NHL DFS Picks Today: Best Value Going (February 6)

It is the first full night of games since the NHL’s All-Star break and 15/16 teams have had over a week off. That could leave some players rusty for their return, and that opens the slate a bit. Before getting to our NHL DFS picks today, let’s make sure to provide a small reminder:

With so many teams returning after a lengthy absence, there may be unexpected injury/roster updates, so Stokastic members are encouraged to double-check the Discord before lock.

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Lineup Decisions and More

NHL DFS Picks: Center

Nathan MacKinnon: COL at NJ

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Colorado played last night, so this makes it a road back-to-back situation out of the All-Star break. On the bright side, they are the only team on this slate to have played since the break ended, and that gave them a chance to get their legs back under them after nine days off. They face a New Jersey team that is still missing several key players from the lineup and since the injury to superstar Jack Hughes, the Devils are 30th in the league by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, and 28th by actual goals against. In a cruel twist of fate, their goaltending has been improving, but the gaps in the lineup are causing the team to play worse defensively.

MacKinnon has been excellent all season, but since the start of December, he has 24 goals, 56 points, and 128 shots on goal in 28 games. He has hit the DraftKings shot bonus 12 times in that span, partly thanks to the fact that he’s averaged 23:44 per game in ice time. Colorado’s superstar forward is normally a heavy shot-volume player, and that heavy usage only helps that fact. Add that to Colorado averaging the third-most minor penalties drawn per game over the last two months, and he gets plenty of offensive opportunities on most nights, with this one being no exception.

Stokastic fantasy point projections have MacKinnon as the top center, and it’s not close as he clears the next-closest pivot by 16.8% on DK and 11.7% on FD. He is very expensive, but his usage and shot volume frequently make him worth it, so he’s a target in all formats for this slate.

Nico Hischier: NJ vs. COL

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

On the other side of the MacKinnon matchup is Hischier, who remains one of the few healthy centers left on the Devils roster. In practice, he was seen skating with Ondrej Palat and Jesper Bratt, and that trio has been very good this season: in over 156 minutes together at 5-on-5, that trio has managed 79 shot attempts, 4.1 expected goals, and 4.7 actual goals per 60 minutes. While they likely match against MacKinnon, and that Colorado line has been tremendous offensively, they have also posted league-average defensive measures by expected goals and actual goals against at 5-on-5. For Hischier’s offensive upside, the matchup isn’t bad.

As mentioned, Colorado is drawing a lot of penalties but they’re taking quite a few as well; the last eight weeks have seen them take the sixth-most minor penalties per game in the league, and third-most of any team on this slate. New Jersey’s power play has struggled since the Hughes injury, but they should get a number of cracks against the Colorado penalty kill tonight. Hischier is a fixture of the top unit, so he should get his fair share of special team ice time tonight.

Of all centers priced $6,000 or less on either site tonight, Hischier leads the pack by fantasy point projections. The reasonable price and 3.3 team total are driving a lot of ownership his way as he’s projected between 15-18% on both sites tonight, but he and his line mates still require consideration in tournament formats.

NHL DFS Picks: Winger

David Pastrňák: BOS vs. CGY

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Calgary is in Boston, and the Flames traded top center Elias Lindholm last week, so they are short one key piece of their lineup. It has forced them to move Yegor Sharangovich to the middle, and he’s played very little of the position at the NHL level. Meanwhile, Pastrňák remains on a line with James van Riemsdyk and that winger duo has been tremendous for the Bruins by creating nearly 39 shots and 4.2 goals per 60 minutes together at 5-on-5. They have been able to dominate possession when they’ve skated together to the tune of a shot share over 59% and expected goal share over 64%, and with Calgary missing Lindholm, it’s all good news for Pastrňák.

Though not quite on the same points tear as MacKinnon, this winger has been unbelievably productive since December rolled around: 20 goals, 19 assists, and 5.4 shots per game in the 27 games over that span. He hit the DraftKings shot bonus 15 times in those 27 games and that level of shot volume is coveted for DFS. Boston has one of the highest team totals on the board (just behind Dallas and Florida) and all this is what draws us to Pastrňák.

Like MacKinnon, Pastrňák is the top projected winger by fantasy points by a wide margin: the gap between this winger and the next-closest option is 30.5% on DK and 21.3% on FD. He will be one of the most highly owned wingers on the night, but that shouldn’t scare off DFS players whether in cash games or tournaments.

Jason Robertson: DAL at BUF

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

For several games before the Stars went on their break, they added Wyatt Johnston to the top line alongside Robertson. Though the new Dallas top line has just 80 minutes together at 5-on-5, that time has produced an absurd 102.2 shot attempts, 54.1 shots, 5.2 expected goals, and 6.8 actual goals per 60 minutes. Those are power play numbers being put up at 5-on-5 and while we can’t expect that level to remain, it does highlight how good the top line can be with all three members playing at an elite level. Robertson had five points and 20 shots across five games heading into the break, and he surpassed the 20-minute mark in three of those contests. Additional ice time is always welcome.

