NHL DFS Picks Today: Saturday Is For Value Picks (March 30)

We have 10 games in the NHL for this Easter Saturday slate, and with no Colorado Avalanche or Edmonton Oilers, a lot of star power is absent from the matchups. Let’s look at some top options that do remain, and then dig for value in our NHL DFS picks today column.

Stokastic members should double-check the Discord before lock for roster updates.  

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

NHL DFS Picks Today: Center

Auston Matthew (TOR at BUF)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It has now been nine games since the injury to Matthews’s winger Mitch Marner, and Matthews has five goals, nine assists, and 5.7 shots per game in that span. He has reached the DraftKings shot bonus five times in those nine outings, so there has been excellent production and sky-high shot volume since losing his usual line mate. That span includes two multi-point games against the Philadelphia Flyers, a multi-point game against the Edmonton Oilers, and 14 shots in two contests against the Carolina Hurricanes. He has produced some very good DFS outings against some tough competition, which is important to note in such different circumstances.

Buffalo is the only team on the slate that played last night, so the rest advantage is on Toronto’s side. There has also been a defensive slide for the Sabres lately as the month of March has them 31st in the league by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, with only the Columbus Blue Jackets rating worse.

Matthews is in a tier of his own for price at the center position tonight, but he’s also in a tier of his own by fantasy point projections – his Stokastic projection is 17% higher than the next-closest center on DK and 11.4% higher on FD. He is a top option at the position tonight.

Connor McMichael (WSH vs. BOS)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

On the season, McMichael is averaging 15:54 per game in ice time. That has risen considerably of late, though, as he’s exceeded that mark in 12 straight contests, surpassed 18 minutes in half those outings, and averaged 17:56 in that span. He has five goals and eight points in those 12 appearances, too, so he has been productive in the additional minutes he’s received. The team mixed up their lines late in their loss against Toronto on Thursday, but McMichael had been skating alongside Alex Ovechkin and having that kind of role normally ensures high levels of ice time.

Boston being in town isn’t an easy matchup but Boston’s defensive marks at 5-on-5 have not been elite most of the season, and the last six weeks especially; the Bruins rank 16th by expected goals against at 5-on-5 in that recent stretch, and 19th by rate of actual goals against. It isn’t a soft matchup like those available elsewhere on the slate, but it’s not a brutal one, either, and McMichael’s increased usage helps his profile immensely.

A lack of shot volume and moderate matchups leaves McMichael’s point-per-dollar value lower than some others in his price range, but it’s also leaving his ownership projections at 2.3% on DK and 0.9% on FD. His low price means he doesn’t need a big night to pay off, so he’s an option as a cheap center in tournament lineups.


NHL DFS Picks Today: Winger

Owen Tippett (PHI vs. CHI)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

After snapping a streak that saw Tippett score just once in nine games, he now has five goals and six assists in his last nine appearances, including goals in back-to-back games and 3.4 shots per contest. On the season, he’s third in the league in shots per 60 minutes at all strengths and has crested the 17-minute mark in five of his last seven appearances; he had failed to reach that mark in the three games prior to that. That means his last 10 games have seen increasing, if inconsistent, usage, and more ice time is great news for a winger that provides elite shot volume rates.

It is the matchup that draws us to the Flyers and Tippett tonight. Chicago’s last 20 games have them ranked 26th in the league by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 and 29th by actual goals against. The Blackhawks take few penalties, but the Flyers have an awful power play anyway, so that’s not part of Tippett’s appeal in this matchup. He will get good minutes against a bad team, and that’s what draws us to him.  

Among winger DK projections tonight, Tippett leads the way for all those priced under $7,000, and he’s the highest of any flank under $9,500 on FD. It gives him excellent point-per-dollar values, but also high ownership due to the matchup. Regardless, his shot volume and opponent means he’s in consideration for all DFS formats.

Gabriel Vilardi (WPG vs. OTT)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Vilardi has missed nearly four weeks due to injury but is set to return to the lineup tonight, assuming his usual roles on the top line and top power play unit. He has been a difference-maker in both roles as the top line scores over 58% more often at 5-on-5 with Vilardi than the aggregate of the other right wingers, and nearly 75% more often on the power play. He has played just 38 games, but he’s second on the team in goals per 60 minutes and second by points per 60 minutes. He is not a big shot volume threat, but he averaged 2.6 shots per appearance in the 36 games he did not leave early due to injury, so he does fire the puck at a reasonable rate.

When Winnipeg is at home, they do not use their top line against opposing top lines. In the four weeks since Ottawa lost center Josh Norris due to injury, the team is giving up nearly 52% more expected goals against and 69% more goals at 5-on-5 with the top line off the ice. The Senators’ depth has been depleted due to injuries and trades, and that gives Vilardi a good matchup for his return.

Among all wingers priced under $5,5000 on FanDuel tonight, Vilardi is second by fantasy point projections tonight, providing great point-per-dollar value. That proposition is worse on DK where he’s more expensive, but he and his line mates are in play for tournament DFS contests.

