NHL DFS Picks Today: Sidney Crosby Mania (January 27)

There are 10 games in the NHL tonight on the last full slate of games before the vast majority of the league goes on their bye week heading into the All-Star break. It gives us lots of DFS options to comb through so let’s get to the games. Before we get to our NHL DFS picks today, a reminder below.

As always, Stokastic members are encouraged to double-check the Discord before lock for updated roster information.

NHL DFS Picks Today, Top Stacks, Lineup Optimizer Plays

NHL DFS Picks Today: Center

Sidney Crosby (PIT vs. MON): DraftKings – $8,200 | FanDuel – $9,400

On the season, Crosby is pacing for his highest goals-per-game (0.6) and shots-per-game (3.7) marks since 2010. The success of his line is a big reason for this, as the iteration with Bryan Rust has been blowing the doors off their opponents at 5-on-5, averaging 4.1 expected goals and 5.0 actual goals per 60 minutes in their 300 minutes together. Those are numbers rarely seen outside of Edmonton, which speaks to their offensive dominance. Facing a Montreal team that is 27th in the league by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 over their last 20 games is a great matchup for Crosby.

Power play production has been an issue for our center and the Penguins, but tonight is a good special team matchup also. The Canadians have taken the eighth-most minor penalties per game over the last couple of months, and the team’s actual penalty killing numbers have been in the bottom-10 of the league all season; those two months are no exception.

Despite not being the most expensive center on the board on either site, Crosby leads all centers by fantasy point projections tonight. It gives him solid point-per-dollar value so he, and his line mates, are all in play for tournaments.

Pius Suter (VAN vs CLS): DraftKings – $3,600 | FanDuel – $4,700

Like any sport, a lot of offensive potential in hockey comes from opportunity. Few non-stars in the league have the opportunity that Suter has earned, which is skating on Vancouver’s second line with JT Miller and Brock Boeser, as well as the top power play unit. Since moving to the top power play four games ago, Suter has seen his ice time increase in each contest, moving from 13:27 to 18:29 in his most recent outing. The last two games alone have seen him take 15 shot attempts, his highest mark for any two-game stretch this season. That helps highlight how much the additional ice time, and improved line mates, are helping his offensive upside.

Columbus has had a few injured players return to the lineup recently, but it’s worth noting that with a mostly healthy lineup from mid-October to the Christmas break, they were 29th in the league by expected goals against and 28th by actual goals against/60 at 5-on-5. Suter isn’t a high-end offensive talent on his own, but he’s in a position to succeed, and he gets a soft matchup with Columbus in town.

At a depressed price and in a good situation, Suter can be used as a low-cost one-off option tonight in tournaments. His correlation with his line mates puts him in play as part of a stack, as well.

Suter is listed as a winger on DraftKings, so for a cheap center to use on that site, DFS players should consider Marco Rossi (MIN, $4,000).

NHL DFS Picks Today: Winger

Nikita Kucherov (TBL vs. NJ): DraftKings – $10,000 | FanDuel – $10,700

For the second time this week, Kucherov finds himself in this article. There are a few important notes about hosting New Jersey tonight.

First, Tampa Bay has stopped using his top line in a shutdown role. With all of New Jersey’s injuries, Kucherov will avoid the Nico Hischier shutdown line from the Devils and face depth matchups. That is a good start.

Secondly, despite strong 5-on-5 shot-creation numbers for his new top line, they had trouble finishing by shooting 5.7% in their first 170 minutes together. ‘Had’ is the operative word because Kucherov has now been on the ice for five Lightning goals at 5-on-5 over his last three games as that low shooting percentage has started its positive regression.

Lastly, high levels of ice time are as close to a sure thing as it gets with Kucherov. He has skated at least 19 minutes in 15 straight games, reaching at least 21 minutes in 11 of them. That helps keep his per-game shot volume high without elite per-minute shot rates.

He is the most expensive winger on either site, but Kucherov also leads the position by fantasy point projections and it’s not even close: between 33-35% higher than the next-highest projected winger. It will drive ownership his way, but he is in consideration in all formats regardless.

Matt Boldy (MIN vs. ANH): DraftKings – $6,100 | FanDuel – $7,000

On the topic of ice time, Boldy’s has been very uncertain. He saw an immediate decline when new coach John Hynes was hired, then averaged over 20 minutes a game for a month but has seen another huge decline over the last couple of weeks. On the bright side, he was over 19 minutes in his most recent outing, so the hope is that he’s back on the rise. He has also formed a formidable duo on the second line with Joel Eriksson Ek as the team generates nearly 33 shots and 3.9 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 with them on the ice under their new coach.

The big appeal of hosting Anaheim is their penchant for taking penalties. The Ducks lead the league in minor penalties taken per game (4.8) over the last two months, and that has led to 21 power play goals against in 22 games in that span. Meanwhile, Minnesota has drawn 3.8 minor penalties per game in that time, a rate that is well above average. Of the regular members of Minnesota’s top power play unit, Boldy has taken the most shot attempts and scored the most goals/60 with the man advantage under their new coach.

Boldy’s line is projected among the top-10 stacks tonight by top-2 stack probability, so he stands a good chance of success, but there will be a lot of ownership due to a reasonable price and high team total. He is still fine to use in tournaments formats, just beware of high ownership levels.

