NHL DFS Picks Today: We’re Littered With Tuesday Value (April 9)

It is a monster 13-game slate in the NHL tonight and there are loads of stars like Nathan MacKinnon, Kirill Kaprizov, and Cale Makar. Let’s look at our NHL DFS picks today and some of the top options on the board and then dig for value.

As always, Stokastic members should check the Discord before lock for roster updates.

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

NHL DFS Picks Today: Center

Nazem Kadri (CGY at SJ)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Today’s edition of ‘This Guy Plays Against The San Jose Sharks’ belongs to Calgary’s top point producer and the consistency Kadri has shown this year is remarkable: after starting the season with one point in eight games, he has only had two stretches where he’s gone longer than one game without a point, and never more than three games. Since the Trade Deadline a month ago, he has 12 points in 14 outings while shooting just 6%, so he could easily still be a point-per-game player over those four-plus weeks. These 14 games have seen him average 3.6 shots per game as his ice time has risen nearly a minute per appearance and resting at 19:08 in that span.

The Sharks are the clear appeal for looking in Kadri’s direction tonight. Poor defensive play plagues San Jose as they are still 30th in the league by expected goals rate against at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks, and dead last by goals against. That extends to the penalty kill where the Sharks are giving up the most shots against per minute while short-handed in that span. This is a great offensive matchup for Kadri at all strengths.

Of all centers priced under $7,000 on DK and $8,000 on FD tonight, Kadri leads the way by Stokastic’s fantasy point projections. Even with 13 games tonight, there could be double-digit ownership on him due to the matchup, but that’s not a concern with so many options to fill lineups around him.

Wyatt Johnston (DAL vs. BUF)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

On February 24th, Dallas called up top prospect Logan Stankoven, and he’s been a frequent line mate of Johnston’s. Since that point, our center has produced 13 goals and 12 assists in 20 games, averaging over 3.5 shots per game. He has six multi-point games in that stretch with seven DraftKings shot bonuses. Their line has been utterly dominant at 5-on-5 by creating 40.6 shots, 4.3 expected goals, and 4.6 actual goals per 60 minutes over 185 minutes together. Dallas spreads the ice time around their forwards, so Johnston doesn’t play heavy minutes, but he is earning the most ice time per game of any forward not on their top line over the last couple of weeks.

Over the last six weeks, Buffalo is 28th by expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 as the team’s defensive play has been on a slide. The only reason their goals against have stayed reasonable is great goaltending, and the team can’t rely on that every night. The defensive numbers on the penalty kill have been better, but still around the middle of the league, so there’s no daunting matchup for Johnston and his line mates tonight.

Johnston ranks sixth among DK centers priced under $6,000 tonight, which gives him fine relative value for his price. That value is much worse on FD, but that’s also keeping ownership far away from him as he projected under 1% on that site. He and his line mates are tournament options tonight.



NHL DFS Picks Today: Winger

Cole Caufield (MON vs. PHI)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Heading into this season, Caufield was a career 14.1% shooter across 123 regular season games. This season, he’s shot just 8.1% and that’s kept him to 24 goals. Even 12% shooting would have resulted in a 35-goal season, so a bit of unluckiness is keeping him from a very productive campaign. The (relative) lack of scoring has not kept him from shooting as he’s averaged 3.8 shots per game on the campaign, and 4.2 shots per game since the All-Star break, a span of 28 appearances. He has 10 DraftKings shot bonuses in that post-break stretch and the unlucky shooting percentage might finally be turning as he’s scored in four straight outings.

Philadelphia visits Montreal and this is a team firmly on a slide. Their goaltending is last by save percentage at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks, 23rd by save percentage on the penalty kill, and 21st by shots against while short-handed. That same span has seen Montreal draw the fifth-most minor penalties per game, so Caufield could get a reasonable number of power play chances against a penalty kill that is not as formidable as it was in the first half of the season.

Among wingers priced under $8,000 on both DK and FD, Caufield’s fantasy point projection sits third. Ownership won’t be a concern as he’s projected for single digits on both sites so he is an option just under the elite tier for a one-off option in DFS lineups tonight. He is also fine as part of a line stack.

Viktor Arvidsson (LA at ANA)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Injuries have limited Arvidsson to just 13 games this season, but it’s really just 12 games as there was one outing he left hobbled during his first shift. In those 12 healthy games, he has landed at least three shots on goal in 10 of them and has four DK shot bonuses. That he’s shooting just 4.9% on the season tells us that he’s getting unlucky, goals-wise, even for a player that usually doesn’t convert at a high rate. He has often skated with winger Trevor Moore at 5-on-5 and with them on the ice this season, the Kings are outshooting the opposition 55-32 and outscoring them 7-4. In short, they have been dominant.

What draws us to Arvidsson is the matchup with Anaheim. The Ducks are by far the most penalized team in the league this season, giving nearly 13% more power plays per game than the next-closest team. They have taken the second-most minor penalties per game over the last six weeks while allowing the most goals per minute. This is an undisciplined team that has a weak penalty kill, and all this is great news for Arvidsson who skates on the top power play unit for Los Angeles.

Arvidsson ranks first by fantasy point projections among all wingers priced $6,000 or less on FD, and it’s by a wide margin as he exceeds the next-closest option by 25%. The value isn’t as high on DK, but it’s still very good, and he makes a mid-priced one-off option for this slate.  

Artturi Lehkonen (COL vs. MIN)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Injuries have also limited Lehkonen’s totals this season with just 41 games played, but he has 15 goals and 15 assists in that time, which is a pace for a 30-30 season in a full campaign. An injury to teammate Mikko Rantanen resulted in Lehkonen being moved to the top line alongside superstar Nathan MacKinnon, and that includes top power play time. In a limited 83-minute sample without Rantanen, the MacKinnon-Lehkonen duo has helped Colorado create 37.6 shots, 3.1 expected goals, and 3.5 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. They were similarly excellent in a much larger sample last season (281 minutes) so that helps alleviate the small-sample concerns.

