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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Values, Lineup Strategy for Jan. 3

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Monday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings.

Monday’s NHL late slate features one game. 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 Showdown $20K Twine [$5K to 1st] (EDM vs. NYR)

DraftKings Sportsbook

Oilers +105 Money Line

Edmonton likely deserves their underdog status here after coming out of the gates so slowly after the COVID-19 break. The Oilers' problems in net have been magnified by some lackluster defensive play too, but they face a team in the Rangers who are going to be missing a massive part of their top-six here in Artemi Panarin (health protocols). New York is also playing on the tail end of a back-to-back and likely a little overvalued after beating a very beleaguered and short-handed Lightning team twice in a row. Edmonton isn't as bad as their past three games have indicated, and we should expect a spirited effort here.

Place your NHL bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Top Line Stack

Mika Zibanejad ($8,600) — Chris Kreider ($8,000) — Kaapo Kakko ($5,800)

This Rangers-Oilers game has a solid 6.0 over/under on DraftKings Sportsbook, and the Rangers are slight favorites with a 3.2 implied team total. If New York is going to exceed their projected output here, it’s almost certainly going to from a big night from their top line. The Rangers have been a very top-six-centered offense all year, and without Panarin, their top trio will be relied on for a lot here.

The Oilers have been getting some dastardly goaltending of late and have allowed 33.1 shots against per game this year, with a penalty kill that’s been just middling to below average of late too. Zibanjad is a legit Captain’s choice (see below), but pairing him with both Kreider and Kakko here could get you exposure to all the Rangers’ scoring. Kreider is one of the best scoring forwards this year on the power play (11 power-play goals) but Kakko should be in a spot here to potentially surprise against a weaker 5v5 team like the Oilers. Kakko comes in averaging around 2.0 shots on net in his past 10 games, is cheap, and he makes a good flex option to pair with the more expensive Rangers duo.

Captain’s Picks

Leon Draisaitl ($15,900)

The Rangers’ goaltenders have been a bit soft of late as Igor Shesterkin ($15,000 CP; $10,000) comes in having allowed seven goals on the last 60 shots he’s faced (prior to his 38-save shutout last night). If this game does devolve into a shootout and the Oilers come out on top, the sheer goal-scoring efficiency of Draisaitl will likely make his salary here look like a bargain. He’s $1,200 less than Connor McDavid ($17,100 CP; $11,400) to captain and should see more of the Rangers’ depleted second-line in 5v5 match-ups. Take the discount when deciding between the Oilers’ studs today.

Mika Zibanejad ($12,900)

As mentioned above, the Rangers will almost certainly get a big day from their top line IF they end up scoring above expectation — and the one player we know can put up big fantasy games in that scenario is Zibanejad. The former Senator has now posted multiple-point games in three of his past four outings and should be asked to play a ton here against Edmonton’s two elite centers. Edmonton has allowed 13 goals in three games since the COVID-19 break ended, making this as high an upside spot as it gets.

Mikko Koskinen ($14,100)

With how these two teams have trended of late, most will be expecting a shootout of some kind here. The Oilers’ goaltending situation is certainly not one you want to rely on every night, but Koskinen can certainly rise to the occasion and has posted a 16.9 DKFP average and .916 save percentage on the road this year. He’s the contrarian play tonight as the Oilers allow a ton of shots, so if Koskinen does perform above his expectation then he’ll almost certainly be a top-three fantasy scorer in this game.

Adam Fox ($12,300)

If you want to save as much money as possible in the captain’s position tonight and try and stack multiple studs in the flex, Fox is a player to at least consider here. The defenseman is one of the best power-play producers in the game and will be facing an Oilers team who loves to give up shots on net. A higher-scoring game certainly suits his style too, as he’s one of the more point-dependent fantasy producers on defense.

Value Picks

Evan Bouchard ($7,000)

The Oilers’ defense features multiple productive defensemen, but Bouchard undoubtedly offers us the best bang for our buck on this slate. He’s averaged 4.0 blocked shots + shots on net over his past 10 games and has hit the double bonus twice in his past five games. Edmonton has been playing him big minutes all year, and he could easily slide in here for multiple points if the Oilers' offense goes off. He’s a player you can confidently stack with any of the Oilers' studs too given his offensive prowess and first-pairing role.

Barclay Goodrow ($4,000)

The Rangers don’t get much consistent production from their bottom six, but Goodrow will be in a position here to contribute more with Panarin out. Goodrow has been a very opportunistic scorer all season (17% shooting rate) and will be playing in the top six today besides a solid center in Ryan Strome ($10,800 CP; $7,200). With how efficient he can be with his shot, looking to him for upside at just $4K here makes sense against an Oilers team who can’t stop giving up quality scoring chances of late.

Ryan McLeod ($4,200)

One Oiler who has played well over their past few games is rookie Ryan McLeod. The center has been anchoring the Oilers' third line and came through with a multiple-point night two games ago. Showdown is all about finding solid ways to differentiate, and McLeod is a player who has been getting more and more opportunities for Edmonton as the season has progressed (including some second-unit power-play time). He’s a solid GPP play here for the bigger showdown fields.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL Showdown $20K Twine [$5K to 1st] (EDM vs. NYR)

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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.

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