Folks, we have a monstrous 14-game NHL slate on this Monday evening to kick off our NHL DFS week!
With that in mind, let’s get into some GPP-aimed picks and see if we can comb through the action and find the right set of low-owned players to get at or near the top of GPPs!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – May 3, 2021
C – Roope Hintz (DAL) – $6,300 vs. FLA
There may not be a player flying more under the radar in the NHL this season than Hintz, the Stars’ current No.1 center wither Tyler Seguin out for the entire season to this point.
He’s missed some time while dealing with a lower-body injury throughout nearly the entire year, but Hintz is averaging exactly a point per game with 38 points in as many games while he’s been a monster on the power play with six goals and 17 points on the man advantage. His 14 goals on 87 shots produced a 16.1% shooting rate that isn’t exactly outrageous as he posted a 15.8% mark in 60 games last season.
After tearing his way through the middle portion of April, he’s cooled off. Hintz is now pointless across his last five games, but I like the matchup here despite the Panthers vastly improving on the back end this season.
Florida is hovering around the top 10 in overall defense with quality underlying metrics, but it’s a back end without Aaron Ekblad, but also one that will see 20-year-old Spencer Knight start the fourth game of his NHL career. Now, Knight has been very good so far with a 1.67 GAA and .943 Sv% on the season, but he’s also coming off the worst start of his career in which he surrendered three goals on 27 shots (.889 Sv%) in an overtime win over the Blackhawks. Not a terrible outing, of course, but the regression has kicked in after he allowed just one goal over his first two starts.
He’s perhaps the top goaltending prospect in the league, but still just 20 years of age with unsustainable numbers through three starts. Keep in mind this Stars team is also one fighting for every point for their playoff lives and the Panthers have already clinched a postseason berth, so let’s see if Hintz can snap out of his skid tonight.
C – Josh Norris (OTT) – $4,600 vs. WPG
The Sens are eliminated from the postseason race, but don’t think this team has nothing to play for. It’s still a young, rebuilding club and roster spots are far from guaranteed as head coach D.J. Smith has his team ready to play every night.
I also like the matchup here with the Jets. First of all, it’s backup Laurent Brossoit getting the start to give Connor Hellebuyck perhaps his final regular-season breather, but the Jets also give up chances with the worst of em’. Entering this one, the Jets rank 28th in scoring chances against/60, dead last in terms of high-danger chances against/60 and 28th once again in expected goals against/60. Their 2.46 expected goals against is actually above their 2.27 actual mark.
Enter Norris who will center the team’s top line at both 5v5 and on the Senators’ top power play unit. He’s having a fine rookie season that’s seen him produce 15 goals and 32 points in 51 games with another six goals and 14 points on the power play where he’s actually thrived despite the Sens sitting 26th on the man advantage this season.
This is a Jets defense that has surrendered 4.33 goals per game during their current six-game losing skid and they’ve also surrendered four goals on their last six penalty-killing scenarios, so I feel the underowned Sens are in a fine spot here on a big slate.
W – Joe Pavelski (DAL) – $7,000 vs. FLA
The production has obviously regressed since Pavelski came out of the gate white-hot this season, but given the high price tag and not-so-great matchup (on the surface) with the Panthers, I think we’ll get the veteran at low ownership on a huge slate.
I mean, the production has predictably dipped, but it’s still been real strong. He’ll enter this one with 21 goals and 44 points in 51 games on the season to go along with 121 shots on goal. Furthermore, we want him in this lineup over the impressive rookie Jason Robertson (also lining up with Hintz on the top line) as Pavelski also skates with Hintz on the top power play unit where he’s buried 12 goals with 20 man-advantage points on the campaign. In fact, those 12 power-play tallies lead the NHL, so we certainly want him in this lineup if we’re choosing between him and Robertson tonight.
The Stars have scored just one goal over their last three games, so obviously these guys are struggling a bit here, another factor that should lead to low ownership. They’ve fallen to 20th on overall offense, but remain in the top 13 in terms of both scoring chances for/60 and high-danger chances for/60 while their power play checks in at a share of sixth with a 23.5% clip on the season.
They’re cold, but I’m looking forward to seeing what this first-line duo can do for us tonight.
W – Brady Tkachuk (OTT) – $6,300 vs. WPG
Next man up in our three-man Sens stack is Tkachuk who brings a very high floor to the table.
In his bid to become the first player in NHL history to lead the league in both shots on goal and hits, Tkachuk is currently tied with Auston Matthews atop the league with 201 shots on goal, but the problem is he’s been bitten by a very suppressed 8% shooting rate. He’s having a fine season with 16 goals and 34 points in 51 games, but perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by that shooting rate given his 8.8% career mark and 8.1% mark from last season in 71 games. When you put everything on net, you’re certainly at risk of having plenty of those pucks swallowed up and that’s been the case with Tkachuk to be sure.
That said, he’s been fairly consistent of late. He’s recorded 10 points over his last nine games and has recorded at least one point in six of those games with four multi-point efforts in that time. He’s coming off an extremely rare zero-shot effort in an OT loss to the Canadiens on Saturday, marking the first time all season he’s been held without a shot. If you believe in the law of averages, there should be plenty of pucks on goal in this one, and considering the vast amount of opportunities this Jets back end yields, I like our chances at some production here.
Gotta love the cross-category upside tonight with the younger of the Tkachuk brothers.
