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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for March 14

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings, which starts at 5:00 p.m. ET.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s DraftKings featured NHL contest features a five-game slate starting at 5:00 p.m. ET. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings plus some DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target as well.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $60K Sticks [$15K to 1st]

DraftKings Sportsbook

Carolina Hurricanes Puckline (+112) at Detroit Red Wings

The Hurricanes are now winners of seven games in a row and come into this game well rested having been off since Thursday. The Canes rank ninth in xGF% (expected goal rate) and fourth in goals scored. On the other side, Detroit looks completely outclassed here as they come in ranked 27th in goals allowed per game and just 26th in xGF%. Detroit has allowed 5.2 goals against over their past five games and faces a rested and well-balanced Canes attack here that should be ready to force Detroit’s pop-gun offense to keep up. Taking the Canes to cover the -1.5 Puckline actually looks like decent value given the discrepancy between these two teams.

Columbus Blue Jackets Moneyline +118 vs. Dallas Stars

Columbus doesn’t seem to be getting much respect here as they’re still home underdogs despite winning the first game of this series. The Blue Jackets have started to get healthier on the backend and are getting some better production of late from their defense. Dallas has had massive issues in net and is currently relying on the very unproven Jake Oettinger ($7,600) to carry them. The Blue Jackets are by no means world-beaters, but they have taken two of the past three from Dallas and feel like the team closer to turning things around right now. The price here makes them a nice ML play today.

Place your NHL bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Top Line Stacks

Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings

Sebastian Aho ($7,100) — Nino Niederreiter ($5,800) — Martin Necas ($5,500)

As mentioned above, the Red Wings have been #notgood at keeping the puck out of their own net lately. Goalie Thomas Greiss ($6,700) continues to suffer through a terrible season while Jonathan Bernier ($6,900) has been much shakier of late, and has allowed four goals against in three straight starts. The Canes have balanced out their lines and bumped up Necas into a more prominent role with Aho of late. Aho’s scoring is down a touch this year but he’s been more noteworthy of late with four points in his past three games, and perhaps the adjusted lines will finally get him back to a point-per-game production rate. Necas has seen his DraftKings price rise but his production has risen to meet it, and he now has nine points over his past 10 games.

The bottom line here is that all three men play heavy top-six minutes and should be on the ice together for most if not all of the power-play exposure as well. The Wings are third-to-last in both SOG against and in penalty-kill efficiency, so Carolina’s league-leading power-play unit is in a great spot here to gain you multiple points. This cost-effective trio makes for a nice upside target tonight against one of the weakest teams in the league.

Superstar to Target

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators ($9,300)

Matthews let us down last night against the Jets when he was held off the scoresheet but it feels like we have to go back to him here. The Sens are coming off three straight losses to the Oilers where they allowed the Oilers’ star players to run absolutely wild, with Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid combining for 16 points between them in three games. Matthews is averaging more SOG than either of the Oilers’ studs and landed four points in his last game against Ottawa a few weeks ago. The Senators continue to cede chances at a ridiculous rate as they’re last in goals allowed per game and have given up the third most quality scoring chances in the league this year. Matthews should be in for an easy bounce back here and when you look at some of the other big names on this slate, his matchup is superior in pretty much every way, so paying up for that kind of built-in upside seems appropriate in this spot.

Value on Offense

Jason Robertson, Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets ($3,600)

Robertson has become one of the best bright spots for Dallas in a very down year. The Stars rookie has been elevated into a top-six role and has seven points over his past 10 games, a stretch that includes a four-assist effort against Chicago two games ago. He’s now getting top-line PP1 exposure and faces off against a Columbus team that is fifth in goals allowed per game and also features the third-worst penalty kill in the league. Robertson is an outstanding value at under $4K right now and a markedly better one considering the quality of opponent he’s getting for fantasy purposes tonight.

Pavel Zacha, New Jersey Devils vs. New York Islanders ($3,800)

Zacha has been a bright spot for the Devils this year as he’s taken a more active role on the power play for the Devils for much of the year due to injuries. The Russian forward has shown he’s got some skill too and currently leads the team in points with 17 — four of which have come on the power-play — while also playing 17 minutes a night. Despite all that, he remains under $4K in price here against a solid team like the Isles. New Jersey played the Isles tough in the second game of this series though and Zacha was able to pot a goal. Considering the overall production and the effort New Jersey has shown of late, he’s a good punt play if you're in need of extreme value at forward.

Stud Goalies

Alex Nedeljkovic, Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings ($8,400)

Nedeljkovic has inserted himself as part of the Hurricanes' main goalie tandem with Peter Mzarek still injured. The rookie has posted a .926 save percentage or better in each of his past five games and is averaging 16.7 DKFP per game. The Hurricanes are -220 favorites today — one of the biggest favorites on the slate — and face a Red Wings team that ranks 27th in goals scored per game. The Canes are destroying everyone right now and enter on a seven-game win streak. The win bonus here seems quite likely for Nedeljkovic and with him also playing extremely well, he makes for a great cash play to pay up for on this smaller slate.

Scott Wedgewood, New Jersey Devils vs. New York Islanders ($7,000)

As far as boom-or-bust options go today, Wedgewood makes for an interesting target if you're looking to take some chances in GPPs. While he only has two wins in his past seven games both of those W’s were shutouts, and he’s still averaging 13.6 DKFP on the year despite having just a 2-3-2 record. The Islanders are playing good hockey right now but the Devils played them extremely close in the second game of this series and New York is likely ripe for a little regression soon. A big game from Wedgewood today likely provides the catalyst for an upset and, at his price he makes sense as a GPP target for those who don’t mind taking on the risk attached to such a big underdog.

Value on Defense

Nikita Zaitsev, Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs ($4,000)

Zaitsev has started to pick up the pace of his fantasy production over the second quarter of the year. The defenseman is best known for blocking shots and he’s done a lot of that over the past few games, hitting the DraftKings blocked shots bonus in three of his past four starts. Zaitsev’s averaging 2.4 blocked shots over his past 10 games and faces a Toronto team that isn’t afraid to shoot the puck and consistently averages well over 30 SOG per game. Zaitsev has also added a bit more offensive production this year, as he’s already at 11 assists through just 30 games, a mark he failed to break through 58 games last year. Considering the opponent here, it feels like a good time to take the cheap salary on a prolific shot blocker who has the potential to grab you a garbage assist or two in a game with a 6.5 O/U.

Power-Play Defensemen

Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets, vs. Dallas Stars ($4,800)

Werenski has finally started to look more like the player we knew from last year who scored 20 goals and was one of the Blue Jackets' best offensive catalysts. He comes into this game with five points over his past three games and is seeing heavy minutes at over 24 minutes per game right now. Averaging 2.5 SOG per game over his past 10 starts, the power-play specialist remains a bit underpriced here and certainly is a huge bargain if he starts to produce offensively at last year’s levels.

Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets ($4,700)

Heiskanen and the Stars have a solid matchup here against the Blue Jackets, who carry the fourth-worst penalty kill in the league going into this game. Heiskanen has been inserted back onto the Stars’ PP1 to try and get them some more offense and the second-year player has five points and two goals in his past 10 games. He’s not producing at the same rate as he was in last year’s playoffs, but at barely over $4K in price, he makes for a great target on this slate in a terrific matchup for the Stars’ PP1.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $60K Sticks [$15K 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.