NHL DFS Picks Today: Let’s Get That Value (February 15)

It is a monster 12-game slate in the NHL with several superstars like Auston Matthew, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Jack Hughes, and Roman Josi on the board. It could leave the mushy middle overlooked so let’s go over some of the non-superstar options for this slate. As always, Stokastic members should double-check the Discord before lock for lineup news.  

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Lineup Decisions and More

NHL DFS Picks: Center

Mika Zibanejad (NYR vs. MON)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Zibanejad’s shot rate per game is currently a seven-year low and it’s the biggest problem with his consistent DFS value. The upside is that he has 21 power play points in 52 games, and that’s a mark that puts him in the top-25 skaters in the league. His shot attempts/60 minutes on the power play is also top-25 among forwards in the league, too, and that’s equal to or more than superstars like MacKinnon and Matthews.

With New York hosting Montreal, it is a very good power play spot for Zibanejad as the Canadiens have taken the fifth-most minor penalties per game since the Christmas break, giving up 17 power play goals against in that 20-game span.

It is also a good matchup at 5-on-5. In over 286 minutes with Blake Wheeler as the right winger, the Rangers’ top line creates 32.9 shots/60 minutes and 3.5 goals/60; those numbers are 28.7 shots/60 and 2.5 goals/60 without Wheeler, so he’s been a difference-maker for the offense. Their trio is also getting fewer shutdown matchups recently, so they’ll largely avoid Montreal’s top line, and that is the only line that brings real matchup concerns.

Of centers priced under $7,000 on DK and $8,000 on FD, Zibanejad ranks third and second, respectively, by Stokastic’s fantasy point projections tonight. His ownership rate is expected under 5% and 7%, respectively, though, so he’s not going to attract much attention despite an excellent matchup.

Dylan Cozens (BUF vs. FLA)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Following a slow start to the season that saw Cozens post just nine points in 20 games, he’s managed 21 points in 29 games since, and that’s much closer to where we should expect him. Ice time has been a concern for most of the campaign, but he has skated at least 18 minutes in three straight games for Buffalo, averaging 19:57 in that span, which is a season-high for any three-game span.

His line has helped the Sabres generate 42.6 shots and 3.2 expected goals/60 minutes in their 130-plus minutes together, so they have found offensive chemistry. Florida is in town, and they played last night, meaning the rest advantage is on Cozens’s side.

While Florida generally presents a difficult matchup, the Panthers have been taking an obscene number of penalties: since the Christmas break – a 21-game span – the Panthers have averaged nearly five minor penalties per game. The league average is just under 3.5, and only one other team is above 4.3. Our center skates on what would be termed the team’s top power play unit, and he’s third among their forwards in shot attempt rate with the man advantage. Difficult matchup aside, the Sabres and Cozens should get their share of cracks at the power play tonight.

Among pivots priced lower than $5,000 on DK, Cozens ranks first by fantasy point projections. On FD, he ranks second for those under $6,000. Despite a tough 5-on-5 matchup, he has a solid outlook, and his ownership is expected to be even lower than Zibanejad’s, bringing him and his line mates into focus for tournaments.

NHL DFS Picks: Winger

Brock Boeser (VAN vs. DET)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Pius Suter was moved back to Boeser’s line for their last game and that has been the best non-Elias Pettersson iteration of that trio as they’ve created 32.6 shots/60, 3.2 expected goals/60, and 4.3 goals/60 at 5-on-5. Our winger has hit a cold spell with zero goals in five games, but he had six goals in the 10 games before that, so this is just how percentages can come and go.

The fact that this line is creating very well offensively is what keeps him relevant in DFS. It is also an excellent matchup for Boeser as Detroit is in town, and they’re 26th by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 since the Christmas break, and 31st by actual goals against/60.  

