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NHL DFS Picks Today: Jack Hughes and Ottawa Senators Among Best Options

Michael Clifford

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Jack Hughes and Ottawa Senators

Tuesday night has a hefty 11-game slate from which to make NHL DFS picks on both DraftKings and FanDuel. There are no games in the NBA, which has led to some large contests on both sites, where it’s necessary to differentiate between high-priced options like Evander Kane and Brady Tkachuk. With a few teams on back-to-backs, Stokastic members are reminded to check into the subscriber-only Discord for lineup changes and injury news, particularly at warmups.

Alright, let’s peruse some DFS picks.

NHL DFS Picks Today, Top Stacks, Lineup Optimizer Plays

Center

Jack Hughes (NJ-CGY): DraftKings – $6,700 | FanDuel – $7,200

It has been a good start to the 2022-23 campaign for Jack Hughes as he’s managing a point per game while increasing his shot rates both at even strength and on the power play. He is averaging over 4.4 shots per game as a result, managing at least five shots on goal in five of his 12 contests. That is important for his floor as a fantasy option but also for the shot bonus threat for DFS players on DraftKings.

In over 90 minutes together at five-on-five this season, Hughes and winger Jesper Bratt have helped New Jersey generate 3.8 expected goals and 4.5 actual goals per 60 minutes. This duo has been dynamic for the Devils going back to last year and they’ve proven themselves a high-scoring tandem. Beyond that, they’ll square off against Calgary’s second line often tonight, a line allowing 3.0 expected goals and 3.7 actual goals against every 60 minutes on the season.

The Flames are one of the most penalized teams in the league, giving up over four power plays per game to the opponent. Hughes should see heavy minutes at all strengths and catches a team playing their second game in as many nights on the road. He and his linemates are tournaments options tonight.

Filip Chytil (NYR-NYI): DraftKings – $3,300 | FanDuel – $4,100

Filip Chytil was looking to build off a great playoff performance in the spring of 2022 where he posted seven goals in 20 games but has endured some injury problems early this season. It has limited him to just seven games and that’s not a big sample to work with. Even with those problems, he’s still taking more shot attempts per minute this year at five-on-five than he ever has, ranking in the 88th percentile among forwards in the league.

There are two keys for highlighting Chytil in this article. First, Chris Kreider has been moved to his wing, likely due to Kreider’s slow start on the year with just four goals in 13 games. Those two haven’t spent a lot of time together over the last few years – just over 85 minutes at five-on-five – but have been excellent offensively, generating 3.5 expected goals and 4.1 actual goals per 60 minutes. It gives Chytil a bona fide goal scorer on his wing and that’s a boost to his fantasy profile.

Second, Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin started last night and thus will not start tonight. He is one of the top goalies in the league and going to Semyon Varlamov is a big downgrade. Chytil is a cheap center option for tonight’s slate and can be used with Kreider in a duo.

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Winger

Brady Tkachuk (OTT-VAN): DraftKings – $7,800 | FanDuel – $9,900

Despite the team’s early struggles, Tkachuk has been as productive as ever, posting six goals and 16 points in 11 games. Going back to the end of the 2021-22 season, he has 39 points in 30 games and is pushing himself to the upper-crust of top-tier fantasy wingers.

Tkachuk is skating on the top line with Tim Stuetzle and going back to March of 2022 in a span of nearly 160 five-on-five minutes, the duo is helping Ottawa generate 3.8 expected goals and 4.8 actual goals per 60 minutes. They will be with Claude Giroux and not their usual right winger in Drake Batherson, but the duo has been similarly good without the latter on the flank. In other words, Ottawa’s young tandem of Stuetzle-Tkachuk has just been flat-out great offensively for a couple dozen games now. Tkachuk is skating less per game than 2021-22, but an increased shot rate has kept his shots per game relatively constant, which is good news for his fantasy profile.

Vancouver in town gives Ottawa a middle-of-the-pack defensive team – at best – as a matchup. His shot rate and involvement on all offensive strengths mean Tkachuk can be used as a one-off, but he’s perfectly acceptable as part of a Senators line stack in tournaments.

For a cheaper option on FanDuel, consider Kyle Connor (WPG, $6,300), who grades out as Stokastic’s third-highest projected winger on that site.

Matt Boldy (MIN-LA): DraftKings – $5,600 | FanDuel – $6,500

A big question for Matt Boldy coming out of his rookie season was how he’d perform with usual linemate Kevin Fiala moving on to Los Angeles. In 11 games thus far, the answer is: just fine. He has six goals and 10 points in those contests, averaging over three shots and 19 minutes per game. The 21-year-old has increased his shot attempt rates both at five-on-five and on the power play as part of his sophomore campaign, which helps give him a reasonable floor to work with.

Minnesota is going into Los Angeles and that is a great power play matchup for Boldy and the Wild. So far this season, the Kings are one of six teams giving at least four power plays per game to the opponent. The road team’s top power play unit, including Boldy, is generating 11.4 goals per 60 minutes. If Los Angeles can’t keep their discipline in check, Minnesota’s power play stands in a strong position to thrive.

How to use Boldy in tournaments tonight is another issue. The key PP1 components of Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello do not play on his line at even strength. Inserting Boldy as a one-off is acceptable, but going with a power play stack is also an option on this large slate.

