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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Values, Lineup Strategy for December 9

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

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 $65K Kick Save [$20K to 1st]



DraftKings Sportsbook

New York Islanders -115 Moneyline

The Islanders finally found a win in their last game out, breaking a double-digit losing streak that no one saw coming after how they finished last season. The Isles’ biggest issue has been poor goal-scoring outputs by their forwards, who as a group are all shooting under career expectations. Expect more positive goal-scoring regression from them in the near future though, making this a team with good short-term value prospects for betting purposes. The Isles may also not need a ton of goals today against the Predators, who also struggle to score goals at times. You’re getting decent home odds to bet that the Islanders can do enough to overcome another mediocre team, which seems like a good spot given the momentum they are now riding.


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


Top Line Stack

Winnipeg Jets at Seattle Kraken

Mark Scheifele ($6,700) - Blake Wheeler ($4,800) - Kyle Connor ($7,700)

The Jets’ first-line has now combined for an incredible 16 points over their last three games. A lot of those came on the Scheifele hat-trick game against the Devils two games ago, but the Jets’ top-unit has looked far more potent in each of their last three starts as well. They also correlate better than almost any top line in the league as the three remain tied to each other both at even strength and on the top power-play unit most games.

They get another weaker defensive team to take advantage of in the Kraken, who are now third to last in goals against per game at 3.6 and may be looking to start third-string G Joey Daccord in this one. Blake Wheeler may not look like a great upside play at under $4,800, but he’s also setting up an elite goal scorer in Kyle Connor and is well overdue to find the back of the net himself (0 goals and 13 assists in 20 games). These three remain very affordable despite their big uptick in play and the great matchup. Taking advantage of this outright gift could be key on tonight’s busier slate.


Superstar to Target

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins at Edmonton Oilers ($8,900)

The Oilers’ defense has started to show some major cracks over their last few games and they come into this meeting with Boston having allowed 13 goals in their last three games. Edmonton is also allowing the fourth-most shots on goal per game in the entire league, making this an elite matchup for a player like David Pastrnak, who is averaging just under 5.0 shots on net per game this season alone.

If we look at Pastrnak’s season thus far, it’s been a little disappointing from a fantasy perspective as the elite winger “only” has eight goals despite having 102 shots on net. He’s shooting well below his career shooting percentage at the moment though and should find more twine soon. He’s in a great matchup and may get overlooked due to his price and the fact most DFS players will be paying up for at least one of the Oilers’ studs as well.


Value on Offense

Pavel Buchnevich, St. Louis Blues vs. Detroit Red Wings ($4,100)

Buchnevich has been the Blues’ most important player in many aspects this season as his signing in the offseason has given the team legit balance in their top two lines. Lately, with all of the injuries and COVID-19 outages they have suffered, Buchnevich has become even more vital to the Blues and is currently playing in a top-line role beside Ryan O’Reilly ($4,600)—with whom he makes for a good stacking option with. The former Ranger is averaging 3.6 shots on goal over his last 10 games and takes on a bottom-10 penalty-kill in the Rangers. Expect him to see plenty of special teams usage in a great spot.

Mike Hoffman, Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks ($4,000)

The Canadiens have been hit with the injury bug of late and will be without both Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli tonight. That is going to open up a lot of ice time for a player like Hoffman, who loves to be the primary shooter whenever he’s on the ice. He’s gone cold from a goal-scoring perspective this season but is going to be featured on the top power-play unit going forward, giving him really solid upside at his current price. If you need a one-off value at forward, Hoffman’s upside is near impossible to match at these prices.


Stud Goalies

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings vs. Dallas Stars ($7,400)

The Kings have a tough matchup against a surging Stars squad, but could also be getting Dallas in a bit of a vulnerable position. Dallas is coming off a tough 6-5 loss to the Golden Knights yesterday and now has to play a Kings team who is very strong five-on-five, and did a great job shutting down the Oilers’ top players a couple of games ago. Jonathan Quick seems likely to get the start and at under $7,500, he brings a .926 save percentage into this game. The Kings are small underdogs at +110 on DraftKings Sportsbook— where they make for a good moneyline play as well—but you shouldn’t shy away from Quick at all in DFS, given the spot, if he starts.


Value on Defense

Jamie Drysdale, Anaheim Ducks at Columbus Blue Jackets ($4,100)

I’ve targeted Drysdale a few times in this slot in 2021 and there’s really no reason to avoid going back to him. The Ducks have given Drysdale top power-play minutes all season and he’s responded by averaging right around 0.5 points per game this season. More importantly, Drysdale has been productive for fantasy purposes even without huge offensive numbers as he’s currently averaging 3.7 blocked shots + shots on goal per game despite playing around 18-19 minutes most nights. The Jackets have allowed 4.5 goals against per game in their last six starts and make for a good opponent, especially for a player who gets ample power-play exposure every night.


Power-Play Defensemen

Darnell Nurse, Edmonton Oilers vs. Boston Bruins ($6,300)

Nurse has been a beast for the Oilers in terms of fantasy production since returning from injury. He’s played over 26 minutes per game in his last two outings and has accumulated a goal and 12 shots on net in his last two games alone. The Oilers are still banged up on the blue line, and with the Bruins having one of the most potent first-lines in hockey, we should expect big minutes for Nurse as well.

He’s averaging 4.68 shots on goal + blocked shots over the last 12 months (which is tops on this slate for defensemen as well). Any way you slice it, Nurse looks undervalued by a wide margin at just $6,300 and makes for a stacking target, or one-off play, on this bigger slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $65K 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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