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Michael Bunting (CAR vs. ARI): DraftKings – $3,900 | FanDuel – $5,200

Not only is Bunting skating on the top line with Sebastian Aho, but he is also skating on the team’s top power play unit. Dating back over seven weeks, Arizona is taking the fourth-most minor penalties per game (4.1) of any team in the league. The Coyotes have allowed the second-most shots against/60 while short-handed in that span with their goals against/60 ranking 22nd. Taking a lot of penalties and allowing a lot of shots while short-handed is an easy way to rack up the goals against, and that’s good news for Bunting’s offensive potential.

The way Carolina runs their line at home, Bunting will rarely see the top line from the opposition. Since Arizona lost center Barrett Hayton due to injury, their depth lines are allowing 22% more shot attempts and 27% more shots against/60 at 5-on-5. Arizona’s 5-on-5 defense isn’t awful, but the in-game matchups make it easier for Bunting, and the power play spot is a good one.

Of wingers priced under $4,000 on DK and $6,000 on FD, Bunting is third and seventh by fantasy point projections, respectively. His point-per-$1,000 exceeds 2.0 on both sites, giving him very good value. He can be used as an inexpensive one-off option or part of a Carolina stack.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Defense

Noah Dobson (NYI vs. FLA): DraftKings – $7,300 | FanDuel – $8,500

Volume matters in any fantasy sport and it is pertinent for this matchup. Florida’s 15 games since the Christmas break have seen them give up the sixth-fewest shots/60 on the penalty kill, and they rank 10th by goals against/60. However, they lead the league in minor penalties taken per game in that span and being short-handed so often has led to 11 power play goals against in those 15 games. Their penalty kill is great, but they are very undisciplined, and that could mean a lot of power play time for Dobson tonight. With teammate Adam Pelech injured, Dobson may just see a lot of ice time (or more than usual, anyway) overall anyway.

Dobson is the most expensive defender on both DraftKings and FanDuel, but he’s also carrying the highest fantasy point projection on both sites. He is a high-cost blue liner to consider in all formats tonight.

Oliver Kylington (CGY vs. CHI): DraftKings – $2,500 | FanDuel – $3,500

Kylington returned to the lineup on Thursday night for his first regular season game in 21 months, and those kinds of stories are awesome to see. He skated just 13:16, but with Chicago in town, this is a good opportunity for him to earn a bigger role against an easy opponent. From 2019-22, Kylington averaged nearly one point at 5-on-5 every 60 minutes, a rate that put him in the 70th percentile of the league’s regular defenders. Without a lot more ice time, peripherals will be tough to come by in abundance, but he is a good puck-moving blue liner that isn’t priced as if he needs a lot of peripherals anyway.

A lack of ice time is keeping Kylington’s projected fantasy points low, but a high team total and punt pricing makes him a salary-saving defender to consider in tournaments.

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Goalie

Connor Ingram (ARI at CAR): DraftKings – $7,100 | FanDuel – $7,300

Though Arizona’s penalty kill has struggled, it should be noted that Carolina’s power play is creating 36% fewer shot attempts and 61% fewer shots/60 with Andrei Svechnikov injured. Carolina is fourth in the league in shots/60 at 5-on-5 this season, but just 14th in goals/60. All that means that Ingram is facing a Hurricanes side with a weaker power play and a large discrepancy in shots taken and goals scored. That is all good news for DFS, and especially for a goalie that is fourth in the league in save percentage among netminders with at least 25 starts.

Ownership projections are very low on Ingram as he comes in under 1% on both DK and FD. Considering the shot volume he could face tonight, he has high DFS upside. Users looking for a cheap goaltender on this slate should consider this netminder.

Top NHL DFS Stacks Today

DET1: Alex DeBrincat – Dylan Larkin – Lucas Raymond

This has been an excellent offensive trio for Detroit this season, creating 2.8 expected goals and 4.5 actual goals/60 at 5-on-5 in nearly 200 minutes together. Larkin and Raymond are both on the team’s top power play unit and the team has drawn the third-most minor penalties per game over the last seven weeks. On the flipside, Vegas has given up the fourth-most shots and fifth-most goals/60 while short-handed over the team’s last 20 games. Vegas also played last night so Detroit has the rest advantage, and they are getting a team whose penalty kill has been on a big slide since the early portions of the season.

The Top Stacks tool here at Stokastic has this Detroit line with 1% projected ownership on FanDuel and an even lower mark on DraftKings. Considering the power play matchup involved, and the next-to-nil ownership expected, they are an option for tournaments.

ANH1: Adam Henrique – Leo Carlsson – Troy Terry

It has been two months since Minnesota hired their new coach, and in that time, their top defense pair has allowed more expected goals against and actual goals against/60 at 5-on-5 than their depth pairs. The shutdown pair hasn’t been great, and that’s good news for Anaheim’s top line. What is also good news is that Minnesota is taking the fourth-most minor penalties per game in that time, while Anaheim is drawing the fourth-most penalties. Carlsson and Terry are on the team’s top power play unit, and they could get a lot of ice time against a team that has given up 20 power play goals against in their last 24 games.

Per the Top Stacks tool, this Anaheim trio is the only DK line priced under $15,000 that has both a top-2 stack probability over 2% and a projected ownership rate under 5% (they sit at 3.2%). It makes them a filler to consider in tournament formats.

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*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.

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