The Coyotes defenseman comes into this game without a goal in 13 starts in 2021. This is a player who has potted 30 goals over the last two seasons and has a 0.25 goal rate over his last 118 games in the NHL. Players who are on long goalless droughts are always maddening to try and time for betting purposes, but the Blackhawks have allowed the fifth-most quality scoring chances this year and are likely to start Kevin Lankinen ($8,500), who has a .891 save%. These are big odds, and it’s a great matchup for Chychrun to end his goalless drought today.
Top Line Stack
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Arizona Coyotes
Kirby Dach ($4,100) — Patrick Kane ($7,500) — Alex DeBrincat ($6,300)
The Blackhawks have struggled quite a bit to start the year, but they get a Coyotes team who is making everyone around them look good. The Coyotes penalty kill continues to be historically bad and they’ve allowed goals on over 36% of the man-advantage chances they given to other teams. Arizona is also the third-most penalized team in the league which only makes this a better spot for Chicago’s top trio, which heads into this game looking quite underpriced considering the match up.
While they’ve only combined for four points between them in their last two games, all three of these Hawks forwards have landed seven or more shots on net in those contests. They should also see a ton of ice time given the Coyotes penalty woes, and the trio have all hit 19 minutes or more in the Blackhawks’ last two games.
Kirby Dach is the cheapest of the three, and his 4.1k salary looks fine considering he’s averaging so much ice time (over 19 minutes on the year) and gets to play with Patrick Kane nearly 100% of the time. Kane is the real value, as he comes in averaging 4.8 shots on goal per game, which puts him up with the elites on this slate. At under 12k, this combo gives us plenty of room to fit in Alex DeBrincat, who can pop off with a goal and 5 or more shots on pretty much any slate.
Superstar to Target
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Calgary Flames ($9,200)
The Flames come into Toronto in a back-to-back situation and are reeling after two straight losses, to what the odds told us were far lesser teams. The hot goaltending is gone for the Flames, who maintain a pretty ordinary defensive core and could be due for more regression. There’s also the fact they may be starting backup netminder Dan Vladar ($7,400), who has managed a .890 save% in two starts this season.
Matthews’ shooting percentage for the year sits at 11.1%, which would be the lowest of his career, if the season ended today—and is well behind his 16% career mark. Positive goal regression is coming for Matthews, and seeing some of those shots drop for him against an unproven backup wouldn't be shocking in the least. He's the preferred pay-up option today in DFS.
Value on Offense
Michael Bunting, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Calgary Flames ($4,500)
If we like Matthews to potentially break out against a suddenly struggling Flames team, then taking a shot with the moderately priced Michael Bunting seems like a fine idea in DFS. Bunting has gone quiet after a great start, but he is still seeing regular minutes on Matthews’ wing at even strength. He’s averaging about 2.5 shots on goal, which is fine, but has been a 0.50 point per game player so far in his career—a mark he’s currently under heading into this game. I’d look for him to get back on track with the Leafs’ offense in a good spot against a backup.
Lawson Crouse, Arizona Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks ($3,800)
We obviously have to love this spot for the Blackhawks top line, but the Coyotes forwards could also find us some fantasy production. Chicago’s goaltenders have both been terrible at points this year, and as a team they've allowed the fifth-most scoring chances at 5v5. Crouse may not get top power play exposure, but he’s playing over 17 minutes a game in a top-six role and averaging about 3.0 blocked shots + shots on goal per game. He’s a solid sub-4k value in a very underrated matchup.
Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Calgary Flames ($7,900)
The Leafs sit as -190 favorites on this slate on the DraftKings Sportsbook, which sounds like very short odds, but almost feels underpriced when we look at this matchup. We have the Flames starting a backup and coming in on the tail end of a back-to-back. Toronto could also get John Tavares back today and they will have a huge edge in net with Campbell who brings a .936 save% into this game. This is one of these spots where overthinking likely gets us in trouble. Bypass the troubled Chicago goalies and grab at Campbell at a reasonable price.
Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers at Carolina Hurricanes ($7,200)
One underdog I don’t mind investing in today is Carter Hart. His bounce back this year has gone underreported and he brings a stellar .924 save% into this game with the Hurricanes. The Flyers have gone 5-0 ATS against the Hurricanes in their last five meetings and we have a goal total here of just 5.5. A tight defensive battle wouldn’t be shocking and with the Hurricanes coming back home after an emotional OT road win against Tampa, this does feel like a bit of a letdown spot. Hart’s a live dog you want to chase in GPP lineups today.
Value on Defense
Shayne Gostisbehere, Arizona Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks ($4,800)
Gostisbehere has been terrific for the Arizona Coyotes and one of the lone positives in their otherwise dreadful start to the year. The former Flyer has resurrected his career in Arizona and heads into this game with 11 points in 13 games and is averaging over 3.0 blocked shots + shots on goal per game. It’s been a recipe for some seriously great fantasy returns, and as mentioned above, we really shouldn’t be shying away from the modestly priced Coyotes in what is a great matchup against Chicago.
While fellow defenseman Jakob Chychrun ($6,100) can also be considered for GPPs at very low sentiment, there’s no doubting the better value is with Gostisbehere here who is $1,300 cheaper. His efficiency should be valued heavily when making any cash or core lineups today.
Darnell Nurse, Edmonton Oilers at Buffalo Sabres ($6,000)
Nurse is often the forgotten Oiler when we’re talking about their team in DFS. His defensive partner has been nearly as productive in 2021 and is often a better value proposition, so we often feel OK about leaving Nurse out of Edmonton stacks. Nurse is still averaging 5.0 blocked shots + shots on goal this year, and even though he hasn’t found the back of the net yet in 2021—despite having 42 shots on net—we know a few goals will eventually fall his way.
Nurse takes on the Sabres, who have really cracked defensively of late, allowing an average of 4.75 goals over their last four starts. Nurse is going to be playing big minutes against one of the worst 5v5 teams in hockey and remains moderately priced, given his elite tertiary production. Nurse grabbing some points in this spot wouldn't be shocking, and he makes for a good contrarian stacking target to add to your Edmonton studs today.
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