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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for January 23

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Saturday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Montreal Canadiens v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Saturday night features a four-game NHL slate, starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. In this article, we’ll discuss DraftKings daily fantasy targets as well as plays on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $60K Twine [$10K to 1st]

DraftKings Sportsbook

Winnipeg Jets vs. Ottawa Senators over 6.0 goals (+100)

The Senators remain one of the worst defensive teams in hockey and they’re taking on a team in the Jets who aren’t scared to get into shootouts themselves. Both these teams rank in the bottom eight of scoring chances allowed since the beginning of 2019, and the Sens have now allowed four or more goals in each of their past two games. Whenever we get a 6.0-goal handle on these two teams with plus-money odds attached, the over should be taken.

Montreal Canadiens -157 Moneyline (over Vancouver Canucks)

The Canadiens are the better team here and it started to show in the second game of this three-game series when they blitzed the poor Canucks defense to a 7-3 win. The Canadiens are rolling three scoring lines right now, which is absolute death for a team with poor goaltending and poor defense like the Canucks, who have given up the most goals through six games of any team in the league. Expect the Canadiens to close out the series with a win.

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Top Line Stacks

Winnipeg Jets at Ottawa Senators

Mark Scheifele ($7,200) – Kyle Connor ($7,600) – Blake Wheeler ($6,200)

As mentioned above, the Senators may have added a little depth to their forward pool this year, but they are going to struggle to keep the puck out of their net. Matt Murray ($7,200) comes into this game with a .880 save percentage and 3.79 GAA and clearly has not been the answer thus far in net. Ottawa ranked fourth-to-last in penalty kill last season as well, so there’s really never a bad time to attack them by paying up for an elite L1. The Jets’ first line has started well, but there’s room for improvement here too. They’ve only hit on 10% of their power-play chances, and any outburst on the man advantage would directly mean points for the above trio who all skate on the PP1 for Winnipeg and also all average over 20 minutes per night.

The Jets’ first line isn’t cheap, but this is pretty much as high an upside spot as you can get for them. Winnipeg has a chance to win their third game in a row here, and we should also expect the Senators to put up a spirited effort to avoid the three-game sweep. With a limited four-game slate, paying up for this line and going to the mid-tier to round out your lineups tonight isn’t a bad way to construct lineups.

Superstar to Target

Brendan Gallagher ($5,800)

The Canadiens’ offense is absolutely rolling to start the season. The team is averaging 4.8 goals through five games and sits fifth in scoring chances on the season as an offense. All of this is despite only getting limited production from what is technically still their top-line. For his part, Gallagher has remained an integral part of the Canadiens’ top six and is already averaging 4.0 SOG in 2021. While he has just three points on the year, his power-play exposure remains high as he played over five minutes with the man advantage in the team’s last game and is averaging 2:29 with the man advantage, overall. The Canucks make for a great matchup as they also rank sixth-to-last in penalty-kill efficiency. Taking the savings with the heavy shooting Gallagher makes too much sense here as he’ll provide you with a great floor against a weak opponent and his salary will let you pay up in other areas tonight.

Value on Offense

Jakub Voracek ($3,700)

Voracek, and the Flyers’ offense as a whole, has started the season well and the Czech winger enters this game with the Bruins with six points in just five games. He’s playing on their de facto top-line at the moment with Kevin Hayes ($6,400) and Joel Farabee ($4,300), but a lot of Varacek’s value comes from his power-play exposure. He’s already picked up two power-play points and is seeing 2:55 minutes of power-play time per game. The bottom line here is that Voracek remains underpriced for a player who is averaging 9.3 DKFP per game, while entrenched in the Flyers top six and top-unit power-play rotation. Take advantage here.

Mike Hoffman ($4,000)

Hoffman missed the Blues' first two games with Visa issues, so it’s been a bit of a slow start for the veteran. He’s playing a bottom-six role right now but wasn’t brought in for his defensive prowess, so expect the opportunities to go up for Hoffman as the season progresses. The opportunity tonight is also a good one as the Kings ranked eighth-to-last in penalty kill last season. Hoffman may have only averaged 14 minutes per game thus far, but he’s seen 2:40 of that ice time come on the power play for the Blues. At under $4K, the winger (who has averaged 33 goals over the last two seasons) is well underpriced here for fantasy purposes.

Stud Goalies

Carey Price ($8,000)

Price has been up and down to start the year, but this is a solid upside spot for him tonight. He’s coming in rested and taking on a Canucks team whose offense has been just mediocre for the most part in 2021. The Canadiens come in as solid -157 road favorites and while they have been allowing a lot of scoring chances themselves, they’ve also shown themselves to be the better team here over the first five or six games. Having their stud in net tonight and rested should give them plenty of confidence to pick up the win here for Price, who stopped 34 of 35 shots in his lone win of the year. The upside is big here.

Carter Hart ($7,600)

Hart is more of a bounce-back play as he enters this game off of two pretty terrible starts. Despite allowing four goals in each of his past two starts, Hart really wasn’t that bad against the Bruins in the first game of this series, stopping 39 of 43 SOG and he’s posted a save percentage of over .900 now in three of his four games on the season. These two teams have played six times since the beginning of 2019 and five of the six were one-goal games. This is a good spot to deploy Hart in GPPs as the game is expected to be close and he’ll likely have low ownership given the Flyers’ spot in the odds and the fact that he’s coming off two losses.

Value on Defense

Erik Gustafsson ($2,800)

Gustafsson remains a nightly value target at under $3K in salary on DraftKings. The Swede is still playing plenty of power-play minutes for the Flyers, averaging 2:28 mins per game thus far with the man advantage on his new team. The lack of blocked shots here are always going to mean Gustafsson is as capable of getting you 10-plus DKFP per night (he’s eclipsed 10.0 DKFP in two of five games thus far) as he is of getting you 0.0 DKFP (as he did in his last game), but the Swede is worth the risk in GPP lineups given the salary which really doesn’t factor in his offensive role at all. If this slate had more than four games, we could perhaps think about fading him given the matchup with Boston, but there’s not much to pick from in terms of actual puck-moving defenseman at this price. Go for the offensive upside here and take the savings. You can even stack him with a Philly forward or two if you want to maximize correlation in GPPs.

Power-Play Defensemen

Shea Weber ($6,100)

Both of Montreal’s power-play defensemen are priced up on this slate, which is pretty thin on high-end defensive talent. While Jeff Petry ($6,500) has outscored Weber thus far — 7.0 points to 4.0 — I’ll still take the discount here with the veteran who enters this game averaging over 3:00 minutes of power-play time per outing. I’ve already written enough about how bad the Canucks have been defensively to start the season, and their failings on special teams (sixth-worst penalty-kill in the league) are also helped by the fact that they have allowed 37 SOG per game thus far — the third-most in the league. Weber attempted 185 SOG in 2019-2020, which is 27 more than Petry, so again taking the discount here on the veteran vs. his younger counterpart makes sense to me. Any way you slice it, getting exposure to the Canadiens’ PP1/PP2 is something you probably want to do tonight and Weber’s a great way to start that process.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $60K Twine [$10K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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