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NHL DFS Picks Today: Elias Pettersson, Filip Forsberg, and Stacking the Boston Bruins

Michael Clifford

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Elias Pettersson, Filip Forsberg, and Stacking the Boston Bruins

There is a healthy nine-game slate ahead on Tuesday night from which NHL DFS players can make their picks. A slew of top offensive options are in play tonight, like Sidney Crosby, David Pastrnak, and Roman Josi. We will offer DFS picks from both the high-end and low-end players to give a wide array of options. As always, Stokastic members are encouraged to check the subscriber-only Discord at warmups for up-to-date lineup and injury information.

Let’s peruse these nine games.

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NHL DFS Picks, Top Stacks, Lineup Optimizer Plays

Center

Elias Pettersson (VAN vs. WSH): DraftKings – $7,400 | FanDuel – $9,800

Since the hiring of Bruce Boudreau as his coach nearly a year ago, Elias Pettersson has posted 39 goals and 83 points in 77 games. That he’s played to a 40-goal, point-per-game-plus pace speaks to just how good he is as an offensive talent and how much upside he presents on any given slate for NHL DFS picks.

One thing that has changed for Pettersson this year is his shot volume. He was typically not a forward that relied on high shot rates for value, but he sits at 3.3 shots per game in 2022-23, by far a career-best mark. For perspective, he has one shot bonus on DraftKings every 5.5 games this season against one every eight games a year ago.

Washington in town tonight is a good matchup for Pettersson. He faces the Evgeny Kuznetsov line, which has been well below break-even by expected goal share in a small sample together. Vancouver’s top power-play unit has also turned around their play after a rough first couple weeks, generating over 150 shot attempts and 14.5 goals per 60 minutes in the month of November. The young Swede’s line has been very good this season so he should get a good matchup in all offensive phases tonight. He is a one-off target for us, or part of a line stack, in tournaments.

For a cheaper option at center on FanDuel, consider Pettersson’s teammate J.T. Miller, who is priced $2,000 less with a higher projection on that site.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau (NYI at PHI): DraftKings – $3,400 | FanDuel – $5,200

Following the injury to Kyle Palmieri a week ago, Jean-Gabriel Pageau has been a staple of the Islanders’ top power-play unit. In the three games since that injury, Pageau has three goals, two of them on the man advantage, and has averaged nearly 17:30 in ice time per evening. For a player priced down where he is, that is very good usage.

Quietly, that top Islanders PP unit has been productive this year for the team. In nearly 45 minutes together, the core four players – Pageau excepted – have generated over 135 shot attempts and nearly 11 goals per 60 minutes with the man advantage. Considering how bad this power play has been at times these last couple years, those are fantastic offensive numbers. Pageau isn’t a focal point of that unit, but it may not matter against this Flyers penalty kill. Over the last four weeks, Philadelphia is allowing the seventh-most shot attempts and eighth-most goals when down a man. This is a good spot for Pageau and the power play.

With the center down on the third line, he can be used as a salary-saving one-off for tournaments. However, this is a great matchup for the Islanders so mixing him in some sort of power-play stack for the road team makes sense as well.

Those playing on FanDuel looking for a cheaper center, Mason McTavish (ANA, $4,200) is on the top power-play unit for Anaheim and is projecting well as a result, being third in value among centers priced under $5,000.

Winger

Filip Forsberg (NSH vs. ANA): DraftKings – $6,600 | FanDuel – $7,700

To this point of the season, Filip Forsberg is averaging 3.5 shots per game, which would be a career-high for him. He is managing a DK shot bonus nearly once every three games. In discussing Pettersson above, he has one every 5.5 games on the campaign, so Forsberg is ahead even of him, and for a lower price among NHL DFS picks.

Nashville added Juuso Parssinen to the top line a couple weeks ago and he’s meshed well offensively with Forsberg. That line is generating nearly 3.3 expected goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 in their six games together and they had a few tough games in there, including the Rangers, Wild, and Lightning. They will match up against an Anaheim top line that is very good offensively but gives up a lot defensively, as most Ducks lines do: the only team allowing more shots per minute this month than Anaheim is Columbus.

One concern here could be ownership as people do pick on the Ducks in DFS (and rightly so). Regardless, Nashville is a rested team, having had two games postponed, and this is a fantastic matchup at all strengths. Forsberg requires our attention, as well as his entire line, given the low cost, enabling us to still find a primary stack elsewhere.

Bryan Rust (PIT vs. CAR): DraftKings – $5,000 | FanDuel – $5,200

It has been a little slump for Bryan Rust, who has gone four straight games without a point. He has still been involved offensively, though, with multiple shots on goal in each contest. The big news here is that he was moved back to the top power-play unit in practice, having lost his role a few games ago to Jeff Petry. The power play hasn’t been elite, scoring just 7.0 goals per 60 minutes on the season, but it’s not awful, and some PP1 time is better than none.

