NHL DFS Picks Today: Ride The Zach Hyman Wave (January 11)

There is a whopping 13-game slate on the NHL docket that includes Winnipeg and Carolina at home in tremendous matchups. Let’s look at those spots, and some less-obvious ones, to cover our DFS bases. As always, Stokastic members should double-check the Discord for updates before lock.

NHL DFS Picks Today, Top Stacks, Lineup Optimizer Plays

NHL DFS Picks Today: Center

John Tavares (TOR at NYI): DraftKings – $7,300 | FanDuel – $8,900

In a remarkable showing of consistency, Tavares’s first 14 seasons of his career saw him shoot at least 10% in each, averaging 12.1% in his three most recent campaigns. That he’s shooting 8.5% this season is keeping his goal totals low, but he’s averaging 3.7 shots per game – the highest of his career – and that shows how involved he is offensively. His second line has been tremendous together, creating 3.8 expected goals and 3.4 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, and there is room for growth in their conversion rate, so they’ve bit unlucky; it speaks to his, and his line’s, upside.

Tavares is visiting his former team and the New York Islanders have fallen apart defensively. Their 18 games since December 1st have them 27th in the league by expected goals against at 5-on-5, and 25th by actual goals against. New York’s penalty kill has been similarly bad, ranking 31st by shots against and 25th by goals against per 60 minutes in that span. It is a good matchup at all strengths for Tavares.

Of all centers on DraftKings tonight, Tavares is fourth by fantasy point projection despite being priced ninth. It gives him good relative value and solid point-per-dollar value as well. The higher FanDuel price drops those values a bit, but this center and his line mates remain tournament targets on either site.

Vincent Trocheck (NYR at STL): DraftKings – $6,200 | FanDuel – $7,500

There hasn’t been much slowdown for Trocheck since joining the New York Rangers’ second line. His last 20 games alone have seen him manage 7 goals, 17 assists, and 66 shots while skating 21:46 per night. In that span, his line has created 3.6 expected goals and 3.6 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, so the whole unit has been tremendous offensively. St. Louis is not a team that takes a lot of penalties, but they do struggle on the penalty kill itself, being below average by shots and goals against per 60 minutes since December 1st.

One big positive for tonight is St. Louis uses their top line in a shutdown role at home, and that is a matchup that Trocheck will largely avoid. In the 11 games St. Louis has played under their new coach, the team allows 28% more expected goals against per 60 minutes with their top line off the ice, while the goals against rate doubles. This matchup (or lack thereof, really) gives Trocheck and his line mates a great opportunity to dominate.

Stokastic’s fantasy point projections have Trocheck first on DK and second on FD for centers priced under $7,000 on the former and $8,000 on the latter. It makes him one of the top options in his price range and, like Tavares, it makes Trocheck and his line mates tournament options.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Winger

Zach Hyman (EDM at DET): DraftKings – $8,100 | FanDuel – $9,600

It seems as if every time Edmonton is on a slate, one of their skaters ends up in this article. It is for good reason, as Hyman’s line is creating 4.2 expected goals and 4.3 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last four weeks. They have been otherworldly offensively for a couple months now, and their recent play has not shown much decline. That recent four-week stretch has seen Hyman post 9 goals, 3 assists, and 45 shots in 11 games as his offence has been both excellent and consistent – that 11-game stretch has more nights (4) of Hyman landing at least six shots on goal than two or fewer (3).

That same span of games has seen Detroit’s defense become a big problem for the Red Wings, as they rank 27th by expected goals against and dead last by goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Going back further, the last two months have seen Detroit give up the sixth-most power plays per game, and that’s a dangerous proposition against Hyman and Edmonton’s elite power play.

Hyman’s point projection isn’t as strong as others in his price range, but that’s leaving his ownership projection very low; under 5% on DK and under 1% on FD. That low ownership and his elite line require us to consider him, and them, in tournaments.

Cole Caufield (MON vs. SJ): DraftKings – $6,100 | FanDuel – $6,500

Montreal played last night in Philadelphia, so it’s a road back-to-back with travel. It is not ideal, but what is ideal is the matchup against a visiting San Jose team. The Sharks have been a basement team all season, and their last four weeks have been no different by tying for dead last by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, and ranking 29th by actual goals against. That stretch has also seen San Jose give up 13 power play goals against in 12 contests, so the penalty kill isn’t helping matters, either.

Caufield’s top line got off to a slow start, of sorts, as they were generating good levels of offense but not finding the back of the net. That has changed over the team’s last 10 games as their goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 sits at 2.9. It isn’t an elite number, but it’s well above average, and their 55.3% expected goal share tells us they should be able to dominate the play against a hapless Sharks roster.

In Caufield’s price range – wingers under $7,000 on either site – he ranks third on DK and second on FD by point projection. It gives him great point-per-dollar value on both sites, but the tremendous matchup will push a lot of ownership his way. He is definitely a cash game option, but tournament DFS players have a bigger decision to make.

prizepicks promo code

JJ Peterka (BUF vs. OTT): DraftKings – $4,400 | FanDuel – $5,700

The return of Jack Quinn to Peterka’s line has been a boon to the entire line: in the nine games with Quinn next to Peterka, the entire trio is creating 19% more shots at 5-on-5 and their goals rate has skyrocketed by 62%. That has more to do with a bit of bad luck in the pre-Quinn games, but it demonstrates how much offense the entire trio is generating. Ottawa is in town and in the 10 games the Senators have played since firing their coach, they are 31st by expected goals against and 30th by actual goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Peterka has 15 shots in his last five games, his line is flying, and Ottawa is sinking.

