NHL Picks: Best Bets, DraftKings Fantasy Hockey DFS Cheat Sheet for April 26
The Bruins recently picked up Hampus Lindholm and David Pastrnak (both of whom rested on Sunday) and now face a Panthers team that is coming off an 8-4 loss to Tampa Bay. Florida hasn’t been as dominant on the road this season and the Bruins have now beaten two quality rivals from the East in their last two home starts. With their team back at full strength, they have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Panthers offense and the offensive depth to slow it down enough to earn a win here. It’s a bigger game for them than the Panthers, who just hope nobody gets hurt until the playoffs start.
These teams have already played a few close 3-2 games this season and should have two of the most elite goalies in the league in net. Juuse Saros has a .927 save percentage at home this season while Jacob Markstrom has been even better on the road with a .928 save percentage. With Nashville looking for an official playoff spot, look for a close game and goaltenders to dominate.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Steven Stamkos ($6,900) – Nikita Kucherov ($7,300) – Ondrej Palat ($2,900)
There are a few different storylines we can focus on today, but the main one we want to focus on in this game is the 100 point storyline with Steven Stamkos. The veteran striker has never cleared the bar in an already illustrious career, but he is just three points off the mark today. The Lightning have three more games to play, but could probably think about resting their leader if their spot is locked in with one game left. Stamkos would love to hit that mark today and has been on absolute fire lately, picking up 15 points alone in his last five games.
Stamkos’ mad push was accompanied by a return to the central position where he played in the middle alongside elite winger Nikita Kucherov. The Russian has been on fire himself, producing 27.0 DKFP or more in three of his last five games. Affordability also becomes much easier with this group when we add Ondrej Palat, who finally came to life with six points in his last five games. Just being attached to these two elite forwards means Palat becomes huge value under $3,000 and if Stamkos hits the 100-point mark today, he’ll almost certainly be involved.
We know the Blue Jackets – they’ve allowed a ton of shots and goals (the last five in shots and goals against) and are on the road after an upset victory on Sunday. It could get ugly for them, so look to take advantage of it by lining up on the Lightning’s front line.
Superstar to target
Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild vs. Arizona Coyotes ($8,000)
Another story we need to watch today is the 50-goal mark that Kaprizov is approaching. He currently has 45 goals and has three games left to play. Kaprizov is obviously going to need a monumental effort over those last three games to get to the mark, but if that’s going to happen, chances are we’ll see many of the five goals needed today against the Coyotes. Arizona has +425 underdogs at this location while the Wild have a 4.7 implied goal total. The Coyotes obviously rank in the bottom five in just about every defensive metric on the planet and have lost 10 straight.
We have a weak opponent, a great player at a reasonable price and a serious narrative to play. The $8,000 payday with Kaprizov looks awesome to build on in hopes we get a special night from the superstar.
Conor Garland, Vancouver Canucks vs. Seattle Kraken ($3,900)
The Canucks have faltered a bit in their last few games, but their offense has remained solid. They have an implied team total of 4.0 against Seattle and have scored 25 goals in their last five home games. Conor Garland still plays in a great top-six role for fantasy purposes, as he was alongside JT Miller ($7,100), who was an absolute force in the second half of the season. Garland himself has 11 points over the last 10 games and represents excellent upside value today either on his own or as part of an affordable stacking duo with Miller.
Taylor Hall, Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers ($4,000)
I mentioned the place of the Bruins today, who are back at full strength and who could get the Panthers at the right time because they really have nothing to play until the playoffs start. Taylor Hall has been better lately, putting a bad run behind him with two goals in his last four games. Anytime you can get Hall at that salary level, you should consider the former Oiler because he’s still capable of those breakout nights and attached to an elite power play. Florida’s penalty also remains their team’s weakest part.
Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames vs. Nashville Predators ($8,000)
As mentioned above, these two teams have already had a few tighter 3-2 games this season. With two elite goalies in play, there’s a good chance that at least one of them will end up among the top scorers at the goalie position. Jacob Markstrom has been terrific on the road for Calgary this season — and for day-to-day fantasy hockey needs — posting a 15-7-1 record and 17.4 DKFP average in road starts.
Markstrom is also playing well, having allowed two or fewer goals in three consecutive games. From a narrative standpoint, the Flames would like to get some revenge on Nashville, who beat them in a close game last week, and delay their trip to the playoffs. Calgary is also simply the best team here and has been great on the road this season. Markstrom looks undervalued today at $8,000 flat.
Value on defense
Mark Giordano, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings ($4,100)
The Leafs face the Red Wings at home today in a monstrous 7.0 over/under game. The Leafs themselves have a 5.0 implied goal total, so any cheaper player who’ll be on the ice for decent minutes there should catch our eye as a potential value target.
Giordano slowly began to work his way into a bigger role with the Leafs, having played over 22 minutes in his last outing. He’s blocked seven shots in that outing and has as many as eight points scored with the Leafs in his last eight games as well. With some power-play exposure and increasing ice time, the $4,100 salary seems like great value if you plan to go cheap on defense today. He’s also a great stacking partner with one of the Leafs forwards (given his increasing ice time), which only adds to his value.
Power play defenders
Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars ($5,200)
The Stars and Golden Knights meet today in a game that could decide the final playoff position in the West. We may have a tighter, low-scoring game in our hands here, but we shouldn’t shy away from targeting good value on the Vegas backend either. Shea Theodore has been a big part of the Golden Knights’ run to make it interesting, as he’s had 11 points in his last 10 games and played over 23 minutes in two of his last three outings.
We should expect Theodore to see a ton of ice today as the Golden Knights have no reason to rest their players and the Stars’ penalty kick is also poor, running at less than 80% of the season. Theodore has averaged 3.3 shots on net in his last 10 games and has also hit the DK net shot bonus twice in his last three games. The benefit at this price is too good to pass on.
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