Fantasy Hockey cheat sheet: DraftKings top NHL DFS picks, values, roster strategy for Feb. 17
Thursday includes a 10-game NHL slate, which begins at 7 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article you will find DFS tips for DraftKings queues, plus a few DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target.
Define your DraftKings fantasy hockey rosters here: Save $65,000 in the NHL [$20K to 1st]
St. Louis Blues 3.5+ goals (-125)
The Blues’ offense continues after scoring 20 goals in their last five games. Once a big victim of COVID outbreaks earlier in the season, the Blues have mostly their full roster intact and are rolling three even score lines. They get the Canadiens today, which means we should see another outburst. The -125 line isn’t ideal on such a big total, but the Blues’ current form and health, along with the fact that they’re up against the absolute worst defensive team in hockey, means betting over the total remain the strongest game.
Money Line Blue Jackets +130
The Blue Jackets have been playing a bit better lately and are now just three points off ninth place in the Eastern Conference with games down. They have won three of their last four games and have averaged 3.85 goals per game in their last six starts. The Blackhawks have had great goaltenders lately, but they’re also 2-4 in their last six starts. They are sixth in expected goal rate and fifth in shorthandedness. Columbus’ productive offense is worth supporting today against a weaker team like Chicago.
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Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks
Connor McDavid ($9,300) – Zach Hyman ($4,300) – Jesse Puljujarvi ($4,200)
The Oilers have started to show better consistency lately and will face a Ducks team that plays the end of a back-to-back game. Anaheim has allowed 3.5 goals per game in its last six starts and showed some fatigue mid-season after a blistering start.
Connor McDavid has also shown some fantastic fatigue midway through this season, but that should cut into his ownership today (in a good game). McDavid has averaged just 14.6 DKFP in his last 10 starts (two points below average), but he has scored five points in his last three games. He’s come back to having Zach Hyman on his wing, and the two have been very productive in fits and starts for Edmonton at the start of the year. Hyman has had three or more shots on net in each of his last four games and has scored in two of those starts. Against an Anaheim team that is regressing defensively in many areas right now, pairing Hyman with McDavid provides a multi-goal advantage and really lowers the cost on the stack.
Jesse Puljujarvi is also good at targeting when he’s this cheap. He’s been on a bit of a slow streak lately, but he’s still getting power-play time alongside McDavid. It’s a well-correlated trio that offers two high-value options to pair with a McDavid player who looks set to deliver plenty of fantasy goodness against a struggling team.
Superstar to target
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues at Montreal Canadiens ($6,400)
As mentioned above, I think this is a good roster to pivot to the Oilers top center if you’re paying for a star. However, there are plenty of cheaper options to build on this list, and Vladimir Tarasenko should be high on your list of next-tier values. The Russian winger has picked up his game lately, scoring 11 points in his last 10 games. He’s really played into the Blues’ recent offensive explosion, scoring four goals in his last four starts.
Tarasenko’s shot volume isn’t as consistent as other top forwards, but he’s also available for under 7,000 and has hit the DK shot bonus three times in his last 12 starts. Montreal gives up the third most shots and ranks third in terms of shorthanded efficiency. It’s a great positive for Tarasenko to keep smashing, and his salary won’t break the rest of your roster, allowing you to pay in other areas if needed.
Dylan Cozens, Buffalo Sabers vs. Ottawa Senators ($3,500)
The Sabers and Senators face off today in a battle between two of hockey’s worst defensive teams. Buffalo’s offense continues with 11 goals scored in their last two games. They’re a young team that’s hard to trust, but in a game against a team like Ottawa that allows the sixth most shots on net, we can definitely consider the top six players like Cozens as potential values. for GPP alignments. The center has averaged over 10.0 DKFP in his last 10 games and plays alongside a fine goalscoring winger in Victor Olofsson ($3,300) which has warmed up lately.
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals to Philadelphia Flyers ($3,800)
The Capitals are solid targets today as they face the Flyers, who are essentially in off-chain play mode. Philadelphia remains one of the bottom 10 defensive teams in terms of penalty percentage, scoring chances allowed, and shots allowed. It’s the perfect time to target a top value like Wilson who is skating alongside him Alex Ovechkin ($9,300) and is averaging more than 0.6 points per game this year. Wilson has been getting power-play minutes lately for Washington as he is still missing key forwards through injury. Take the sub 4k value on the fiery winger in a great match.
Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks ($7,700)
The Canucks face the struggling Sharks who have now lost six of their last seven games. San Jose has struggled to score lately and is dealing with injury issues with key offensive players, making it a solid game for any goaltender right now. Demko has been very good lately for fantasy purposes and comes into this game having stopped 100 of the last 104 shots he has faced (in the last three games).
This slate doesn’t have a ton of huge favorites, so it’s worth noting that the Canucks are the slight favorites at -115 on the DraftKings Sportsbook, which makes Demko’s price tag quite affordable. We should expect the Rangers starter to be heavily lined up under $7,000, which will potentially leave some nice value like Demko Lower. He’s been posting tons of upside lately and is in a very positive game today, making him the goalie’s favorite target over just about anyone else on the slate.
Value on Defense
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks ($4,100)
The Canucks offense has been much more productive since their coaching change and now has a respectable power play. While injury issues helped, this improvement pushed Oliver Ekman-Larsson to become a more productive player for fantasy purposes and high-value play.
Ekman-Larsson is now averaging 10.5 DKFP over his last 10 games and has five points alone in his last four games. The Canucks need to get Quinn Hughes back from COVID today, but with him out for a while (and Ekman-Larsson being so productive lately), we’ll likely see Ekman-Larsson still get plenty of power play exposure. against a struggling The Sharks team. The value of the Swedish defender remains top of the line, and he is a good way to reduce the overall cost of your roster.
Power play defenders
John Carlson, Washington Capitals to Philadelphia Flyers ($6,200)
Defense is an interesting position today, as there is no clearly defined number one option. The deeper slate means there is good value in the upper echelon, and of this group, John Carlson’s affordable 6.2k salary stands out the most. Carlson now has points in four straight games, including three on the power play.
The veteran is averaging a solid 4.2 blocked shots + shots on goal for the Capitals in his last 10 games, and he faces a team that allows more than 34 shots per game and is near the bottom of the league in terms of outnumbered efficiency. The Capitals offense has been more consistent lately and the juicy game should push Carlson to the top of your list on defense today.
Define your DraftKings fantasy hockey rosters here: Save $65,000 in the NHL [$20K to 1st]
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