A quiet Sunday of hockey is in the books and it’s time to clean the slate and get started with this week’s DraftKings NHL DFS Picks.
We did a little bit of damage with some picks last week, but we’re still looking for that big-time lineup that gets us going for the remainder of the season.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at tonight’s four-game slate and see if we can notch ourselves some profits!
*Tonight’s lineup is aimed at GPPs*
C – John Tavares (TOR) – $7,500 vs. LAK
The Maple Leafs aren’t a GPP team, especially at the top, but they face a stiff test against the NHL’s best defensive team from last season in the Los Angeles Kings tonight in Toronto, so perhaps the ownership on their top players drops a bit tonight. Tavares is off to a white-hot start to the season with six goals and 10 points through his first six games while he’s also taken 23 shots in that span, almost four per game. He’s logging plenty of ice time at over 19 minutes per game, which includes first unit power play duties on a lethal Maple Leafs man advantage that has clicked at 47.1% this season, the second-highest mark in the NHL. Even against a good defense, I like Tavares to lead off a mini-stack tonight.
C – Jason Spezza (DAL) – $4,400 vs. OTT
Here is where the lineup gets some GPP status as we will roll out a three-man Stars stack, but we will duck some ownership and avoid the Tyler Seguin line all together. However, Spezza still gives us some exposure to the Stars’ lethal top line as he is the fourth forward on that top power play unit, but he’s the Stars’ second line center as well. He’s actually off to a decent start with three assists in four games on the season, but he’s logging under 14 minutes of ice time per game. Still, Spezza gets a matchup against a very weak Senators team that has allowed 4.20 goals per game so far this season, tied for the second-most in the league. He should be fired up to play against his old club tonight, so I’m looking for Spezza to eclipse value at low ownership in a very favorable matchup.
W – Mitch Marner (TOR) – $6,700 vs. LAK
There hasn’t been a defense yet this season that has been able to contain this Maple Leafs offense, and Marner has been a big driver of that offense to this point. He’s already posted three goals and seven assists in six games on the young season while that lethal power play unit as he’s notched four points on that man advantage in those six games. Marner and Tavares are skating together in all situations this season, which includes that top power play unit, but it also includes the penalty kill where we can score some bonus points on DraftKings with some short-handed production. As far as penalty killing duos go, you’d have to think Tavares and Marner are one of, if not the most dangerous short-handed duo in the league. Nonetheless, I am still expecting some production tonight among a duo that should see lower ownership against a strong Kings defense.
W – Valeri Nichushkin (DAL) – $4,200 vs. OTT
Nichushkin has only played in two games this season thanks to a lower-body injury, however he has notched an assist in those two games to go along with six shots on goal. The 23-year-old enjoyed a huge rookie season in Dallas as an 18-year-old back in the 2013-14 season, however he missed almost the entire next season and wasn’t quite as good in his third. He then went back home to the KHL for two seasons but is expected to be a productive player for the Stars in his return to North America. Nichushkin will skate on the second line with Spezza tonight while he will give us exposure to the Stars’ second power play unit where he will form a mini-stack with one of our defenseman tonight. I am liking this play at more than a reasonable price tonight.
W – Brendan Gallagher (MON) – $6,200 vs. DET
Gallagher brings a real solid floor and a high ceiling with him into tonight’s contest against the visiting Detroit Red Wings. The Wings have been the league’s worst defense so far this season as their 4.40 goals against per game is the highest mark in the league. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise as their blueline is riddled with injuries and replacement rookies, something Gallagher and the Canadiens can take advantage of tonight. He’s bagged a pair of goals and added an assist in four games this season, but Gallagher as also fired 13 shots on goal in those four games, more than three per game. He’s seeing plenty of ice time at over 18 minutes per game on the Canadiens’ top line and top power play unit, and I think there’s some big-time production to be had tonight on home ice.
D – Miro Heiskanen (DAL) – $4,300 vs. OTT
Both of our defenseman should see fairly low ownership despite the short slate as Heiskanen completes our three-man Stars stack against Ottawa tonight. He is a supremely talented rookie defenseman who notched 23 points in 30 games in Finland’s highest professional league last season as an 18-year-old. He has an assist across four games so far this season with nine shots on goal, but he’s also seeing a healthy 21:08 of averaging ice time per game, ice time that includes second unit power play minutes where he forms that aforementioned mini-stack with Nichushkin. I think he will slide under the radar tonight in a super-favorable matchup, and given his skill set I think there’s some value upside to be had here tonight.
D – Mike Reilly (MON) – $3,100 vs. DET
Reilly will almost certainly see low ownership despite an excellent matchup against the Red Wings tonight in Montreal. He’s looked very good in this young season so far despite not recording a point so far. He’s a trusted member of that Habs blueline as Reilly is averaging more than 23 minutes per game this season, minutes that includes second unit power play time as well. He has averaged two shots per game so far this season. After coming to Montreal in a trade with Minnesota last season, he racked up a real solid eight assists in 19 games on what was a very poor Habs offense. The offense has improved this season, so look for Reilly to chip in some production at a very low cost tonight.
G – Carey Price (MON) – $7,700 vs. DET
Keep an eye on the Habs’ confirmation of their starting netminder tonight as Price missed Saturday’s contest against the Penguins with a case of the flu. He should be ready to go tonight, and if he is, he provides real nice value upside at this price. After enduring the worst season of his career last year, Price sports a rock-solid 2.32 GAA on this season, albeit with a mediocre .909 Sv%. Still, he’s allowed just three combined regulation goals in games between the Maple Leafs and Penguins this year, two of the best offenses in the NHL. He look like more of the pre 2017-18 Carey Price this season, and in a game where the Canadiens are -152 favorites against the winless Red Wings, I think he offers plenty of value at this price tag.
UTIL – Tomas Tatar (MON) – $5,300 vs. DET
Tatar and Gallagher form a high-upside stack at both even strength and on the Canadiens’ top power play unit, and I have high hopes for this duo as a result. He fell out of favor almost immediately with the Golden Knights after a mid-season trade with the Red Wings last year, but he’s off to a fabulous start with his new club in Montreal this season with two goals and two assists in four games. He has also taken 14 shots on goal in that span, 3.50 per game, and is averaging a very healthy 18:27 of ice time per game for the Habs. He too should be fired up facing his former team tonight, so let’s roll with Tatar to complete a three-man Habs stack in a very favorable matchup.