D – John Klingberg (DAL) – $5,300 vs. FLA
There are too very good options on the Stars back end on a nightly basis, and even more so now that they are both lining up on the dangerous top power play unit. Miro Heiskanen offers more value at his cost, but we have plenty of resources in this lineup given our low-cost Senators stack, so I’m going with Klingberg who has had the slight edge in production.
Both blueliners have scored seven goals this season, but Klingberg has racked up seven more helpers despite skating in two fewer games. Heiskanen has a slight edge in shots and shot-blocking, but nonetheless my decision rides here with Klingberg.
It’s been a fairly typical season for the Swede. His 0.66 points per game this season is right in line with his 0.68 career mark, although his 32 points in 48 games this season matches hi 32 points from last season, but in 10 fewer games played. His 7.1% shooting rate for the season is also in line with his 6.7% career mark while he’s once again been dangerous on the power play with 16 man-advantage points on the season, good for ninth among NHL defensemen.
He’s put six shots on goal over his last two games to no avail, so let’s see if he can snap a six-game goalless drought in this one tonight.
D – Jeff Petry (MON) – $5,300 vs. TOR
The Leafs are red-hot and will get plenty of love on this slate, but don’t count out the Habs coming off a big OT win on Saturday.
While the Leafs’ defense is vastly improved this season from year’s past, a monumental piece of that blueline puzzle is out of the lineup tonight as Justin Holl did not travel to Montreal for this one after taking an ugly-looking puck to the face in Saturday’s blowout of the Canucks. Zach Bogosian, another top-six mainstay, is also out with a shoulder injury, so we have two of the Leafs’ top-six regulars out of the lineup for this one. Perhaps the Leafs’ back end is more targetable tonight than it has been for much of the season.
For his part, Petry was a big part of the Habs’ comeback win on Saturday, scoring a pretty goal to get Montreal on the board. The tally was his 12th of the season to rank third among NHL defensemen while he’s now up to an impressive 37 points in 50 games on the season. He’s also been effective on the man advantage with 14 power-play points as well.
There’s obviously a wealth of cross-category potential here. In addition to his 12 goals and 25 assists, Petry has collected 122 shots on goal and another 55 blocks as well. What I actually like about his goal on Saturday is the fact it snapped a lengthy 22-game goalless drought as his shooting percentile has come down to earth at a 9.8% rate that while still above his 6% career mark, is well under what it was through the first half of the season.
Add it all up and I like his chances at more offense tonight.
UTIL – Drake Batherson (OTT) – $4,600 vs. WPG
Completing our three-man Senators stack is Batherson who will line up with Norris and Tkachuk on the Senators’ top line and top power-play unit for this one.
Like his linemates, it’s been a strong season for Batherson after he’s more than made his mark in the AHL. Batherson collected 116 points over 103 career AHL games over the last two seasons, and after notching 19 points through his first 43 NHL games across parts of two seasons, the 23-year-old has notched 17 goals and 32 points in 51 games as a full-time NHLer this time around.
He doesn’t shoot the puck a ton with just 104 shots on the season, but he’s been most impressive on the power play where he’s recorded 15 points on the season as he’s deadly when given time and space with the puck. Like Tkachuk, Batherson has also been producing at nice clip of late, recording four goals and seven points over his last seven games.
I love this matchup for the Sens against the reeling Jets with Brossoit going, so consider a Senators stack on a huge slate tonight.
UTIL – Tyler Toffoli (MON) – $6,800 vs. TOR
Like Petry, Toffoli was part of the comeback win on Saturday as his third-period goal tied the game and forced overtime as he put a nice shot past the Senators’ netminder, something he’s been doing plenty in his first year with the Habs.
Entering this one, Toffoli has tallied 27 goals and 40 points in 47 games, giving the Canadiens big dividends on a $4M deal while he’s also peppered 149 shots on goal. Now, his 18.1% shooting rate is well above his 11.1% career mark, but he’s clearly fit quite well into this Habs puck-possession offense as opposed to his years spent with the defensively-minded Kings. It’s more or less a continuation of his 10 points in 10 games with the Canucks last season after a trade deadline deal that sent him to Vancouver.
Toffoli actually added an assist to his ledger on Saturday, giving him his second consecutive one-goal, one-assist game while he’s put eight shots on goal in that time, six of those coming Saturday. He’s once again white-hot in the goal-scoring department with eight goals over his last 10 games with 10 points in that span as well.
He’s been held off the scoresheet in each of his last two with the Maple Leafs, but look for him to stay hot in this one.
G – Igor Shesterkin (NYR) – $8,200 vs. WSH
Completing this lineup is Shesterkin who seemingly has a tough matchup tonight with the Capitals, but it could be more favorable than we think.
They are game-time decisions, but both Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson could miss this one. They are set to meet with the training staff to determine their eligibility tonight, but if they are to miss this one it gives Shesterkin a far better look at this team, of course.
Heck, even if those two elite offensive players re-enter the lineup, let’s roll with Shesterkin anyways. His price tag in a seemingly tough matchup should keep his ownership down, but count me in as someone who believes this guy is the real deal.
I mean, he’s a big piece as to why the Rangers rank ninth in overall defense this season. The defense has improved from last season, but Shesterkin will also carry a 2.44 GAA and .920 Sv% into this one, building off the 2.52 GAA and .932 Sv% he turned in across his 12-game NHL debut last season. He hasn’t quite been at his very best of late, but still turned in a .914 Sv% in the month of April as he makes his first start of May in this one.
With the 25-year-old posted a 2.46 GAA and .924 Sv% through the first 44 appearances of his NHL career, I’m on board the Shesterkin train, even if the Caps are at full manpower tonight.