FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – January 14, 2022

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Man did we ever get desired ownerships with last night’s FanDuel NHL DFS Picks, but that means absolutely nothing when we don’t cash and our rough week continued on last night’s 11-game main slate.

The Red Wings were simply unable to capitalize on a very favorable home matchup against a soft and short-handed Jets defense. Dylan Larkin fired a whopping eight shots on goal and Tyler Bertuzzi put four on net himself, but the Wings were ultimately stymied by Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck in a 3-0 loss.

Stacking the Sens wasn’t the worst idea in the world as they managed a 4-1 upset win in Calgary, but a Brady Tkachuk assist accounted for our lone point of the night. Very disappointing on that front.

We got next to nothing from our Kraken mini-stack as they managed just one goal in St. Louis and netminder Alex Nedeljkovic was solid in stopping 29 of 31 shots (.935 Sv%) but took a tough-luck loss with zero goal support against the Jets.

A tough night to be sure, so let’s see if we can close out the week on a positive on a three-game Friday night slate!

FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – January 14, 2022

C – Nathan MacKinnon (COL) – $10,300 vs. ARI

We’ll go with what is likely aimed towards a cash lineup tongiht as Nathan MacKinnon is a must in such areas, but he’s also a tough fade against a Coyotes team that is struggling mightily in the goal-prevention department.

The ‘Yotes enter this one ranked dead last with 3.71 goals against per game on the season, and while that number actually improves to 3.47 goals against per game on the road they’re still in dangerous territory as they take on the NHL’s top-ranked offense this evening in Colorado.

Indeed, the Avs sit first in the NHL in overall offense with 4.30 goals per game on the season, a good margin ahead of second-place Florida (3.92). They’re also the highest-ranked home offense with 4.76 goals per game on home ice, once again a substantial lead over second-place Florida (4.45).

As for MacKinnon, he clearly carries the highest floor on this slate. The Avs’ captain has notched six goals and 35 points in just 23 games on the season to go along with a hefty 107 shots on goal. What should put fear into future Avalanche opponents is that the team is the top-ranked offense despite MacKinnon scoring just six times on 107 shots, good for a tiny 5.6% shooting rate that is well below his 9.8% career mark. He’s going to start filling the net in a hurry.

He’s also been on a mission of late, tallying three goals and eight points over his last five games, but the guy has put a monstrous 33 shots on goal over his last four games, good for an eye-popping 8.25 shots per game in that time. With just three goals on those 33 shots, his 9.1% shooting rate in that time doesn’t exactly signal regression although it’s closer to his career mark.

In other words, roster this guy in any and all cash games tonight.

C – Johan Larsson (ARI) – $4,200 vs. COL

This Avalanche stack is so expensive that we need to pretty much fill out the remainder of our lineup with value, and that will be the key to success in cash games tonight. Plenty will pay up for the likes of MacKinnon but how we fill out the remainder of our roster is how we will win or lose on this slate.

While the Avalanche sit a solid 14th with just 2.65 goals against per game at home this season and the Coyotes are the NHL’s worst overall offense and on the road where they’ve averaged just 1.94 goals per game, there’s an ulterior motive for getting some Arizona exposure here.

Despite a solid home defense, the Avs also sit 29th in home penalty killing at just 67.4% on the season. The Coyotes’ offense has obviously stunk, but their road power play is a respectable 19.1%, good for 18th in the league. They’re right around the likes of Carolina, Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers there, so a palatable road power play indeed.

So, we’ll kick off a ‘Yotes mini-stack here with Larsson who is skating as the team’s top center right now and on what is labeled as the second power-play unit, although the Coyotes utilize more of a 1A, 1B power-play unit combo.

He’s tallied three goals and 11 points in 22 games this season, albeit with just 22 shots on goal. Perhaps those numbers are a bit misleading as all three of his goals came last Thursday in a hat trick against the Blackhawks while he recorded a three-assist game on Dec. 28 against the Sharks. Still, he’s averaging 18:06 of ice time per game — by far a career-high — and has skated at least 19:46 in each of his last five.

Let’s see if he can put that ice time and power-play minutes to good usage tonight.

W – Mikko Rantanen (COL) – $9,000 vs. ARI

No surprise here as Rantanen is going to skate with MacKinnon on both the top line and top power play unit this evening.

Of course, it’s been another monster season for the 25-year-old as he’s recorded 16 goals and 40 points in just 30 games with an even 100 shots on goal in that time. Rantanen has actually been held off the scoresheet in back-to-back games entering this one after recording seven points over a two-game stretch, which is good news. Why? Because he’s yet to be held off the scoresheet in three straight games this season.

More good news comes via his home/road splits. While the Avalanche still lead the NHL in road offense, Rantanen has recorded a whopping 26 points in 15 home games compared to “just” 14 points across 15 road contests. His 17.6% shooting rate at home isn’t astronomically higher than his 14.3% mark on the road, so I’m not sure much shooting-rate regression should be expected on home ice for the Finnish superstar.

Not much more explanation required here.

W – Valeri Nichushkin (COL) – $6,400 vs. ARI

With Gabriel Landeskog on the COVID list it’s Nichushkin who is skating on the top line with MacKinnon and Rantanen these days as well as the team’s top power-play unit.

He’s certainly earned that promotion. The former Dallas Star has collected 10 goals and 17 points in 20 games on the season to go along with a solid 50 shots on goal in that time. He’s averaging a healthy 18:23 of ice time per game as mostly a second-line player and second-unit power-play player this season, but he’s also a great penalty-killer and a short-handed threat with a pair of short-handed goals on the season.

