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NHL DFS Picks Today: Connor McDavid; Need We Say More? (January 25)

Jeff Votteler

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Connor McDavid; Need We Say More?

Wednesdays are usually travel days for most of the league. The NHL has done a decent job at spreading out the schedule for the first half of the year, blessing NHL DFS players with a five-game slate tonight. The Canucks are the only team playing the second of a back-to-back tonight. With the smaller slate size, there are still plenty of options like Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid. Let’s dig through the Stokastic NHL tools to find some value so to help fit in the studs on tonight’s NHL DFS slate. As always, subscribers are encouraged to check the members-only Discord for lineup/injury news.

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NHL DFS Picks, Top Stacks, Lineup Optimizer Plays

Center

Connor McDavid (EDM vs. CBJ): DraftKings – $9,800 | FanDuel – $10,700

Connor McDavid is the best pivot in the league, tallying 88 points in 48 games this year. He’s on pace to break 150 points if he can stay healthy and keep contributing the way he has. It would absolutely smash last year’s total by 27 points.

McDavid is coming into tonight riding a 10-game point streak while averaging over five shots a game. The shot bonus is fully in play tonight as well, as the Oilers get a juicy matchup against the Blue Jackets at home. Over the last 10 games, Columbus ranks 30th in team Corsi and 25th in expected goals against. McDavid figures to be extremely popular tonight according to Stokastic’s NHL DFS ownership projections. But that doesn’t mean fading him is the right choice.

Tim Stutzle (OTT vs. NYI): DraftKings – $6,600 | FanDuel – $8,200

With Josh Norris shelved for the rest of the year with a shoulder injury, Ottawa had to call up Ridly Greig. D.J. Smith shifted lines, moving Mathieu Joseph to the top line alongside Tim Stutzle and Brady Tkachuk. Stutzle and Tkachuk together have been very good offensively. Adding Joseph to the line will bring a ton of speed and a fast pace.

They will also benefit from last change and likely see depth matchups for the entire night. The Islanders have struggled defensively over the last month, but their goaltending has carried them. In the last 10 games, the Isles rank 25th in Corsi, 30th in expected goals against and 29th in scoring chances allowed per 60 minutes. Ottawa’s newly formed top line should find plenty of chances to find twine tonight.


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Winger

William Nylander (TOR vs. NYR): DraftKings – $7,300 | FanDuel – $9,000

Moving William Nylander to the top line right around Thanksgiving has opened things up for the Maple Leafs top line. In the last month, the Swede is averaging over a point per game, to go along with four shots on goal per game. He comes into tonight riding a four-game point streak, with two of them being multi-point efforts.

Per the Top Stacks Tool, the Leafs second line will carry the fourth-largest leverage score on the night. Sheldon Keefe has reunited Mitch Marner with Auston Matthews while moving Nylander back alongside John Tavares and Calle Jarnkrok. Together they don’t have a large sample size, but Nylander alongside Tavares has been very good offensively, carrying a positive Corsi, 3.44 expected goals per 60, 38 scoring chances per 60 and over 17 high-danger chances. Nylander correlates with Matthews on the top power play, while Michael Bunting will join the second unit.

The Rangers are riding into Toronto on a high note after routing the Panthers 6 -2 on Monday night. Their penalty kill has struggled defensively, although they aren’t taking a ton of penalties, averaging just over two penalties a game over the last month. The Rangers rank 26th in expected goals against per 60 and 21st in shots against per 60 on the penalty kill. The Leafs top power play has been top 10 metrics-wise over the past month. If looking for a little leverage, Toronto’s top line makes a for a good NHL DFS play.

Defense

Darnell Nurse (EDM vs. CBJ): DraftKings – $5,300 | FanDuel – $6,300

Darnell Nurse and the Oilers blue line has struggled to find the scoresheet, but they get a great matchup tonight to right the ship. The Blue Jackets have been brutal defensively over the past month. They are bottom 5 in every defensive metric at five-on-five. The one thing the Jackets have done decently over the past month is kill penalties. Nurse has been logging a ton of ice time, and he will contribute in every facet.

Stokastic NHL DFS projections have Nurse the highest among all blue liners tonight on both DraftKings and FanDuel while being the sixth-priced blueliner. He can be used as a one-off option or part of an Oilers stack for tournaments.

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Vince Dunn (SEA vs. VAN): DraftKings – $4,900 | FanDuel – $6,200

Vince Dunn remains a mainstay on the Kraken top blueline pairing. He’s skating 24 minutes a night and averaging four shots/blocks a game. Stokastic NHL DFS projections have Dunn as the highest valued DraftKings defenseman outside of Ryan Pulock. Seattle has been rotating its power play quarterback, but Dunn has continuously been called back to the role. Vancouver has struggled immensely on the penalty kill, ranking dead last in shots against, goals against and expected goals against per 60 on the kill over the last month.

Vancouver is playing on the second of a back-to-back, and Vegas has given the Kraken the second-highest moneyline odds. Teams playing on back-to-back nights tend to take more penalties, which opens the door for Dunn and the Kraken.

Goalie

Jake Oettinger (DAL vs. CAR): DraftKings – $7,800 | FanDuel – $8,500

By almost any measure, Jake Oettinger has been one of the best goalies in the league this season. He is third by Evolving Hockey’s goals saved above expected, sixth in overall save percentage and eighth by high-danger save percentage at five-on-five. Carolina takes the most shots per game in the league, and Dallas has been pretty solid at limiting high-danger chances.

Stokastic’s NHL DFS projections have Oettinger first in expected saves for tonight and the fewest expected goals against of any netminder in the top 5. It gives him the top projection for any DraftKings goalie priced under $7,900, so for DFS users playing on that site this evening, Oettinger is a great NHL DFS play on DraftKings.

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Top NHL DFS Stacks Today

EDM PP1: McDavid – Draisaitl – Hyman

Stokastic’s Top Stacks Tool has this Edmonton trio first in leverage on both sites at only 16% ownership, meaning a much higher top-2 stack probability than ownership rate. The Oilers top power play breaks the bank at $25,600 on DraftKings and $31,100 on FanDuel. Evander Kane missed the last couple of practices, and it’s possible he will be sidelined for tonight’s game. The Oilers could decide to use the trio together at even strength, which would give them full correlation.

Columbus has been one of the worst teams in the league defensively over the past month. Ranking in the bottom five of every advanced metric at five-on-five. If the Oilers decide to keep the McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman trio together, they will play downhill hockey and create scoring chances at will. Just remember to find separation with the remainder of lineups if using this stack.

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As an avid competitor, Jeff "Votts" Votteler grew up playing all types of sports. But as he grew up, he gravitated towards hockey and played at a very competitive level. Fantasy sports became a passion of Votts' over 10 years ago, which in turn moved over to the emerging world of daily fantasy sports for the last five years. Votts likes to dive into the analytics of all the sports, where he can turn over those value "rocks" that players depend on to win on a daily basis.

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