I didn’t get a DraftKings NHL DFS Picks article out on Sunday, but we are back on this Monday to deliver an article with a fresh week ahead.
There are just four games on tonight’s slate, not unusual for a Monday, but I’m seeing some exploitable matchups that I believe can get our week started on the right note.
Let’s get right into the picks and notch some profits on this four-game slate!
C – Nathan MacKinnon (COL) – $8,100 vs. PHI
The Flyers have had some serious struggles on the back end so far this season, and the Avs have been much improved on the road this season, so I will roster a high-ceiling three-man Avalanche stack beginning with MacKinnon. After an MVP-caliber season last year, MacKinnon has picked up right where he left off this time around as he sits second in league scoring with 14 points, eight of which are goals. He’s already fired a whopping 39 shots on goal in those eight contests as well, just why of five shots per game. What’s more is the fact MacKinnon has been even better on the road than at home as he’s tallied 10 points in five road games this season. The Avs are tied for eighth in offense with 3.63 goals per game on the season while the Flyers are 30th with 4.13 goals against per game. He’s going to see some ownership, but this matchup as a multi-point effort written all over it for the 2017-18 MVP runner up.
C – Bo Horvat (VAN) – $4,900 vs. WAS
A lot of ownership in this one is going to go on the Capitals’ big guns against a suspect Canucks back end, however Washington has been one of the worst defensive teams in hockey this season with 3.86 goals against per game, good for 28th league-wide. It’s also worth noting that the Capitals have allowed an eye-popping 13 goals against in two road games this season. Vancouver has been solid up front this season with 3.13 goals per game, and Horvat has been right in the middle of the action as of late. He’s scored a goal in back-to-back games while he now has three over his last four. Overall he has five in eight games this season after a year where he notched 22 goals and 44 points despite skating in just 64 games in an injury-shortened campaign. Horvat should be money for a 25-goal season this year as the Canucks’ top center at both even strength and on the top power play unit. At this sub-$5K price and in a matchup against a team that has more than struggled defensively away from home, I think Horvat can deliver some nice value tonight.
W – Mikko Rantanen (COL) – $6,400 vs.PHI
You can also throw Gabriel Landeskog into this mix as well, but I will go with Rantanen who comes slightly cheaper in the exact same matchup. Besides, Rantanen is tied with MacKinnon for second in league scoring on the season with 14 points, however just two of those 14 points have come in goal form across 19 shots. While he doesn’t shoot or score as much as MacKinnon, it would be of no surprise to me to see him hang alongside his centermen in the points category this season. This kid is quietly one of the brightest young stars in this league coming off a season where he tallied 29 goals and 84 points last year while he also scored 20 goals as a 19 year-old in the 2016-17 season. There’s very little doubt this guy can play, which is why he is glued to MacKinnon at both even strength and on the top power play unit, a group that ranks 11th at 25.8% on the season. The floors are high and the ceilings are vaulted with this duo tonight.
W – Brock Boeser (VAN) – $5,200 vs. WAS
Boeser was held pointless in the Canucks’ first two games this season, however he’s come back to notch two goals and three assists over his last six games. Boeser was fully in the Calder Trophy race as the league’s top rookie last season before an injury cut his season short to just 62 games. Still, he bagged 29 goals in those 62 games, which ended up ranking second to Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor who scored 31, but in 14 more games. The point here is Boeser was one of the top goal scorers in the entire league last season and should be able to take another step forward this season on a Canucks team that has been surprisingly solid offensively. Boeser and Horvat form a mini-stack at both even strength and on the top power play unit where the Canucks are tied for 13th with a nice 22.7% clip on the season, Again, this Washington team has been a debacle on the road defensively, so I will look for some production from this mid-priced mini-stack tonight.
