Hockey Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings 1/3/19
Welcome back hockey fans. Thursday brings us seven games that include two teams(CGY, VAN) who are playing on a back to back and a third game in four nights. Let's jump in and take a look at some of the top plays at each position and then make sure to check out the all new DFS NHL Optimizer to generate up to 50 lineups.
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I don't normally like leading off with a goalie on the road but with a lack of options, it makes perfect sense tonight. The Bolts are currently the biggest favorites(-180) on the slate as they go into Los Angeles to face a Kings team that ranks dead last in offense scoring just 2.2 goals per game. Vasilevskiy also has good form coming into this game having won five straight and eight of his last 10 starts and not only has big win potential but also has a ton of upside as he has faced an average of 37 shots per game over those last 10 starts. He is the most expensive goalie on both sites tonight but easily the top choice in all formats. Fade at your own risk.
If you are planning on fading the Vasilevskiy ownership tonight, consider Robin Lehner in all formats. First of all, he is at home as a -160 favorite against a Blackhawks team that has struggled mightily this season sitting near the bottom of the standings and has been one of the worst road teams(7-12-2) in the entire league. Lehner has also been brilliant lately winning five straight games while stopping 140 of 143 shots(.979 save %). The best part about this pick is that Lehner is very cheap on both sites which allows you to load up on at the other positions.
Also Consider: Carey Price(MON) who is back after injury and is a big -175 home favorite against a Canucks team that is playing on a back to back and third game in four nights, all on the road.
I love the value at the center position tonight and it starts with Sebastian Aho who has been very consistent lately. Over his last 10 games, he has averaged over 20 minutes of ice-time while tallying seven goals and 13 points with 35 shots on goal. None of this comes as a surprise as he sits with a 17.4 iCorsi/60 on the season while averaging just over 10 scoring chances per 60(league average around 5.2) as well. The final part of the equation tonight is the matchup as the Canes face a Flyers team that has dropped four straight and nine of their last 12 games and sit 29th overall on defense allowing over 3.5 goals per game. Aho is a terrific one-off play in cash games and can be stacked with his linemates in GPP formats.
Stack with: Teuvo Teravainen, Andrei Svechnikov(PP)
Mathew Barzal FD - $6100 DK - $6300
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 16.1 DK - 4.7
Barzal is coming off a very impressive rookie season where he tallied 85 points while playing all 82 games. With John Tavares gone, Barzal was expected to take another step this season and be a part of a rebuild for the future. Even with all that pressure, he has been very good with 36 points in 38 games including 14 points over his last 10 games while seeing a big uptick in shot volume averaging 3.1 per game in that time. He and the Isles now get an elite matchup vs. the Blackhawks who rank 30th in defense allowing 3.6 goals per game and also rank dead last on the penalty kill(73.6%). With a mid-range price tag on both sites, Barzal can be considered an excellent PTS/$ play in all formats.
Stack with: Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey
Also Consider: Nicklas Backstrom(WSH) or Sean Couturier(PHI)
Nikita Kucherov FD - $9100 DK - $7800
Opponent - LA
Proj Pts FD - 18.64 DK - 5.54
Rolling with Lehner as a goalie or going a more balanced approach at center as I mentioned above allows you to easily fit Nikita Kucherov in your lineups tonight. He has been undoubtedly the hottest player in the league lately with 22 points over his last 10 games and has tallied a whopping 53 points in 29 games since the start of November to take the league lead with 65 on the season. He and Steven Stamkos were split up early on in the season and Kucherov has shown terrific chemistry with Brayden Point making them one of the top two-player stacking combos in the league. The Kings do present a tougher matchup but Kucherov has shown to be matchup-proof this season and is my top overall play from a raw points perspective tonight.
Stack with: Brayden Point, Tyler Johnson, Steven Stamkos(PP)
Jake DeBrusk FD - $5100 DK - $4300
Opponent - CGY
Proj Pts FD - 9.16 DK - 2.72
From a PTS/$ value perspective, I will be rolling with Jake DeBrusk tonight in all formats. The floor is what stands out the most as he comes into tonight with 35 shots on goal over his last 10 games and sits with a 9.3 shots/60 and 16.2 iCorsi/60 on the season. The upside has been somewhat limited lately as he has just four points in those 10 games but the opportunity continues to be there as he is skating on the second line and is also getting time with Pastrnak, Bergeron, and Marchand on the top powerplay unit. The Bruins are in a plus spot tonight as well as the Flames are playing on a back to back and third in four nights.
Stack with: David Krejci, David Pastrnak(PP), Patrice Bergeron(PP)
Also Consider: Jeff Skinner(BUF) in all formats or Frank Vatrano(FLA) as a value play
Ryan Pulock FD - $4500 DK - $4600
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 12.41 DK - 3.64
There are some excellent options at the top of the salary on defense tonight(check out my sheet) but I will be starting with Ryan Pulock in the value range. He has been solid all season with 18 points but has been even more consistent lately with eight points in his last 10 games combined with a nice balance of shots(22) and blocks(21) for an average of 3.9 DraftKings/13.7 FanDuel points per game. Opportunity is not an issue either as he skates on the second pairing and second powerplay unit and averages over 22 minutes of ice-time per game. Fire up Pulock in all formats tonight against one of the worst teams in the league.
Colton Parayko FD - $4000 DK - $4300
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 9.55 DK - 2.88
Sticking in the value range we find Colton Parayko of the Blues. He doesn't have the same upside as Pulock but the floor has been very safe considering the price as he has tallied 27 shots and 16 blocks over the last 10 games for an average of 2.8 DraftKings/9.3 FanDuel points per game. For GPP's I would probably go a different direction and fire up his teammate Vince Dunn who gets more powerplay time but for cash games, Parayko is an excellent PTS/$ play that saves us some salary and allows us to load up at the forward position.
Also Consider: Anton Stralman(TB) or Justin Faulk(CAR) for cash games
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