NHL DFS Picks Today: An Embarrassment Of Riches (November 30)

It is a colossal 14-game slate tonight in the NHL and there are superstars all over the place. Let’s look at some options outside the elite tier to find some lesser-owned, or high-value NHL DFS picks.

Stokastic members should double-check the Discord before lock for updated roster and injury information.

NHL DFS Picks Today, Top Stacks, Lineup Optimizer Plays

NHL DFS Picks Today: Center

Aleksander Barkov (FLA at MON): DraftKings – $6,800 | FanDuel – $7,100

With six goals in 19 games, Barkov is carrying an 82-game pace for 26 goals. That isn’t a great total, but he’s also yet to register a power play goal. Over the prior three seasons, he averaged one every seven games, so he could easily have 2-3 PP tallies by now; a couple additional goals would push him to a 35-goal pace. He is also averaging a career-high 16.1 shots per 60 minutes when on the power play, so it’s not as if a lack of shots is the problem. It is just a bit of bad luck for now.

Knowing the upside that remains on the power play is key for tonight. Florida visits Montreal, and the Canadiens are the fifth-most penalized team in the league. They have allowed 22 power play goals against in 22 games, and they played last night in Columbus. This should be a tired home team that is undisciplined at the best of times. At 5-on-5, Barkov’s line has 14 goals in 160-plus minutes together, so they have been an offensive force even away from the power play.

Barkov is carrying a top-10 fantasy point projection among all centers on the slate despite being priced outside the top 12 on both sites. It gives him fine value regardless of where he’s used, so he can be an expensive one-off option but better used in a line stack against the Canadiens.

Casey Mittelstadt (BUF at STL): DraftKings – $4,100 | FanDuel – $5,400

It has now been three full games with Mittelstadt on Buffalo’s top line, and the trio has over 80 minutes together this season at 5-on-5. Those minutes have produced 3.6 expected goals and 4.6 actual goals per 60 minutes, and Mittelstadt has five points and six shots in that three-game stretch. The line’s offensive numbers are as strong dating back to last season, bringing the sample well over 190 minutes. He is also skating on the team’s top PP unit, and they have scored four times in under 17 minutes of PP time with Tage Thompson injured.

Across 14 games in the month of November, St. Louis is giving up the third-most shots and seventh-most goals per minute at 5-on-5. Great goaltending saved the team’s poor defense earlier in the season, but they are now at the level they should be given how many scoring chances they allow. Though the Blues are giving up the fewest power play opportunities per game, this team has been very bad at even strength, and just 15% of Mittelstadt’s 20 points have been with the man advantage.

The point-per-$1,000 value for Mittelstadt on both DraftKings and FanDuel lands between 2.1 and 2.2, which is a very good mark regardless of where he’s rostered. His price has been rising a bit but his team total is over 3.0 and he plays all the important minutes. He can be used as part of a Buffalo tournament stack.

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Winger

Valeri Nichushkin (COL at ARI): DraftKings – $6,700 | FanDuel – $7,100

In nine games since the injury to teammate Artturi Lehkonen, Nichushkin has eight goals, four assists, and 32 shots. He has averaged 22:51 per night in ice time, a monumental jump from the 17:22 he earned through his first 11 games of the campaign. His top line has been excellent offensively, creating 3.4 expected goals, 35 shots, and 5.3 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. That level of scoring chance creation, combined with the ice time he’s receiving, gives him very high DFS potential every time he takes the ice.

Arizona has been getting very good goaltending while on the penalty kill, posting a .892 save percentage where the league average is .866. It’s a good thing for them because they’re giving up the eighth-most power plays per game and the sixth-most shots per minute while short-handed. Colorado is drawing the third-most power plays per game, so this very good PP unit – Nichushkin included – could get many chances to get on the scoresheet. Five of Nichushkin’s eight goals since the injury to Lehkonen have come on the power play.

Stokastic’s DraftKings fantasy point projection for the winger is tops for all flanks priced under $7,000, and he’s third on FanDuel for those with a cost under $8,000. They are very strong outlooks without a steep price, and his shot volume of late means he can be used as a one-off winger. The correlation with his linemates might make a stack more appealing, though.

Nikolaj Ehlers (WPG vs. EDM): DraftKings – $4,700 | FanDuel – $4,900

For a guy that averaged 33 goals and 42 assists every 82 games from 2020-2023, Ehlers pacing for 23 goals and 20 assists tells us he’s having a down year. He has gotten a big usage bump, though, as he’s been shifted to Winnipeg’s top line as well as their top PP unit. It should add a couple of minutes to his overall ice time, at the least, and it gives him the team’s top offensive stars to skate with at all offensive strengths. Considering he leads the team in shot attempts per minute as it is, the more skilled linemates should help his offense considerably.

The move to the top PP unit is important as Ehlers’s team hosts Edmonton tonight and the Oilers are giving up the second-most power plays per game in the league. This has left Edmonton in a tie for the sixth-most goals against while short-handed, so there should be lots of opportunities for Ehlers and his new PP unit.

Among the wingers priced under $5,000 tonight on either site, Ehlers leads the way and that gives him both a high raw point projection and excellent point-per-dollar value. That combination makes him a one-off target for tonight’s slate, and he can even be used in cash games.

