A new week is here and I’m looking forward to getting my DraftKings NHL DFS Picks started on the right note.
We have a five-game NHL slate coming our way tonight and there’s some matchups that I want to take advantage of in a lineup that will probably fit best in GPP tournaments.
Let’s get right into the week and get this thing started with some profits!
C – Mikael Backlund (CGY) – $5,200 vs. CHI
In cash games you should be rostering the Flames’ big boys in Chicago tonight, but I am going to duck some ownership and head down to the second line where Mikael Backlund centers Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett, although only one these winger will make the cut in our three-man Flames stack tonight. The Blackhawks are simply a poor defense regardless of where they play as they are averaging 3.38 goals against per game on home ice this season, good for 29th in the NHL. The Hawks should also be a little bit vulnerable tonight as this will be their second game in as many nights after a hard-fought upset win in Pittsburgh last night. Backlund has tallied nine goals and 21 points across 39 games on the campaign, but he’s also tallied three goals over his last four games. The 29-year-old also has four shots in each of his last two. He is a nice pivot to the first line tonight, and I am looking for some bang for my buck with Backlund tonight.
C – Ryan Johansen (NSH) – $4,900 vs. TOR
The Predators and Maple Leafs get together tonight in Toronto in a battle of a couple of powerhouse clubs. While the Maple Leafs have been real good defensively at home with just 2.48 goals against per game at Scotiabank Arena (T-4th), it will be Michael Hutchinson making his third straight start in place of the injured Frederik Andersen and Garrett Sparks tonight. Hutchinson posted a shutout on Saturday against the Canucks, but still owns a brutal 3.39 GAA and .879 Sv% in six NHL appearances this season. I think there’s room for the Preds to do some damage on offense tonight, beginning here with Johansen. Johansen doesn’t bring a high floor with just eight goals on 70 shots in 43 games, but he also has 28 helpers and logs just shy of 20 minutes per night as the Predators’ top center at even strength and on the top power play unit. He enters this one red-hot with two goals and three helpers over his last four contests, so let’s have him lead off a three-man Predators stack tonight.
W – Matthew Tkachuk (CGY) – $6,600 vs. CHI
Tkachuk is enjoying a monster season for the Flames entering his RFA offseason as he enters tonight’s contest with 19 goals and 49 points across 43 games to go along with 104 shots on goal. What I like about the 21-year-old tonight is that he is going to be part of a three-man stack that, as a whole, won’t see huge ownership, but Tkachuk also gives us exposure to the Flames’ top power play unit where he’s done a ton of damage this season. He has eight goals and 10 assists on the power play this season. Like most Flames players, Tkachuk’s splits favor the home side, however he still has seven goals and 16 points across 23 road games this season. Considering the matchup against one of the NHL’s very worst defenses playing their second game in as many nights, I like Tkachuk’s chances of delivering some production in this one tonight.
W – Viktor Arvidsson (NSH) – $6,700 vs. TOR
Arvidsson is quietly a very high-floor player, which I suppose is reflected in his price tag. The Maple Leafs allow the 11th-most shots per game at home this season, and Arvidsson has fired 58 goals on goal in just 19 games on the season, good for more than three shots per game. He’s also converted on 12 of those 58 shots while adding six helpers for a real nice 18 points in 19 games on the campaign. Arvidsson missed about six weeks of action and returned as the Christmas break ended. He was held pointless in his first two games back, however he has gone white-hot and tallied four goals and an assist over his last four games to go along with 16 shots on goal, or four per game. With Filip Forsberg out of the lineup, Arvidsson is the top goal-scorer that the Predators have to offer, and I expect him to put plenty of pucks on goal in this one. With Hutchinson in goal, I’m looking for at least one of those shots to find the back of the bet tonight in Toronto.
