I’ve been severely under the weather and unable to deliver my FanDuel NHL DFS Picks over the last few days, but I’m back in business to tackle this six game Friday night slate head on!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns
C – Nathan MacKinnon (COL) – $9,000 vs. VAN
The Avalanche will take on the slumping Canucks tonight in Vancouver and the Canucks would be without a pair of key defensemen which could leave the door open for the Avs to get something going on offense in this one.
Sure, it’s a banged-up Avalanche forward group at the moment, but they still sit in a three-way tie for fifth with 3.21 goals per game on the road this season despite a road power play that’s actually struggled with a 13.3% mark that has them sitting 29th in the league.
MacKinnon’s matchup improves tonight thanks to the Canucks not only missing starting netminder Jacob Markstrom in goal but also potentially Quinn Hughes and Tyler Myers from their back end as both are listed as game-time decisions for this one tonight.
Nonetheless, MacKinnon is always a solid option to get us a nice foundation in our lineups. He has tallied 34 goals and 88 points in 66 games, but has also put an NHL-leading 311 shots on goal as well. He’s certainly been more productive at home, but his 14 goals and 37 points in 32 games on the road, along with 139 shots in that time, is certainly not too shabby, either.
I’m not going crazy with my Avs exposure tonight, but a nice mini-stack here beginning with MacKinnon should give us a nice floor to work with in a matchup that could get really tasty if Hughes and Myers indeed miss this one.
C – Dylan Larkin (DET) – $6,600 vs. CHI
The Red Wings are the NHL’s worst offense both at home and on the road, but the matchup tonight is an excellent one while the Larkin line does the overwhelming majority of the damage for this team.
I mean, the Red Wings rank last with an even 2.00 goals per game at home this season, but will take on a Blackhawks team that will be playing their second game in as many nights after a 4-3 home win over the Oilers last night. It’s also a Blackhawks defense that ranks 18th with 3.20 goals against per game on the road and one that will likely be starting backup Malcolm Subban after Corey Crawford got the win last night.
Subban hasn’t been great this season at all, posting a 3.18 GAA and .890 Sv% in 20 appearances with the Golden Knights, but has seen all of 1:10 worth of action with his new team in Chicago and tonight marks his first start in a Hawks uniform.
For his part, Larkin enters this one with 18 goals and 49 points in 68 games to go along with 211 shots on goal, real good numbers considering the Red Wings’ futile offense. He’s been a tad better at home as well and much more productive on the power play at home to boot, so I think there’s a big opportunity for him and his line to generate notable offense tonight.
W – Gabriel Landeskog (COL) – $7,300 vs. VAN
This is actually going to be it for my Avalanche exposure tonight as Cale Makar won’t appear in this one tonight and with Sam Girard not brining the same kind of offensive potential from the blueline I decided to go lower owned on my back end tonight.
Landeskog is having a down season compared to his career-best output from a season ago with 19 goals and 37 points in 50 games compared to his 34 goals and 75 points in 73 games a season ago. That said, the 19 tallies aren’t bad at all considering he’s missed significant time and his 134 shots on goal aren’t too bad either. Furthermore, he’s stepped up of late, posting four goals and 11 points over his last nine games and a goal and three goals and eight points over his last six games.
Landeskog and MacKinnon make obvious sense as the best mini-stack possible on this Avalanche team as they are linemates on both the team’s top line and top power play unit and they’ve been doing a large portion of the damage recently. Add it up and I love the floor this mini-stack should be able to bring to the table, but also a sky-high ceiling with a potentially improved matchup near game time.
W – Anthony Mantha (DET) – $6,300 vs. CHI
Detroit’s best pure goal-scorer, I think Mantha has some big-time upside and multi-goal upside in this matchup tonight.
Mantha has missed a ton of time this year with two long-term injuries under his belt and has appeared in just 40 games, but he’s tallied an impressive 15 goals and 33 points in that time with 130 shots on goal too boot, averaging in excess of three shots per game as a result. Again, these numbers are fantastic considering the Red Wings putrid offense this season, outside of the top line which has played quite well.
Like Larkin, he’s been better at home with 10 goals and 16 points on 68 shots in 18 home games compared to five goals and 17 points on 62 shots across 22 road contests. He’s scored twice over his last three games and has tallied three goals and six points over his last seven contests. Additionally, Mantha has averaged four shots on goal over his last three with a goal on six shots his last time out. To me, this matchup will afford Mantha the opportunity to stay hot and continue on what has been an injury-plagued, yet productive season for the former first-rounder.
W – Tyler Bertuzzi (DET) – $4,400 vs. CHI
I think we’re getting Bertuzzi at a massive discount considering his matchup and productivity this year alongside Larkin and Mantha for the most part.
