FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – February 20, 2020

Last night’s FanDuel lNHL DFS Picks got some nice production up and down the lineup and would have qualified as an excellent lineup had our goaltending situation worked out better.

Our three-man Canucks stack didn’t get production throughout, but it did produce on the back of J.T. Miller who scored two goals on three shots with two blocks as well. Winger Tyler Toffoli notched an assist, four shots and a block in his Canucks debut, but somehow Elias Pettersson managed just two shots and a block despite his linemates getting on the scoresheet. Disappointed in the youngster there.

Our three-man Panthers stack delivered some excellent results and Vincent Trocheck was a great call. The struggling center showed up in this one with a goal and an assist on two shots while his linemate Mike Hoffman, despite having a goal taken away on an offside review, notched an assist with three shots on goal. Finally, Aaron Ekblad also contributed an assist and two shots on goal as well.

Our Blackhawks mini-stack was held off the scoresheet despite them scoring three goals, but they still had an acceptable night. That’s because Brandon Saad put a whopping seven shots on goal and Erik Gustafsson blocked five shots himself. If guys are going to miss the scoresheet, that’s exactly what we would at least want them to do to avoid being a complete dud.

Finally, our goaltending situation looked great late as Jacob Markstrom’s Canucks held a 3-2 lead with less than five minutes to go in the third, but the Wild tied the game and went on to win in shootout which cost us some valuable points. His 25 saves and no win was a disappointing result to be sure.

Nonetheless, it was a real nice lineup and one that should have had you in the money in GPPs.

Now, let’s turn our attention to this eight-game Thursday slate and see if we can make it two in a row!

FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns

C – Pierre-Luc Dubois (CBJ) – $5,600 vs. PHI

Just two nights after taking a 5-1 loss in Philly, the Blue Jackets get a chance for revenge tonight, this time on their home turf against what has been a suspect Flyers road defense this season.

The Flyers have been surrendering goals on the regular away from the Wells Fargo Center where they are one of the best defenses in the league as they rank 29th with 3.65 goals against per game on the season while they’ve allowed five goals against in two of their last three away from home. If it’s goaltender Carter Hart that gets the nod in this one, he’ll bring an atrocious 3.88 GAA and .855 Sv% across 17 road appearances into this one on the season, so there should be some room for this Blue Jackets offense to get going despite slumping entering this contest.

After scoring just one goal in Philly on Tuesday, the Jackets have now scored just one goal in six of their last 10 games and no more than three in nine of those 10 games. As a result, they’ll enter this one as one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league with their 2.56 goals per game at home checking in at 29th league wide, so you better consider this lineup a GPP one to be sure.

Nonetheless, it’s been a productive season on Dubois’ behalf as he’s tallied 17 goals and 44 points in 61 games on the season to go along with 134 shots on goal. His one power play goal is no good, and he’s actually only scored three over his last 143 games. John Tortorella has juggled his lines in search of some offense, and while he’s listed on the third line he’s still their top center and skates on the top power play unit. Given the Flyers’ track record on the road this season, I can certainly see Dubois getting on the scoresheet in this one.

C – Nico Hischier (NJ) – $5,200 vs. SJ

This is certainly a GPP lineup at this point as we’re stacking a couple of the worst offenses in the NHL, but both are in favorable matchups so let’s try and get these cheaper, lower-owned players into some tournaments tonight.

For Hischier’s Devils, the matchup is a favorable one on home ice against the visiting Sharks. San Jose is beaten up at the moment in missing their top two centers as well as Erik Karlsson due to injuries, but also winger Evander Kane to a suspension. Those are some play-driving players and I think the Devils can actually control the possession game in this one despite being a watered-down team themselves. The Sharks sit 22nd with 3.31 goals against per game on the road this season, although I am going to limit my power play exposure considering they also rank second with an 85% mark on the penalty kill away from home.

Therefore, the Sharks have been brutal at 5v5 this season and I am going to use a Devils mini-stack to attack them there, although this duo will skate on the top power play unit together as well. New Jersey is coming off being shutout in St. Louis and managed just 17 shots on goal against a very good Blues home defense, and they rank 21st with 2.97 goals per game at home, a decent number.

