Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DFS DraftKings NHL Picks, Values, Lineup Strategy for Jan. 28
Friday includes a five-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 $50,000 in the NHL [$10K to 1st]
Moneyline of capitals +100
The Capitals haven’t picked up many wins lately, but they face a Stars team that has struggled against elite opponents at times this season. The Stars’ last four wins have come against the Sabers, Flyers, Red Wings and Devils, while two of their last three losses have come against Tampa Bay and Florida. The Capitals rank as the best 5-on-5 team in expected goal rate (xGF%) and have an 11-5-4 road record that includes a +10 goal differential in 2021-22. The extra money on Washington is worth supporting today.
Dylan Larkin will score -135
The Penguins’ goaltenders have regressed quite a bit over the past two weeks, but that’s been hidden because their offense has been scoring at a tremendous rate. It’s possible we’ll also get a Casey DeSmith start today, which would only increase the possibility of Detroit showing up with three or more goals there. Larkin averages one point per game on the season and is part of a line that produced 18 goals on the season (the seventh-most in the league). We’re getting good odds just for him getting a point in a game with a 6.5 over/under.
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Washington Capitals vs. Dallas Stars
Evgeny Kuznetsov ($5,400) – Alex Ovechkin ($8,700) – Tom Wilson ($4,500)
As mentioned above, I like a rebound for the Capitals tonight against a Dallas team that allowed 37 shots against the Devils in their last outing. Building around Alex Ovechkin today could actually end up being a contrarian game, as the Capitals have the worst perceived matchup on the slate and Ovechkin is the only player priced above $8,500.
Despite not scoring in two games, Ovechkin remains one of the best upside plays in DFS, averaging 4.6 shots on net per game while remaining in the top 1% at his position in terms of even-strength and power-play shot attempts. The Capitals have also brought Ovechkin back with Wilson and Kuznetsov at the moment, a trio that has produced early for them and ranks fourth in the league in single-line goals produced. Wilson has been productive when playing alongside Ovy and offers good value under $5,000 when in that role. He looks likely to break a three-game scoreless drought soon and is averaging 3.0 shots on net per game and over 0.5 ppg as well.
Stacking the Capitals front line today will likely get you lower ownership levels in the larger areas, as other lines have been hotter for fantasy purposes lately. Take the weak sentiment on a line that looks likely to bounce back today against an opponent who has struggled against elite Eastern Conference teams lately.
Superstar to target
Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks ($6,900)
The Avalanche will likely be without Nathan MacKinnon today and that should mean increased use for Kadri, who is already enjoying an MVP-caliber season. The former Maple Leaf carried Colorado’s second line and is also an integral part of their PP1, a role that will only grow in importance today. Kadri has an elite average of 4.5 shots on net per game and sits well in the top 10% of the overall Corsi rating of all short-term skaters.
The fantasy game couldn’t get much better either, as the Blackhawks gave up the 13th-most quality scoring chance and are on the 7th-worst penalty kill. The Hawks have allowed five or more goals in two of their last three outings and Colorado sits with a 3.9 implied goal total in the odds, second-most on the slate. Kadri is too cheap (regardless of MacKinnon’s status) and a great anchor game today.
Jeff Carter, Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings ($4,700)
The Penguins offense should be in good spirits after being stopped by the Seattle Kraken of all teams in their last game. Jeff Carter reunited with Evan Rodrigues and was quietly productive in his final streak, averaging just under 3.0 shots per game and 1.0 ppg in his last 10 starts. The Red Wings have given up the sixth most scoring chances and have allowed 17 goals in just their last three starts. The value available with Carter under $5,000 makes him a great target today.
Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins vs. Arizona Coyotes ($3,600)
DeBrusk has been a streaky player for most of his career, so it’s up to us to notice when he’s actually producing. The winger has played over 15 minutes per game lately and has averaged 3.2 shots on goal + blocked shots in his last 10 starts, while picking up six points in the same span. The Bruins have a monster implied team total of 3.9, so going up against some of their lowest-priced last six players is attractive in big groups. DeBrusk has been producing well lately and is well positioned to potentially display a ceiling type of game against a weak opponent.
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers vs. Minnesota Wild ($8,000)
Shesterkin is likely the starter today and has gone 9-1 with a .944 save percentage in his last 10 games. Despite the sterling numbers, Rangers still settled as underdogs at home to the Wild. The fact that the Rangers are +110 underdogs will likely keep a lot of ownership over Shesterkin, who sits at a somewhat psychological salary level at $8,000. The Wild is no pushover, but being able to get Shesterkin at a reasonable price and low ownership today is too juicy a place to pass up. Any win today likely comes with huge save totals again, making it the preferred choice for GPPs.
Value on Defense
Samuel Girard, Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks ($3,600)
The Avalanche will be without their (most likely) best center in Nathan MacKinnon today, but that should open up an opportunity for more use and shot attempts from other players. Samuel Girard is a player we’ve seen stepping up his offensive game when other players have been absent from Colorado’s roster in the past and remains a great value option to target when he’s under $4,000, regardless. regardless of the state of the Avalanche’s formation.
Girard is available at his lowest price on DraftKings in over 15 games today and is averaging over 0.6 points per game on the season, which alone is enough to make him a good option for value at these levels. The Blackhawks’ defensive issues and the fact that we might see Girard more on the power play with MacKinnon potentially out make him the preferred payout target on defense with a long shot.
Power play defenders
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings ($7,000)
The Penguins power play is well positioned to produce great performances in everyday fantasy. Detroit takes the 11th most penalties in the league, but also has the seventh-worst penalty and has also given up the sixth-highest scoring chance this season. That makes this game a great time to deploy the high-priced talent on the backend for Pittsburgh and Kris Letang has shown recently that he’s well worth the price he’s offering today.
Letang’s 11 points in his last 10 games has also been paired with an average of 5.6 blocked shots + shots on net per game, an output that is essentially unmatched today even by top option Cale Makar (7 $300). If you want a big chunk of Pittsburgh today, starting with Letang and building with more value options up front will probably be a more unique way to build stacks of Pittsburgh in a game that could become the highest score in the slate.
Define your DraftKings fantasy hockey rosters here: Save $50,000 in the NHL [$10K to 1st]
I’m a promoter at DraftKings and I’m also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may occasionally play on my personal account in the games I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal views on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the views of DraftKings and are not a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment to create queues. I can also deploy different players and strategies than those I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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