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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Values, Lineup Strategy for November 18

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Thursday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Washington Capitals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Thursday features an 11-game NHL slate that begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings lineups, plus some DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $75K Kick Save [$20K to 1st]



DraftKings Sportsbook

Penguins +170 puck line (-1.5)

This will be the third game back for Sidney Crosby and he made an impact in the Penguins last game, setting up a power-play goal in a losing effort. The Penguins offense needs to get going, but they’ll be facing a strong goalie for the third time since Crosby’s return. They will take on the Montreal Canadiens, who have a decided edge in net with Tristan Jarry — who has a great shot to bounce back in this spot against a poor offense. The Penguins have struggled of late, but they have their captain back and are taking on a team with greater flaws. The puck line on Pittsburgh looks like a great target today.


Place your NHL bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.


Top Line Stack

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens

Sidney Crosby ($7,400) — Bryan Rust ($5,900) — Jake Guentzel ($6,500)

We’ll continue with the Penguins in the DFS section, as the match up we’re getting with the Penguins first line looks too tempting to ignore. Sidney Crosby has started his comeback slowly and his price remains high, but that should only help keep ownership low. He’s already made an impact on the power play in his last game and elevates the upside of the Penguins top-line wingers in spots like these.

Jake Guentzel is the one Penguin winger I wouldn’t want to leave out today when doing your DFS shopping. He’s averaged 3.16 shots on the season and has potted goals in both games with Crosby back in the lineup. Bryan Rust needs to be included, too. He’s slumped a bit since returning, but so has the entire Penguins offense at times. His upside against a Montreal team, who has the fourth-worst penalty kill in the league, is as good as anyone's and his price helps keep the overall salary of this stack down.

Pittsburgh’s first line should get plenty of run against a team who has taken the seventh-most penalties in the league. They’re a well correlated line to begin rosters with tonight.


Superstar to Target

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers vs. Winnipeg Jets ($9,500)

We have a big slate, so I can excuse anyone for wanting to go with a more balanced approach when picking out studs to roster, but you are taking a risk by avoiding Connor McDavid. The Jets have owned the Oilers of late (six straight wins by Winnipeg dating back to last season), but Winnipeg is also a team who has lots of flaws defensively. They’ve allowed an over 35% conversion rate to opposing power plays and that kind of inefficiency will get you in trouble against a historically good Oilers’ power play, that scores 42% of the time. McDavid’s price may have finally reached the point where it will keep people away from him in DFS, especially with the Jets narrative surrounding this game. I like paying up for Connor, who should be up for ending this losing streak in a big way against a team with weaknesses on special teams.


Value on Offense

Pavel Buchnevich, St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks ($4,700)

Buchnevich has fit right in with the Blues top six, and has benefitted from lining up beside Vladimir Tarasenko most nights. The Russian winger has now landed six points over his last six games and is averaging a stout 3.0 shots on goal, which is a fantastic rate for a player priced under 5k. His usage has remained steady, as the Blues have tended to go more balanced in using their top-two lines now that Tarasenko is back to full health. From a recent and long-form production standpoint, there’s not many better options at winger today and Buchnevich can be used as part of any Blues stack. Which can be had for much less than many of the other top-priced options today.


Stud Goalies

Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames at Buffalo Sabres ($8,500)

The Flames are the second biggest favorites on the DraftKings Sportsbook today, sitting at -180 odds as of writing. They take on a Sabres team who is coming off an emotional win against Pittsburgh two games ago, but who is also just 2-6 in their last eight games. Markstrom looked fantastic his last time out, stopping 42 of 44 shots faced and should be revved up after not getting the win in that game. His price is expensive, but that should keep his ownership low. He’s a top option for those wanting to pay up and secure some really good fantasy upside and floor in net today.

Scott Wedgewood, Arizona Coyotes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets ($7,100)

We don’t want to go looking for trouble, but the Coyotes goalie tonight is cheap and taking on a team that is inconsistent at best in the Columbus Blue Jackets. Scott Wedgewood has looked good in two starts over the last week, compiling 61 saves on 65 shots faced. Columbus comes in having lost four straight and with a power play that operates at under 20%. Wedgewood is cheap and will be lightly owned today, making him the perfect kind of flyer to target if making multiple lineups in big GPPs.


Value on Defense

Rasmus Andersson, Calgary Flames at Buffalo Sabres ($4,300)

I like targeting the Flames for value purposes, as they have a great match up against struggling Buffalo and have lots of role players who can strike for big nights and easily outperform their smaller salaries. Andersson is still getting plenty of power-play exposure and comes into this game on a 0.5 ppg pace, which is above his career average. The Swede doesn't shoot as much as other elite defensemen, but he is getting into the “positive regression is coming” area as he’s now gone 16 games without a goal. Ultimately we have a player averaging over 2.5 blocked shots + shots on goal, who provides increased upside because of his special teams exposure. It’s a good night to go hunting with this Flames defenseman.


Power-Play Defensemen

Torey Krug, St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks ($5,800)

The Blues have cooled off in the wins column, but they maintain their ranking as the second-best power-play unit in the league. Torey Krug has benefited immensely for fantasy purposes this year as a result of being on the first-unit with nine points in 10 games, four of which have come on the man advantage. The Blues may not be all that popular today, but you can easily pair Krug here at under 6k with an elite forward like Vladimir Tarasenko ($6,400) and get solid upside against a Sharks team who has started the year well defensively, but also feature a pretty average goalie tandem.

Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers ($4,800)

Gostisbehere continues to be the fantasy darling of the early season. The former Flyer looked like his career may be over last year when he could hardly stay on the ice, but he’s turned into an every night player and first-unit point man on the power play for Arizona. He’s averaging 2.9 blocked shots + shots on goal and is operating at just under a point per game clip, but is continually available under a 5k price on DraftKings. The Blue Jackets allow over 33 shots per game, so using Gostisbehere as a pure value option is fine again.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $75K Kick Save [$20K to 1st]


Place your NHL bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.


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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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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