NHL DFS Picks Today: Terrific Tuesday Value (February 27)

There is a huge 12-game slate this Tuesday night in the NHL, and that means lots of high-end options. Let’s take some time to go through the lower-priced options and dig for a bit of value. As always, Stokastic members are encouraged to double-check the Discord before lock for updated roster news. lock for updated roster information.

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Lineup Decisions and More

NHL DFS Picks: Center

Dylan Larkin (DET vs. WAS)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Recent changes to Detroit’s lineup have put Alex DeBrincat back on Larkin’s wing. That is good news for our center as the team creates 40.5% more expected goals when Larkin is on the ice with the scoring flank than without him at 5-on-5. With DeBrincat next to him, Larkin produces 1.96 points/60 minutes and 8.0 shots/60 at 5-on-5.

Without DeBrincat, those numbers fall to 1.58 points/60 and 7.7 shots/60. Having a talented scorer next to him has a much bigger effect on his point production than shot rate, but it helps a lot offensively, nonetheless.

Washington visits Detroit tonight and the Capitals played last night, giving Larkin and the Red Wings the rest advantage. In calendar 2024, a span of 23 games, Washington is 26th by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 and 27th by goals against/60. Their penalty kill is 25th by shot attempts against/60 and 20th by goals against/60, so Larkin will get good-to-great matchups at all offensive strengths in this matchup.

Larkin’s elevated price has him as a worse value than other similarly priced centers, but that is also keeping a lot of ownership away from him as that projection is under 2% for both DK and FD. He is not a cash game option but in tournaments, he and his line mates require consideration in this solid matchup.

Alex Newhook (MON vs. ARI)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Newhook missed over two months due to injury but still has 16 points in 31 games on the campaign. For a player that has often been kept on a different line than top winger Cole Caufield at 5-on-5, and on a team that sits 28th in the league in goals-for/60, that isn’t bad production.

Arizona visiting brings a road team that is tied for 22nd by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 since New Year’s Day and is dead last by goals against/60. Conversely, Newhook has formed a solid second-line duo with Joshua Roy as their near-70 minutes together has led to Montreal outshooting the opposition 41-29 while scoring five times.

One key aspect to Newhook’s upside tonight is the power play matchup. Montreal’s top PP unit is scoring 8.1 goals/60 with Newhook playing in the middle of the formation, which isn’t a high-end number but is just fine for this contest. The reason it’s enough is Arizona is taking 4.7 minor penalties per game in calendar 2024, the second highest rate in the league in that span. There should be plenty of opportunities for Newhook to get on the scoresheet with the man advantage.

Like Larkin, Newhook rates worse by point-per-dollar value than other centers in his price range (though it’s not as extreme), but he is coming in with very low ownership projections: 3.1% on DK and 0.9% on FD. In an excellent power play matchup, he can be used as a cheap one-off center for tournament formats.

Newhook is listed as a winger on FanDuel, so for a cheap center on that site, consider Arizona’s Barrett Hayton ($3,600) on the other side of this game as he projects as one of the top values on the night.  

NHL DFS Picks: Winger

Filip Forsberg (NSH vs. OTT)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It has been a superlative season for Forsberg as he’s pacing for close to 40 goals and is a point-per-game player. What makes him especially valuable in DFS is his shot volume as he sits in the top-10 of the league by shots per game (3.95), hitting the DraftKings shot bonus 25 times in 59 appearances.

For reference, that is the exact same rate of DK shot bonuses as Nathan MacKinnon and higher than Auston Matthews. His raw shots/game total isn’t as high as those two, but his consistency has been excellent. That he’s skating an eight-year high of 19:03 per game is helping keep those shot totals so consistent.

Nashville hosts Ottawa tonight and the road team played last night, giving the Predators the rest advantage. Even as the Senators have been winning more games of late, their 5-on-5 defense is a persistent issue as calendar 2024 has seen them rank 24th by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 and 31st by actual goals against/60. It is a very good matchup to see Forsberg generate not only shots, but hopefully goals as well.

Of all wingers on the board tonight, Forsberg has the second-highest fantasy point projection for both DraftKings and FanDuel. However, he is priced 5th and 7th among flanks on the two sites, respectively, so there is good relative value and a large slate like this removes ownership concerns.

Tyler Toffoli (NJ at SJ)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

New Jersey has been having their issues with scoring of late, but it hasn’t been much of an issue for Toffoli as he’s produced four goals, four assists, and 34 shots in 10 games since the All-Star break. In that span, he leads New Jersey forwards by individual expected goals/60 at 5-on-5 and is second in shot attempts/60.

That he’s shooting just 5% in that time speaks to some unlucky breaks in his play, so he should easily have more than four goals in those recent 10 appearances. That he’s added nearly a minute of ice time per game (53 seconds, to be specific) is just more good news for his upside.

The obvious appeal for Toffoli and the Devils is the matchup in San Jose. Since January 1st, the Sharks have been a distant last by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5. They are only 19th by goals against/60 thanks to excellent goaltending, but they can’t rely on 75th percentile goaltending every night. Toffoli also leads the team with seven power play goals on the season, so he can contribute at all offensive strengths.

Among wingers priced under $6,000 on DK and $7,000 on FD, Toffoli leads the way by fantasy point projections, and it’s by over one point on both sites. He projects to have double-digit ownership rates on both sites, but this is a great matchup and there are many ways to differentiate on a slate this large.

Tyler Bertuzzi (TOR vs. VGK)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Vegas continues to be without top forwards Jack Eichel and Mark Stone, and those absences greatly thin out the team’s forward group. In 16 games without Eichel, the Golden Knights are 27th in the league by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5 and tied for 20th by goals against/60. Even with their defense group getting healthy, there are still key pieces missing that hurt the team’s overall defensive ability.

