NHL DFS Picks Today: Money Matthew Tkachuk (April 16)

There are eight games in the NHL on the final Tuesday of the regular season and there are plenty of lopsided matchups from which to make our DFS picks. There are also a few tighter matchups, which could make ownership important to keep track of tonight.

As always, Stokastic members are encouraged to double-check the Discord before lock for roster updates, especially with several teams playing their second game in as many nights.

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

NHL DFS Picks Today: Center

Dylan Larkin (DET at TOR)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Detroit and Montreal faced off last night in Detroit, so both teams are on the second of a back-to-back. Larkin had just one assist on the five goals Detroit scored, but he also skated a whopping 22:28 at even strength. The Red Wings drew only one power play so he very well could have approached 25 minutes in total ice time if they had more than one power play opportunity. Just getting that single power play from Montreal has been atypical of late as the Canadiens are taking 4.2 minor penalties per game over the last six weeks, the second-most of any team on this slate. Detroit needs a win for a chance at a postseason appearance, so Larkin will get all the ice time he can handle.

Larkin has been skating with top wingers Lucas Raymond and Alex DeBrincat of late and that trio has been excellent at 5-on-5: in nearly 295 minutes with them on the ice together, Detroit creates 33.6 shots and 4.6 goals per 60 minutes. Montreal, meanwhile, is giving up the third-most expected goals against per 60 minutes over the last six weeks, so this is a team that not only struggles staying out of the penalty box but is playing poor defense at 5-on-5.

There should be a lot of ownership on Detroit, and Larkin in particular, as his rate is coming in over 20% on DK and the highest number for any center on FD. He is still perfectly fine to use in a Detroit stack, though, given the breadth of options elsewhere on the slate in the mid-price range.   

Tomáš Hertl (VGK vs. CHI)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Vegas technically has something to play for as they can catch Los Angeles in the standings and that would give Vegas a chance at home-ice advantage in a series beyond the first round. Hertl has played just four games since returning from injury, so there’s no real sample with any line mates, but he has two goals and three points in those four games, has skated at least 16 minutes in all of them with an average of 17:53, and he even posted a DK shot bonus in his most recent outing. He also has a role on the team’s top power play unit so while he’s behind top center Jack Eichel on the depth chart, he is a focal point of the team’s offense.

The clear appeal for Hertl tonight is the matchup at home to Chicago. On the season, the Blackhawks are 1 of 5 teams giving up at least 3.5 goals against per game. Over the last six weeks, they are 27th by expected goals against and 26th by actual goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, so things aren’t getting better. The penalty kill is middle-of-the-road by shots against per minute in that span, too, so none of these matchups are overly difficult for our middleman as his team gears up for the postseason.

Like Larkin, there will be ownership drawn to Vegas given their matchup against Chicago. However, Hertl’s is around 11% on DK, or about half the rate of Larkin’s. It is even lower on FD, so he makes a solid mid-price center in all formats.


NHL DFS Picks Today: Winger

Matthew Tkachuk (FLA vs. TOR)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It hasn’t been a typical Tkachuk season with just 26 goals, but a lot of that is percentage-driven as he’s shooting just 9.6%; he has shot over 10.5% in every season since his rookie year and averaged 13.5% across the three prior seasons. That percentage drop is an 11-goal difference, which speaks to how much upside he has in his profile. The good news is his points per 60 minutes on the power play is just shy of 6.1, a rate that was just shy of 6.2 a season ago. He has been just as proficient with the man advantage, and facing Toronto tonight means facing a team that is 16th by shots against and 28th by goals against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill over the last six weeks. In fact, over the last 41 games – or half the season – the Leafs are 27th by goals against per minute on the PK.

Tkachuk may get Carter Verhaghe back on his left wing tonight, as the latter is returning from injury. With Verhaeghe on that second line, Florida scores 3.7 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, which is about a 49% increase to the goal rate without Verhaeghe on the left side. They will also mostly avoid the top line from Toronto, which has been much better defensively by shots, expected goals, and actual goals against than their second line.

It isn’t an easy matchup against Toronto, but it’s not an awful one, and Tkachuk’s ownership projections are under 10% for both sites. That makes him a target for tournaments, whether by himself or in a stack.

Andrei Svechnikov (CAR at CLS)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Carolina is locked into their playoff seed so there is nothing on the line for them in this game. However, the team has already started gearing down the ice time for their top forwards as just one attacker – Sebastian Aho – has averaged over 18 minutes a game across the last five games. Svechnikov is still earning 16 minutes a night, which is the most of any forward not on their top line. He also gets a great matchup tonight in Columbus as the Blue Jackets are dead last by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks, and 27th by actual goals against. They have similar rankings by shots and goals against per minute on the penalty kill, so this is a great offensive matchup at all strengths for our winger.

Svechnikov has been moved to a line with Jordan Staal, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for him. In over 102 minutes next to Staal at 5-on-5, Svechnikov is averaging 24.1 shot attempts and 12.3 shots on goal per 60 minutes. Away from Staal, Svechnikov is averaging 15.2 shot attempts and 7.2 shots on goal per 60 minutes. His new center takes fewer shots than most others on the team and that’s pushing a higher shot share to Svechnikov, and that helps his DFS profile.

Svechnikov has a similar ownership projection to Tkachuk on FD, but it’s much lower on DK , settling under 5%. Given his top power-play status, he is perfectly fine as a one-off winger in tournament contests tonight.

