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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for April 19

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.


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DraftKings Sportsbook

Vegas Golden Knights Puck line (-1.5) +118 vs. San Jose Sharks

The Sharks enter this game having been outscored 20-7 in their past five games, which have all been regulation losses. The team is at the whim of some poor goaltending right now and faces off against a Vegas squad that has beaten San Jose in five straight meetings this year. Vegas ranks among the leaders in xGF% and has won six games in a row — five of them by two goals or more. The plus-money odds here on the Puck line are more than enough to target Vegas in this spot.

Kirill Kaprizov over 2.5 SOG +100

Kaprizov enters this game averaging a solid 2.8 SOG per game over his past 10 starts. The rookie winger is also averaging over 19 minutes per game during that same span, so the opportunity for him to smash this over certainly exists almost every night. The Coyotes give up just under 31 SOG per game and make for a decent enough matchup here considering the plus-odds we’re getting. Kaprizov is a good target for one of our favorite props this Monday.


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Top Line Stacks

Calgary Flames vs. Ottawa Senators

Elias Lindholm ($5,900) — Matthew Tkachuk ($6,300) — Johnny Gaudreau ($4,800)

The Flames’ top line has been heating up of late, and this top-line trio comes into this game with 14 points between them over their past five starts. The Flames have chosen to go top-heavy on their first line recently, and it’s paid off somewhat, as they have won three of their past four games. Lindholm has undoubtedly been the catalyst here, as he’s now posted 15.0 or more DKFP in three of his last five games. However, with the Flames facing off against the Senators tonight, we should expect the entire line to show some life.

Ottawa has been terrible at limiting teams’ first lines and has given up the third-most scoring chances in the league entering this game. The Flames have been playing Lindholm along with Gaudreau and Tkachuk on special teams as well, which only gives them a bigger fantasy boost here given Ottawa’s penalty kill, which is only ranked 23rd in the league in efficiency. Calgary’s shown glimpses of life lately and these three make for a good mid-range stack against a team that gives up big fantasy nights to opposing top-lines on the regular.


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Superstar to Target

Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks ($8,200)

The Golden Knights’ offense has been on fire of late, as the team comes in averaging 4.75 goals over their past six games. There are plenty of ways to play the Vegas forwards here against a weak opponent like San Jose, but simply paying up for the reliable Pacioretty seems like the easiest way to ensure you get a piece of the upside. Pacioretty strolls into this game with seven points over his past four games and is now over a PPG pace on the year. The American has actually been producing better on less volume of late, but you could still see him approach the DK SOG bonus in this one given the fact that the Sharks allow 31.3 SOG against per game, the seventh-worst mark in the league. There are a couple of big names on this slate — Aleksander Barkov ($8,200) is also enticing in this range — but Pacioretty makes the most sense, from a matchup to salary perspective, to build around.


Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $40K Sticks [$10K to 1st]


Value on Offense

Nikita Gusev, Florida Panthers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets ($3,100)

Gusev has now played in two games with the Panthers since being traded and has played over 17 minutes in both of those starts. The former Devil even posted a powerplay assist his last time out, which speaks to the kind of opportunity he’s now getting with Florida. The talented winger is skating with Barkov on his regular shift and on the PP1, so pairing Gusev with the team’s best forward here also makes sense for correlation purposes. Gusev remains a nice punt play until his price rises to reflect his new top-six role.

Denis Gurianov, Dallas Stars vs. Detroit Red Wings ($4,000)

Gurianov enters this game with the Red Wings red hot from a fantasy perspective. The Russian now has five points over his past two games and is skating on a regular shift with Jamie Benn ($5,300), who also had two points his last time out. Detroit has played better of late but remains a solid target here for fantasy and is coming off a 4-0 loss to the Blackhawks, a testament to the fact they still feature some of the shakiest goaltending in the league. Gurianov’s a serious upside play at a very affordable price.


Stud Goalies

Chris Driedger, Florida Panthers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets ($8,100)

Driedger posted a tough loss his last time out against the Lightning but is in a much better spot tonight against the Blue Jackets. Florida is -230 on the money line here and the Blue Jackets appear to be in play-out-the-string mode, as they’ve now lost four in a row. Columbus ranks just 28th in goals scored per game and carries the fourth-worst power play as well. The upside here may not be massive (Columbus only ranks 24th in shots per game) but Driedger definitely makes for a reliable cash game target if you have the room to pay up.

Anton Khudobin, Dallas Stars vs. Detroit Red Wings ($7,200)

Quite simply, Khudobin looks underpriced here in the low-$7K range. The Stars enter this game as -225 favorites on the DraftKings Sportsbook and are coming off back-to-back big wins against the Blue Jackets. Khodobin has also been solid of late, as he has a .922 save percentage over his past 10 games and been far more trustworthy in DFS of late. The savings make the Russian a great target, assuming he does indeed get the start (unconfirmed as of writing) tonight.


Value on Defense

Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning ($3,400)

Slavin enters this game with some elite production in the SOG and blocked shots categories. The American is averaging 2.6 SOG and 1.7 blocked shots over his past 10 games and has now fired 12 SOG over his past three starts alone. While he still doesn’t see regular power-play time, he plays on the team’s first pairing with Dougie Hamilton ($7,200) and is averaging 23.5 minutes per game over his past 10 starts as well. His price here is also a huge factor in why we want to target him tonight as Slavin is now at his lowest price point in over 10 games despite landing seven SOG and a goal in his last outing. If you need a cheap defenseman to open up space, ignore the tendency to overthink this one as Slavin’s volume is enough to make him a great value here.


Power-Play Defensemen

Roman Josi, Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks ($6,500)

The Blackhawks’ special teams have regressed somewhat, and they enter this game against the Predators now ranked just 27th in penalty kill efficiency. The Hawks make for a great matchup for an offensive roamer like Josi, who plays a ton of power-play minutes and also fires the puck more than the average defenseman. Chicago allows the second-most SOG per game, and Josi comes in having landed three or more SOG in five of his past 10 starts. With his price well under $7K again, this is a good spot to target the Preds’ most dangerous offensive weapon in one of the best matchups possible for fantasy.

Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks ($5,800)

Theodore is coming off a solid night where he potted an assist and four SOG, yet his price has dropped back below $6K. The Vegas defenseman also has another plus matchup on the slate against the Sharks, who have allowed an average of 4.0 goals over their past five games. Stacking Theodore with a Vegas top-six forward here, given the Sharks defensive woes, makes for a solid way to build, as we should expect him to see big power-play minutes with the team’s first unit. Averaging 3.8 SOG per game and just under a point per game on the season, Theodore makes for a fantastic upside play this Monday.

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