NHL DFS Picks Today: Jumping on Jack Eichel (March 14)

There is a huge 12-game slate in the NHL on this Thursday night but with Edmonton and Colorado having played last night, a lot of the elite options are missing. Let’s go through what’s left for the high-end skaters and then dig for some value for our NHL DFS picks today.

As always, Stokastic members are encouraged to double-check the Discord before lock for updated roster information.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Lineup Decisions, Expert Advice & More

NHL DFS Picks Today: Center

Jack Eichel (VGK at CGY)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

In four games since returning from injury, Eichel now has six points and 18 shots, with all six of those points coming in his last two outings. He has skated at least 19 minutes in those four appearances, over 21 minutes in three of them, and averaged 21:36 per night. Vegas’s top line has created 3.0 expected goals/60 minutes and 2.9 actual goals/60 at 5-on-5 which aren’t elite numbers, but with heavy ice time usage, that is more than fine. Calgary has also been taking more penalties of late with 3.8 minor penalties per game over the last eight weeks; they took around 3.5 minor penalties/game leading up to that point.

It is still a small sample, but in the six games Calgary has played since trading excellent defensive defenseman Chris Tanev, they are 31st in the league by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5. Also, with starting goalie Jakob Markstrom injured, there is a big drop-off in net: stats site Evolving Hockey has Markstrom with +31.9 goals saved above expected (GSAx) in 2417:15 of ice time, or nearly 0.8 additional goals saved every 60 minutes. Conversely, every other Calgary goalie has played 1485:54 in total and sit with -17.57 GSAx in that time, or 0.71 extra goals allowed.

Eichel leads Stokastic’s center position FanDuel fantasy point projections and ranks second on DraftKings. There is good point-per-dollar value on both sites as well. Ownership is projected in single digits, so despite that value, he won’t garner a lot of attention from DFS players.

Wyatt Johnston (DAL vs. NJ)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It has been nine games since Dallas called up rookie Logan Stankoven, Johnston’s line mate, and in those nine games, Johnston has six goals, six assists, and 3.7 shots per game. He has four DraftKings shot bonuses in those nine outings and was held off the scoresheet just once (against San Jose, oddly enough). In 100 minutes at 5-on-5 with that duo on the ice, Dallas is creating 41 shots/60, 4.0 expected goals/60, and 4.8 actual goals/60. Johnston has skated at least 17 minutes in eight of those nine games and has averaged over 18 minutes across all of them.

New Jersey visits Dallas tonight and the Devils are 25th by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 since the All-Star break. Compounding that problem is an injury to defensive defenceman Jonas Siegenthaler, who will miss tonight’s game with a concussion. He missed 16 games earlier in the season and in that stretch, New Jersey was 29th in the league by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5, so a good matchup for Johnston has gotten even better.

Despite a soft defensive opponent, great recent production, and solid price, Johnston’s ownership projections fall under 6% on DK and under 2% on FD. He shoots enough to be used as a one-off center, but is also perfectly fine in tournament stacks.


NHL DFS Picks Today: Winger

Kirill Kaprizov (MIN vs. ANH)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It has been an unbelievable hot streak for Kaprizov in the second half of his season as he had just eight goals and 25 points with 3.2 shots/game in his first 29 outings but has 25 goals and 48 points in his last 30 games (averaging 3.7 shots per appearance). A lot of that was done with Joel Eriksson Ek as his center, and he is out for tonight, but the team is still scoring 3.0 goals/60 minutes at 5-on-5 under their new coach when Kaprizov has Marco Rossi as his center. The winger has also skated at least 20 minutes in 10 straight contests, averaging 21:43 along the way.

The matchup with Anaheim is the clear appeal tonight. The Ducks have taken 4.7 minor penalties per game over the last eight weeks, second-most in the league and well above the league average of 3.5. That span has seen Minnesota draw the third-most power plays in the league, so this is a great special team matchup for Kaprizov to get on the board. Anaheim is also in the bottom-10 of the 32 teams by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 since the All-Star break, so it’s an excellent matchup all around for the star flank.

Kaprizov is third among all wingers for FD fantasy point projections and fifth among DK wingers. The tremendous matchup against Anaheim is almost certainly going to bring double-digit ownership in large-field contests (he’s projected between 13-15% on the two sites) but he is hard to ignore against a hapless Ducks team.

Jordan Eberle (SEA vs. WAS)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Washington played in Edmonton last night, so the rest advantage is on the Seattle side. That should help Eberle, who has 40 shots on goal in his last 13 games, or over three per game. Seattle’s top line has been excellent offensively with Tomáš Tatar on the wing, too: 34.2 shots/60, 3.2 expected goals/60, and 4.2 actual goals/60 in nearly 190 minutes together at 5-on-5.

In fact, Eberle is posting 2.31 points/60 at that strength with Tatar as a winger and 1.32 points/60 without him, so the line is scoring more often and it’s helping Eberle’s production immensely.

The Capitals have not been horrific defensively of late but are 17th in the league by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 while coming in 24th by actual goals against/60. As Seattle tries to stay afloat in the playoff race, they have been leaning more on Eberle as he’s averaged 18:30 per game in ice time over his last six games compared to 17:02 before that. He is getting more ice time, gets a tired team on the second of a back-to-back, and is skating with line mates that have helped him excel offensively in their time together.

Of all wingers priced under $4,500 on DK, Eberle ranks second by fantasy point projections with a points-per-$1,000 value of nearly 2.5. That is excellent for DK, and despite a higher (relative) price on FD, he’s fine there, too. He can be used in any tournament format by himself or in a stack.

