FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – February 21, 2020

While our main stack did a ton of damage and our goaltender registered our second shutout over the last three nights, both of our lesser-owned, GPP stacks did not come through for us.

The stack that did bring it was the Winnipeg Jets as they took care of the Ottawa Senators with authority. Our three-man stack of Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Neal Pionk combined for a goal, five assists, 10 shots and five blocks on the night. That said, the fade of Mark Scheifele didn’t exactly work as Scheifele tallied a hat trick to go along with an assist, five shots and a block. That said, our stack made out quite well.

Unfortunately, that was about it from our skaters. Our three-man Blue Jackets stack all missed the scoresheet on the team’s three goals as they combined for just six shots and four blocks on the night. Not nearly good enough.

Our Devils mini-stack didn’t work either as New Jersey scored just two goals and both Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri registered just one shot and one block on the night.

Finally, our goaltending decision to roll with Jordan Binnington paid dividends as he tallied his second straight shutout, although he made just 14 saves in this one after making only 17 in Tuesday’s blanking of the Devils. Extremely rare to see a goaltender register back-to-back shutouts while making just 31 saves in the process but the Blues’ defense is in pure shutdown mode at the moment.

Our main stack and goaltender set the stage for a successful lineup, but our lower-owned pieces could not get it done as we turn our attention to this seven-game Friday night slate!

FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns

C – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM) – $6,600 vs. MIN

The Edmonton Oilers might just get Connor McDavid back in the lineup tonight as they take on the Minnesota Wild on home ice, however at this point we aren’t sure of who his linemates would be with James Neal and Zack Kassian out of the lineup as well, so let’s roll with what we know in this one.

The Oilers have been a real good offense on home ice this season, checking in at a tie for 12th with 3.34 goals per game at Rogers Place on the season where their power play is clicking at a whopping 31.6%, tying the high-octane Tampa Bay Lightning for the best home power play in the NHL. As a result, we very much want a three-man power play stack in this one.

For their part, the Wild enter this one ranked 29th with 3.64 goals against per game on the road this season where their penalty kill sits 23rd with a 76.1% mark. That penalty kill has been good of late in going a perfect 10 for 10 over their last four games, however given how lethal the Oilers have been on the man advantage this season I feel quite comfortable with an Oilers PP1 stack against any penalty kill that gets thrown at them.

Enter Nugent-Hopkins who has actually played on the wing for most of the year, but FanDuel continues to list him as a center for one reason or another. He’s had a nice year with 15 goals and 45 points in 54 games while putting 140 pucks on net in that time. Nugent-Hopkins has also contributed six goals and 19 points on the power play and has logged more than 20 minutes per game on the season. At this point in time, he’s the team’s best winger and one that we want in our lineups tonight.

C – Ryan Getzlaf (ANH) – $5,200 vs. COL

This lineup is going to be more of an optimal lineup given the exposure to the low-scoring Ducks as they take on the Colorado Avalanche this evening on home ice.

The Ducks enter this one ranked 30th with 2.56 goals per game at home this season and their home power play ranks 27th with a 14.5% clip, so I wouldn’t expect much exposure to Getzlaf on this slate, but I think this is a letdown spot for what is usually a quality Avalanche offense on the road this season. The Avs sport the NHL’s second-best road defense where they’ve allowed just 2.55 goals per game on the season, however their road penalty kill hasn’t been great in a share of 16th with a 78.7% mark on the campaign. As a result, their 5v5 road defense has been stout but this is a beat up teams right now and I think the Ducks have an opportunity to increase their puck possession in this one.

Nonetheless, Getzlaf remains the team’s best center by quite a wide margin as he’s notched 12 goals and 26 helpers for 38 points in 58 games on the season while he’s also been victimized by some poor puck luck with a 9.6% shooting rate on the season that is well below his 11.5% career mark. He’s been better at home where he’s tallied seven goals and 20 points in 27 games on the season, so I’ll look for that split to give us a helping hand while my gut feeling tells me the Avs don’t play to their potential in this one tonight.

