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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for April 22

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

Thursday features an 10-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.



DraftKings Sportsbook

Columbus Blue Jackets +235 Moneyline at Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning haven’t been very impressive of late, and they sort of have a look of a team who is waiting for the playoffs to arrive. Tampa is just 5-5 in their last 10 games and seem to finally be feeling the effects of missing their top two scorers up front. Goalies haven’t been confirmed but there is a shot we get a Curtis McElhinney ($8,300) appearance here after Andrei Vasilevskiy ($8,300) played three times in four nights. CBJ has gone 3-3 against Tampa so far this year and played them close in last year’s playoffs too. The big odds warrant taking a shot on the ML here.

Dallas Stars -205 Moneyline vs. Detroit Red Wings

A completely different type of line but a good one nonetheless. Dallas has started to get consistent goaltending and scoring from their top-line. They now rank 10th in xGF% as a team and have won four in a row. Detroit’s floundered of late and seem to be regressing back towards their mean. The Stars need to keep winning here to have a shot at the playoffs and the odds here likely should be even smaller given the form of these two teams coming in.



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Top Line Stacks

Dallas Stars at Detroit Red Wings

Roope Hintz ($6,500) — Joe Pavelski ($7,000) — Jason Robertson ($5,700)

The Stars first-line has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy purposes of late and get another great match-up here. Hintz (questionable) has been a game-time decision for the last month but did play on Tuesday and picked up a couple of points. He’s now grabbed nine points over his last five games and remains criminally undervalued given the matchup with Detroit. Hintz is turning into a star but so is the rookie Robertson, who has eight points over his last five games and is now averaging 13.1 DKFP over his last 10 starts—3.2 more than his season average.

Robertson’s success story is a great one as the slick winger was barely getting regular shifts at the start of the year. The rise of these two young stars has lifted Pavelski of late too, as the veteran is starting to show the same kind of fantasy consistency he had with the Sharks. He’s now averaging 3.3 SOG as the trigger man on this line and has four goals in five games. Detroit remains a great target for first lines as they have the eighth-worst penalty-kill, no shutdown defenseman and have seen their goaltending start to regress as of late. This line has it all tonight and rates out as a great stacking target.


Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $60K Lumber [$20K to 1st]


Superstar to Target

Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers ($7,100)

Zibanejad has made absolute mincemeat of the Flyers this year, going for 15 points and seven goals in six games against Philly. His totals have been marked by two of the biggest fantasy games of the season too, as he’s gained six points in a game twice against them. Chasing matchup points like this can be a bad idea over the long-term but Zibanejad is also available at his second-lowest price point over the last 10 games. It’s a great matchup against a Philly team who continue to bleed goals against the leagues top-lines and power-play units. With seven of his 16-goals coming on the power-play and an opponent he clearly likes to beat up on, he’s a great upper-tier option to build around on this big slate.


Value on Offense

Sam Bennett, Florida Panthers vs. Carolina Hurricanes ($2,900)

Bennett has been a firecracker for the Panthers since the trade deadline. Playing bigger minutes on the Panthers second-line with Jonathan Huberdeau ($5,900), Bennett has five points and two goals over his last three games and saw a season-high 19-mins of ice in his last game. Considering that he’s still priced under 3k, the match-up here is irrelevant as Bennett is getting great opportunity on a line that should avoid most teams top-defensive pairing. He’s a great value target, and makes for a nice contrarian mini-stack with the aforementioned Huberdeau tonight.

Connor Brown, Ottawa Senators at Vancouver Canucks ($4,700)

Brown comes into this game averaging over a point-per-game and 2.7 SOG over his last 10-games. The fact he’s playing for the Senators here means his DraftKings price has yet to rise, but he’s been an absolute beast, returning great value over the last couple of weeks and is now averaging 14.6 DKFP over his last 10-games as well. The Canucks played well in their first two games back against Toronto but allow the most SOG against, per game, in the league. Brown at under 5k is a near must play today.


Stud Goalies

Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers ($8,100)

Shesterkin looks locked in as the starter tonight for the Rangers and brings some pretty solid form with him. The young goalie did lose his last start but posted shutouts in two of his last four, overall. The Flyers offense has also dried up of late as they’ve now scored two or less goals in five of their last seven starts. The Rangers are pretty hefty home favorites here at -175 (although they could be bigger) and need to keep wining here to have a shot at the playoffs. Paying up for the in-form Shesterkin against a flailing Flyers team feels like a good allocation of funds.

Matt Murray, Ottawa Senators at Vancouver Canucks ($7,300)

It’s rare we want to target a Senators goalie in DFS but the Senators do take on a weaker team in the Canucks tonight. Murray is coming off two straight wins and has now stopped 49 of the last 51 shots he’s faced. The veteran should be looked at as a pure GPP-only play but the Sens are only +125 on the moneyline tonight over on the DraftKings Sportsbook. Murray does have a better shot at grabbing the win bonus here for you than the rest of the cheap goalies on this slate. Vancouver played well the last two times out but does make for a good target here.


Value on Defense

Jamie Oleksiak, Dallas Stars at Detroit Red Wings ($3,500)

Oleksiak remains an integral part of the Stars top-four defensemen and has started to become a consistent fantasy producer as well. He comes in averaging a healthy 2.6 blocked shots per game, over his last 10-starts, and has now hit the DK blocked shot bonus five-times over that same span. He’s not a prolific point producer, but does have some ability and comes in averaging 2.0 SOG over his last 10-games as well. Oleksiak’s blocked shots gives him a solid floor and with Dallas going up against a weak opponent here the chance for a garbage assist or more is heightened for the mostly stay at home defenseman. He’s a good volume play to target under 4k here.


Power-Play Defensemen

Matt Grzelcyk, Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres ($5,000)

Grzelcyk returned to the Boston lineup recently and played over 21-mins, collecting a couple of blocked shots and SOG. The performance wasn’t great but his role on the power-play looks to be intact and he’ll get another crack at the Sabres here. Buffalo’s penalty-kill is actually one of the better parts of their team but they are facing off against a stout Bruins PP1 who should be looking to finish the season strong now that they’re healthy on the backend. Grzelyck’s a good value here and a good stacking target with Boston forwards.

Adam Fox, New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers ($6,500)

Fox has a terrific matchup against the Flyers who bring in the second-worst penalty-kill in the league. The Rangers PP1 is one to stack today and they’ve steadily improved as the season has gone in. Fox has 36-assists on the season thus far and is also available at his lowest price in over 10-games here so there’s a ton to like. He’s more point-dependent than many of the other top defensemen in the league but is in a great spot here to breakout.


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