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Jake DeBrusk (BOS vs. SJ): DraftKings – $4,000 | FanDuel – $4,700

As a left winger in Boston, DeBrusk has one elite right winger to play with and that’s David Pastrnak. DeBrusk has spent just 10% of his 5-on-5 time next to Pastrnak this season, though, so it’s little wonder the former has just eight points in 20 games. He has been moved to the top line for this game, though, and the Pastrnak-Pavel Zacha duo has helped Boston create 3.4 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, which is a very good offensive number. Our winger is second on the team in shot attempts per minute at 5-on-5, only trailing his new right-wing linemate.

Even as San Jose has climbed out of the basement by their defensive stats, they are still 25th by expected goals against at 5-on-5 over their last 11 games. As has been the case this season, the team looks passable when their goaltending is great, and awful when it’s not. Regardless of the netminders, this is a good matchup for the Bruins and DeBrusk when we consider his move to the top line.

Not far behind Ehlers in terms of fantasy projection for either site is DeBrusk, so he has a strong point-per-dollar value as well. At his price, he can be used by himself in tournament stacks, though lining up with Pastrnak – one of the top stars in the league – can make a stack more appealing.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Defense

Brent Burns (CAR vs. NYI): DraftKings – $4,900 | FanDuel – $5,300

Though Burns is shooting less than last year, he’s still on pace for 215 shots on goal and he has reached the DraftKings shot bonus three times already. That is good news when facing a New York Islanders roster that is giving up the third-most shots per minute at 5-on-5 this month. This defender also runs his team’s top power play unit, and the Islanders are giving up the seventh-most shots and second-most goals against per minute while short-handed. This is a good matchup for Burns to not only get his shots off but get on the scoresheet with the man advantage.

Whether on DK or FD, Burns carries a point-per-$1,000 of at least 2.1 so his price is very reasonable for this matchup. Ownership projections have him well outside the top five options on the blue line tonight, so he’s an acceptable pick for any contest on the two sites.

Tyson Barrie (NSH vs. MIN): DraftKings – $2,900 | FanDuel – $3,900

Peripherals are not Barrie’s strong suit as he has just 27 shots and 20 blocks in 21 games played. Nearly 30% of his points have come with the man advantage since getting to Nashville last season, though, and he was moved to the team’s top power play unit in their last game. That is tremendous news for this matchup as Nashville hosts Minnesota, and the road team is dead last in goals against per minute on the penalty kill (second-last by shots allowed). Perhaps their new coach will improve things, but there is a long, long way to go to just being an average penalty kill, and Nashville is one of four teams averaging at least four power play opportunities per game.

Barrie has a top-4 projection among defenders in his price range on either site tonight, which gives him a good value and a reasonable projection regardless of where he’s rostered. His move to the top power play and that cheap price tag make him an option to save some salary in tournament formats.

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Goalie

Thatcher Demko (VAN vs. VGK): DraftKings – $7,900 | FanDuel – $8,700

Among the 34 goalies with at least 10 starts this campaign, Demko sits third by save percentage at .928. Since returning from injury in February of last season, he is fourth in the league with a .923 save percentage. Nearly half his starts in 2023-24 alone (7/16) have resulted in at least 20 DraftKings points, and he has at least 24 FanDuel points in 10/16 starts. He faces a Vegas team that is top-10 by shot attempts per minute this month, so this high-end goalie could see a reasonable shot volume tonight.

Per the Stokastic GoalieStats section, Demko is projected for the 12th-most saves but rated lower by expected goals against. At a reasonable price on DraftKings, he can be used on that site for tournaments.

Demko’s high price on FanDuel makes him a much worse value on that site, so consider Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB, $7,500) instead, as he carries a top-5 projection at the position tonight.

Top NHL DFS Stacks Today

NSH1: Filip Forsberg – Ryan O’Reilly – Gustav Nyquist

This line appears in this article for the second time this week. They combined for one goal and three assists on Tuesday, so let’s hope for a bit more tonight.

Nashville’s top trio has been great at 5-on-5 this season, creating 3.2 expected goals and 5.2 actual goals per 60 minutes, controlling nearly 59% of the expected goal share. Minnesota may improve at 5-on-5 with their new coach, but as mentioned in the section on Barrie, this team has a long way to go before they’re an acceptable defensive team on the penalty kill. All three Nashville forwards are skating together on the top power play unit, giving them perfect correlation.

Whether on DK or FD, this line is expected to have ownership under 5% tonight, and it gives them positive leverage on the two sites, per the Top Stacks tool. They are getting a bit expensive, but the power play matchup makes them, at the least, an option to heavily consider tonight.

ANH2: Frank Vatrano – Mason McTavish – Ryan Strome

Even as the team slides defensively, this line for Anaheim keeps generating offensively as Vatrano and McTavish are first and second on the team by shots per minute in November. That stretch has seen the line create 2.8 expected goals and 3.3 actual goals per 60 minutes, being easily the team’s best offensive threat. Tonight, they face a Washington roster that is giving up more shots per minute at 5-on-5 over the last three weeks than Anaheim is, and the Capitals played last night. It is a good matchup against a tired team for this Ducks trio.

This three-man unit has seen its prices drop on DK, and it’s driving ownership up a bit. All the same, they are expected around 4-5% on DK and under 1% on FD (due to their relatively high cost). There won’t be much ownership and the DraftKings price decline means they can be used in conjunction with another moderate stack.

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*Additional best NHL DFS picks today stats from Natural Stat Trick

Michael Clifford
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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