clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for April 4

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

NHL: Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday features a three-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 Sticks [$10K to 1st]


DraftKings Sportsbook

Carolina Hurricanes Money line (-162) vs. Dallas Stars

It’s not the sexiest line or anything, but the Canes do feel a little undervalued in this spot. The Hurricanes are at home and are coming off a one-goal loss to the Stars last night and feel like they should be bigger favorites. The Hurricanes are seventh in xGF% (expected goal rate) and still sport the best power play in the league. The Stars rank just 24th on the penalty kill and had to rely on 40-plus saves last night to grab a win. It seems doubtful we get two big games in a row from the Stars’ goalies, who have been sub-par for most of 2021.

Phil Kessel over 2.5 SOG (+165)

Kessel’s price may have come up for daily fantasy purposes but we can still get some value targeting him on DraftKings Sportsbook. The veteran has been on a tear of late and comes in averaging 3.6 SOG over his past five games. The Ducks give up over 30.0 SOG against per game and Kessel has only played less than 16 minutes once in his past seven games. The big plus money available on the over 2.5 SOG makes sense here as a target.


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


Top Line Stacks

Toronto Maple Leafs at Calgary Flames

Auston Matthews ($9,200) — Mitchell Marner ($8,200) — Zach Hyman ($5,700)

It’s far from easy to fit these three into lineups today, given the salaries involved, but it's definitely worth trying. The Leafs come in having grabbed points in six straight games and face a Flames team that has lost six of seven and feels like it is in “play out the string” mode. Matthews endured a bit of a mid-season mini-slump but has roared back with three goals in his past four games and is averaging an elite 4.0 SOG over his past 10 outings. Marner is also averaging 14.2 DKFP over his past 10 games and continues to shoot the puck at an elite rate as well, averaging 3.5 SOG over his past 10. The Flames have had their issues with teams sporting elite talent, as Connor McDavid has generally treated them as his punching bag most of the season.

The Flames did well at shutting down Matthews the last time these two teams met (0 points in two games) but considering the form the Leafs are in right now, that seems unlikely to happen again here. With Hyman also playing well as the regular-strength sidekick to these two (four goals and eight points over his last 10-games) I like stacking the top line here for the Leafs on this short-slate and looking for big value elsewhere.


Superstar to Target

Vincent Trocheck, Carolina Hurricanes vs. Dallas Stars ($6,700)

Trocheck enters this game having grabbed 12 points now over his past 10 games and is averaging a solid 13.5 DKFP over that span as well. The former Panther has been carrying a bigger part of the load for the Hurricanes of late, who are sporting three very solid scoring lines. Paired alongside Andrei Svechnikov ($5,300), Trocheck has been a force at both regular strength and on the power play — he has five power-play points over his past 10 games. The Stars are a great opponent for players who excel with the man advantage this year as they’re just 24th in penalty-kill efficiency. The Hurricanes have been a very offense-by-committee team this year, but Trocheck is certainly showing us his best hockey right now. He makes for a proper pay-up option if you want to target this Canes offense in a spot where they are ranked as one of the biggest favorites on the slate on DraftKings Sportsbook.


Value on Offense

Denis Gurianov, Dallas Stars at Carolina Hurricanes ($4,300)

Gurianov heads into this game with the Hurricanes averaging 2.5 SOG per game over his past 10 starts and with points in three straight. While his linemate Jason Robertson ($5,500) has got most of the attention from me, his price is now way up, while Gurianov’s remains much more palatable. While Gurianov’s floor isn’t as great as Robertson’s — the rookie is averaging nearly a point per game — Gurianov certainly has the ability to pot you a multi-goal game and has hit 12 or more DKFP in three of his past 10 starts. He’s a nice value option and makes for a good mini-stack play if you're intent on using Robertson as well.

Jesper Fast, Carolina Hurricanes vs. Dallas Stars ($2,900)

Fast is seeing time on the Hurricanes’ top line with the aforementioned Trocheck, who I really like targeting against the Stars' weak special teams here. Fast isn’t likely to get the same power-play exposure as Trocheck but the Canes are also one of the best teams at creating chances at regular strength and had 40-plus SOG as a team last night against Dallas. Fast comes in with six points over his past 10 games and makes for a good min-price punt play for those wanting to max out the studs in their lineup today.


Stud Goalies

Adin Hill, Arizona Coyotes vs. Anaheim Ducks ($7,800)

The Coyotes have been living and dying with Hill of late, who is technically their third-string goalie. Injuries have forced Hill into a bigger role and he’s responded quite well, posting wins in four of his past five starts. His latest run has also seen him face 34 or more shots in two of his past four starts. With the Coyotes now allowing the seventh-most shots against per game of any team in the league, Hill carries good upside value as he has an excellent shot of grabbing you to DK-SOG bonus every night. With the Coyotes sitting as -136 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook and Hill’s salary well below $8K in price, he’s a solid target here for all formats on this short slate.


Value on Defense

Alex Goligoski, Arizona Coyotes vs. Anaheim Ducks ($3,800)

Goligoski continues to shine for fantasy purposes in his lead role in the Coyotes’ top defense pairing. The veteran has five points over his past five games and is averaging just under 10.0 DKFP over his past 10 starts. He’s playing over 22 minutes a night in most games and bringing in solid peripheral production as he continues to grab garbage assists at an elite rate. At under $4K, there’s not much better you can do from a pure floor standpoint here.

Noah Hanifin, Calgary Flames vs. Toronto Maple Leafs ($3,600)

  • Hanafin continues to get pushed by the Flames' new coaching staff. He’s seeing solid minutes every night — over 21 minutes over his past 10 games — and is still getting power-play exposure, which really boosts his upside. He comes in averaging 8.6 DKFP over his past 10 games, which is 2.7 higher than his seasonal average, and is averaging 2.3 SOG over that span, which is pretty elite for a D-man. The Leafs’ penalty kill is below average and with Hanifin’s DraftKings price still well below $4K, targeting him on this top-heavy slate makes a ton of sense if you're looking for value.

Power-Play Defensemen

Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars at Carolina Hurricanes ($5,300)

There are some bigger names in play we could target on defense but the value we’re getting with Heiskanen makes more sense here. The second-year player is playing over 25 minutes per game on a consistent basis and still seeing big minutes on the power play every night as part of the Stars’ PP1 core. He’s been much more aggressive with his shot in the second half of the year and comes in averaging 3.1 SOG per game, which puts him up with the best in the league at his position in that regard. The Stars’ power play isn’t a bad target as they’re actually the eighth-best team in the league with the man advantage and Heiskanen has seen eight of his 20 points on the year in that role. He makes for a nice target here just based on price alone and is someone you can easily fit in with any Stars PP1 stack.

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


For sports betting, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook or download the DraftKings Sportsbook app.


If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF(IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).

21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.


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.