Jeff Skinner is injured for Buffalo, meaning there is an open spot on the top power play unit. Skinner missed some time in the middle of December and when he was out of the lineup, it was Peterka that took his top power play role. It isn’t confirmed that Peterka will take that role tonight, but he and Skinner are both left-handed shots that often occupy the same role on different power play units, so it stands to reason that Peterka will assume that position again. Considering Ottawa has given up 10 power play goals against in the 10 games mentioned earlier, that would be a huge boost in DFS value for our winger.

Peterka has good-not-great point-per-dollar values on both sites, but it’s the ownership that draws us – his projected rate is 2% for DraftKings and under 1% on FanDuel. If he does end up on the top PP unit, he could be a sneaky wing option on a large slate. It is an educated guess, but one likely worth taking for tournaments.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Defense

Brent Burns (CAR vs. ANH): DraftKings – $4,900 | FanDuel – $5,800

The return of Andrei Svechnikov to Carolina’s top PP unit has had a gargantuan impact as that unit is creating 50% more shot attempts per minute with him than without. High shooting percentages are leading to more goals than expected but cleaving their 26.4% conversion rate in half would still leave them with high-end power play scoring. That indicates just how much they are creating with the man advantage, which is good news for Burns, who runs Carolina’s premiere quintet. They also face an Anaheim team that is giving up over five power plays per game across the last two months, by far the highest rate in the league.

Among defenders priced under $5,000 on DK and $6,000 on FD, Burns is first and second, respectively, by fantasy point projection. He will be one of the highest owned defensemen on the slate because of the matchup, but he is an option in all formats tonight.

Šimon Nemec (NJ at TB): DraftKings – $3,400 | FanDuel – $4,200

It has been a meteoric rise for Nemec, a rookie who wasn’t even called up to the roster until December. However, New Jersey’s last 10 games have seen Nemec lead their blue line in ice time per game at 20:57. That span has seen 16 shots and 18 blocks to go along with four points. Neither peripherals nor point production has been high-end, but it’s been solid, and Nemec is not priced as if he needs a lot more than that to be a successful DFS option.

Nemec is carrying a much better point-per-dollar value on DK than he is on FD, but his cheap price and increased role means he can be used as a salary-saving blue liner in tournaments. At low ownership (2-6% depending on the site), he warrants some attention.

underdog fantasy promo code

NHL DFS Picks Today: Goalie

Thatcher Demko (VAN at PIT): DraftKings – $7,400 | FanDuel – $7,400

Vancouver is a team that has been taking fewer penalties as the season has worn on, and their last 25 games has seen them be one of just five teams to take fewer than three minor penalties per game. It helps the penalty killers, and it helps Demko by limiting high-danger shots against. Since December 1st, Pittsburgh has been seventh in the league by shots per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 but 18th in goals per minute. It is a matchup where Demko may see high levels of shot volume, but likely not much while short-handed, and that is good for DFS.

The Stokastic GoalieStats section has Demko with the eighth-highest projected save total tonight, which is good for a slate featuring 26 goalies. He is not a cash game option but should be considered for tournaments.

Top NHL DFS Stacks Today

OTT2: Drake Batherson – Tim Stützle – Claude Giroux

As bad as Ottawa has been defensively, this Ottawa trio will avoid the top line from Buffalo, which means avoiding a reasonable shutdown matchup. On top of that, both Stützle and Giroux are the two most-used forwards under the team’s new coach, both averaging over 20 minutes a game in those 10 contests. Giroux and Batherson also skate together on the team’s top power play unit, and Buffalo is 30th by shots against and last by goals against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill since December 1st. There are good offensive matchups across the board for this line.

The Stokastic Top Stacks tool has this Ottawa trio with 3.2% projected top-2 stack probability on DraftKings but just 1.3% expected ownership. That gives them positive leverage, and means that DFS players should at least give a second glance to this trio in a good matchup.

WPG2: Cole Perfetti – Vladislav Namestnikov – Alex Iafallo

Two nights ago, Winnipeg was at home to Columbus, one of the worst defensive teams in the league. That game saw Winnipeg drop their top line’s ice time to under 16 minutes because it was an easy matchup that didn’t require their top guys to play top minutes. It also saw this Winnipeg second line all skate between 16-18:30 as their ice time rose with the top line’s ice time declining. With Chicago – an equally bad team to Columbus that has several injuries in the lineup – in town tonight, a similar ice time jump for Winnipeg’s second line is very possible. This trio is generating 2.8 expected goals and 3.6 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 while controlling over 59% of the expected goal share. They are very good offensively, and dominant overall.

Like many filler stacks in this price range, there is more expected ownership than top-2 stack probability, per the Top Stacks tool. With that said, the ownership on DK is expected to be around 2% or less, so it’s nothing extreme. In a great home matchup against Chicago, they should be considered among the secondary stack options.

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!

React App

*Additional best NHL DFS picks today stats 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.