The 25-year-old Bertuzzi is playing in his second full season in the NHL and has responded with 18 goals and 42 points in 68 games with 120 shots in that time, production that led to an appearance at the NHL All-Star game in January. His splits are actually quite interesting. He has scored 13 of his 18 goals on the road and has shot the puck a lot more away from home as well with 71 shots on the road and just 49 at home in the same amount of games (34). That said, he too has been more productive on the power play at home and his 20 home points are right in line with his 22 on the road.
Despite the splits not being in our favor here, the price and the matchup are. As is the fact that Bertuzzi will skate with the Wings’ top two offensive players at 5v5 and on the top power play unit, so this is an easy one for me tonight.
W – Alex DeBrincat (CHI) – $4,600 vs. DET
Of course, while I believe the Red Wings will score some goals tonight, I believe Chicago will as well and like with Bertuzzi, I think we’re getting a productive player at a discounted price in DeBrincat.
This is a guy that was a trendy pick to win the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal-scorer after scoring 41 goals in his sophomore season a year ago. He hasn’t exactly responded with just 18 goals on the season, but also 24 helpers for a decent 42 points in 67 games, but also with a whopping 194 shots on goal as well. His lack of goal scoring is tied to a significant decrease in his shooting rate as he’s shooting just 9.3% this season compared to his 18.6% mark from last season and his 14.6% career mark.
While a reduction in shooting rate from last season is probably warranted, this is a sharp-shooter with quick-strike ability with his one-timers. As a result, he’s going to be a guy that maintains a high shooting rate in his NHL career, and his shooting rate increased last night with two goals on six shots in the 4-3 win over Edmonton. He has scored 10 of his 18 goals this season on the power play as well, and should be able to connect there tonight against the Wins and their last-ranked 74.8% mark on the penalty kill at home. There’s a wealth of value upside in this play tonight.
D – Duncan Keith (CHI) – $5,300 vs. DET
Keith might not be the point-scoring machine he once was, but he’s having a decent year in that department but also in the peripheral categories as well that often go overlooked.
Keith has scored just twice this season, but has a solid 25 points in his 58 games but also 101 shots on goal and another 112 blocked shots as well, providing a quality floor in the process. Keith has also been bitten by some shooting rate regression this season with a 2% mark that sits well below his 4.3% career mark, although he’s been at or under his career shooting rate in each of the last four seasons. It’s not a surprise to a see a 14-year vet take a step back in his shooting rate late in his career.
Nonetheless, I am digging the fact that Keith is still logging 24:18 of average ice time this season, ice time that will now include top-unit power play time alongside DeBrincat. Furthermore, Keith has been wildly productive of late, tallying a goal and 10 points over his last eight games while putting at least two shots on goal in seven of those eight contests. That production has come alongside a massive increase in ice time to more than 27:10 in six of his last seven games. He also has a goal and five points on the power play over his last seven games.
Add it up and I think we have a real nice mini-stack going in a real favorable matchup at a reasonable cost this evening.
D – Rasmus Sandin (TOR) – $3,500 vs. ANH
I talked earlier about going lower-owned on the back end and this is what I meant with Sandin as he hasn’t exactly been productive of late, something that should lead to lower ownership as well.
Over his last 15 games, Sandin has just one assist and has recorded more than one shot on goal in just one game in that time. However, this is also a guy that came back to the NHL after starring in the World Junior tournament to notch a goal and five points over a six-game stretch, so we know the 19-year-old is capable of offense, as is his team.
The Leafs have scored just twice over the first two games of their California swing, but are probably due for a breakout tonight as they’re still the league’s highest-scoring road offense with 3.49 goals per game and sixth with a 22.4% clip on the power play away from home as well. Sandin is a member of that power play as he skates on the second unit as the lone defenseman, however that unit is not used much with the loaded top unit often getting at least 1:30 of each power play for the club these days.
Nonetheless, this is a middle-of-the-pack Ducks home defense and one that’s received just a .904 Sv% at home this season, so there should be some offense in store for the road side tonight, hopefully on the back end at the minimum price.
G – Jack Campbell (TOR) – $7,800 vs. ANH
The Maple Leafs are playing their second game in as many nights tonight, but I think there’s some value to be squeezed out of Campbell in this one.
Campbell has been solid since coming to the Maple Leafs in a trade, posting a 2.73 GAA and .913 Sv% in his five starts, going 3-1-1 in the process. Interestingly, his worst start in that time came against these same Ducks in his Maple Leafs debut when he allowed four goals on 30 shots, but that’s a rare offensive showing for this Ducks team.
After all, the Ducks are tied for 29th with just 2.53 goals per game at home this season and tied for 27th with a 14.3% power play at home this season as well.
That said, the Ducks could be able to generate some shots against a Maple Leafs defense that ranks 23rd with 31.6 shots against per game on the road and one that is missing three of their top four minute-eating blueliners at the moment on top of playing their second game in as many nights.
Campbell’s been good with his new club, faces a weak offense, but should also get the opportunity to rack up saves, and add in the win upside with the Leafs listed as -164 favorites to win this one on the moneyline and I think we can get some real nice value out of Campbell tonight.