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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for March 21

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings, which starts at 4:00 p.m. ET.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Florida Panthers Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday features a three-game NHL main slate starting at 4:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings. 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 $40K Twine [$10K to 1st]

DraftKings Sportsbook

Florida Panthers (+120) Moneyline at Tampa Bay Lightning

The Panthers come in with wins in five of their past six games and rank second in the league in expected goal rate (xGF%) which is two spots higher currently than the Lightning. These two teams have been two of the best in the league up to this point and only two points separate them in the standings as of today. Florida has looked like the stronger team of late, as Tampa comes in with losses to the Red Wings and Predators over their past six games. Florida is also getting solid work from both its goalies right now as Sergei Bobrovsky ($7,100) enters with a 6-1 record over his past seven games and Chris Driedger ($6,900) enters this one off a shutout. With two teams this close, taking the underdog here— especially when being offered plus-money — never feels like a bad way to go for betting purposes.

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

Top Line Stacks

Dallas Stars vs. Nashville Predators

Roope Hintz ($5,000) — Jason Robertson ($4,400) — Denis Gurianov ($4,600)

The Stars and Preds are two of the most banged-up teams in the NHL right now and have been all season. Nashville is without its leader on defense in Roman Josi for this game and that should spell more doom and gloom in the short term for the Preds, who enter this one ranked second-to-last in penalty-kill efficiency and having given up the eighth-most goals per game in the league.

The Stars have found some consistency with this young line in their top six. While I've mentioned Robertson numerous times before in this article, he remains super cheap here at under $4.5K considering he’s averaging a point per game and 10.2 DKFP over his past 10 starts. While Hintz and Gurianov aren’t as consistent on the fantasy front, they both provide solid upside for extremely cheap prices here. Gurianov is well known for his four-goal game in last year’s playoffs and he comes in averaging 2.8 SOG per game and having hit the DK SOG bonus twice over his past 10 starts. Hintz has been Dallas’ best forward in many regards of late, as he comes in with eight points in his past six games and is averaging over 17 minutes per game in an expanded role right now. Considering the opponent and opportunity these three are getting, seeing them produce a big game against Nashville wouldn’t surprise at all and they make for a great value stack at under $15K combined salary.

Superstar to Target

Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning ($8,000)

Barkov has been on a nice run of late that has seen him grab 14 points in his past 10 games and also hit the DK SOG bonus in four straight as well. The increase in shot volume is a great development for Barkov, who has taken a step up toward being one of the more elite players/centers in the game this year. Florida has become a bit of a powerhouse in the pandemic-shortened season and sits second in the league in xGF% (expected goal rate) as a team. For his efforts, Barkov has been their clear leader once again, averaging over 21 minutes of ice time while leading the team in points and goals. Tampa is obviously a tough opponent, but on a three-game slate, we can look past the matchup and rely on both Florida’s advanced stats and Barkov’s insanely good form. Florida matches up equal or better than Tampa in most categories and is 2-1 against them on the season, scoring 11 goals combined in those wins. Barkov’s a solid anchor as the creative offenses on both sides here should lead to lots of scoring chances and, likely, lots of goals.

Value on Offense

Anthony Duclair, Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning, ($4,200)

If we like Barkov (see above) then we shouldn’t hate his wingers tonight, especially when they are priced as cheaply as Duclair is here. Duclair can be streaky for fantasy purposes, but he’s seemed to find his groove of late and comes into this game with four points in his past four games. He’s also been a touch more aggressive with his shot of late, as he has three or more SOG in six of his past 10 games. Duclair may not get heavy power-play minutes, but he does spend most of his ice time at even strength playing alongside the Panthers’ best player, so when you throw in his recent increased fantasy production his value looks solid. He makes for a good one-off or stacking target with Barkov.

Yanni Gourde, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers ($4,400)

Gourde has been taking a first-line role with the Lightning of late as their collective approach to scoring has been impossible to stop for opponents again this regular season. Gourde wasn’t much of an offensive catalyst before this year, but playing alongside Brayden Point ($6,600) has turned him into a solid fantasy producer. He comes in averaging 11.6 DKFP over his past 10 starts and is playing over 17 minutes a game in that span. Given the three-game slate, Gourde’s a good way to get cheap exposure to one of Tampa’s most productive units and a player who has outperformed his fantasy salary over the past three weeks on a consistent basis.

Stud Goalies

Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights at L.A. Kings ($8,300)

Fleury seems likely to get the start today after ceding duties to Robin Lehner ($8,100), who returned recently after his concussion symptoms lingered. Fleury continues to defy age and comes into this game having won four straight games while posting a .933 save percentage on the year thus far. The Kings make for a great opponent for opposing goalies as they are prone to firing a lot of pucks on net on any given night but don’t have a ton of finish and don’t create a ton of quality scoring chances — they’re 23rd in xGF%. If you can get up to Fleury you probably should start him today. The Knights are -182 on the ML — the biggest favorites on the slate — putting Fleury in a great spot for a win-bonus today.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning ($7,100)

Bobrovsky obviously has a tough opponent today in the Lightning, as Tampa leads the league in goals per game at 3.6. Still, when he’s in form Bobrovsky has proven capable of shutting down any offense in the league and he comes into this matchup with Tampa having gone 6-1 in his last seven starts while posting save percentages of .925 (or better) in four of his past six games. The Panthers match up well with Tampa (they’re 2-1 against them this year) and only rank as +120 underdogs on DraftKings Sportsbook as of writing, making them the smallest priced dogs of the three underdogs available on this slate. Bob’s a good pay down option, especially in GPPs where his upside is worth taking on at this salary.

Value on Defense

Keith Yandle, Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning ($4,300)

Yandle makes for a pretty easy value target tonight, especially if you’re using any of the Panthers' PP1 forwards. The defenseman continues to anchor the Panthers' first-unit power play and comes in having earned 13 of his 18 points on the year with the man advantage. It’s a tough matchup today for Florida’s special teams going up against the Tampa penalty-kill, which is sixth-best in the league, but Yandle’s available here at his cheapest DraftKings price in over three weeks. The correlation factor here is also a great thing for GPPs as any power-play goal is likely going to have a great shot at gaining him an assist considering his role and playmaking ability. If you’re targeting the Panthers’ big names today, don’t forget to take the obvious value and correlation with Yandle at defense.

Power-Play Defensemen

Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights at L.A. Kings ($6,200)

Theodore has regained much of his reliability for fantasy purposes of late. The Golden Knights’ offensive catalyst now has seven points over his past four games and has scored points in six straight games. Three of those points have come on the power play and while his price on DraftKings may have come up from his slump — when he went off on DK in the $5K range many nights — he’s still remarkably cheap for a near point-per-game player who is part of one of the best offenses in hockey. The Kings have given up the 11th-most scoring chances against this year and have struggled against the tougher teams in the West. Theodore is an easy target for those wanting to pay up at defense.

Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars ($5,400)

The Predators' injury issues have opened up some opportunity on the backend and Ekholm, so far, has been the biggest beneficiary. The Swede has taken over the lead point duties on the power play for the Predators and comes into this game with solid recent numbers, averaging 2.4 SOG per game and 11.6 DKFP over his past 10 starts. Nashville is perpetually banged up and not so good on offense anyways, so you don't want to go crazy here in stacking their players. However, Ekholm has produced of late in his expanded role and does make for a good one-off play considering the TOI and increased opportunity he’s getting with Josi out.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $40K Twine [$10K 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.