Minnesota is in town and their penalty kill keeps struggling as they rank 23rd by shots against rate while short-handed over the last six weeks and 22nd by goals against. That has been the case basically all season long, and Lehkonen’s move to the top power play unit puts him in position to take advantage of a weak penalty kill. He scored on the power play in his first game after being moved up while reaching 23:30 in ice time, which is about five minutes higher than his season’s average.

Lehkonen ranks first among wingers priced under $5,000 on DK tonight by fantasy point projections, which gives him an excellent point-per-$1,000 mark over 2.4. That is much lower on FD where he’s priced up considerably more, so DFS users on that site may want to consider Fabian Zetterlund (SJ, $4,700) as a cheaper option.

React App

NHL DFS Picks Today: Defender

Brandon Montour (FLA vs. OTT)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

It has been a wildly inconsistent season for Montour as he had just 12 points in 38 games to start his campaign, followed by a stretch with 19 points in 17 games, and now it’s swung back the other way with five points across his last 12 outings. It isn’t as if he’s been shying away offensively, though, as that recent 12-game stretch has seen him post nearly 2.5 shots per game while being on the ice for just shy of 3.0 goals per 60 minutes at all strengths. He faces Ottawa tonight, and Florida leads the league in minor penalties drawn per game over the last six weeks while the Senators rank 26th by goals against per 60 minutes while short-handed. An injury to teammate Aaron Ekblad is likely to lead to more ice time, and that includes a lot of top power play usage.  

Of defenders priced under $6,000 on either site, Montour ranks fifth by Stokastic’s fantasy point projections on DK tonight, and first on FD. Regardless of site, he’s an option to use on the blue line tonight given his role and matchup.

Justin Schultz (SEA vs. ARI)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

Seattle does not boast a very good power play, but they do get a good power play matchup at home tonight with Arizona in town: over the last six weeks, the Coyotes are 22nd by shots against and 31st by goals against per 60 minutes while short-handed. With teammate Vince Dunn not likely to play tonight, Schultz will be responsible for the team’s top power play unit and nearly half (8) of Schultz’s assists this season (17) have been with the man advantage. Dunn has missed time recently and that has helped Schultz skate 19:20 per game over his last five games, about three minutes higher than his season’s average. Besides all that, Seattle is a home favourite with a solid team goal total, and all this is what makes Schultz worth mentioning for tonight’s DFS slate.

Fantasy point projections have Schultz with a point-per-$1,000 value of at least 2.0 on both DK and FD tonight, making him a good value for his cheap price tag. As long as Dunn stays out of the lineup, Schultz remains a cheap blue liner to consider, especially in a good power play matchup like this.

NHL DFS Picks Today: Goalie

Jeremy Swayman (BOS vs. CAR)

DraftKings Salary
FanDuel Salary

In 14 games since acquiring winger Jake Guentzel, Carolina is fourth in the league by shots per minute at 5-on-5, yet 20th in the league by goals per minute. That gap has plagued the team all year as they rank second by shots per minute but are tied for 15th by goals per minute when looking at the entire regular season. This is a team that usually doesn’t have problems generating a lot of shots but does struggle to score a lot of goals and that is part of the reason why Swayman saved 28 of 29 shots in a win over this very Hurricanes roster just five days ago. In 41 starts this campaign, Swayman has finished with a negative DraftKings score just twice and more than 25 DK points six times.

Stokastic’s GoalieStats section has Swayman with the third-highest projected save total tonight but 18th by expected goals allowed. That gap mirrors Carolina’s shooting/scoring issues, and makes him a target on DK tonight.

Swayman is priced up a lot on FD, so users on that site may want to consider Jacob Markstrom (CGY, $7,600) for a similarly priced option.

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

The sample has grown for this new Tampa Bay top line and in 107 minutes together at 5-on-5, they have produced 36.3 shots, 3.9 expected goals, and 5.1 actual goals per 60 minutes. In the 13 games since acquiring Duclair, Kucherov has 30 (!) points, Point has 11 goals (he missed one game), and Duclair has six goals and five assists. They have been dynamic offensively and get a great matchup against Columbus; over the last six weeks, the Blue Jackets are dead last by expected goals against rate at 5-on-5 and 29th by shots against on the penalty kill. This is just a great matchup at all offensive strengths for a line that has been exceptional together.

Stokastic’s Top Stacks tool has this Tampa trio with the second-highest top-2 stack probability on both sites but single-digit ownership projections on both sites. That gives them good leverage regardless of where they’re used, and targets for tournament lineups tonight.

LA1: Quinton Byfield – Anze Kopitar – Adrian Kempe

In the section on Arvidsson, how good of a power play matchup this is for Los Angeles was discussed, and that obviously extends to this top line. Both Kempe and Kopitar skate on the top unit and just over one-third of Kempe’s points this season (24/71) have been with the man advantage, while just under one-third of Kopitar’s points (22/68) have been at that strength. Beyond that power play production, this line has found its game offensively after a mid-season lull by averaging 2.7 expected goals and 3.3 actual goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last six weeks. Both Kempe (19:55) and Kopitar (20:34) are around the 20-minute mark per game across their last 10 outings, too.

Of all lines on DraftKings tonight priced under $16,000, this Los Angeles trio has the third-highest top-2 stack probability at 4.2%. However, their ownership projection sits at just 5.7%, a similar projection to that on FD as well. There won’t be much ownership despite a great matchup and that makes them targets in the mid-price range.

*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.