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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for April 2

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

Friday features a six-game main NHL slate starting at 7:00 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 Kick Save [$10K to 1st]


DraftKings Sportsbook

Colorado vs. St. Louis: over 5.5 goals (-124)

The Avalanche have now scored 57 goals over their last 10 games. They’re averaging 5.7 goals per game over that span (obviously) and take on a Blues team who has struggled to keep the puck out of their net. St. Louis has now allowed the 6th most goals per game and has the 6th worst penalty-kill to boot. Maybe the Avs don’t score 9 goals again like they did against Arizona their last time out but this number seems insanely low for a team averaging more goals per game over their last 10 games than the actual total for this one.

Los Angeles Kings ML (-121) vs. San Jose Sharks

The Kings and Sharks are both coming off nice wins. San Jose actually swept the last series with LA, but then promptly lost two games to the Coyotes (before beating the Wild twice). The Kings still rank out better than the Sharks in most metrics, including special teams, where they have the fourth-best power-play. With Cal Petersen ($7,700 - see below) playing well, you have to expect the home team Kings go looking for revenge here after blowing the last series against San Jose.


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Top Line Stacks

Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks

Anze Kopitar ($5,900) — Alex Iafallo ($4,500) — Dustin Brown ($5,400)

As mentioned above, the Kings are coming off a nice win against the Vegas Golden Knights. Their top-line was able to grab a goal against the Knights, who are a far more competent defensive team than the Sharks. San Jose has been an enigma of late—they’re actually 4-2 in their last six games—but they’ve also been riding hot goaltending. The Sharks allow the third-most shots per game and allowed Dustin Brown to land 12 SOG against them in two games last week. Brown didn’t score in those games but that kind of volume is going to pay off eventually.

Iafallo (who did score against San Jose) also looks like a very juicy upside target at this price, as he grabbed 10 SOG in those same two games against SJ and was able to net one goal. He’s now scored twice in his last three games and gives you two solid upside plays at wing for under $6K. These three play together in all situations, so any outbreak by any either winger means Anze Kopitar—who has 30 assists on the year—should have a shot at a multi-point game as well. The Kings’ top-line is a nice looking value option here.


Superstar to Target

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues ($9,200)

MacKinnon comes into this game with 17 points in his last 10 games. Despite the Avs scoring in bushels over the last couple of weeks, the center still only has four goals over that span and hasn’t scored in four straight. Trying to time a big goal outburst for any player in NHL DFS is maddening, but we really shouldn’t expect this goalless drought to go much longer. MacKinnon is averaging just under 4.0 SOG per game and is now potting goals at a full two percentage points below his career shooting percentage.

We should expect positive regression soon and it may come against the Blues, who have turned into one of the worst defensive teams in the league this year thanks to injuries and sub-par goaltending. The Blues’ special teams issues (6th-worst in the league) will open a lot of opportunities for the Avs here, who have been railroading better teams than the Blues of late. I’d look for MacKinnon to put in a ceiling game soon and this may be the spot to do it against a vulnerable and fading STL team.



Value on Offense

Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils ($3,900)

Wilson is playing in the top-6 for the Capitals as the non-Ovechkin right-winger. His place in the lineup is interesting as it has resulted in solid production of late, including nine points in his last 10 games and five in his last four. The controversial winger is shooting more of late as well, as he plays alongside playmaker Nicklas Backstrom ($5,200) and gets a Devils team who allows the fifth-most shots against per game in the entire league. The Caps have been scoring at a massive rate over the last few weeks and Wilson gives you an easy, cheap way to get exposure to their offense.

Phil Kessel, Arizona Coyotes at Anaheim Ducks ($4,000)

Kessel has been a great value play of late as the veteran winger has moved into a top-line role for the offensively challenged Coyotes. The bump up has seen Kessel land 14 SOG now over his last four games and he comes in hot, having scored six times in his last 10 games. The matchup here against the Ducks means we shouldn’t be thinking about fading this late season surge either as ANH has allowed the fifth-most scoring chances on the season and has the eighth-worst penalty-kill in the league. Kessel remains a great upside play at this price-point.


Stud Goalies

Cal Petersen, Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks ($7,700)

Petersen comes into this game against the Sharks averaging 18.3 DKFP per game over his last 10 appearances and is coming off a dominant win against the Golden Knights, where he stopped 40 of 42 shots. The Sharks had his number the last they faced him, but I would expect Petersen to win out here eventually against a not very good offense. The Kings are also decent home favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, putting him in a good spot for a win bonus and making him one of the best values out there at goalie tonight.

Mike Smith, Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames ($7,900)

We haven’t talked much about the Oilers in this article but perhaps that is a mistake. They enter this game as -148 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook and are at home against a Flames team who has lost five of their last six games (two to the Sens) and have been hammered multiple times by the Oilers this season already. Smith is playing well and has six wins over his last nine starts. He’s posted save percentages of .909 or higher in three of his last four games and looks like a nice pay-up option considering the matchup.


Value on Defense

Josh Morrissey, Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs ($4,000)

Morrissey has been a mainstay of this article under the value section and he sticks out again here. Despite averaging 8.7 DKFP per game and 2.2 SOG per game over his last 10 starts, his price tonight is actually at its lowest point in a couple of weeks on DraftKings. Still a mainstay on the Jets’ power-play, Morrissey has a decent matchup here against the Leafs, who have the 12th-worst penalty-kill in the league. He can pay off for you with some good peripheral scoring but Morrissey’s power-play exposure also gives him better upside than most players at this price.

Alex Goligoski, Arizona Coyotes at Anaheim Ducks ($3,700)

Goligoski has been picking up his fantasy production of late for the Coyotes. Playing on the top pairing with With Jakob Chychrun ($6,100), the veteran is now averaging 1.7 SOG and 2.0 blocked shots over his last 10 games. That kind of production, on its own, is hard to come by at under $4K in price and the former Penguin has shown that he still has some offensive ability as well after picking up four points in his last five games. The matchup here vs. the Ducks makes him an even better target than usual considering how many scoring chances they cede.


Power-Play Defensemen

Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues ($5,800)

Makar sits in a great spot tonight as the Avs’ PP1 quarterback. The Blues come in as the sixth-worst team in the league on the penalty-kill and are coming off four straight losses, the last two of which have come against the lowly Ducks. Makar’s averaging a point-per-game over the last 10 games and has four power-play points in that same span. Even with all of the Avs’ defensemen finally healthy, Makar is still averaging well over 22 minutes per night and remains priced here under $6K despite averaging 11.0 DKFP over his last 10 games. There’s solid plays above $6K tonight as well, but with how good the Avs have been offensively, Makar has just as much upside as anyone on this slate at defense and comes cheaper, making him a great target.

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