I wasn’t able to get picks out for last night’s light three-game slate, but I’m back today to deliver some DraftKings NHL DFS Picks for tonight’s big 12-game slate.
Let’s get the week started on the right note!
C – Mark Scheifele (WPG) – $6,800 vs. NYR
The high-octane offense of the Winnipeg Jets will welcome the weak road defense of the New York Rangers to Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg this evening in what is one of the more favorable matchups on the slate. The Jets enter this one averaging 3.93 goals per game on home ice this season, good for the third-best mark in the league behind only Calgary and Tampa Bay. On the flip side, the Rangers rank 30th with 4.04 goals against per game on the road this season, so we clearly have a targetable matchup on our hands. Scheifele kicks off a three-man sack in this lineup tonight as he carries 28 goals and 65 points into play this evening to go along with 141 shots on goal. He is one of the most utilized pivots in the NHL while averaging 22:33 of ice time per game which should give him plenty of looks in this one tonight. Look for a big night for the 25-year-old tonight.
C – David Krejci (BOS) – $5,200 vs. CHI
Another club with a favorable home matchup on their hands on this slate is the Boston Bruins as they’ll welcome the defensively-challenged Blackhawks to the TD Garden in Boston this evening. The Bruins are a much better offense at home this season as their 3.40 goals per game at home ranks seventh while their 2.27 goals per game on the road ranks 28th. The large difference in their splits is certainly advantageous for this matchup tonight, especially since the visitors will enter this one in a 29th-place tie with 3.82 goals against per game on the road this season. Krejci is the team’s second line center, however that second line now includes 31-goal man David Pastrnak which gives Krejci’s upside a boost as Boston looks to put more balance into their top two lines. Krejci produces at a solid clip with 12 goals and 43 points in 56 games this season and I think he can deliver some value against the Blackhawks on home ice tonight where he’s tallied 26 points in 30 games on the campaign.
W – Kyle Connor (WPG) – $6,300 vs. NYR
In a little bit of a risky move I won’t be using Blake Wheeler in this lineup but rather go with Connor who has outscored Wheeler 22-12 on the season despite Wheeler providing a boatload more assists than the 22-year-old winger. Still, I’ll go for the extra goal-scoring at the cheaper price for this contest tonight. Connor is on pace to just sneak by the 31 goals he tallied as a rookie last season as he’s on pace for 32 this time around. I like the fact that Connor maintains his spot alongside Scheifele on the Jets’ deadly home power play where they rank first in the league by a longshot with a 34.8% clip on the man advantage this season. For his part, Connor has tallied seven goals and 11 points on the man advantage. At the end of the day, I’m looking for the Scheifele/Connor duo to get the job done tonight alongside one of our defensemen this evening.
W – David Pastrnak (BOS) – $7,600 vs. CHI
I’m striving for more value upside tonight by going with the Krejci line over the expensive Patrice Bergeron line, although Pastrnak does cost a pretty penny. However, I’m willing to pay up for the young winger tonight as he has tallied 31 goals and 64 points in 55 games while he also has points in eight of his last nine games after his eight-game point streak was snapped in Sunday’s overtime win over the Avalanche. It’s looking like there will be new career-highs offensively for the 22-year-old as he is on pace for 45 goals at this point in the season which would blow past the 35 he recorded last season. Like his team, Pastrnak has been dominant on home ice this season as he’s scored 18 goals and notched 39 points in 29 home games compared to 13 goals and 25 points in 26 road contests. I am thinking Pastrnak will be worth the high price in a matchup of this caliber tonight.
W – Peter Cehlarik (BOS) – $3,200 vs. CHI
Cehlarik is one of a couple of value plays in this lineup tonight as he gets a fantastic opportunity to produce alongside Krejci and Pastrnak on the Bruins’ second line. Cehlarik took advantage of such an opportunity immediately as he tallied two goals and an assist across his first two games of the season, however he has just one goal in eight games since. Nonetheless, I am still willing to roll with the 23-year-old winger in this matchup give the linemates he’s been given. Prior to his call up, Cehlarik tallied 10 goals and 29 points in 39 games with the Bruins’ AHL team in Providence while he has four goals and four assist in 27 career NHL games to this point. I’m not mistaking him for a high-ceiling player, but I do believe there is plenty of value that could be extracted given the matchup and his linemates tonight.
D – Dustin Byfuglien (WPG) – $5,900 vs. NYR
To complete our second three-man stack of this lineup I will roll with Dustin Byfuglien who forms a stack with Scheifele and Connor at both even strength and on the Jets’ lethal top power play unit. It’s been yet another productive year for the forward-turned-defenseman as Byfuglien has notched four goals and 30 points in 35 games this season to go along with 101 shots on goal and 43 blocked shots to boot. A big reason why I value the power play in this one tonight, aside from their league-leading mark at home, is because Byfuglien has tallied more than half his points on the man advantage where 16 of his 30 points have come this season. He has only one point in three games since missing more than a month with a knee injury, but I’m looking for a multi-point effort from the big man in a super-favorable home matchup tonight.
D – Vince Dunn (STL) – $4,000 vs. NJ
The surging Blues are all of the sudden playoff relevant and they have a fantastic opportunity to keep the good times rolling against the visiting New Jersey Devils tonight. The Devils have been brutal on the back end for the overwhelming majority of the season, especially on the road where they rank 27th with 3.78 goals against per game on the season. After scoring five goals and 24 points in 75 games as a rookie last season, the 22-year-old Dunn has notched seven goals and 23 points in just 50 games as a sophomore this time around. That is just the type of step forward the Blues wanted to see from their young offensive blueline, albeit he is actually seeing slightly less ice time per game this year than he did last. Still, he gets ample power play time and the five-on-five time has a lot more upside against a struggling New Jersey back end in this one tonight.
G – Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK) – $8,200 vs. ARI
The Vegas Golden Knights are an extremely tough home defense and the Arizona Coyotes are an extremely weak offense wherever they play, forming a nice little concoction for Fleury in this one tonight. The veteran netminder will backstop the league’s second-ranked home defense as Vegas allows just 2.23 goals per game this season. For good measure, the Golden Knights have the league’s fifth-best average goal differential at home with a mark of +0.96. Fleury hasn’t had the same magical season this year as he did last, but at home he has produced a 2.25 GAA and .921 Sv% in 25 starts this season, numbers I have the utmost of confidence in. This is especially so when we see that the Coyotes rank 28th with 2.60 goals per game this season and 27th with 2.52 goals per game on the road this season. There’s no reason why he and the Golden Knights shouldn’t get the job done tonight at home as massive -240 favorites.
UTIL – Robert Thomas (STL) – $2,800 vs. NJ
Second-year forward Robert Thomas is on a nice little stretch right now and I believe he carries some serious value upside into this game tonight, all factors considered. One, he is facing one of the league’s worst road defenses tonight. Second, Thomas has notched three assists over his last two games and has two goals and three assists over his last 10. That’s quality production considering he has five goals and 16 points on the entire season. Finally, while he’s projected to remain on the fourth line tonight, Thomas is now a member of the Blues’ top power play unit alongside the big guns. He won’t skate with Dunn on that unit, but we are getting some low-cost, low-owned exposure to both of the Blues’ power play units tonight. While the Devils actually rank fifth in road penalty killing, I believe there will be ample opportunity for this mini-stack to deliver the value we desire in this matchup tonight.