Bertuzzi is coming off a hat trick against Colorado and what is particularly notable about that is two of his three goals were scored on the power play. He has been moved to Toronto’s top PP unit, often in place of John Tavares, and he’s third among the team’s forwards in power play ice time per game over his last five appearances. It has meant an additional 1:42 per game in ice time with the man advantage when compared to earlier in the season, and it’s a high-end unit besides that. It is a big value change for him in the DFS realm.

On DK, Bertuzzi’s point-per-$1,000 value is over 2.1, and that number is 2.4 on FD, so there is very good value across the board for him. At a cheap price, he can be used as a salary-saving solo option, but his power play correlation with William Nylander brings a line stack into play.

NHL DFS Picks: Defender

Brandon Montour (FLA vs. BUF)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Through Montour’s first 38 games of the season, he registered a point on just 21.4% of Florida’s goals scored when he was on the ice. That was against a three-year average of 44.2% and, as expected, the positive regression has started – Montour has two goals and five assists in his last four games as he starts figuring in on more of his team’s tallies.

Since January 1st, Florida is drawing more minor penalties per game (4.6) than any other team, so they are getting a lot of power play opportunities. Buffalo visits tonight and that same span has seen the Sabres rank 25th by shots against/60 while on the penalty kill. Great goaltending has saved their goals against numbers, but that can’t help them every night, and Montour should get a number of opportunities to tally points with the man advantage.

Of all defencemen priced under $6,000 on DK and FD, Montour ranks third and first by fantasy point projections. He could flirt with double-digit ownership on both sites, but that is perfectly acceptable on a 12-game slate.

Thomas Harley (DAL at COL)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

At the other end of the ownership spectrum is Harley. It should be noted that in the four games since Miro Heiskanen returned from his brief time away due to the birth of his child, Harley is earning 13 more seconds per game. That is marginal, but it highlights just how much the Stars are relying on the young blue liner, even with Heiskanen in the lineup.

Harley’s last 20 games have seen him average 2.5 shots and 1.9 blocks per game, which is very good peripheral production. They will face a high-octane Colorado team, but the Avalanche are 26th by both expected goals against/60 and actual goals against/60 at all strengths since January 1st. They can outscore their defensive problems, but it’s good news for Harley’s offensive upside.

As alluded to, Harley is expected to have much lower ownership than Montour as he projects for 2.4% on DK and under 1% on FD. On DraftKings, their fantasy point projections have Montour ahead, but by fewer than 0.4 points. Harley is a solid low-owned pivot away from the higher-owned Montour.

NHL DFS Picks: Goalie

Filip Gustavsson (MIN vs. CAR)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It has been an up-and-down season for Gustavsson but tonight is not a bad matchup for him. Since January 1st, the Carolina Hurricanes lead the league in shot attempts-for/60 at 5-on-5 but are 19th by goals scored. Not being able to score at a rate commensurate with their shot totals has been a hallmark of this franchise for several years, and that could lead to a lot of volume for the Minnesota goaltender.

Carolina’s power play has also seen their shooting percentage regress, leading to just five goals in their last 10 games. With a home matchup where he stands to see a lot of volume, Gustavsson stands out among cheaper netminders.

The Stokastic GoalieStats section has Gustavsson with the seventh-most projected saves tonight. He also has a very low cost for FanDuel users. He is acceptable as a mid-priced target on DK but should be heavily considered on FD.

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NHL DFS Top Stacks Today

MON1: Cole Caufield – Nick Suzuki – Juraj Slafkovský

After a downturn around New Year’s, Montreal’s top line has rebounded offensively; their last 15 games have produced 3.1 expected goals/60 and 3.3 actual goals/60 at 5-on-5. Just since the All-Star break, all three members of the top line are averaging at least 20 minutes a game and as mentioned in the section on Newhook, the power play has still been solid, if not as productive as earlier this season before Sean Monahan’s trade.

The power play is key here as Arizona has taken the second-most minor penalties per game over the last eight weeks, and given up the second-most shots/60 minutes while short-handed. Despite ranking eighth by save percentage, they take so many penalties and give up so many shots that they’ve allowed 20 power play goals against in 22 games through that eight-week span. It is a very good matchup for Montreal’s top line as they are perfectly correlated on the power play.

Stokastic’s Top Stacks tool has this Canadiens line seventh by top-2 stack probability on both sites. Though ownership is slightly higher than that number on DK, and a fair bit heavier on FD, they have a tremendous matchup and are not costly to roster.

DAL3: Jamie Benn – Wyatt Johnston – Logan Stankoven

The call-up of Stankoven from the minor leagues has been the story for Dallas over their last couple of games, but it overshadows this line’s production without Evgenii Dadonov (currently injured). In 150 minutes at 5-on-5 without Dadonov, the Benn/Johnston duo helps Dallas create 12.5% more shots, 36.8% more expected goals, and 57% more goals. The two games with Stankoven have been very good offensively, but the line has just been much better without Dadonov than with him, regardless of the third wheel. As mentioned in the section on Harley, Colorado has not been a good defensive team for a couple months now, so even though Dallas is playing their second game in as many nights, it’s not a bad matchup for this Stars trio.  

There are many expensive lines available tonight, so looking for fillers is often a must. Among lines on DK priced under $12,000, this trio has the fourth-highest top-2 stack percentage, so they should be considered to pair alongside the more expensive options.

Stankoven isn’t in the FanDuel pool, so for a cheap filler stack on that site, DFS players should consider CGY2, or the Nazem Kadri line.

*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick

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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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