Michael Bunting (PIT at CBJ)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It has been 11 games since Bunting was acquired by Pittsburgh and those 11 games have produced three goals, four assists, and 2.7 shots per game. He is also averaging an extra 2:40 per game with the Penguins than he was with the Carolina Hurricanes, and that extra ice time has led to an additional 0.85 shots per contest. He does not have an elite shot rate, but it is a lot better with his new team, and that helps his DFS value. The additional shots are particularly notable when facing Columbus, a team that is dead last in the league by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over their last 20 contests.

It has been just a few weeks with his new teammates and Bunting has split time between Pittsburgh top two lines, so there isn’t a big sample anywhere. With that said, his 88 minutes at 5-on-5 with Evgeni Malkin have led to the Penguins creating 37.9 shots, 3.4 expected goals, and 3.5 actual goals per 60 minutes. Our winger is also getting top power play time and though Pittsburgh’s power play prowess is subpar, top minutes are better than none.

With a point-per-$1,000 value over 2.2 for both DK and FD tonight, per the Stokastic projections, Bunting offers a good mix of reasonable point upside and a low price in a very good matchup. He can be used as a salary-saving flank in tournaments.

React App

NHL DFS Picks Today: Defender

Torey Krug (STL vs. SJ)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

In today’s edition of ‘This Guy Plays Against The San Jose Sharks Tonight’, this guy plays against the San Jose Sharks tonight. The road team’s last 20 games have them 30th by expected goals against at 5-on-5, and a distant last by actual goals against per 60 minutes. That span has also seen them rank dead last in the league by shots against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill, and the only thing that has saved them is great goaltending. This is truly an awful roster.

As is often mentioned in these pages, the St. Louis power play – run by Krug – has been much better since adding winger Jake Neighbours to the net-front role, as their goal rate more than doubles with him occupying that space. With San Jose’s penalty kill numbers on a big slide, it gives Krug a great matchup at all offensive strengths tonight.

Of defenders priced under $5,000 on both DK and FD tonight, Krug’s fantasy point projections have him second and third, respectively. He will carry high ownership levels because of the matchup and reasonable cost, but requires attention regardless because of that matchup.

Conor Timmins (TOR at BUF)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Toronto is missing both Morgan Rielly and Timothy Liljegren due to injury. In their most recent game, the Leafs moved Timmins to the top power play unit due to those injuries. Not only did he get that top power play role, but Timmins cracked the 20-minute mark for the first time this season. He has been very productive since being acquired by Toronto last year by averaging over 1.3 points per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, the highest mark on their blue line. He hasn’t typically played heavy minutes (or a lot of games), but he has a great chance to produce with more ice time and a spot on the top man advantage quintet.

The injuries are recent so projections will be lower on Timmins due to his usual lack of ice time. However, with his new role and increased usage, he makes an excellent punt option on the blue line for both DFS sites listed.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Goalie

Jacob Markström (CGY vs. LA)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Los Angeles has turned around their offence since hiring their new coach, but the improvements still have them in the middle of the league by goals-for rate at 5-on-5 over their last 20 games. That span has also seen the Kings draw fewer than 2.9 minor penalties per game, one of the lowest rates in the league, and considerably lower than the league average of 3.3. The Kings may not get a lot of special team time in this matchup and Markström facing more shots at 5-on-5 is good for his DFS value.

In the Stokastic GoalieStats section, Markström is one of six goalies projected for at least 28 saves. Of those six goalies, he has the second-lowest expected goals against total. DFS players looking for a cheap option in goal should look to the Calgary netminder.  

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

TB1: Anthony Duclair – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov

After being acquired at the Trade Deadline, there still isn’t a big sample for Duclair and Kucherov together, but their 60-plus minutes at 5-on-5 have resulted in outshooting the opposition 38-33 and outscoring them 7-4. The good news for tonight is that their matchup against the top line for the New York Islanders favors Tampa’s top trio; the Islanders’ current top unit has been outshot 45-34 and outscored 7-4 in their 72 minutes together. These are two lines trending in opposite directions and that favors this Tampa unit.

There are six lines projected for double-digit top-2 stack probability tonight on both DK and FD, per the Top Stacks tool. Of those six lines, Tampa Bay-1 has the lowest expected ownership on both sites. DFS players looking for a high-upside, high-cost, low-owned line should consider this Lightning unit.

LA1: Quinton Byfield – Anze Kopitar – Adrian Kempe

After a lull in the middle of the season, this line has come alive again under new coach Jim Hiller as their 107 minutes 5-on-5 minutes together since his hiring has produced 31 shots, 2.9 expected goals, and 4.0 actual goals per 60 minutes. They face a Calgary team that has been on a defensive slide since trading defensive stalwart Chris Tanev, ranking 20th by expected goals against at 5-on-5 since that move, and 29th by actual goals against per 60 minutes. This trio is no longer perfectly correlated on the power play, but they all do get special team time, so those additional minutes are still available.

The Top Stacks tool has this Los Angeles line projected for less than 2% ownership on both DK and FD tonight. With so many DFS players expected to turn elsewhere, this Kings trio should be considered among the mid-priced options for this slate.

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

sleeper fantasy promo code stokastic4
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.