Last night’s DraftKings NHL DFS Picks were a little frustrating in the sense that we targeted the right teams and faded the right teams, but didn’t come away with much in terms of results.
We stacked the Nashville Predators and faded the Toronto Maple Leafs, which was the right call considering the 4-0 Predators win. However, Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson and Roman Josi all missed the scoresheet. Arvidsson and Josi did combine for 11 shots, but it was a very disappointing result with this group.
We also stacked the Flames who scored four goals in Chicago. However, the trio of Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund and Noah Hanifin combined for just one assist, courtesy of Tkachuk. I mentioned this was a GPP lineup which was why I didn’t use the top line of the Flames, a group that ended up doing the overwhelming majority of the damage.
We got some production from our Blues mini-stack as Brayden Schenn scored a goal against his old club, although Robert Thomas didn’t deliver value at his $2,900 price with just one shot on goal. It was the right call to fade Philly, however, in the Blues’ 3-0 win.
Keep in mind we also faded the Wild, Canadiens and Kings who combined to score just two goals among them.
In GPP lineups you leave yourself vulnerable to nights like that where you have the right teams, but the wrong players produce.
Let’s move onto tonight’s 11-game slate and see if we can turn the tide!
C – Evgeni Malkin (PIT) – $6,900 vs. FLA
We will kick this lineup off with a very high upside play in Malkin who will line up against a very poor defensive club in the Florida Panthers tonight on home ice. On the the road, the Panthers rank 26th with 3.76 goals against per game on the season while tonight’s probable starter Roberto Luongo checks in with a 3.71 GAA and .885 Sv% across 13 road starts on the campaign. It’s certainly a nice matchup for the Russian pivot tonight, especially considering how hot the Penguins are on offense. Despite having their eight-game winning streak snapped on Sunday, the Pens still scored three times and have averaged 4.67 goals per game over their last six contests. Malkin will carry a three-game point streak into action tonight with a goal and three helpers in that stretch while he has two goals and five helpers across his last six games. I’m looking for some notable damage from the veteran at a reasonable cost this evening.
C – Nicklas Backstrom (WAS) – $6,500 vs. PHI
Keep an eye on Backstrom’s status heading into tonight’s contest as he missed the morning skate with an illness, although he could certainly still suit up for tonight’s favorable home date with the lowly Philadelphia Flyers. This is certainly a tough situation for Philly considering they played at home last night and had to travel to D.C. for their second game in as many nights against the Capitals and their sixth-ranked home offense with 3.50 goals per game. Still one of the most underappreciated talents in the league, Backstrom is once again enjoying a dynamite season for the Caps with 10 goals and 44 points across 41 games on the campaign. He’s been insanely productive at home with eight goals and 29 points in 20 home games compared to just two goals and 15 points in 21 road contests. Should he dress, he will center the second line and maintain his spot on the Capitals’ top power play unit.
W – Patric Hornqvist (PIT) – $6,200 vs. FLA
Hornqvist is one of the more underrated high-floor fantasy players, but that’s not to say he won’t see much ownership tonight. Despite the 11-game slate, he should still see some ownership considering the matchup and the fact he will skate with Malkin on the Pens’ second line as well as on the top power play unit. The final pick of the 2005 draft, Hornqvist is bringing notable production to the table once again with 15 goals and 25 points in 33 games, but he’s also fired 95 shots on goal, averaging just shy of three shots per game. Hornqvist has been a part of the Penguins’ recent dominance up front as he’s tallied three goals over his last six games and he’s added a trio of helpers in that span as well, giving him six points over his last six games. Hornqvist has scored nine of his 15 goals on home ice in just 18 games while he’s averaging more than three shots per game at home this season. A multi-goal effort isn’t out of the question for the gritty forward in this matchup tonight.
W – Dominik Simon (PIT) – $3,700 vs. FLA
You can certainly go with Kris Letang on the blueline to complete a three-man Penguins stack, but for the sake of cost savings, I will roll with Simon who has been brining plenty of value to the table as of late. The 24-year-old has scored six goals and added 11 helpers for 17 points in 34 games on the season to go along with 57 shots on goal. However, Simon is red-hot entering this one tonight as he’s notched two goals and two assists for four points over his last three games. He also has nine shots over his last three. Simon doesn’t skate on the Penguins’ top power play unit with Malkin and Hornqvist, but he does skate with them on the team’s second line which gives him a big-time opportunity for production every time he hits the ice. Clearly, I believe the trio can do some more damage tonight against a Panthers team that has largely struggled on the back end this season.
