NHL DFS Picks Today: Terrific Tage Thompson (April 11)

There are 10 games in the NHL tonight with plenty of playoff implications and with both Edmonton and Colorado having the night off, there is a lot of firepower missing. Let’s look at our NHL DFS picks today and some of the top options that do remain and then dig for some value.

As always, Stokastic members should double-check the Discord before lock for lineup news.   

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

NHL DFS Picks Today: Center

Tage Thompson (BUF vs. WAS)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It is too late to save their season, but Thompson’s production has finally started to look like his breakout 2022-23 year with 11 goals, 20 points, and 3.5 shots per game across 15 games since the Trade Deadline. He has also seen consistently high levels of ice time lately by skating at least 18:30 in eight of his last 10 games while averaging 19:43; he averaged just 17:28 in his prior 20 games, so Thompson has added over two minutes per game to his profile recently. A big part of the recent output is a very good top line with JJ Peterka on his left wing as the team’s new scoring line has managed 41.4 shots, 3.0 expected goals, and 5.7 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 in nearly 125 minutes together.

Washington isn’t an awful defensive team, but they haven’t been difficult, either, ranking 21st by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks, and 20th by actual goals against. The Capitals’ penalty kill has been much worse, rankings 30th by shots allowed per minute and 25th by goals against in that same span, so the matchup is anywhere from good-to-great for Thompson at all offensive strengths tonight.

Thompson leads fantasy point projections tonight among all centers priced under $8,000 on either site, so there’s good value and relative value to his profile. Because of that value, there is also likely to be double-digit ownership rates but given his ice time and matchup, he is still suitable for tournaments whether as a one-off or part of a Buffalo stack.

Shane Wright (SEA vs. SJ)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Today’s ‘This Guy Plays Against The San Jose Sharks’ designation goes to Wright, the fourth overall pick from 2022 who has four goals and five points in four games since being called up. In fact, his first game since getting back to the NHL was against this very Sharks team and Wright scored once on four shots. Though he has just four games in this recent stint, those four games have seen him take the second-most shot attempts per minute of any Seattle skater. He isn’t getting a lot of ice time – each game has been between 15:14 and 16:02 – but no one in Seattle’s forward group is getting much ice time (no forward has averaged 18 minutes) and he’s not priced as if he needs heavy usage.

The matchup with San Jose is the clear appeal for Wright. The Sharks rank 30th by expected goals against, and 31st by actual goals against, per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks. Their penalty kill is also dead last by shots allowed per minute while short-handed so even with a poorly performing Seattle power play, this is one of the few good special team matchups that they, and Wright, will get. That Wright is getting second-line and top power play minutes gives him good matchups all over the ice.

 Of all centers priced under $4,000 on either site tonight, Wright is seventh by DK fantasy point projections and first on FD. There is much better value on the latter site, but his point-per-$1,000 is still 2.0 on DK so he’s perfectly acceptable as a cheap one-off pivot on that site as well.   


NHL DFS Picks Today: Winger

Artemi Panarin (NYR vs. PHI)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Ice time can be a concern for some top players from teams that have secured a postseason entry, but New York is still in a fight for first in the Conference and holding that position would give them an advantageous first-round playoff matchup. That is why Panarin has averaged 20:27 per game since the team clinched a playoff position, skating at least 19 minutes in six of the seven games in that span. After going five games without a goal to start March, Panarin has been incredibly productive with 11 goals, 18 assists, and 3.9 shots per appearance in his last 14 appearances. Nine of the points in that span have been on the power play, so he’s producing both at even strength and with the man advantage.

Philadelphia is in town and that’s a good matchup for Panarin. In calendar 2024, the Flyers are dead last in the league by save percentage at .861, which is preposterously bad. Not helping matters is that one of Philadelphia’s strengths through the first half of the season was an excellent penalty kill but the last six weeks has them 21st by shots against while short-handed and 30th by goals against. It is a great special team matchup for our superstar winger.

The superstar flank ranks third by fantasy point projections at his position regardless of cost, but has the second-highest cost so the relative value isn’t high. All the same, it is a tremendous matchup for he and his line mates so they are all in play for tournament DFS lineups.  

Adrian Kempe (LA vs. CGY)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It has been a very productive post-All Star stretch for Kempe who has 10 goals and 28 points in 25 games since the break. He has averaged 3.7 shots per contest in that time with seven DraftKings shot bonuses, so he’s not just riding hot percentages but been very involved offensively. He is also being leaned on heavily of late as he’s skated at least 19:50 in seven straight games, reaching the 20-minute mark in six of those appearances while averaging 20:51. That 25-game stretch has seen Kempe’s top line regain their scoring touch by averaging 2.7 expected goals and 3.0 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5.

Kempe faces the Flames tonight and Calgary has not been very stout defensively of late – their last six weeks have seen the team rank 20th by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 and 29th by actual goals against. Kempe gets top power play usage in all those minutes and with that heavy overall ice time total, the scoring winger has good opportunities to score at all offensive strengths in this game.

Among wingers priced under $7,000 on DK and $8,000 on FD, Kempe is second by Stokastic’s fantasy point projections tonight. A good matchup is likely to draw ownership, so his projection is between 12-14% on the two sites. Regardless, his high usage rate and good shot totals bring him in play for tournament DFS formats.

Michael Bunting (PIT vs. DET)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It is the biggest game of the season for Pittsburgh and a significant reason they’re in a position to reach the playoffs is Bunting’s recent hot streak: the winger has five goals and eight assists in his last 15 games while averaging 2.6 shots per game. He has formed an excellent offensive duo on the second line with Evgeni Malkin as the Penguins are generating 35.9 shots, 3.7 expected goals, and 5.4 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 in nearly 160 minutes together. They are riding hot with 15% shooting in that time, but even 10% would have them far above average offensively so they’ve been creating well offensively regardless of what the percentages say.