This is also a good power play matchup. The Red Wings are 26th in the league by shot attempts allowed/60 on the penalty kill over that post-holiday stretch, only being saved (literally) by outstanding goaltending that has posted a .928 save percentage. On the season, only one team is above .900, so that’s a mark that will regress. It bodes well for Boeser, who has 12 power play goals this season, tied for third in the league.

Despite a good matchup at home, and his team being tied for the third-highest implied goal total, Boeser’s ownership rates on both sites are coming in under 1%. He is likely best used in a stack, but there is a very low-owned opportunity here tonight.

Claude Giroux (OTT vs. ANH)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

On the season, Giroux carries the second-highest shots/60 at 5-on-5 among all regular Ottawa forwards, and his 2.5 shots/game overall help a bit with his DFS floor even if he’s not a high-volume shooter. His line has been excellent at 5-on-5 as well, outshooting the opposition 62-43 and outscoring them 9-6 in their 113 minutes together.

Facing Anaheim brings a team that has improved its defense of late but is still 21st in the league by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 since the Christmas break. It isn’t a terribly difficult matchup, and Giroux has skated at least 20 minutes in 10/17 games in calendar 2024, so he’s being relied upon heavily by the coaching staff.

The real appeal of this matchup is Giroux’s power play role. He is skating on Ottawa’s top PP unit, and Anaheim is a very undisciplined team – the post-holiday stretch has seen the Ducks take 4.3 minor penalties per game, the third-most in the league. Anaheim also is dead last in the league by shots against/60 while short-handed, and all this has led to 18 power play goals against in 19 games. Giroux is in a good 5-on-5 matchup, but a great power play matchup, and that’s why he’s in this column.

The lack of shot volume is keeping Giroux’s projections muted, but he’s also coming in with a 3.5% projected ownership rate on DraftKings and just 5.1% on FanDuel. His team is tied for the highest implied goal total on the board and he’s a high-usage player. This winger warrants consideration in tournaments.

Viktor Arvidsson (LA at NJ):

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

This game should mark the return of Arvidsson to Los Angeles’s lineup as he’s missed the entire season to date with a back injury suffered in training camp. In practice on Wednesday, he was skating on the second line with Trevor Moore and Phillip Danault.

Over the prior two seasons, that trio skated a lot together at 5-on-5 (over 1000 minutes) and had good offensive numbers: 36.6 shots/60, 3.3 expected goals/60, and 2.8 actual goals/60. Turning their plethora of shots into goals can be a problem at times, but they have generally been able to dominate the play, and that’s important.

What is also important are New Jersey’s defensive issues. They are still without their top defense pair due to injury and in the time with that pair out of the lineup, New Jersey is tied for 30th by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5, ranking 24th by actual goals against/60. The Devils’ goaltenders have been better of late than earlier in the season, but the defense has not been stellar in front of them, and that makes for a good matchup for Arvidsson in his return. Whether he’s up to game speed remains to be seen, but this is not a difficult spot.

Because Arvidsson is still technically on the injured reserve, there are no projections for him. We will have to wait for news to be certain, but he has averaged 32 goals/82 games over the last five full seasons and is an option in tournaments.

For a cheaper FanDuel wing option, consider Andrew Mangiapane (CGY, $4,100) who carries a strong projection in a good home matchup.

NHL DFS Picks: Defender

Brandon Montour (FLA at BUF)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

The lack of production from Montour has been concerning as he has just 12 points in 37 games. However, he has registered a point on just 21.8% of Florida’s goals scored with him on the ice, a number that was 44.2% over his prior 173 games with the Panthers.

That is something that will regress positively and will bring a lot of points with it. Though it is a road back-to-back, they face a Buffalo team that has taken the seventh-most minor penalties per game since the Christmas break, while Florida has drawn (by far) the most minor penalties per game at 4.9. Montour should get plenty of chances on the power play tonight, and that is great news for his DFS upside.

