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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Values, Lineup Strategy for December 16

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

Toronto Maple Leafs v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Thursday features a 10-game main 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 $70K Kick Save [$20K to 1st]



DraftKings Sportsbook

Edmonton Oilers Puck Line (-1.5) +120

The Oilers head into this game with the Blue Jackets on a crushing six-game losing streak. Edmonton is dealing with injury issues and poor goaltending but at some point their top players are going to start finding the back of the net again. Columbus gives up the sixth-most scoring chances in the league and second most shots per game, and the Blue Jackets have also given up 3.8 goals per game over their last five starts. Look for Edmonton’s offense to rebound big and give you value on the Puck Line.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers over 5.5 goals (-110)

The Canadiens’ offense has been pitiful of late (and most of the year), but the Flyers allow goals at an astounding rate and have scored 20 goals on their own in their last five games. The over has hit for Philly in five of their last six games, and with Montreal allowing 3.6 goals against per game and featuring the second-worst penalty kill in the league, it feels like the Flyers could cover this over on their own. The over looks like a strong play with the total at just 5.5 tonight.


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


Top Line Stack

Vegas Golden Knights at New Jersey Devils

Chandler Stephenson ($3,900) — Max Pacioretty ($8,800) — Mark Stone ($5,500)

We have a white hot Golden Knights top line to stack and one that still looks incredibly undervalued given the matchup. Vegas has scored 10 times in its last two games and this top line has accumulated an incredible 17 points in that span. Max Pacioretty has been setting the world on fire of late with 10 goals in his last seven games (goals in seven straight games) and he’s brought the under sub-4k priced Chandler Stephenson into fantasy relevance. Stephenson is locked to the hip of Pacioretty and Mark Stone at even strength and on the power play, making him a near must roster in terms of outright value.

The Devils remain a positive opponent for any big line, as they have a below-average penalty kill and have one of the worst goalie tandems (trios?) in the league right now, who have allowed 5.0 goals per game in their last 10 starts. This won’t be a contrarian move at all, but paying up for the Golden Knights top unit just seems like an essential way to start lineups, as the correlation is too good and the price is too cheap. Start with the Vegas L1 and look to differentiate elsewhere.


Superstar to Target

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets ($9,600)

The Blue Jackets make for a good slump-buster opponent most nights as they have a below-average power play and carry a starter in Elvis Merzlikins who has posted a sub .900 save percentage in six of his last seven starts. Considering the state and mindset of the Oilers, who should be steaming after blowing a nice cushion in the standings, paying up for Connor McDavid in this spot seems more than justified today.

He’ll be playing with a fill-in winger in Warren Foegele ($2,500), but McDavid still leads the league in points per game and has managed to average 14.0 DKFP over his last 10 starts, despite not scoring in five straight. When the dam breaks, the fantasy points should flow back in his direction fast. It feels like a potential slate-breaking type of moment here for McDavid, who the Oilers desperately need to rally to get them out of this losing streak.


Value on Offense

James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia Flyers at Montreal Canadiens ($3,300)

The Canadiens continue to make for a great punching bag and they face a Flyers team who has really found their offensive groove of late. Van Riemsdyk has remained a solid part of the Flyers special teams all year and has found the net three times in his last three games. The winger gets you good exposure to the Flyers top power-play unit, who is facing the second-worst penalty kill in the league. Van Riemsdyk is a boom-or-bust option but there’s multiple goal potential against Montreal.

Nino Niederreiter, Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Red Wings ($3,200)

The Carolina Hurricanes are playing short-handed today (likely 16 skaters), so there will be lots of opportunities for the players who are suiting up. Niederreiter had been producing well in a top-line role for the Hurricanes prior to this big COVID shakeup and there’s no reason to think he won’t be getting plenty of top-line minutes today against a Red Wings team who has allowed 4.4 goals against over their last five starts. The ultra-cheap Niederreiter also gives you good goal scoring upside and has a safer-than-usual floor given the amount of ice he should see in this matchup.


Stud Goalies

Frederik Andersen, Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Red Wings ($7,700)

The Hurricanes will be short-handed tonight (in case you haven’t heard), but they remain as solid -190 favorites at the moment on the DraftKings Sportsbook. That should tell you all you need to know about how the market views the Red Wings, who enter this game ninth to last in goals per game and having lost three of their last four games. Andersen has rebounded after a tough stretch and has stopped 48 of the last 50 shots he’s faced. At well under $8,000, he’s the top option for me in net on a slate that has a lot of moving pieces to monitor.

Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers at Montreal Canadiens ($7,800)

The Flyers goaltenders have been brutal over the past month or so, but they are finally playing a team who might be worse in net and on defense than they are. Carter Hart and the Flyers are solid -160 road favorites and Hart does come into this game off of a couple of solid starts where he’s posted save percentages of .930 or better. It feels like a good spot to trust the Flyers against a Montreal team who is just playing out the string.


Value on Defense

Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild vs. Buffalo Sabres ($4,400)

The Wild got back Jared Spurgeon after a prolonged absence recently, and the Wild’s captain is already back to playing at least 21 minutes a game. He landed multiple assists in his last time out and remains the club’s best option on the power play, where we should also see his time increase as the games wear on. The Sabres are a great opponent for a more offensive minded defenseman like Spurgeon — Buffalo allows the fourth-most shots on net per game. I like getting some cheaper pieces of the Wild tonight — you could also look to Kevin Fiala ($4,700) — and Spurgeon rates out as a great value at under $5,000.


Power-Play Defensemen

Tony DeAngelo, Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Red Wings ($5,900)

We have to like both the situation and opponent for the Hurricanes’ remaining skaters, who are all going to be called on to play more minutes than usual. Tony DeAngelo is set to return from injury today and remains relatively cheap, especially with the Red Wings on tap who have the seventh-worst penalty-kill unit in the league.

DeAngelo can be paired with a number of cheaper forwards for a good Hurricanes power-play stack, and he enters this game averaging just under a point per game on the season. Even on a normal slate (without COVID taking out half of the players) this would be too cheap for such a good point producer. Take the value on the Hurricanes skaters today who remain solid favorites in a home game against a weaker opponent.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $70K Kick Save [$20K to 1st]


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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