Owen Tippett (PHI-STL): DraftKings – $3,600 | FanDuel – $5,000

Philadelphia made a change to their line last game that moved Owen Tippett to the top line with Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny. This team is thin on talent but there’s clearly no better spot to be to create offense. They will skate together both at even strength and with the man advantage, giving them correlation at all offensive strengths.

St. Louis is in town tonight and they played last night in Boston, losing 3-1. The Blues have just three wins in 10 games on the year and rate poorly by a number of defensive metrics: bottom-10 in all of shot attempts, expected goals and actual goals against at five-on-five, ranking even worse on the penalty kill. The Flyers are not a good team either but considering St. Louis’s slow start and playing their second game in as many nights, this is a good matchup.

Tippett has seen his shot rate at even strength decline significantly from last year. but it has been just six games for him, and he has seen his role on this team improve. At his price, he can be used as a one-off option.

DFS players looking for a cheaper option on FanDuel, consider Brandon Saad (STL, $3,700), who carries a double-digit projection on FanDuel against the Flyers.

Defense

Victor Hedman (TB-EDM): DraftKings – $7,100 | FanDuel – $6,600

Victor Hedman has endured some minor nagging injuries this season but has still managed nine points in 10 games. His shot attempt rate at five-on-five has increased from his recent history, leading to a four-year high in shots per minute at that strength. His shots per game are down, though, as he’s shooting less on the power play, but he still brings good across-the-board production in the DFS realm.

The matchup tonight at home to Edmonton is the appeal here. The Oilers played in Washington last night, meaning this is a road back-to-back situation for them. On top of that, Edmonton is giving the second-most power play opportunities to the opponent while Tampa Bay is drawing the third-most power play opportunities for themselves. The Lightning’s top power play unit hasn’t been elite this year, scoring 8.5 goals per 60 minutes, but the potential for several power play opportunities is very attractive.

Hedman is expensive on a large slate and that should keep his ownership in check on DraftKings. He is fine to use as a solo option or as part of a Tampa Bay stack in tournament formats this evening.

Moritz Seider (DET-MTL): DraftKings – $5,100 | FanDuel – $5,800

Though his production hasn’t been great with five points in 12 games, Moritz Seider’s peripherals have been excellent this season, averaging nearly two shots and 2.5 blocks per game. For anyone playing on DraftKings, Seider has hit the block bonus in half his games so far this season. Since being moved back to the top power play unit five games ago, Seider has seen his ice time increase nearly two minutes per game. This all gives him a reasonable floor to work with.

Detroit’s matchup with Montreal is the appeal here. The Red Wings’ top power play unit is generating over 10 expected goals per 60 minutes with Seider on the blue line, while the Canadiens’ penalty kill is allowing the most expected goals against in the league. There are some injuries on the home team side, but this is still a good special team matchup for Seider. Among all mid-priced defensemen on DraftKings tonight ($4,100 to $5,500), he ranks first by overall value in Stokastic’s projections. He is nearly as strong value-wise on FanDuel as well.

Goalie

Vitek Vanecek (NJ-CGY): DraftKings – $7,900 | FanDuel – $7,500

After getting bombed out in his first two games of the season, Vitek Vanecek has posted a save percentage of at least .900 in five straight matchups. In Vanecek’s first two years of his career, he was mid-pack in the league by high-danger save percentage at five-on-five, one indicator of goalie talent. He is playing behind a very good defensive New Jersey team but also faces a Calgary roster that is fifth in shots per minute at five-on-five, as well. He could see reasonable volume tonight and it’s one reason he’s projected top-five among goalies tonight for both DraftKings and FanDuel. His projected save total is also tied for first in Stokastic’s early projection run. His price is reasonable across the industry, and he requires some attention in net this evening.

Top NHL DFS Stacks Today

DAL1: Pavelski-Robertson-Hintz

The elite Dallas top line has picked up where they left off in 2021-22, generating four expected goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five and 6.4 actual goals. Those are monster offensive numbers, and they are part of the reason for the recommendation.

In addition to their performance, they face a Winnipeg team that is 27th by expected goals against at five-on-five and 23rd on the penalty kill. Meanwhile, the Dallas top power play unit, including all three of these forwards, is generating 13.4 expected goals per 60 minutes. It is a great matchup at all strengths for them, the only concern being Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. He is off to a great start this season, but Dallas already lit him up for four goals earlier this season.

This Dallas trio doesn’t earn huge minutes but is one of the most efficient scoring lines in the league. Our Top Stacks tool has them among the four best leverage spots on both DraftKings and FanDuel. They warrant attention for tournaments.

OTT1: Tkachuk-Stuetzle-Giroux

While the leverage on this Ottawa line isn’t as large as Dallas’s expected leverage, they are still expected to be lower owned on both sites compared to their top-two stack percentage on Top Stacks. That brings them into range this evening.

As mentioned in the section on Tkachuk, hosting Vancouver is not a difficult defensive matchup for Ottawa. While they don’t all play the same power play unit, Tkachuk has made a habit of playing both halves of the team’s power play, giving him correlation with both Stuetzle and Giroux. The top power play unit is generating similar rates of expected goals without center Josh Norris, so the power play correlations are important. This Ottawa trio should be held high in estimation this evening.

*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick

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