W – Robert Thomas (STL) – $2,900 vs. PHI
Our lone value play this evening in a lineup with a lot of mid-priced players is Thomas who has a nice matchup tonight in Philadelphia against the Flyers. It’s been a disastrous season for the Blues, but also the Flyers as they enter this one having lost six games in a row and averaging 3.83 goals against per game over that stretch. The Blues are one of the league’s weakest road offenses, but they’ve actually scored eight goals over their last two games, so perhaps they are on a little but of a roll entering this one. Thomas, the Blues’ 2017 first-round pick, enters this one with four goals and 13 points in 34 games on the season, but also two goals and an assist over his last five games. What I like most about Thomas tonight is the fact he is projected to skate on the Blues’ second line with Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz, two of St. Louis’ top offensive players. Therefore, I’m looking for some value out of the promising youngster tonight.
D – Roman Josi (NSH) – $6,000 vs. TOR
I couldn’t resist the floor of Josi as he takes on Hutchinson and the Maple Leafs tonight. The 28-year-old is enjoying a huge season for the Predators, notching seven goals, 23 helpers, a whopping 155 shots on goal and 64 blocked shots across 43 contests on the season. Those 155 shots on goal paces all NHL defenseman, even more than Brent Burns, although Burns is on his heels with 151 of his own. Still, Josi completes what I believe to be a high-upside three-man stack, all things considered. He and Arvidsson bring excellent floors to the table while the hope is that Johansen can use his puck distribution skills to notch a couple helpers tonight. Considering his 25:26 of average ice time per game, I’m looking for Josi to deliver on that floor tonight against what could be a vulnerable Leafs back end for tonight’s contest.
D – Noah Hanifin (CGY) – $4,500 vs. CHI
Hanifin appears to be coming into his own in his first season with the Calgary Flames. The young blueliner enters tonight’s contest with 23 points across 43 games on the season, which easily puts him on pace for a new career-high in points with 44 if he can stay healthy, surpassing the 32 points he tallied in his final season in Carolina. Hanifin is also going through an extremely productive stretch at the moment as he’s not notched four assists over his last two games and has seven assists over his last six. If you want to go further back, Hanifin has nine assists over his last 10 games. He also provides some decent peripheral numbers with 71 shots and 50 blocked shots across his 43 games on the campaign. Hanifin will form an even strength three-man stack with Backlund and Tkachuk, but also a second power play unit mini-stack with Backlund. WE are ducking Mark Giordano and his high ownership in favor of Hanifin and his sneaky-good recent production tonight.
G – Martin Jones (SJ) – $8,200 vs. LA
This is a matchup that the Sharks absolutely should win and I think Jones brings us a hint of safety as a result. Jones has largely disappointed this season in a year where I thought he could be a dark horse Vezina candidate given the team playing in front of him, however he has produced only a 2.88 GAA and .897 Sv% in 31 outings this season. A little bit of good news is that he’s been a little better at home with a 2.65 GAA and .902 Sv% in 17 appearances. Let’s look for Jones to build off a strong outing against the league-leading Lightning where he turned aside 17 of 19 shots to earn his fourth straight win. Jones has allowed two goals in two of his last three games. The Kings enter this one as the league’s worst road offense with just 1.90 goals against per game on the season and the Sharks are listed as -235 favorites to win this one at Bovada, so let’s roll with Jones and look for the Sharks to notch the win tonight.
UTIL – Brayden Schenn (STL) – $4,500 vs. PHI
Nothing like a little revenge game to complete this lineup as Brayden Schenn will play just his second game back in Philadelphia since being dealt to the Blues prior to the start of last season. Schenn isn’t on the same pace that saw him produced a quality 70 points in his first season with the Blues as he has just eight goals and 23 points in 35 games this season, still a decent total. I would, however, like to see him shoot more as he’s averaging just 2.11 shots per game after averaging 2.56 per gamer last season. Still, he’s due for some more puck luck moving forward as his current 10.8% shooting percentage is notably under hid 12.5% career mark. Schenn has actually been much more productive on the road as he’s not he’s notched four goals and 11 points in 12 road games compared to four goals and 12 points in 21 home games. Let’s look for him to stick it to his old team as part of a mini-stack with Thomas tonight in Philly.