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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for April 12

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Monday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Monday features an eight-game main NHL slate starting 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 It’s All in the Hips [$20K to 1st]


DraftKings Sportsbook

Anaheim Ducks Money line (+163) at San Jose Sharks

The Ducks enter this game coming off two losses in a row to the Avalanche, but prior to that had gained points in two straight games, including a win over the Sharks. San Jose has traded away Devan Dubnyk ($8,300), so they may be looking to start one of their two young goalies here. Neither of these teams is great at creating or limiting scoring chances, but the Ducks do have a legit No. 1 in net with John Gibson ($7,400-see below). This should be a close game between two West cellar-dwellers, and in this scenario, I’d rather be with the big plus-money odds on the Ducks.

Oliver Bjorkstrand over 2.5 SOG (-112)

As per usual, the Blackhawks make for a great opponent anytime we’re targeting SOG props. They’ve allowed the second-most SOG against in the league and Oliver Bjorkstrand ($5,500) figures to get plenty of minutes tonight after the team traded away a forward in Nick Foligno. For his part, Bjorkstrand comes in averaging 2.6 SOG over his past 10 games and feels like a solid target on the over here at pretty generous odds for this prop.


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


Top Line Stacks

Winnipeg Jets at Ottawa Senators

Mark Scheifele ($7,000) — Andrew Copp ($5,200) — Kyle Connor ($7,400)

The Senators enter this game having lost six of their past seven games and also just traded away one of their better defenders in Mike Reilly at the deadline. They allow the third-most shots against per game and have the seventh-worst power play. This is all to say that, just like at the beginning of the year, Ottawa makes for an elite matchup for teams with strong L1/PP1s. The Jets have had to juggle their lines a bit recently thanks to the injury to Blake Wheeler (concussion) but this trio has been pretty consistent coming into this game.

Connor remains a solid upside play, averaging 3.5 SOG per game, even if his actual goal rate this year is down a bit. Both he and Scheifele are going a little under the radar, but both are averaging over a point per game this year and should play big minutes with Wheeler out at both even strength and on the PP1. This trio is also quite affordable thanks to Copp’s salary. Copp has had a breakout year for the Jets in a consistent top-six role. He has 13 points in his past 10 games and is a steal here given the opponent. This whole line should be targeted given Ottawa’s struggles and the fact the Jets possess the third-best power play in the league entering today.


Superstar to Target

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche vs. Arizona Coyotes ($9,100)

There are a couple of big names on the slate tonight, but there’s not much reason to overthink this one. MacKinnon is currently tearing up the league and enters this game averaging 4.3 SOG in his past 10 outings and with six goals in his past six games. MacKinnon is clearly making up for lost time at the start of the season, and his late-season surge has translated to big things for those who stayed patient with him in fantasy.

The Coyotes present a ripe matchup too, as the Avs have dominated the ‘Yotes over the past couple of years and have averaged four goals against them in the past 14 meetings between these two teams. The Coyotes have regressed a bit on defense lately and have now allowed the seventh-most SOG in the league. Considering the fact they’re also stuck starting third-string goalies thanks to injuries, the matchup for Nate couldn’t be much better. MacKinnon’s worth the dough tonight.


Value on Offense

Brandon Hagel, Chicago Blackhawks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets ($2,600)

Hagel is getting some good opportunity for the Blackhawks right now, as they’re currently giving the high-energy winger some time in the top six, notably alongside Patrick Kane ($7,800). The 22-year-old has shown spotty production thanks to his moves in and out of the lineup, but he’s also landed four or more SOG in three of his past 10 games and gets a great opponent here in Columbus, which allows the sixth-most SOG against in the league. If you need a min-price play tonight with legit upside, Hagel’s one of the best targets out there.

Patrik Laine ($4,700), Columbus Blue Jackets at Chicago Blackhawks

Laine has really struggled in Columbus and enters this game with just one goal in his past 15 games. That goal did come against the Blackhawks, though, in the first game of this series between these two teams, and we have seen Laine get hot after prolonged slumps before. Laine may also be buoyed by seeing the trade deadline pass, and he should continue to get minutes after the team traded away a couple of starters yesterday. Laine’s a pure boom-or-bust play at this point, but not a poor one against Chicago, which allows the second-most shots against per game in the entire league.


Stud Goalies

Robin Lehner, Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings ($8,100)

Lehner took the night off the last time Vegas played, so it’s likely we’ll see him here vs. the Kings. The Swede enters having won six of his past seven games and has a .912 save percentage over his past 10 games. He’s averaged 14.1 DKFP over that span, and the Golden Knights sit as big -190 favorites over the Kings on DraftKings Sportsbook. L.A. sits just 19th in xGF% on the year and sits just 11th in goals per game. Considering Lehner is just the fifth-most expensive goalie on the slate, if he gets the start he’ll be a nice pay-up option at this price.

John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks ($7,400)

Gibson and the Ducks have now lost five of their past seven games, but Gibson has played quite well over his last handful of outings. He’s posted an exact save percentage of .971 in three of his past five starts and has scored 19 or more DKFP in each of those three starts as well. The Sharks traded away some players at the deadline, including one of their goalies, and may choose to run with younger players in net the rest of the way. Despite the Ducks sitting around +163 underdogs, Gibson’s recent run makes him a solid GPP target at under $7.5K here against a weakened Sharks team.


Value on Defense

Vince Dunn, St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild ($3,700)

Dunn is playing more for the Blues down the stretch as they look to play out the string after a disastrous season. The defenseman has started to get more consistent looks on the power play and enters this game with eight points (two on the PP) over his past 10 games. The Wild do have a good penalty kill, but if we’re being honest, it’s near impossible to find this level of production and upside at under $4K, so the matchup here is kind of irrelevant. Dunn’s averaging 10.9 DKFP over his past 10 starts — a healthy 3.4 points more than his season average — and should be considered a top value anytime he’s under $4K at the moment.

Connor Murphy, Chicago Blackhawks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets ($4,700)

Murphy enters this game averaging a stout 12.1 DKFP over his past 10 games. The main reason for his fantasy surge has come from his ability to block shots. The 28-year-old is averaging 3.4 blocked shots over his past 10 games and has hit the DK blocked shot bonus six times over that span. He’s seen his minutes go up a bit lately, too, and has assists in five of his past 10 starts, making him an even better upside play. It’s rare to pay this much for a defenseman who doesn’t get any power-play exposure, but Murphy is worth it and is a good deal tonight against the struggling Blue Jackets.


Power-Play Defensemen

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks vs. Anaheim Ducks ($6,200)

Burns has started to produce a little more offensively for the Sharks, who have moved him back into his regular PP1 role. The veteran enters this game with eight assists over his past 10 starts and is just one game removed from a 24.1 DKFP outing, in which he racked up three points against L.A. The Sharks’ core players aren’t nightly targets, but they can be good matchup targets, especially when the Ducks are on the menu. The Ducks have the 10th-worst penalty kill in the league and have given up the second-most scoring chances. Even though Burns’ offensive stats are fading this season, the weak opponent here could produce a vintage Burns game given the nice form he’s shown of late.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $70K It’s All in the Hips [$20K 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.