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FanDuel NHL Picks – January 5th

We have just a five-game Friday night slate on our hands so let’s reel in some profits heading into the weekend!

C – Blake Wheeler (WPG) – $7,500 vs. BUF

The Sabres are a poor defensive club playing on back-to-back nights and the Jets are the NHL’s highest scoring team on home ice. Therefore, a Jets stack is a must. Wheeler is one of the NHL’s most overlooked superstars as he enters play tonight with 47 points across 41 games with 128 shots on goal as well. He has four goals over his last three games and is coming off of a two-goal, nine-shot effort in an OT loss in Colorado. Lock this guy in.

C – Mathew Barzal (NYI) – $5,500 vs. PIT

Barzal is a nice fade to john Tavares tonight against the visiting Penguins. Pittsburgh ranks 28th in road defense so a little Islanders exposure is necessary, especially considering their home offense checks in at second. The rookie has posted 37 points in 41 games this season and has four power play goals on the Islanders’ top power play unit. Otherwise, he skates on a potent second line for an Islanders club that always seems to play high scoring games.

W – Patrik Laine (WPG) – $7,600 vs. BUF

Laine and Wheeler are a lock for any cash lineup tonight and should be a very strong consideration for an optimal lineup as well. The sophomore sniper has 18 goals on the season, 10 of which have come on the power play, a group that clicks at 31.8% at home, the second highest mark in the league. He has five assists and ten shots on goal over his last three games while skating with Wheeler on the top line and top power play unit as well.

W – Jordan Eberle (NYI) – $5,500 vs. PIT

Eberle and Barzal are a second line stack, a line that has been productive this season. Eberle has notched 14 goals after a slow start to the season and has added 15 helpers for good measure. While he doesn’t skate with Barzal on the top power play unit, Eberle skates on a productive second power play unit for the Isles. He has a goal on eight shots over his last two games.

W – Patrick Kane (CHI) – $8,400 vs. VGK

The Golden Knights are good defensive team, until they hit the road. Their road defense checks in at 22nd league wide while the Blackhawks’ home offense checks in at eighth. Enter Kane who is on fire at the moment with 13 points over his last ten games. He has taken 16 shots over his last three games where he has recorded two goals and two assists. When this guy is hot there aren’t many players who can keep pace.

W – Ryan Hartman (CHI) – $3,700 vs. VGK

Hartman has quietly has had a real nice season in Chicago. He’s had the benefit of skating with Kane for the majority of the season, a spot that has helped him score seven goals and 19 points in 36 games. Like Kane, Hartman is hot entering play tonight with four points over his last four contests. Hartman isn’t a linemate of Kane’s on the power play, but he does own a spot on Chicago’s second unit.

D – Dustin Byfuglien (WPG) – $5,100 vs. BUF

Byfuglien completes a three-man Jets stack against the visiting Sabres. He recently returned from injury but Big Buff will regain his spot on that lethal top power play unit. Amazingly, Byfuglien has yet to score a goal this season despite taking 72 shots on goal, but he does have 15 assists in 29 games. Regardless, his upside is big considering his opponent tonight on home ice.

D – Ryan Pulock (NYI) – $3,600 vs. PIT

Pulock is a value play in this lineup but one that fits real nicely in with the Islanders stack. He skates with Eberle on the second power play unit where he has scored two of his three goals this season. He scored in last night’s loss in Philadelphia and has two five-shot games over his last four. He has a lethal shot and one that is utilized heavily on that power play so let’s go with the low cost, high-upside play in Pulock.

G – Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) – $7,800 vs. BUF

Hellebuyck isn’t confirmed as tonight’s starter, but if he does get the start he is an absolute steal at this price. The Sabres are the NHL’s worst offensive team and Hellebuyck enters play tonight sporting a 2.19 GAA and a .927 Sv% on home ice to go along with an unbelievable 14-1-1 mark. There isn’t much to dislike another Hellebuyck’s matchup so go ahead and lock in the resurgent netminder tonight.

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