W – Leon Draisaitl (EDM) – $8,500 vs. MIN

While it was irritating to see Draisaitl listed as a winger on this slate given that he’s played center for the overwhelming majority of the season, the fact that Nugent-Hopkins is inexplicably listed as a winger is a no harm, no foul situation for this lineup. Even if McDavid does return for this one tonight, I would expect Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl to remain on the same line as they have been for most of the season.

Of course, this guy is going to see some serious ownership on the slate as most likely view the Oilers having the best matchup, but I’m not sure a fade should be in order in any format tonight. After all, the big German is the NHL’s leading scorer by a wide margin as his 95 points are 11 clear of second-place David Pastrnak for the league lead while he’s tallied 34 goals on 184 shots in the process. Draisaitl’s splits are about dead-even at the moment as he’s notched 18 goals and 48 points at home and 16 goals and 47 points on the road this season, but he has been a little better on the power play on home ice.

At the end of the day, he’s got the best matchup on the slate and he’s registered more points this season than anyone else in the league, so I think he’s a must in all formats tonight.

W – Kailer Yamamoto (EDM) – $4,500 vs. MIN

To me, this is a silly-low price on Yamamoto as he lines up with Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins on the team’s top line and top power play unit for this one. Not only that, but he’s also been extremely productive since getting the call to the NHL.

Yamamoto began the season in the AHL to get some more seasoning under his belt and he did a nice job in tallying eight goals and 16 points in 23 games down with the Bakersfield Condors. That said, he’s actually exceeded that production in four fewer NHL games thanks to his spot alongside the NHL’s point leader. The 21-year-old winger has notched nine goals and 18 points in 19 NHL games this season, and his price is a little low because he’s put just 34 shots on goal in that time while his goal-scoring should curb a little bit given his sky-high 26.5% shooting rate on the year at the NHL level.

Still, he’s factoring in on the top power play unit these days where he’s scored a pair of goals, both of those coming over his last five games. He’s had a nice run in that time, tallying four goals and six points over his last five contests. At this price, I don’t see how Yamamoto should be left out of any lineup when we consider the matchup combined with his current spot on the Oilers’ depth chart.

W – Filip Forsberg (NSH) – $6,700 vs. CHI

After the Oilers, I believe the ownership will be spread out fairly evenly on this slate as there isn’t another matchup that screams opportunity, but I think the Predators have a nice one here against the Blackhawks in Chicago.

The road has been kinder to the Predators than Bridgestone Arena this season as the Predators have averaged 3.47 goals per game away from home, the third-best mark in the NHL while their 20.4% clip on the power play on the road checks in at 10th. Both marks are superior to their work on home ice.

In terms of the matchup, they’ll take on a sliding Blackhawks team that has dropped seven of their last eight games to fall way back in the Western Conference playoff race while their six goals against on Wednesday against the Rangers increased their goals against per game to 4.33 over their last six games while they now rank 24th with 3.10 goals against per game at home this season with a home penalty kill that sits below their road penalty kill with a 17th-ranked 80.7% figure on the season.

Enter Forsberg who I believe is one of the more underrated goal-scorers in the NHL. He’s notched 18 goals on the season as he’s been bitten by some poor puck luck while also registered 40 points and 167 shots on goal in his 53 games on the season. He’s not scoring at his full potential this season, but he’s as good of a candidate as anyone to bust out for a multi-goal effort considering the matchup he finds himself in tonight. He’s been far better on the road where he’s notched 11 goals and 24 points in 28 games compared to seven goals and 16 points in 25 home games, so I will look for him to generate some notable offense against a struggling Blackhawks defense tonight.

W – Viktor Arvidsson (NSH) – $5,400 vs. CHI

Next man up in our three-man Predators stack is Arvidsson who will skate on the same 5v5 line as Forsberg for this one, but these two don’t skate on the same power play unit. To me, that’s not a bad thing for this matchup as the Blackhawks are allowing a lot of 5v5 offense of late, including five goals in that situation in their last game, while having exposure to both power play units isn’t a bad thing at all.

