Hockey Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

12/20/2018
Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings 12/20/18

Welcome back hockey fans. Thursday brings us another big slate with 12 games on the schedule including two teams(PIT, MON) playing on a back to back and third game in four nights. It appears we are also in store for another high scoring night with nine of the 12 games coming in with a Vegas Total of 6.0 or higher highlighted by the 7.0 total in the Leafs/Panthers game. Let's jump in and take a look at some of the top plays at each position and then grab a copy of my DFS NHL Cheatsheet where I highlight all my top picks and stacks along with a ton of advanced stats.

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GOALIE

Marc-Andre FleuryMarc-Andre Fleury FD - $8800 DK - $8000
Opponent - NYI
Proj Pts FD - 17.08 DK - 4.27

The goaltender position is pretty straightforward tonight, at least for cash games as we have a couple options who are big home favorites and playing well lately. I will start with Marc-Andre Fleury who, despite a lower save %(.897) lately, has won seven of his last 10 starts overall and has been much better on home ice this season with a 10-3-1 record and .928 save %. Tonight, he and the Golden Knights are big -192 home favorites against an Islanders team that has won three straight but is playing a third game in four nights out west on the road. All things considered, Fleury is my top cash game goalie and is also in play in GPP formats.

Sergei BobrovskySergei Bobrovsky FD - $8500 DK - $8200
Opponent - NJ
Proj Pts FD - 14.74 DK - 3.69

It has been an up and down season for goalie Bob who has allowed four or more goals five times but has also held opponents to two or fewer goals in three straight and 12 times total on the season. There is a high probability tonight will be one of the upside games as the Blue Jackets are home favorites against a Devils team that has lost 10 of their last 12 games overall and sit with the worst road record(3-11-3) in the entire NHL. Bobrovsky has only seen an average of 26.5 shots per game over the last 10 but that should go up tonight as the Devils average just over 33 per game while the Blue Jackets overall have allowed just over 31 per game. Bob is an excellent GPP play tonight and while I prefer Fleury for cash the case can most definitely be made for Bobrovsky as well.

CENTERS

Auston MatthewsAuston Matthews FD - $8300 DK - $8200
Opponent - FLA
Proj Pts FD - 17.93 DK - 5.19
John TavaresJohn Tavares FD -
$7800 DK - $7300
Opponent - FLA
Proj Pts FD - 16.46 DK - 4.75

This game has a crazy 7.0 Vegas Total tonight with the Leafs sitting as -210 home favorites which makes this a terrific place to start your lineups on Thursday. On paper, it is a bit of a lopsided matchup as the Leafs own the league's 3rd ranked offense while the Panthers own the league's 27th ranked defense which has been almost a half a goal per game worse on the road. If you have the salary to pay all the way up, Auston Matthews makes a ton of sense as he has been red-hot since returning from injury with seven goals and six assists in nine games while averaging three shots per game. If you need the savings, you can't go wrong with John Tavares either as he has also been en fuego lately with nine points in his last 10 games while averaging just shy of four shots per game. Both players are also among the leaders at the position in shot attempts with Matthews sitting with a 19.7 iCorsi/60 and Tavares an 18.5 iCorsi/60. Both are elite plays in all formats tonight and can be stacked together on the powerplay.

PP Stack with: Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly

Dylan LarkinDylan Larkin FD - $6600 DK - $6600
Opponent - CAR
Proj Pts FD - 14.87 DK - 4.3

I wrote up Larkin as my top PTS/$ center on Tuesday and he didn't let us down extending his point streak to eight games with an assist while also adding four shots on goal. The price has gone up on DraftKings but he is still somewhat underpriced for the level of production he is providing. He leads the Red Wings with 33 points on the season and also gives us a very high floor on a nightly basis with a 10.0 shots/60 and 17.5 iCorsi/60 while averaging almost 22 minutes of ice-time. The matchup may not be at the top of the list against the Canes who rank 13th on defense but they haven't been nearly as good lately giving up four or more goals in four of their last six games. Larkin is a terrific play in all formats tonight.