For his part, Hischier has notched 13 goals and 33 points in 48 games on the season to go along with 101 shots on goal. He’s also tallied 19 of those points in 23 home games where he’s also shooting the puck more. The team’s top center at 5v5 and on the top power play unit, I’ll look for Hischier to at least deliver some 5v5 production in favorable home matchup tonight.

W – Emil Bemstrom (CBJ) – $3,300 vs. PHI

Next up in our three-man Blue Jackets stack is the cost-efficient Bemstrom who will flank Dubois on the team’s third line and top power play unit for this one tonight.

We can call it the third line as per the depth chart over at DailyFaceoff, however Bemstrom and Dubois are logging quality minutes together as Bemstrom skated three seconds shy of 18 minutes his last time out, tallying an assist in the process for just his second point over his last 12 games with zero goals over his last 14. As a result, he’s certainly not coming in hot but the increased usage at least worked his last time out.

For the season, the rookie has notched five goals and 15 points in 47 games to go along with 77 shots on goal, so we’re of course talking about a low floor here, but in this matchup the value potential is attractive to be sure. He’s also scored on just 6.5% of his shots on the season, a low number for a forward that certainly has the potential to gain steam down the stretch.

Nonetheless, when we talk about opportunity and matchup versus cost, I believe Bemstrom is one of the more valuable forwards on this eight-game slate tonight.

W – Kyle Palmieri (NJ) – $6,500 vs. SJ

This will mark the end of our Devils exposure tonight as Palmieri lines up alongside Hischier on the top line and top power play unit for a nice home matchup this evening.

The veteran forward has once again found ways to score goals despite the lacklustre offensive support around him. He hasn’t had Taylor Hall on his line in a couple months, yet he’s still tallied 22 goals on the season and 41 points in 55 games. Although the Sharks have been good on the penalty kill this season, Palmieri remains a threat on the power play tonight with 10 of his 22 tallies coming on the man advantage. Furthermore, his work at home has been brilliant as he’s scored 17 goals and 28 points in 29 home games on the year compared to just five goals and 13 points across 26 road contests. He’s also scored eight of his 10 power play markers at the Prudential Center.

He brings a hot hand into this one as well with five goals and eight points over his last eight games with two goals and four points on the power play in that time. He could be on the move any day now as teams would love to acquire his scoring touch for the postseason, but for now he’s still a Devil and one that has a nice opportunity ahead of him tonight.

W – Patrik Laine (WPG) – $8,200 vs. OTT

Of course, we need a nice foundation in this lineup tonight and while these guys will see some ownership I have to like me some Jets exposure in a nice road matchup in Ottawa.

The Jets are one of those rare teams that has scored more on the road this season than they have at home as their 3.18 goals per game on the road this season ranks seventh in the NHL while their 2.82 mark on home ice checks in at 24th. It’s also a hot Jets offense coming off a six-goal showing at home against the Kings on Tuesday while they’ve now scored at least five goals in three of their last six games, all of those coming at home, however.

They’ve only played one road game over their last 10, but scored a healthy four goals in a tough place to produce offense in St. Louis. Taking on this Senators team presents a better matchup as Ottawa sits tied for 17th with 3.00 goals against per game at home this season and has been allowing more offense at home as the season has moved along as well as more than 35 shots against per game over their last 11 overall.

Enter Laine who has been very good this season despite not scoring as much as we thought he might. He’s notched 25 goals and 31 helpers for 56 points in 59 games to go along with a big-time 205 shots on goal. His splits slightly favor the road where he’s tallied 27 points in 26 games, but he does shoot the puck much more at home. Nonetheless, he too sports a hot hand with 10 goals over his last 13 games and 13 points in that time as well. His goal-scoring has picked up as his shooting rate has normalized, and I’ll look for the Finnish sniper to stay hot in a nice road matchup tonight.

W – Kyle Connor (WPG) – $6,500 vs. OTT

Next man up in our three-man Jets stack is Connor who appears set to skate with Laine on the team’s second line for this one as well as on the top power play unit. Grabbing these two wingers without Scheifele and Wheeler – both listed as centers but skating together on the top line – should be able to lower our ownership as many will reach for Scheifele in a Jets stack tonight.