Of all defenders priced under $5,000 on either site, Montour leads fantasy point projections (and by a wide margin on FanDuel). Despite the road back-to-back, he is in a good power play spot and can even provide solid peripherals.

Jamie Drysdale (PHI at TOR)

DraftKings Salary

FanDuel Salary

Though recommending players from the Flyers’ power play is a rarity, tonight is one of those nights for it. Philadelphia faces Toronto, and the Leafs have given up the sixth-most shots against/60 on the penalty kill over their last 20 games, and 10th-most goals against/60.

Conversely, that same span of games has seen Philadelphia tied for third in the league by minor penalties drawn per game, so this is a night where Drysdale – who runs the top power play unit – gets a few chances to get on the scoresheet against a flailing penalty kill. Our defender doesn’t put up much in the way of peripherals – 36 shots and 29 blocks in 22 games – but he’s not priced as if he needs a lot, and there is a reasonable chance of point production in this matchup.

The lack of peripherals is keeping Drysdale’s fantasy point projection low, but it’s also keeping all ownership off him as well. Philadelphia has a solid power play matchup, which they rarely get, and it’s why Drysdale should be considered in tournament formats.  

NHL DFS Picks: Goalie

Petr Mrazek (CHI vs. PIT)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Pittsburgh is playing their second game in as many nights, and that gives Chicago the rest advantage out of the gate. Over their last 20 games, only one team (San Jose) has given up more shots/60 at 5-on-5 than Chicago, while Pittsburgh is ninth in shots-for/60 in that same span.

Importantly, Pittsburgh’s power play has largely struggled this season, so Mrazek should face a lot of 5-on-5 shots rather than special team shots, and that’s always good for DFS upside. Registering a win will be tough because the Blackhawks’ offense has dried up since the injury to Connor Bedard, but Mrazek should see a lot of volume. That volume is important because it helps float his DFS value; he has just two wins in his last 10 games, but he’s posted at least nine DK points in each of those outings.

Stokastic’s GoalieStats section has Mrazek having the second-highest projected save total tonight, but he’s outside the 10 goalies with the highest expected goals against total. That gap is where his DFS value lives, and it’s what makes him an attractive option in goal for tournaments.  

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NHL DFS Top Stacks Today

EDM2: Evander Kane – Leon Draisaitl – Corey Perry

Though the duo of Kane-Perry has spent just five games together, the offense has been apparent immediately with 2.6 expected goals and three actual goals scored in just 40 minutes together. In a much larger sample, the duo of Kane-Draisaitl has created 3.3 expected goals/60 minutes together, so this has the look of a trio that should find offensive success. The good news for tonight is that going into St. Louis means avoiding the top shutdown line, and with their top line off the ice over the last 20 games, the team allows 20% more expected goals against and 47% more goals against. St. Louis is among the least penalized teams in the league, so it’s not a great power play matchup for Edmonton, and that is what makes the second line viable without including the stars from the top line.

With just 2.3% projected ownership on DraftKings and 1.3% on FanDuel, per the Top Stacks tool, this is a mid-priced line that is not expected to draw much attention despite being tied for the second-highest team total.

ANH2: Frank Vatrano – Mason McTavish – Troy Terry

Though Anaheim takes a lot of penalties, they also draw a lot of power plays by posting the seventh-most minor penalties drawn per game since the Christmas break. Over that span of 20 games, Ottawa has been about league average by minor penalties taken per game, so Anaheim stands a good chance of getting 3-4 power plays tonight. On top of that, the same 20-game span has seen Ottawa 26th by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5, and dead last by actual goals against/60. Despite Anaheim falling flat in their recent outing in Montreal, this is another good matchup offensively tonight.

The Top Stacks tool has this Anaheim line with positive leverage – meaning a higher top-2 stack percentage (3.6%) than projected ownership (3.2%) – on DraftKings, and is just slightly negative on FanDuel. DFS players looking for a mid-priced line in a solid matchup should consider this Ducks trio.

*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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