Stack with: Gustav Nyquist

Also Consider: Tyler Seguin(DAL) in GPP formats as he is at home facing a Blackhawks team that ranks 29th overall on defense or David Krejci(BOS) who has been a staple on the Bruins top line since Patrice Bergeron went down with an injury and comes in with points in seven straight games

 

WINGERS

Cam AtkinsonCam Atkinson FD - $7200 DK - $7600
Opponent - NJ
Proj Pts FD - 18.15 DK - 5.19

If you are not loading up on the Leafs tonight, you better turn your attention to the Blue Jackets who also get an elite matchup tonight. They are at home facing a Devils team that has dropped 10 of their last 12 games while giving up four or more goals in 10 of those(one was a win). On the season, the Devils have a league-worst 3-11-3 road record and are one of four teams giving up more than four goals per game away from home. For Atkinson, he has been having a career year averaging over a point per game and has provided a ridiculously high floor with a 12.3 shots/60 and 19.6 iCorsi/60. The decision is a little tougher on DraftKings where he is second in pricing among wingers but is almost an autoplay, at least in cash games, on FanDuel priced as the 16th most expensive winger.

Stack with: Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois

Vladimir TarasenkoVladimir Tarasenko FD - $6900 DK - $5900
Opponent - VAN
Proj Pts FD - 14.2 DK - 4.3

The St. Louis Blues have struggled this season and are near the bottom of the Western Conference standings and a lot of that can be contributed to the struggles on the individual level of Vladimir Tarasenko. I list him as one of my core picks tonight for a couple reasons starting with the fact he has hit a season-low salary on both sites which gives us a ton of value for an elite level player. The next thing that stands out is when I look closer at the advanced stats it is clear the struggles won't continue much longer. He gets a ton of opportunities with a very high 12.2 shots/60 and 20.9 iCorisi/60 which gives him a high floor for cash games and he also sits among the leaders averaging 11.6 scoring chances per 60 minutes. Tonight, he and the Blues also get a plus matchup against the Canucks and their 26th ranked defense. Fire up Tarasenko in all formats.

Stack with: Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn

Also Consider: Brendan Gallagher(MON) who has provided a very high floor lately with 42 shots on goal in his last 10 games, has a value price, and gets a plus matchup against the Coyotes who have lost six of their last seven games or Brandon Saad(CHI) who is very cheap for a player on the top line and comes in with three or more shots in three of his last four games and two multi-point efforts in that time

 

DEFENSEMEN

Seth JonesSeth Jones FD - $5700 DK - $6400
Opponent - NJ
Proj Pts FD - 15.68 DK - 4.53

I mentioned earlier that loading up on Blue Jackets is a terrific way to go tonight and the same goes for the defense. It starts with Seth Jones who has been a fantasy beast all season and over his last 10 games has 10 points with an elite balance of shots(32) and blocks(17) good for an average of 4.9 DraftKings/17.5 FanDuel points per game in that time. He has been good in tough matchups and now gets an elite one against the Devils and their league-worst road record and third-worst road defense. Jones is an elite play in all formats.

Nate SchmidtNate Schmidt FD - $3900 DK - $4200
Opponent - NYI
Proj Pts FD - 8.55 DK - 2.5

For value on defense, I will be turning to Nate Schmidt of the Golden Knights. He hasn't flashed the upside he showed last season but has been a solid PTS/$ option lately. Over his last 10 games, he has five of his six points with 19 shots on goal and 14 blocks for an average of 2.9 DraftKings/10.1 FanDuel points per game. The opportunity is definitely there for Schmidt as well as he is skating over 22 minutes per game on the top pairing and second powerplay unit. Most of all, he provides us with some salary relief on a big slate where we will want to load up on two or three elite players.

Also Consider: Ryan Pulock(NYI) who has been solid lately with seven points, 20 shots,a nd 18 blocks in his last 10 games and comes with a value price

 

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