Tyson Foerster (PHI vs. WAS)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

The inherent issue with using any Flyers forward is that line changes happen so often that relying on a player’s line mate configuration for any single game is like chasing a kite during a hurricane. With that said, he has been skating with Travis Konecny of late and with that duo on the ice, the Flyers are creating 2.8 expected goals and 2.6 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Those aren’t great numbers, but they are better than the team’s offense when they’re on the bench, and in the case of the goals-for rate, it is 27% higher. Facing a Washington team that is playing their second game in as many nights, when Philadelphia needs to win for a chance at the postseason, is leading to the Flyers being favored at home with Foerster on the top line.

That matchup against the Capitals isn’t overly difficult, either. Over the last six weeks, the team has been in the middle of the league by both expected goals and actual goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Foerster has averaged over 18 minutes a game across his last 10 appearances, so he should get lots of ice time in a reasonable matchup. Though, as is the case with most Flyers forwards, there is a lot of game-to-game variance in that ice time. On the other hand, that might make him more appealing for DFS tournament lineups.

Like the other wingers, there isn’t much ownership expected on Foerster, as his projection comes in between 7-9% on both sites. He is acceptable as a cheap one-off flank for tournament lineups.

React App

NHL DFS Picks Today: Defender

Mike Matheson (MON vs. DET)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

One thing that has made Matheson particularly appealing in DFS this season is his coverage across all the important categories. In fact, he is one of two blue liners this season to average at least 0.1 goals, 0.6 assists, 2.0 shots, and 2.0 blocks per game (Noah Dobson is the other). That is why Matheson has two three-point DK bonuses, seven shot bonuses, and 33 block bonuses. He skated over 25 minutes last night against Detroit and though he didn’t get on the scoresheet, he blocked six shots and that provided double-digit DraftKings points. He gets the same matchup again tonight and there’s no reason to think he’ll see much less (if any) ice time, even with last night’s game going to overtime.

Despite a solid home matchup against a Detroit team that has not excelled defensively in any area, Matheson is not projected among the top-5 defensemen tonight by ownership rates. That makes him a target for tournaments.

Kevin Shattenkirk (BOS vs. OTT)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Both Ottawa and Boston played last night, and both teams were shutout, which is a pretty fun coincidence. Regardless, Boston failed to draw a power play in their 2-0 loss, but the expectation is that Shattenkirk will assume top power play duties for the team. Shattenkirk has skated over 31 power play minutes with David Pastrňák on the ice and in that time, Boston has created 26% more shots and 86% more goals than when Pastrňák has any other defenseman behind him. The goal jump is driven in part by a large shooting percentage jump, but that the team is creating so many more shots is a great sign. That is important when facing an Ottawa team taking the fourth-most minor penalties per game of any team on this slate over the last six weeks.

Given his top power play status, there may be more ownership on Shattenkirk than elsewhere, especially in his price range. All the same, there are many ways to differentiate elsewhere and he is in a very good spot tonight.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Goalie

Jet Greaves (CLS vs. CAR)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Greaves has just eight career starts, so where his skill level lies is to be determined. However, in his seven starts this season, he’s faced an average of 37.3 per outing. Despite allowing 26 goals in those seven starts, his shot volume faced has led to an average of 13.5 DK fantasy points per game. Across the slate, that is higher than any goalie from Detroit, Washington, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Chicago, or Vegas. That he’s facing a Carolina team leading this slate in shots per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks should help him rack up those saves. There is always a chance for blowing up and getting pulled, but such is the nature of relying on cheap DFS goalies.

As is the case with most cheap goalies, there is not much ownership expected on this netminder tonight. For DFS players looking to pay down in net, consider the Columbus stopper.

Stokastic’s NHL Premium subscription is available in either weekly or monthly packages and includes NHL DFS projections, top stacks, expert Discord and more! Join today!

NHL DFS Top Stacks Today

VGK1: Ivan Barbashev – Jack Eichel – Jonathan Marchessault

In the section on Hertl, we went over all the ways this is a great matchup for Vegas. That applies to this top line, which sits at 2.9 expected goals and 2.8 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 this season. That is not an elite rate, but both Eichel (98th percentile) and Marchessault (95th percentile) are heavy volume shooters, so they don’t need three or four scoresheet points to have big DFS nights. Both those forwards skate on the top power play as well, and that PP unit has scored seven times in fewer than 25 minutes since adding Noah Hanifin. There is shooting percentage luck to thank, but considering how weak their PP was earlier this season, they are riding the hot hand for now.

As is the case with most cheap goalies, there is not much ownership expected on this netminder tonight. For DFS players looking to pay down in net, consider the Columbus stopper.

WPG1: Kyle Connor – Mark Scheifele – Gabriel Vilardi

A win tonight assures Winnipeg with home ice in their first-round matchup against Colorado, and that could be very important given the Avalanche’s home/road splits. The Jets have something to play for, so they are icing their full lineup to try and seal that advantage. That means their top line remains intact, and that top line has scored 2.9 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 this season. It isn’t an elite rate, but it is good, and they will get heavy minutes at home tonight. Seattle’s defense has fallen off, too, as their expected goals against and actual goals against rates at 5-on-5 have been near the middle of the league over the last six weeks. The Kraken don’t take many penalties, but this Jets trio is perfectly correlated on the power play, and that is always preferable than not.

This Winnipeg line has double-digit top-2 stack percentages for both DK and FD but is expected to have ownership rates lower than that on both sites. That gives them positive leverage also, and makes them a mid-priced option on DK and a higher-priced target on FD.

*Additional stats used for our NHL DFS picks today column from Natural Stat Trick

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.

DFS Winners from the Stokastic Community

Subscribe to the Stokastic newsletter

DFS advice, exciting promos, and the best bets straight to your inbox

Stokastic.com - Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting Data, Tools, & Analytics

Please play responsibly. Only customers 21 and over are permitted to play. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.