W – Michael Rasmussen (DET) – $2,800 vs. CAR
Rasmussen has yet to find twine in his rookie season, but we are going to need a value player somewhere in this lineup and I believe he can provide some of that tonight at home to Carolina. The Hurricanes are dominating the possession game, but they have also allowed 3.13 goals per game, good for 18th, while their 65.4% clip on the penalty kill ranks dead-last in the NHL. Carolina has also received just an .874 Sv% from their goaltenders this year, good for 28th. In other words, as surprisingly good as this team has been so far, they are still vulnerable on the back end. Rasmussen is in his first season of professional hockey after spending last year in the Western Hockey League. He scored 63 points over his final 97 WHL games, which is why the Red Wings took him with the ninth pick of the 2017 draft. He’s projected to skate on the Red Wings’ third line, but also on the second power play unit where he will form a mini-stack with one of our defensemen tonight. Some production from the 19-year-old would go a long way tonight at very low ownership.
D – Tyson Barrie (COL) – $5,000 vs. PHI
Our high-ceiling three-man Avalanche stack is complete here with the addition of Barrie. The offensively-minded blueliner has chipped in five assists over his last five games coming off a career-year while notching 57 points in just 68 games. In fact, that 0.84 points-per-game clip from last year ranked second among all defensemen next to only Erik Karlsson’s 0.87 mark. Barrie isn’t logging quite as much ice time this season compared to the last few years thanks to a deeper Avalanche defensive group. Still, he skates with the MacKinnon/Rantanen duo quite a bit at even strength and on that top power play unit where Barrie resides as the lone blueliner. DraftKings doesn’t reward power play points, but considering the Flyers rank 29th with a 70% mark on the penalty kill it’s safe to say Barrie’s spot on that top unit bodes well for his production tonight.
D – Dennis Cholowski (DET) – $5,100 vs. CAR
Cholowski costs a pretty penny at this price, however he’s been fantastic on the Red Wings blueline this season and forms a mini-stack with the aforementioned Rasmussen on their second power play unit. Cholowski has notched two goals and three helpers in six games this season while logging just short of 22 minutes per game. The 20-year-old rearguard has also taken a healthy 16 shots on goal in those six games. He too is in his first year of pro hockey after spending all of last season in the WHL as well. He notched 66 points in 69 games in junior last year, and he too is a former first-round pick of Detroit’s after going 20th overall in 2016. Clearly, the Red Wings think quite highly of this young duo, and I think they can provide some value to this lineup for a Red Wings team returning home after notching their first win of the season on Saturday in Florida.
G – Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) – $8,400 vs. STL
I kind of went with Hellebuyck by default here as I don’t see any trustworthy goalies on the slate aside from last year’s Vezina Trophy finalist. Hellebuyck has endured a couple rough outings on the season, but still owns a solid 2.66 GAA and a .914 Sv%. He’s also coming off a start in which he turned aside 26 of 27 shots against the Canucks last Thursday. Laurent Brossoit started Saturday’s win over Arizona, so it should be Hellebuyck’s crease tonight at home where he went 30-5-2 last season. The Jets are around -155 favorites at the moment, something that bodes well for his win upside. I actually expect this to be a low-scoring affair for both clubs, so Jake Allen makes for an interesting GPP goaltender, but for this type of lineup I will lean on Hellebuyck to notch the Jets a win tonight on home ice.
UTIL – Nolan Patrick (PHI) – $3,900 vs. COL
The Phillies have been brutal defensively and on the penalty kill, but they’ve also scored some goals this season as they’re actually tied with Colorado for eighth at 3.63 goals per game this season. Patrick was held pointless in his first four games this season, but he scored a goal in his return from a brief injury on Saturday against the Devils. After just nine points in 40 games prior to the All-Star break last season, Patrick really turned it up in the second half with 21 points in 33 games before notching two points in six postseason games. Let’s keep in mind this is the second overall pick from the 2017 draft, so he will continue to improve. He’s set as the Flyers’ second line center at even strength with a spot on the second power play unit as well. Despite facing an Avalanche club that ranks second in league defense this season, I think Patrick can provide some value at fairly low ownership.