His current shooting rate of 20% won’t last given his 9.3% career mark, but I don’t give any thought to that regression for this matchup tonight. He’s skating with a couple of the NHL’s best players against the NHL’s worst overall defense in a building where his team is scoring about four and a half goals per game.

Again, with this spot in the lineup it’s a fine choice here, but also keep in mind we won’t be able to afford Cale Makar here given cost concerns. If we want to afford some quality depth in this lineup the Nichushkin-for-Makar trade needs to be strongly considered despite the all-world season the young defender is having.

D – Matt Dumba (MIN) – $5,000 vs. MIN

One area where we can go for some cost-efficiency is Minnesota as they take on the Ducks tonight on home ice. Dumba himself isn’t exactly cheap, but when teamed up with his mini-stack partner it becomes a cost-efficient duo.

He’s enjoying a nice season with three goals and 16 points on the campaign, but Dumba also brings some real healthy peripherals to the table. He’s also fired 72 shots on goal for the season and blocked another 46 to boot.

There’s also a positive shooting-rate aspect here. Dumba has scored more efficiently than your average blueliner in his career as he owns a 7.3% career shooting rate, but that number is just 4.2% on the season. He did shoot at just 3.6% two seasons back, but has otherwise been at 6.6% or above throughout his NHL career. There’s a strong chance his shooting rate rises moving forward.

The Wild have indeed scored over their heads at even strength with 3.04 goals for/60 at 5v5 compared to their 2.37 expected mark, and their home power play is shockingly poor at a last-place 9.4%. That said, the Ducks sit 24th in expected goals against/60 at 5v5 and their defense goes from eighth with 2.45 goals against per game at home to 18th with a 3.12 mark on the road.

The Wild have a solid matchup in front of them tonight.

D – Brandon Montour (FLA) – $4,200 vs. DAL

The Panthers are obviously an option on this slate tonight as they host the Dallas Stars, a team that gives up far more offense on the road than they do at home. That said, it’s pretty much impossible to stack MacKinnon/Rantanen/Nichushkin or Makar with any top-nine Panthers players or Aaron Ekblad on the back end.

As a result, Montour represents our lone Panthers exposure as I’d simply rather target the Coyotes than the Stars.

While the Stars have scuffled defensively on the road, their penalty kill also sits at just 77.6% on the road, good for 19th league wide. That is why I am using Montour over Gustav Forsling in this lineup as Montour at least gets second-unit power play time while Forsling doesn’t see any PP time and has collected zero power-play points on the season to Montour’s five (1G, 4A).

Montour’s have a solid season with four goals and 16 points in 35 games to go along with 68 shots on goal. He’s blocked another 27 shots as well.

For the season, he’s collected 0.52 points-per-game at home compared to a 0.36 mark on the road, so we’ll dial him up as our solo Panthers exposure tonight.

UTIL – Phil Kessel (ARI) – $5,100 vs. COL

We’ll complete our Coyotes mini-stack here with Kessel who will team with up with Larsson at both 5v5 and on the team’s 1B power-play unit.

Kessel will be one of the more desired trade chips at this year’s deadline as a pending unrestricted free agent with a nice playoff pedigree, and he’s enjoying what can certainly be regarded as a real nice season given the anemic nature of this Coyotes offense.

The American winger has notched five goals and 23 points across 34 games on the season, but as part of a common theme in this lineup, his 6.5% shooting rate is a shell of his 11% career mark. Kessel has scored on just five of his 77 shots this season and on zero of his last 15 shots on goal, so I’d suggest he’s due. For context, he’s scored on one in every 9.1 shots on goal in his NHL career.

He does actually have six assists stemming from two difference games over his last five and continues to produce in that department, but we’ll be look for some goal-scoring production from the iron man in this one tonight.

UTIL – Matt Boldy (MIN) – $3,100 vs. ANH

While I like Boldy’s upside in this matchup tonight, I can’t see he’ll go low owned. There’s just so few near-minimum pieces that make sense on this slate and he’s the leader in that category if you ask me.

Boldy is set to skate as the team’s second-line left winger at 5v5 this evening and he’s also going to get second-unit power play time alongside Dumba. Even if the Wild’s home power play has been a dumpster fire there’s always upside in playing on the man advantage.

Tonight actually marks just his third career NHL game, but he’s already managed to record in first career NHL goal while also getting five shots on goal in a healthy 17:04 average ice time out of the gate. The Boston College product has done his part so far in his profession career, tallying 28 points across 24 career AHL contests including four goals and 10 points in as many games this season. Boldy dominated to the tune of 31 points in just 22 games in his final season with Boston College.

He’s certainly on his way to being a productive NHL player at just 20 years of age, but for tonight some points would go a long way towards delivering big-time value to this lineup.

G – Kaapo Kahkonen (MIN) – $7,300 vs. ANH

To me, there’s not much of an option other than going with Kahkonen on this slate.

First, the price is fantastic. Sergei Bobrovsky would be my other choice, but at $900 more expensive, it doesn’t make sense to me. I’ll go with the Minnesota netminder tonight at home against the Ducks.

The Ducks go from 3.09 goals per game at home to 2.71 on the road, and while their road power play sits fifth at a whopping 27.3%, they’re also without a key cog in Troy Terry who hit the COVID list today. Terry sits sixth with 22 goals on the season and tied for 11th with six power-play tallies.

There’s also the fact Kahkonen has been fantastic of late after a tough start to the season. Over his last six appearances, Kahkonen has turned in a brilliant .942 Sv%. He’s allowed exactly two goals in each of his last five starts with a brief relief appearance mixed into those numbers. He’s also won four of his last five decisions.

The dude is white-hot right now and the Ducks’ offense has cooled after a torrid stretch to start the season, so let’s grab some value with Kahkonen this evening.

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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.

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