Pittsburgh is fighting with Detroit for a playoff spot, which makes this game so important. Detroit’s poor defensive play has caught up with them as they’re 25th in the league by expected goals against rate, and 28th by actual goals against, at 5-on-5 since the All-Star break. Bunting’s ice time has been inconsistent of late – between 15 and 22 minutes over his last five games – but he’s also not priced as if he skates 19 minutes every game.

Bunting’s point-per-$1,000 value is north of 2.3 on DraftKings tonight, and sits at 2.05 for FanDuel. He is much more expensive on the latter site than the former but is acceptable on all sites tonight given the matchup. He can be used by himself but given his correlation with Malkin, a two-man stack (at least) makes sense.

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Defender

Moritz Seider (DET at PIT)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

What makes Seider so valuable for DFS is his coverage over a number of categories: on the season, he has eight goals and 32 assists with 1.7 shots and 2.7 blocks per game. He has just one DK shot bonus this year, but he has a whopping 33 DK block bonuses. In fact, since the All-Star break, Seider leads the league with 94 blocked shots in 28 games, or 3.4 per outing. He faces a Pittsburgh team that is top-10 by shots per minute over the last six weeks and with Detroit fighting for a playoff spot, there’s extra incentive for Seider to throw himself in front of some more pucks. That he can also produce well offensively, and is in a matchup where the opponent is in the bottom-10 of the league by expected goals and actual goals against per 60 minutes at all strengths in the last six weeks, is what makes Seider particularly appealing.

Seider’s fantasy point projection is top-3 for defenders priced under $6,000 on DraftKings and is second on FanDuel for the same price ceiling. He has good point-per-dollar value as well so he can be used in all formats on all sites as a mid-priced defender.

Ryan Pulock (NYI vs. MON)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

As the Islanders forge their way towards the playoffs, they have been giving Pulock a lot more ice time – the last two weeks have seen our defender earn 24:15 per appearance, or over two and a half minutes more than the next-closest blue liner. He has three points and 16 blocks in seven games through that stretch, so there has been both some offence and good peripheral production to go with that ice time rise. He also faces a Montreal team that is 31st by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks, so this is a very good matchup for Pulock not only to block some shots, but hopefully get on the scoresheet.

Of all rearguards priced under $5,000 on both DK and FD tonight, Pulock is third by DK’s fantasy point projections and first over on FD. It is a good matchup where he is likely to get a lot of ice time so he is a cheaper option to pivot away from Seider in DFS lineups.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Goalie

Igor Shesterkin (NYR vs. PHI)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Part of Philadelphia’s tailspin has been an inability to score – their last six weeks have produced a 5-on-5 shot rate that is seventh in the league, but poor finishing (and bad luck) has seen them rank 23rd by goals-for rate. By shots against rate at 5-on-5, New York is in the middle of the league in that span, so there’s a chance that Shesterkin sees reasonable shot volume tonight against a team that is struggling to score.

The bonus for Shesterkin is the poor Flyers power play. The visitors are dead last in the league by power play goals per game this season, and dead last by power play goals per minute over the last six weeks. New York’s netminder is getting a good matchup at all strengths that affect him directly.

Stokastic’s GoalieStats section has Shesterkin third by projected save total tonight but also with the third-lowest expected goals against mark. That gap is leading to him topping the DK fantasy point projections among netminders tonight, and he’s tied at the top for FD. He can be used on either site as a high-priced goalie.

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NHL DFS Top Stacks Today

FLA1: Vladimir Tarasenko – Aleksander Barkov – Sam Reinhart

The sample isn’t large yet – fewer than 90 minutes together – but this Florida trio has been able to score 3.5 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 since Tarasenko’s acquisition at the Trade Deadline. They are riding a bit hot by shooting 13.4% in that span, but facing a Columbus team that is dead last by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks is a great matchup to keep that percentage rolling.

Columbus has also been very poor on the penalty kill by giving up the fourth-most shots per minute in that six-week span. With injuries on the roster, Tarasenko has been moved to Florida’s top power play unit, so this is a perfectly correlated line that is getting great matchups at all offensive strengths.

This Florida trio leads Stokastic’s Top Stacks tool by top-2 stack percentage on both sites, which makes sense given the correlation and matchup. They are also drawing heavy ownership projections for the same reasons, as well as the acceptable price. They have a great opportunity to produce, but they will have a lot of representation in DFS lineups, so tournament players have a decision to make.

TOR1: Tyler Bertuzzi – Auston Matthews – Max Domi

This Toronto Trio has been absurdly good together offensively by creating 45.3 shots, 4.7 expected goals, and 6.9 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Like the Florida line above, they are riding a hot shooting percentage (15.3%), but they are also creating so many shots that even 10% shooting would have them roughly two full goals per 60 minutes above the league average. There is a concern of a usage decline – Matthews is under 20 minutes a game since Mitch Marner’s return – but they are also facing a New Jersey team that is bottom-10 in the league by both expected goals and actual goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks.

Of all lines priced $19,000 or less on DK, and $21,000 or less on FD, this Toronto unit ranks fourth and first, respectively, by top-2 stack percentage tonight. They are projected for much lower ownership than that top-2 percentage, and that gives them positive leverage on both sites, making them a similarly priced but lower-owned pivot away from a chalkier Florida stack.

*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.

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