Filip Zadina (SJ at PIT)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

With trades, injury, and underperformance, Zadina has seen his role improve considerably with San Jose. His last nine games have seen him average 16:54 in ice time while skating at least 15 minutes in each outing and surpassing 18 minutes three times. Across his first 50 games of the season, he was averaging just 12:41 per night and hadn’t been above 18 minutes in a single game since mid-October.

Those recent nine appearances resulted in five goals for Zadina while averaging over 3.0 shots per game. Tonight, he gets a Pittsburgh team that is 27th by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 since the All-Star break, coming in 25th by actual goals against/60.

Zadina has quietly formed a good offensive duo on the second line with William Eklund as the team creates 2.8 expected goals/60 at 5-on-5 with them on the ice. This is a team that sits at 2.2 expected goals/60 on the season, so they’re clearly finding some chemistry together. Our winger still isn’t on the top power play unit, but he has been earning 33% of the team’s power play time over the last two weeks, so there has been some PP usage, and that’s always welcome.

There is excellent value on both sites for Zadina as his projected fantasy points per $1,000 on DK sits just under 2.5 and that number is just under 2.6 on FD. He is also projected with less than 5% ownership on both sites so he can be used as a salary-saving one-off winger in all tournament contests.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Defender

Jakob Chychrun (OTT at CLS)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Thomas Chabot is still missing from Ottawa’s lineup and in the three games since his injury, Chychrun has skated at least 23 minutes in all of them, the first time he’s done that in four months. He has been held off the scoresheet, but has registered 11 shots and nine blocks in that time. Over his last 20 games, he has 61 shots and 47 blocks, totaling three DK shot bonuses and eight DK block bonuses. There has not been a lot of production with just four points, but he faces a Columbus side that is 27th by expected goals against/60 minutes at 5-on-5 since the All-Star break.

With Chabot injured, Chychrun has been a regular on the top power play unit, and Columbus is 30th by goals against/60 while on the penalty kill over the last eight weeks.

Of all defenders priced under $6,000 on DraftKings tonight, Chychrun leads the way by fantasy point projections. The value isn’t as strong on FanDuel where peripherals matter less, but in such a good matchup, he’s fine to use on either site in any format.

Bowen Byram (BUF vs. DET)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Byram finds his way back into this column again because he’s still too cheap for the usage he’s getting. In three games since being traded to Buffalo, he has averaged 24:39 per night and has skated at least 23 minutes in each outing. That stands in stark contrast to the 18:37 per game he averaged in Colorado in his 14 games following the All-Star break. The bonus for him is that he was immediately slotted onto Buffalo’s top power play unit and over the last eight weeks under new coach Patrick Roy, the New York Islanders are 27th by shots against/60 on the penalty kill, ranking 28th by goals against/60.

How Buffalo’s power play fares long-term with Byram remains to be seen, but in DFS, all we can ask for is opportunity in a good matchup, and he has that.

Projections are still low on Byram because he hasn’t typically been a big peripheral producer in his NHL career, but the heavy usage and solid power play matchup, combined with a very reasonable price, should have him on the radar of DFS players tonight.

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Goalie

Sergei Bobrovsky (FLA at CAR)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It has been a superb season for Bobrovsky but a big part of his DFS value is he’s not getting blown up very often. In his last 25 starts, he has not allowed more than four goals in any game, he’s given up more than three just twice, and has finished with negative DK points just twice in that span. Sometimes, a lack of shot volume playing behind a great defensive team is a problem, but he faces a Carolina side that leads the NHL by shot attempts/60 at 5-on-5 since the All-Star break. He faced 59 shots in his two starts this season against the Hurricanes and all this puts him on the DFS radar tonight.

Stokastic’s GoalieStats section has Bobrovsky just ninth by expected saves tonight, which is where the shot volume problems can come in, but he’s also projected for the seventh-fewest goals against. For DFS players looking to avoid the high-priced goalies, particularly on DK, look to Goalie Bob as an option.   

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NHL DFS Top Stacks Today

PIT1: Michael Bunting – Sidney Crosby – Bryan Rust

As poorly as Pittsburgh has been playing lately, they get a matchup with San Jose, and the Sharks have been worse: last by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 since the All-Star break and 31st by actual goals against/60. Crosby and Rust have skated 112 minutes together without Jake Guentzel, who was traded to Carolina, and that time has resulted in 41.9 shots/60 and 3.8 expected goals/60 at 5-on-5. They have scored just 2.6 goals/60 thanks to a low shooting percentage, but the shot generation shows how well they’ve been creating despite a low conversion rate in what is still a small sample. They have a tremendous matchup against the Sharks to start that positive regression.

There is one line that has a much higher top-2 stack probability tonight, per the Top Stacks tool, but this Penguins trio still carries the fourth-highest percentage. They are also projected for lower ownership than that number on DK, which gives them good positive leverage. There will be more ownership on FD, but in such a good matchup, they are still on the table.  


ARI2: Lawson Crouse – Logan Cooley – Dylan Guenther

Arizona faced Detroit a week ago and skated away with a 4-0 win. Since the All-Star break, the Red Wings are tied for 28th with the Chicago Blackhawks by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 and are dead last by actual goals against/60.

There has been more ice time for the members of this line lately, specifically Cooley and Guenther as they’ve both averaged over 16:20 per game across their last five appearances. Cooley averaged 14:19 per game in the 15 prior contests, so the improvement has been significant. Cooley and Crouse are on the second power play unit while Guenther is on the first, so there isn’t perfect power play correlation, but they do all get power play time, and that’s enough for a low-cost line.  

The Top Stacks tool has this trio as the only line on DK that fits the following criteria: priced under $14,000, at least a 1% top-2 stack probability, and positive leverage. They are a filler stack to consider on that site, and are fine on FD even if they are projected for higher ownership levels.

*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick

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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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