W – T.J. Oshie (WAS) – $4,900 vs. PHI
I really like the Penguins trio above tonight, so I couldn’t afford Alex Ovechkin in this lineup, but I believe that Backstrom and Oshie can certainly do their fair share of damage in this matchup against the Flyers tonight. Oshie actually doesn’t bring much of a floor into play as he has 16 points in 30 games while averaging just slightly more than two shots per game, but he does have 11 goals in those 30 games and it a big factor on the Capitals’ power play. The 32-year-old has just one goal for his only point over his last 11 games, but he has fired 10 shots on goal over his last two games and I’m thinking he’s due. The Flyers are tied with the Devils for 29th in terms of road defense, but perhaps more important for Oshie is the fact the Flyers also rank 29th with a 73.9% figure on the penalty kill away from home. I think there’s plenty of value to extract from Oshie at a sub-$5K price.
D – John Carlson (WAS) – $6,100 vs. PHI
We will complete our second three-man stack of the lineup here with the addition of Carlson. This will be not only a three-man even strength stack, but also a top unit power play stack, a good thing considering the Capitals rank third with a lethal 27.4% clip on the power play on home ice this season. Carlson has turned into one of the game’s premier defensemen over the last couple of seasons as he will enter tonight’s contest with six goals and 39 points in 40 games this season to go along with 96 shots on goal and 78 blocked shots as well. The 28-year-old American has 17 of his 39 points on the power play this season, showing how lethal this stack could be if the Flyers take some penalties tonight. The Flyers are the seventh-most penalized team in the NHL this season, so I’m liking the chances of some Washington power plays tonight and therefore some notable production from this trio tonight.
D – Shea Theodore (VGK) – $4,200 vs. NYR
After completing my Penguins and Capitals stacks, I was left with a defense and utility spot, and I want to roll out a Vegas mini-stack tonight considering the home matchup with the New York Rangers. The Rangers have been brutal defensively on the road this season with 4.20 goals against per game away from Madison Square Garden on the campaign. The Rangers are also by far the league’s worst road penalty killing team as well with an ugly 69.4% mark in that department on the year. Enter Theodore who actually brings a rather solid floor to the table with 20 points in 44 games, but also 103 shots and 40 blocked shots as well. The 23-year-old blueliner snapped a six-game pointless drought with an assist in the Golden Knights’ win over the Devils on Sunday, so I’m looking for him to build on that notion tonight. He also hasn’t scored over his last 37 shots on goal, so he’s due to find some twine in a super-favorable home date with the lowly Rangers tonight.
G – Matt Murray (PIT) – $8,200 vs. FLA
The Penguins’ recent eight-game winning streak was in part due to their offense, but it’s their defense and goaltending that got the job done on a more consistent basis, believe it or not. Murray has been sensational since returning from injury in the middle of December as he’s crafted an eye-popping 1.27 GAA and .962 Sv% over seven starts, all of which resulted in wins. While it’s not a sustainable stretch, there’s little doubt that this is a nice matchup for the young goaltender tonight, something that is evidenced by the Penguins being -170 favorites according to Bovada. The Panthers have actually been a solid road offense this season with 3.05 goals per game away from home, tied for 10th in the league. The Penguins allowed just three goals against over their previous three games at home prior to Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Chicago, a game Murray did not start. I love the matchup and I love the win upside once again for Murray tonight.
UTIL – Tomas Nosek (VGK) – $3,000 vs. NYR
This guy could be a game-changer for this lineup is he’s able to get on the scoresheet in a favorable matchup against the Rangers. Nosek is sure to see very low ownership on this 11-game slate, but he’s tallied a respectable 11 points in 40 games this season while averaging only 12:51 of ice time per game. He is projected to skate on the third line tonight, but also the second power play unit. Theodore will skate on the top unit, so this won’t be a power play stack, but I do like the fact we have exposure to both units against the league’s worst road penalty kill. Nosek had a two-point game in his second-to-last outing against the Ducks and notched his second goal over his last five games at the time. He has fired 11 shots on goal over his last three games to boot. The matchup is unreal and I believe Nosek has the value upside that could put this lineup over the top if the big guns before him can hold down their end of the bargain.