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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for April 9

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 seven-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.

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


DraftKings Sportsbook

Pittsburgh Penguins Puck Line (-1.5) (+140) at New Jersey Devils

Both of these teams played last night so there’s no real advantage either way for rest. Both also won, although the Devils beat the lowly Sabres, while the Penguins beat a real team in the Rangers. Pittsburgh now ranks 6th in expected goal-rate (xGF%) and have picked up their play considerably in the second-half. They’ve won six of their last eight games and face a Devils team who rank 18th in xGF% and last in penalty-kill efficiency. You could even take the Penguins -180 on the ML, considering this mis-match but if you want bigger odds the puck line is worth considering here at a nice price.

Jonathan Marchessault over 2.5 SOG (-167)

Marchessault comes into this game averaging 4.2 SOG over his last 10-games. The Vegas forward only has two goals in that span but he’s been consistently firing the puck trying to get those goal numbers up. The odds here reflect his busyness of late in the SOG department but a match-up with the Coyotes—who allow the eighth-most SOG against each night—makes this a bet worth taking.


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


Top Line Stacks

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Arizona Coyotes

William Karlsson ($5,200) — Jonathan Marchessault ($5,600) — Reilly Smith ($3,800)

This line can sometimes go under the radar in DFS but it has potential as a good value target many nights. The Golden Knight's second-line is carried by Marchessault, who I mentioned above in the bets section, and carries elite SOG numbers. The winger has just two goals in his last 10-games but his high volume approach has still allowed him to average 11.0 DKFP over that span. His shooting percentage is also more than 2.0 points below his career average, so we should be due for positive regression in the goal scoring department.

Karlsson has been solid for the Golden Knights and makes for a good target here on his own against a Coyotes team who has allowed the eighth-most scoring chances against. He makes for a good mini-stack with Marchessault, as the two both play together on the Golden Knight’s PP1. I don’t mind going for the full stack and including the slumping Smith. The four-time 20+ goal scorer sees his shooting percentage at just 8.2% on the year, which is 4.0% under his career average. The Yotes make for a good opponent for him to get going once again. Arizona’s defense/goal situation started to show some cracks last game and you could see the Golden Knights elite offense exacerbate the issue. Their second-line makes for a good target tonight.



Superstar to Target

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils ($7,500)

Crosby enters this game putting up some elite numbers for fantasy purposes. The veteran has lifted his game after a slow start as he enters this game averaging well over a point-per-game on the year. The center has been more aggressive with his shot this year, likely due to injuries and the Pens lack of depth on the wings. The aggressiveness has paid off for fantasy lately as he comes in averaging 15.1 DKFP over his last 10-games. The Pens offense, as a whole, has been a great target of late as they come in averaging 4.5 goals scored over their last eight games as a team. The Devils have the worst penalty-kill and allow the seventh-most SOG per game of any team in the league. Crosby at well under $8k in price is a steal in this premier match-up.


Value on Offense

Jared McCann, Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils ($4,800)

The Pittsburgh offense is in a great spot tonight against the Devils so I think you can target them throughout the lineup. McCann has risen to the challenge as the Penguins second-line center and comes into this game averaging 3.0 SOG and 12.1 DKFP over his last 10-games. In that same span, he’s also nabbed five power-play points (four of which are goals) so pairing him with Crosby (see above) against the worst penalty-kill in the league makes some sense here too.

Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild ($3,700)

Schwartz has really struggled since coming back from injury, as the winger has just three-assists over his last 10 games and two goals on the year. Still, he’s getting plenty of opportunity, playing 16+ minutes in an offensive role every night. He won’t be getting his minutes cut anytime soon either after the Blues all but traded away Mike Hoffman (questionable-rest). Minnesota has been allowing far more SOG against over the last month (15th-most in the league this season) so they don’t make for a terrible target here. Schwartz is a decent target for GPPs given the low salary and the likelihood that he’ll start to show some kind of positive regression soon.


Stud Goalies

Robin Lehner, Vegas Golden Knights vs. Arizona Coyotes ($8,400)

Lehner comes into this game having posted save percentages of .920 or better in each of his last five starts, and has now grabbed a win in five of his last outings. The only blemish being an OT-loss he suffered against MIN—where he stopped 35 of 37 shots faced and still ended the game with 22.5 DKFP. In short, Lehner’s on a heater and you shouldn’t want to fade him here against a Coyotes team who has been playing above their pay grade recently. The Coyotes still rank 21st in goals per game and xGF% (expected goal rate). Assuming he starts, Lehner’s a great pay-up target on this slate.

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

Jonathan Quick ($7,700) started the last game for L.A. so they should go back to Peterson here in the first game against San Jose. The Sharks lost badly their last time out and will either be starting a fading Martin Jones ($7,800) or a perennially bad Devan Dubnyk ($7,800). Peterson and his .923 save % has the advantage over both of them and the Kings are coming off a confidence building win against ARZ, where they rallied from two down late to steal the W. This feels like the spot where the Kings finally take care of the Sharks and Peterson again showcases his solid upside for fantasy purposes.


Value on Defense

Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres ($3,800)

Targeting some of the Caps players against Buffalo tonight isn’t a horrible idea (it’s a great one actually) and Orlov certainly has his offensive potential here bumped as a result of this match-up. The Russian isn’t playing big minutes but he is producing and comes in averaging 9.4 DKFP over his last 10-games. He’s now hit the DK blocked shots bonus three-times in his last nine outings and has six points over that same span as well. Orlov has some offensive potential/upside so using him in a great match-up like this against Buffalo—who allows the third most goals against and fifth most SOG against, per game—is a solid move. At under 4k he’s a great value target for those wanting to pay down on D here.


Power-Play Defensemen

Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas Golden Knights vs. Arizona Coyotes ($6,300)

The Golden Knights feel like they have some sneaky upside tonight against the Coyotes, who continue to rely on third and fourth-string goalies due to injuries. Pietrangelo has seen his power-play exposure increase over the last few games as he takes a more prominent role on the PP1 for the Knights. The veteran continues to play big minutes and produce in a variety of different ways, which includes hitting the blocked shot bonus now in four of his last seven starts on DraftKings. Despite having just four points in his last 10-games he’s still averaging 12.1 DKFP over that span and his elite volume and peripheral production feels undervalued in a solid match-up.

Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche at Anaheim Ducks ($5,700)

Makar is one of a handful of elite defensemen on this slate who have a terrific match-up for fantasy purposes tonight. The Ducks have the ninth-worst penalty-kill and have allowed the sixth-most scoring chances against in the entire league this year. Makar is also averaging over a point-per-game over his last 10-starts and seems destined to add to that total here against such a weak opponent. The Avs finally got beat their last time out but their offense has been on fire of late and they lead the league in both shots for and goals for/per game. Makar’s underpriced in this spot and a great pay-up option on defense.

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.