Over the last two months, Buffalo has been taking 3.6 minor penalties per game against a league average of 3.4, so they’ve been a bit undisciplined. The Sabres’ penalty kill has been middle-of-the-road by shots and goals against metrics, and Robertson’s power play unit has averaged nearly 12 goals per 60 minutes. They have been great, this is a good power play matchup for them, and that’s part of what attracts us to the winger tonight for DFS.

Among all flanks priced under $7,000 on DK and $8,000 on FD, Robertson leads by fantasy point projections. His expected ownership is less than that of the aforementioned Pastrňák, so it makes him and his line mates lower-owned options for tournament contests.

NHL DFS Picks: Defender

John Carlson: WAS vs. MON

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Tonight, on DraftKings, Carlson is the cheapest he has been all season long. In a matchup against the Montreal Canadiens, a team ranked 31st by expected goals against at 5-on-5 over the last two months, that is great news. Carlson has done well producing peripherals all season, averaging 2.2 shots and 2.2 blocks per game. In fact, he has hit the block bonus in 22 of 47 games so far this season, and that gives him a reasonable DFS floor to work with. Washington is still struggling offensively, but they host a team that is struggling defensively even more, and with Carlson’s peripheral floor, that is good news for this matchup.

A good matchup and reasonable price on both sites are expected to drive a lot of ownership towards Carlson, and that projection leads all blue liners on both sites. All the same, he should be given some attention when constructing lineups as there are more than enough ways to differentiate aside from using one heavily owned defender.

Cam York: PHI at FLA

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

One area Philadelphia has typically struggled this season was the power play, but things were improving before the All-Star break: through 14 games in calendar 2024, the Flyers are eighth in the league by shots/60 minutes with the man advantage, and 18th by goals/60. It’s faint praise, but that is a sizable improvement from being 25th by shots/60 and last by goals/60 up until that point. Tonight, they visit a Florida team that leads the league in minor penalties taken per game over the last eight weeks at nearly 5.0; only one other team is over 4.1, and the league average is 3.4. The improved Flyers power play, run by York, should get plenty of opportunities to get on the board.

York finds himself at the complete opposite end of the ownership spectrum as his projection comes in under 1% on both DK and FD. Florida is generally a tough matchup, but he could see a lot of power play time, and that alone is worth considering for tournament formats tonight.

NHL DFS Picks: Goalie

Sam Montembeault: MON at WAS

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Montreal’s defensive struggles are, in a way, good for Montembeault’s DFS upside as he is facing the fourth-most shots per 60 minutes of game action this season among the 31 regular starting goalies in the NHL. He has faced at least 35 shots in 7 of 22 starts this season, and the matchup tonight is against a Washington side that is 30th in goals/60 minutes dating back to the Christmas break. The Capitals are not among the top team totals tonight and that should help keep Montembeault from getting blown up.

By fantasy point projection, projected saves, and projected goals against, Montembeault finds himself near the middle of the pack for goalies on this slate. He should carry reasonable ownership rates, though, so for DFS players looking toward the middle tier of netminders, he is one to consider on DK, and for cheap netminders on FD.

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NHL DFS Top Stacks Today

FLA2: Carter Verhaeghe – Sam Bennett – Matthew Tkachuk

Heading into their bye week, this Florida line had been one of the top offensive forces in the league – going back 16 games to the Christmas break, they created 38.5 shots, 3.3 expected goals, and 5.1 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Those are elite offensive numbers and bode well against a Philadelphia team who had seen their defensive numbers fall outside the top-10 of the league at 5-on-5 in that span. Florida has one of the highest totals alongside Dallas and Colorado so there are goals expected on the Panthers side. With both Verhaeghe and Tkachuk on the top power play unit, there is heavy exposure to special team time as well.

The Stokastic Top Stacks tool has this Florida line with the fourth-highest top-2 stack probability tonight on DK and third-highest on FD. There is much lower ownership expected on the latter (5.3%) than the former (12%), but both those numbers are lower than the top-2 stack percentage, and that gives them positive leverage no matter where they are rostered.

PIT2: Reilly Smith – Evgeni Malkin – Drew O’Connor

An injury to Smith has limited the time this trio has had together this season, but in nearly 85 minutes together at 5-on-5, they are creating 35 shots, 3.1 expected goals, and 3.6 actual goals per 60 minutes. Those are very good offensive numbers, especially for a second line. Hosting Winnipeg is not an easy matchup, but they will avoid top-line matching, and that’s good news for this trio. There are some very expensive lines on the board tonight that will have DFS players looking for filler stacks, and this is a filler stack that has shown offensive upside in their time together.

With projected ownership rates of 1.4% on DraftKings and 2.3% on FanDuel, there is not a lot of attention being given to this Pittsburgh line. On a night with very chalky filler lines available in Washington and Carolina, they make a pivot to consider in tournament formats.

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Michael has been writing about fantasy hockey for over a decade, and has been playing Daily Fantasy for just as long. He has contributed to both the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Herald, has worked for Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and is now in his fifth season with Stokastic. He lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, and can be reached on Twitter @SlimCliffy.

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