 goals over the last two seasons ranks him among the game’s elite such as Brad Marchand, Jack Eichel, Brayden Point and Mark Scheifele. Those players produce more points, but we’re here for goals and Hoffman’s price tag is far lower than what we would get those names at.

Hoffman appears to be skating on the Blues’ third line and second power play unit along with Bozak. He missed the team’s opener due to visa issues, and recorded just two shots in team’s shellacking at the hands of the Avalanche on Saturday. He played just 14:26 in that one and I w0uld  expect him to play more in this one.

The Sharks were the best penalty-killing team in the league last year, interestingly, but I would expect the Blues to generate more than enough offense in this one.

D – Morgan Rielly (TOR) – $5,600 vs. WPG

Rielly completes a three-man Maple Leafs stack that should see its fair share of ownership tonight, but he’s looked good in the early going and also completes a three-man PP1 stack alongside Matthews and Marner.

The 26-year-old scored the overtime winner on Wednesday against the Habs, but already has 10 shots on goal in three games and has been leaned on heavily, averaging 25:33 of ice time in that span.

Rielly scored just three times last season and recorded 27 points in 47 games — a fine season by most defensemen’s standards — but it was a disappointing season given the fact he tallied 20 goals to lead all NHL defenseman and recorded 72 points in 82 games two years back. He shooting rate dropped from 9% that year to just 2.4% last season, so while he’ll score more this season, he should be able to rack up plenty of helpers on this potent Leafs offense.

Expect plenty of shots on goal, plenty of assists and plenty of minutes from Rielly this season as he looks to team up with Matthews and Marner while delivering some high floors in this one tonight.

D – Colton Parayko (STL) – $4,900 vs. SJ

The team’s new No. 1 defenseman given Alex Pietrangelo’s departure in free agency, Parayko is coming to us at a nice cost given his cross-category production.

The monstrous d-man collected 10 goals for the second straight season last year, only this time he did it in just 64 games. He was also on pace for a career-high 36 points if he played the full 82 games, but this is also a guy that puts plenty of pucks on goal.

His 162 shots on goal last season ranked 18th among NHL defensemen and his 106 blocked shots tied him for 37th.

In other words, here we have a player that scores, generates points, shoots the puck a ton and blocks more than enough shots to boot. That’s the kind of player we want to complete this three-man 5v5 and PP1 stack in what I believe is an excellent matchup for a team hungry to bounce back after an embarrassing effort their last time out

UTIL – Johnny Gaudreau (CGY) – $7,600 vs. VAN

This is the second time in as many lineups that we’ve used Gaudreau and we were rewarded with our faith in him on Saturday.

Gaudreau didn’t explode, but he delivered a power play assist and three shots on goal for a solid 13.3 FanDuel points. He’s off to a nice start to the season after scoring a power play goal with three shots in the team’s season opener in Winnipeg on Thursday.

It’s a big season for the diminutive winger. He and Sean Monahan regressed last season in what was an uneven year for the Flames offense which kick-started offseason rumors that this could be the duo’s last season as the Flames’ core if increased results were not achieved. I’m a full believer that such a circumstance has lit a fire under the duo and I expect a big year from both as a result.

Here’s a player that recorded just 58 points in 70 games last season. It’s solid production, but he’s an established star in this league after he tallied 183 points in 162 games over the last two seasons combined. There’s no doubt his production last year was disappointing, and he’d tell you that.

I don’t believe this Canucks defense is strong enough and we’ll test Braden Holtby in this one, a goaltender with three consecutive subpar regular seasons before signing with the Canucks this winter.

UTIL – Josh Leivo (CGY) – $3,300 vs. VAN

I’d love to have been able to fit Monahan in here with Gaudreau, however I think Leivo brings plenty of value to the table as he takes on his old team for the second straight night.

Leivo is an underrated scorer. He never got a real opportunity in his days with the Maple Leafs,but enjoyed a nice year-and-a-half stint with the Canucks. In 85 games with Vancouver, Leivo scored 17 goals and 37 points with 182 shots on goal. For a depth scorer, that’s a good season’s worth sample size and there isn’t a team in the league who wouldn’t be satisfied with that production in a bottom-six role.

The main reason he’s here, however, is his spot on a line with Gaudreau and Monahan at 5v5. He’s not projected to skate on either of the team’s power play units at this juncture, but I have a feeling that will change as the season moves along.

All that said, his Flames tenure isn’t off to a rocking start. He’s pointless and shotless in two games, averaging 13:27 of ice time in the process. Such production puts his spot as a top-six winger in jeopardy, but for tonight I’ll look for him to be fired up against his old club and team up with Gaudreau for some even-strength offense.

G – Cam Talbot (MIN) – $7,600 vs. ANH

Talbot notched 4-3 overtime wins across his first two starts of the NHL season against the Kings, and now he’ll stay in California and take on the Anaheim Ducks in this one tonight.

The Ducks lost their two-game set in Vegas to kick off their season, and scored just three times in the process. In fact, anyone not named Maxime Comtois has yet to score a goal for the Ducks this season as the youngster has produced 100% of the Ducks’ goals to this point.

General manager Bill Guerin traded Dubnyk to the Sharks this winter and quickly signed Talbot to a three-year deal on the open market. He did so after the veteran posted a .919 Sv% in the regular season before posting a .924 mark in starting all 10 of the Flames’ playoff games last season.

It was a bounce back season for the former Ranger, Oiler and Flyer. That said, here’s a guy that’s posted a save percentage of at least .917 in five of his seven NHL seasons before struggling late in his Oilers tenure and bouncing back last season. His career 2.61 GAA and .915 Sv% across 316 NHL appearances is certainly workable.

The Wild ranked first in expected goals against/60, scoring chances against/60 and high-danger chances against/60 last season at 5v5, according to Natural Stat Trick. They slipped to a share of 23rd on defense as a result of poor goaltending, but there’s clear evidence Talbot is playing behind one of the best defenses in the sport.

Against an anemic Ducks offense, let’s look for him to grab his third straight win and perhaps post a goose egg in an extremely favorable matchup in this one.

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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.