NHL Picks: Best Bets, DraftKings Fantasy Hockey DFS Cheat Sheet for March 31

Thursday includes a nine-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]

Blackhawks over 2.5 goals +110

We targeted the Blackhawks over 3.5 last Tuesday, and they hit for us late in the second period. Chicago has now scored 4.0 or more goals in each of its last five games and faces a Panthers team that has been a bit suspect defensively lately. The Panthers have allowed at least three goals in four of their last five starts and allowed the lowly Canadiens (at home) four goals in their last outing. The over bets are again more money for Chicago tonight and seem worth taking.

Editor’s note: Avalanche C Nathan Mackinnon will be available tonight against the Sharks.

Avalanche vs. Sharks under 6.5 goals -120

The Avalanche seem to be without Nathan Mackinnon today (UBI), which would obviously hurt both their depth and their offensive ability up front. They’ve been playing a tighter style lately anyway, and their games have seen five or fewer goals in total in four of their last five starts. The Sharks are tied for last in goals scored per game (2.6) and aren’t terrible defensively, ranking third on the league’s top downside. The 6.5 total seems ripe for a subgame in this one.

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Top stack

Calgary Flames vs Los Angeles Kings

Elias Lindholm ($6,600) – Johnny Gaudreau ($6,500) – Matthew Tkachuk ($6,300)

Today’s setup for the Flames’ top line looks juicy. The Kings have allowed 15 goals in their last three road games (all losses) and come into this game with Calgary after losing in a shootout to the Oilers last night – a pretty devastating loss considering the position of these two teams in the standings. We could get a rebound from a desperate Kings team today, but with Calgary set as a -300 home favorite and having an implied goal total of just under four, look to their front line for a big boost. evening seems to be the most exhilarating game.

Calgary’s top line will likely own, but they remain the league’s top unit in terms of goals scored on the year. Today’s lower game total (set at 6.0) also appears to have lowered the DraftKings salaries of the Flames’ top understudy as we get all three men at their lowest prices in more than five games.

Just two games ago, this unit put up 11 points against the Oilers in a single game, and they have another average Western Conference team to beat today (and potentially tired at that). You can look to the second unit of the Hurricanes or the PP1 Jets if you want to go against the grain a bit, but starting the lineups with a stack of Calgary seems like the optimal move at these prices.

Superstar to target

Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils vs. Boston Bruins ($7,000)

The Bruins don’t rank among the best fantasy opponents on paper, but they do suffer a bad 6-4 loss to the Maple Leafs, which could have some residual side effects today. Jack Hughes is certainly a player who can take advantage of a team lacking in confidence at the moment, as the Devils center has torn the league apart lately, scoring five goals in his last four starts. He also has an average of 18.2 DKFP over his last 10 games.

Hughes’ playing time on the ice is blistering – and right up there with other elite centers in the game – at more than 21 minutes a night, but it’s consistently reduced for day-to-day fantasy hockey purposes being given that he plays for the Devils. Paying 7,000 flat is nothing for a player who averages 4.7 shots on net (and plays those kinds of minutes), so building around that is a good way to start lineups. The Devils have scored three or more goals in six of their last seven games, and their best forwards are all good contrarian options in the GPPs.

Attack value

Martin Necas, Carolina Hurricanes vs. Montreal Canadiens ($2,700)

The Hurricanes’ top six are in a fantastic position today against Montreal, which just allowed Florida seven goals in its last game. Carolina has an implied goal total over 4.0 and their second line has also been playing well lately. Martin Necas remains close to minimum price on DraftKings, but has four goals in his last five starts and plays well over 15 minutes in a top-six role. As a clearing set it’s hard to top, and Necas can easily be used in a nice cheap mini stack with either Andrei Svechnikov ($6,000) Where Vincent Trocheck ($4,500)which also seem undervalued considering the opponent.


Darcy Kuemper, Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks ($8,300)

Slate doesn’t have a ton of attractive value options on the net, so paying today seems like a must. We can save a few hundred dollars by going with the Avalanche starter, who will be a massive -370 home favorite against the Sharks. Darcy Kuemper has been rock solid lately, posting a .940 save percentage in his last 10 starts, and he single-handedly won the game against the Flames two days ago, stopping 44 of 45 shots confronted.

The Sharks aren’t a high-volume team, in terms of shots on net, but with the way Kuemper and the Avalanche have been playing lately, a one-goal night or even a shutout seems likely. Pavel Francouz would be a slight downgrade if he left but is still a viable option. He has won three games in a row and arrives well rested.

Value on defense

Neal Pionk, Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs ($3,500)

Today’s slate doesn’t have a ton of supreme value options on defense, but we can take advantage of the situation in Winnipeg where an already thin defensive core will need to play longer minutes due to the injury of Nate Schmidt. Neal Pionk was already seeing regular power-play time, but could see his use in that area increase even more with Schmidt out. Winnipeg is still in possession of a solid power play that operates at over 20% efficiency and faces a Leafs team that continues to face major issues in net.

Pionk is expected to push for more than 20 minutes and get its fair share of starts in the offensive zone, against a team that has struggled defensively in several areas recently due to injury. He’s also available at his lowest salary in the last 10 games and has a solid offensive upside. For a cheap upside down game, it’s hard to top today.

Power play defenders

Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins vs. New Jersey Devils ($5,500)

The Bruins’ power play has become one of the most effective units in the league and is now among the top 10 units of the season. That made Charlie McAvoy a much more explosive fantasy producer, and he comes into this game against New Jersey with just five power-play points in his last 10 games. McAvoy continues to be undervalued for everyday fantasy hockey, in terms of actual DraftKings salary, and is available again today at well under $6,000.

New Jersey’s penalty count isn’t surprisingly terrible, but they’re still fourth in the league in goals against per game at 3.6 and have allowed an average of 4.75 goals against per game in their four last departures on the road. McAvoy has rarely disappointed lately and has picked up multiple points in three of his last five starts. In an upside game, he’s the power play stud again on the back end to build around.

Define your DraftKings fantasy hockey rosters here: Save $65,000 in the NHL [$20K 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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