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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for April 24

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

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Vegas POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday features a nine-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

Arizona Coyotes -105 Money line at Los Angeles Kings

The Coyotes are coming in off back-to-back losses to the Wild. Those losses are a little deceiving, though, as the team likely deserved a better fate than they got in the second matchup (a 4-1 loss), as they fired 40-plus shots on goal but only got one past a red-hot Cam Talbot. Arizona’s managed to get themselves into a playoff race here, and with Darcy Kuemper ($7,500) back and having a few starts under his belt, I expect them to show up in this spot. As slight underdogs here, they look slightly undervalued on the ML against a Kings team that has lost seven of its past 10 games.

Phil Kessel over 2.5 SOG (+150)

The Coyotes fired over 40 shots on goal in their last game against the Wild and now take on a Kings team that allows over 31.0 SOG per game, ranking 21st in shots allowed. Kessel fired 17 SOG in his past five games alone (3.4 average), so the big odds make the over very appealing. Arizona needs this game to stay in the playoff hunt, and you should see more aggression from them on offense here again.


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Top Line Stacks

Ottawa Senators at Vancouver Canucks

Josh Norris ($4,600) — Brady Tkachuk ($7,400) — Drake Batherson ($4,300)

The Senators clocked the Canucks, 3-0, in the first game of this series, and their suddenly competent offense now gets a second shot at one of the weaker defensive teams in the league. Vancouver allows the most SOG per game of any team in the league, has given up the 10th-most scoring chances and carries the ninth-worst penalty kill into this game. They’re a terrific matchup for any team, and the fact the Sens’ top line has actually been producing of late makes this even an even better spot than normal.

Ottawa’s top-trio, which also forms the basis for their PP1, has now scored 19 points and eight goals over their past five games and is clearly playing their best hockey of the year. Tkachuk continues to be the team's most dangerous player and is averaging just under 4.0 SOG per game over his past 10 starts. He’s hit the DK SOG bonus in four of his past eight starts and brings “goal and a bonus” type upside into a matchup like this at a very affordable price. Both Norris and Batherson are great values here too, though — especially Norris, who averages well over 17 minutes a night as the Sens’ de facto No.1 center and has now produced 10.0 or more DKFP in five of his past six starts. With a prime fantasy matchup on tap, the Sens’ top line makes for a great stack at a very attractive price.


Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $35K Kick Save [$10K to 1st]


Superstar to Target

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs at Winnipeg Jets, $9,200

We have a nine-game slate today, and with more value to choose from, paying up for the expensive Matthews here should be a touch easier than normal. The matchup is also a big factor as the Jets are a good fantasy opponent, allowing the 12th-most SOG per game and the fifth-most scoring chances against this year. Matthews has scored multiple points against Winnipeg in four of their six meetings in 2021 and landed a goal and two assists (with seven SOG) in the last meeting between these two teams. With only a $600 difference between him and Max Pacioretty ($8,600), anchoring with Matthews here seems like the logical choice. He’s averaging 22.2 DKFP over his past 10 games (compared to Max’s 13.7) and is also in an above-average matchup.


Value on Offense

Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs ($4,500)

Wheeler returned to action after missing nearly three weeks of play and promptly played over 19 minutes against the Maple Leafs, landing an assist in a 5-3 loss. The Winnipeg winger was back in his usual first-line role and is in a good spot here against Toronto, which carries the fifth-worst penalty kill in the league and has allowed the 14th-most scoring chances on the season. Wheeler’s simply priced too cheaply for a first-line winger here, especially one who has 33 points in 40 games. Take advantage while you can.

Alex Tuch, Vegas Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks ($5,100)

Tuch isn’t super cheap, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t represent good value in a premier fantasy matchup today against Anaheim. The winger has been filling in on the second line for the injured Reilly Smith ($3,700; undisclosed) and his opportunity may just earn him a permanent spot in the top six even when Smith returns. Tuch comes in averaging well over 16 minutes per game and averaging 3.3 SOG per game as well (which makes him a good prop target too). He’s scored in three of his past five games and should continue to get positive looks with Smith out.


Stud Goalies

Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes at Los Angeles Kings ($7,500)

Kuemper is admittedly a bit of a wild card tonight, as he’s made three starts after returning from injury but has only produced one win. Still, he looked solid enough against a tough Minnesota squad his last time out and takes on a weaker offensive opponent tonight. This game is set at near a pick’em in the odds, so the $7.5K price tag makes him a viable GPP candidate in a very winnable game against a team that ranks 25th in xGF% and 19th in goals scored per game.

Kaapo Kahkonen, Minnesota Wild at San Jose Sharks ($8,100)

With Cam Talbot having played last night — and having faced over 40 SOG — Kahkonen seems likely to get the call for the Wild here. They enter as -127 road favorites, but are taking on a Sharks team that should scare no one as San Jose has been terrible at burying its chances this year, ranking 26th in both power-play efficiency and goals per game. Despite having a few hiccups of late, Kahkonen is averaging 14.8 DKFP over his past 10 games and still carries a solid enough .910 save percentage on the year. He’s a fine pay-up option assuming he does get the call.


Value on Defense

Danny Dekeyser, Detroit Red Wings ($3,000)

For how cheaply he’s priced, Dekeyser has been producing some great fantasy returns lately. The veteran is only playing 19 to 20 minutes per game for the Red Wings, but he has now put up a 10-game average of 8.6 DKFP and continues to be a premier shot blocker. Dekeyser has hit the blocked-shot bonus in five of his past six starts, and while he’s not an elite offensive player, he does contribute on the scoresheet from time to time with five points in his past 10 games as well. The Wings have a thin backend, so expect Dekeyser to remain a part of their top four and perhaps even pick up a few more minutes as the season progresses. He’s a fine pay-down target, whose price and blocked shot potential make him somewhat matchup-proof.


Power-Play Defensemen

Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights at Anaheim Ducks ($6,600)

When Theodore is priced below $7K and going against one of the weaker opponents from the West division, he makes for an easy pay-up target. The former Duck continues to shoot the puck more than almost any defenseman in the league and comes in averaging 3.8 SOG over his past 10 games. Considering that he hasn’t scored in over 10 games, to say that he’s due for some positive goal-scoring regression here is an understatement. Vegas is a massive -265 favorite today, and with Anaheim allowing the second-most scoring chances against (in the entire league), a Theodore breakout game wouldn't be shocking.

Quinn Hughes ($5,200), Vancouver Canucks vs. Ottawa Senators

The Canucks’ PP1 could be a sneaky stack tonight against a weak Ottawa team that allows the fourth-most shots per game and has the 12th-worst penalty kill in the league. Hughes is definitely one to target here if you’re going that route as the second-year defenseman has continued to be a prolific point-producer (even as Vancouver struggles) and is only one game removed from a three-point outing against Toronto. Price and matchup dictate Hughes is a good target tonight as the Sens-Canucks remains just one of two games with a 6.0 total attached to it and also make it a good game to stack (on both sides).

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $35K 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.