When he’s on,  Arvidsson brings a real attractive floor to the table. He’s not having a great year, however, with just 13 goals and 23 points in 47 games on the season after a huge year in which he scored 34 goals on a whopping 195 shots on goal in just 58 games last season. Indeed, his shooting rate has regressed this season to a 12.6% mark that’s almost right in line with his 12.2% mark, but he’s simply not shooting the puck nearly as much with about 2.2 shots per game this season compared to his 3.4 mark last season.

Nonetheless, opportunity knocks on the door tonight for a guy that’s scored just once over his last 11 games. Such a stat will only lower his ownership in a matchup that’s ripe for the taking. Getting first-line reps and second-unit power play reps against this Blackhawks team at their current level of play is a real nice opportunity and I think Arvidsson busts out of his slump as a result.

D – Roman Josi (NSH) – $6,400 vs. CHI

While Forsberg and Arvidsson aren’t producing to their potential this season, this is a guy that certainly is.

Josi is having a monster season that has him in the thick of the Norris Trophy discussion, and while anyone is going to have a hard time knocking John Carlson off the perch of that discussion, that doesn’t take away from what this man has accomplished this season.

In fact, Josi is the team’s leading scorer this season, by a mile. His 57 points this season is 17 points clear of second-place Forsberg with 40, while his 213 shots on goal is also by far the most on the club ahead of Forsberg’s 167. It’s certainly rare to see a defenseman lead his team in scoring by this type of margin, but his 14 goals and 57 points on those 213 shots in goal in just 59 games is pretty special production for a blueliner.

He’s also among the league leaders in ice time with 25:51 of it per game and he’s notched four goals and 24 points on the power play this season. He’s also been much better on the road where he’s notched 34 points in 30 games compared to his 23 points in 29 home games. What’s more is that he actually has 14 goals on the season despite not scoring in his last 23, so his next goal is coming on an imminent basis and why not tonight.

D – Hampus Lindholm (ANH) – $4,100 vs. COL

Finally completing our Ducks mini-stack is Lindholm who is getting first unit power play reps these days with Cam Fowler out of the lineup on a day-to-day basis, although if he returns tonight it would likely mean Lindholm moves down to the second power play unit. Nonetheless, for now I’ll take Lindholm as a low-owner blueliner at a cheap price.

The 26-year-old defenseman has notched two goals and 22 points in 52 games on the season, not a bad point total for how poor this Ducks offense has been for the most part this season. Lindholm has also put a solid 104 shots on goal, and his resulting – and tiny – 1.9% shooting rate means he’s been given terrible puck luck as that number sits far blow his 6.1% career mark. Despite not getting a lot of first-unit power play time, he does have a goal and eight points on the man advantage this season, so I’m looking forward to see if he can take advantage of his power play promotion, should Fowler not dress, against a mediocre Avalanche road penalty kill.

He’s also logging a ton of ice time at the moment with more than 24 minutes in nine of his last 11 games and as much as 29:27 in that time. Let’s look for the 2012 first-round pick to put that ice time to good use tonight.

G – Jonathan Bernier (DET) – $7,200 vs. NYI

If this lineup wasn’t a GPP one yet, it certainly is now.

Indeed, the Red Wings enter tonight’s contest with the Islanders as massive +260 underdogs and were thumped by an 8-2 count in their last road meeting against the Isles, but to me Bernier isn’t a bad play at all tonight and could deliver some serious value.

For one, the Islanders have scored all of two goals over their last four games. That’s… not ideal. Sure, their offense is much better at home where they’re tied for 12th alongside the aforementioned Oilers, but you can’t come into this one much colder than they are. There’s also the case of Bernier quietly putting together a very good season despite playing behind a historically poor Red Wings club.

Bernier enters this one sporting a 2.89 GAA and .908 SV% on the season, and his 13-17-2 record isn’t all that bad considering the Red Wings have just two wins when he’s not in the net. His road record isn’t great with a 4-10-1 mark on the season and his goals-against average creeps up to 3.04, but his save percentage his a strong .909 away from home as well while he has been excellent in the month of February with a 2.57 GAA and .917 Sv% across eight starts and nine appearances.

Add it up and I think Bernier is certainly worth a look as a GPP option tonight against an ice-cold Islanders offense.

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.