Like Laine, it’s been a wonderful season for Connor has he’s just continued to score goals while putting plenty of pucks on goal as well. The 23-year-old Connor has tallied 29 goals and 61 points in 61 games to lead the Jets in points while he’s put 203 shots on goal to give us two Jets players with big-time floors considering the Senators rank 30th with 33.8 shots against per game at home this season, a number that’s been on the rise for some time.

Like Laine, he’s been slightly better on the road with 30 points in 28 road contests while he too is hot at the moment with five goals and 14 points over his last 12 games while averaging just shy of five shots per game over his last five contests. Logging more than 20 minutes per game on a regular basis, Connor is out of the quieter goal-scoring threats in the entire NHL and I love the potential he and his linemate Laine bring while skating together in all offensive situations in this matchup.

D – Zach Werenski (CBJ) – $6,300 vs. PHI

Completing our Blue Jackets exposure is Werenski who will give us a three-man power play stack while skating alongside Dubois and Bemstrom on that top Blue Jackets power play unit.

Now, the Jackets have been anything but deadly on the man advantage with a 25th-ranked 17.2% clip at home on the season, but that really hasn’t stopped Werenski from getting it done on the man advantage as he’s usually involved if Columbus tallies a goal on the power play.

For the season, the 22-year-old blueliner has scored a whopping 18 goals which ranks him first in the league in that department among defensemen while he’s added 18 helpers for 36 points in 54 games with 12 of those points coming on the power play. His peripherals are attractive as well with 157 shots on goal and a decent 47 blocked shots as well. He’s been better at home where he’s notched 21 points in 29 games and he’s also averaged about a minute more of average ice time per game at home for good measure.

Despite a quiet Jackets offense of late, he’s managed three goals and five points over his last eight games and has put a whopping seven shots on goal in back-to-back games with a goal and an assist in that time, so let’s look for the confident Werenski to keep producing in the rematch with the Flyers tonight.

D – Neal Pionk (WPG) – $4,800 vs. OTT

To me, Pionk is one of the more valuable defensemen at FanDuel as his price continues to stay below the $5K mark despite his continued production and cross-category production at that.

The former Ranger has been excellent on the Jets’ blueline after coming over in the offseason as part of the Jacob Trouba trade as Pionk has notched six goals and 39 points in 61 games on the season to go along with 137 shots on goal and another 65 blocked shots as well. Furthermore, Pionk has been excellent on the Jets’ power play with 22 man advantage points on the season as he skates alongside Laine and Connor on that top unit.

Pionk’s splits favor the home side unlike his stackmates here but he’s also hot at the moment with a goal and six points over his last six games entering this one. Pionk is skating 23:29 on the Jets’ blueline on average this season and his play has been a major reason as to why they’ve hung around in this race. At this price I find it extremely difficult to leave him out of any Jets stack in this matchup tonight.

G – Jordan Binnington (STL) – $8,400 vs. ARI

It was just two nights ago that we looked for Binnington to snap a five-game Blues losing streak at home against the Devils and he rewarded us with a 17-save shutout to get his club back on the right track.

Now, he gets another favorable home matchup with another low-scoring offense, this time in the form of the Arizona Coyotes. The ‘Yotes enter this one ranked 26th with just 2.39 goals per game on the road this season but also a decent 14th with 31.3 shots per game on the road, so hopefully they can provide Binnington an opportunity to make more saves than the Devils did the other night.

Goal-prevention is the target here and Binnington’s home numbers combined with a low-scoring opponent should yield quality results tonight. He’ll enter this one sporting a stout 2.20 GAA and .921 Sv% in 26 home starts on the season, much better than his 3.35 GAA and .896 Sv% in 17 road starts. He had a tough month of February going prior to Tuesday’s shutout as he still owns a 2.86 GAA and .905 Sv% for the month and an .896 Sv% prior to Tuesday, but obviously bounced back nicely in that one.

As we saw last year, this guy is one of the best goaltenders in the world when he gets hot, and perhaps the shutout was the beginning of a hot stretch. The Blues are hefty -170 favorites to win this one on the moneyline, so the win potential is substantial and combined with the work at home, the low-scoring Coyotes offense and the bounce-back performance his last time out, Binnington appears to be a strong option between the pipes tonight.


Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.