One secret in the NHL this year is the Carolina penalty kill isn’t as elite as it was a year ago. In the month of November alone, they are 23rd by shots allowed when down a man, more than teams like Anaheim, Edmonton, and Arizona. Good goaltending has helped keep them afloat, but goaltending cannot save teams every night.

Rust’s line has been very good at even strength, too, generating 3.8 expected goals and nearly 3.0 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. His price on DK has not been lower this season than it is right now thanks to his recent usage. Now that he’s gained his PP1 status back, stacking his line in NHL DFS is an option for us tonight.

Jordan Eberle (SEA at LAK): DraftKings – $3,600 | FanDuel – $5,300

Jordan Eberle had a tough start to the year, shots-wise, posting just 15 on goal in the team’s first 10 games. The month of November has been different for him as he has landed 30 shots in 11 games, with 10 points to go with it. He has skated at least 16 minutes in four straight games as his line is starting to be leaned on a bit more by the coaching staff, too.

Going into Los Angeles means some 5-on-5 matchups against the Anze Kopitar line. Historically, that has been a very tough matchup, but has not been the case this year with Kevin Fiala on the top trio: 3.4 expected goals and 3.7 actual goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. They just have not been able to lock things down defensively and that makes it a good matchup for Eberle, at least in some of his 5-on-5 ice time.

Matty Beniers has found good offensive chemistry with Eberle, as that duo helps Seattle control 54% of the expected goals and score 3.3 actual goals per 60 minutes. The winger may not earn huge TOI totals, but he isn’t priced as if he will, and that line’s production (and his shot volume) make him a one-off target for DFS players tonight.

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Defense

John Carlson (WSH at VAN): DraftKings – $7,200 | FanDuel – $7,500

If the theme of today’s article is players shooting more than last year, we can add John Carlson to the list. In 17 games this season, Carlson is managing 3.7 shots per game, far above the 2.5 from last season and, if maintained, would be far-and-away his best shooting campaign of his career. He already has five DK shot bonuses in these first seven weeks compared to just six all of 2021-22.

Vancouver’s penalty kill has recovered after a terrible start to this season, but it’s still not very good. They are allowing the seventh-most goals per minute with a man in the penalty box, which is an improvement, but again, still not very good. Carlson runs Washington’s top PP unit which isn’t great itself but finds itself in a decent spot tonight.

Our NHL DFS picks projections have Carlson as a fine value on this slate and there shouldn’t be much ownership given the other high-end defense options tonight. He is fine to use as a one-off option this evening.

Noah Hanifin (CGY vs. FLA): DraftKings – $4,800 | FanDuel – $6,000

Among all defensemen priced $5,000 or less tonight on DraftKings, our projections have Noah Hanifin at the top (into double-digit fantasy points). One reason for that is he is a blue liner that puts up very good peripherals with 2.7 shots and 1.7 blocks per game. Related to that, the Florida Panthers play among the highest-paced hockey in the league as their shot attempts for/against at 5-on-5 this month are second in the league, behind only Ottawa. That provides Hanifin lots of opportunities to rack up both shots on goal offensively and blocks in his own end.

What is nice about Hanifin is the security of his ice time. He has skated at least 20 minutes in every game this season but one, and he played 19:51 in the one game he didn’t reach that mark. In a matchup with Florida a little over a week ago, he had an assist with five shots and a pair of blocks. The pace that the Panthers play to make these kinds of stat lines in play for us, and Hanifin in play as a result.

DFS players on FanDuel in need of a cheaper blue liner should try Mike Matheson (MTL, $4,900). He is on the top PP unit for Montreal and has a projection over 11 FD points for us tonight.

Goalie

Connor Hellebuyck (WPG vs. COL): DraftKings – $7,400 | FanDuel – $8,400

One of the keys to the success of the Avalanche this year has been their power play. Of the 68 goals they’ve scored, 23 have been on the PP, or over one-third of their total. That is higher than other top-scoring PP teams like Tampa Bay, Boston, and even Edmonton.

This is important to note for tonight because not only does Winnipeg allow among the least power plays per game in the league at 2.7 per contest, but the penalty kill itself is very good: eighth in goals against per minute. The combination of a good PK combined with a disciplined team means just 10 PP goals allowed in 20 games on the year, better than even the vaunted Boston Bruins.

That is why Connor Hellebuyck is on our list today. If the Jets can manage to stay out of the box, they stand a very good chance of shutting down a Colorado offense that boasts just one scoring line thanks to all their injuries. Hellebuyck is our top projected goalie priced under $7,900 on DK and is in play for us on that site.

Over on FanDuel where Winnipeg’s goalie is much more expensive, the pivot would be Jacob Markstrom in Calgary, who is priced at just $7,000 and could see a lot of volume from the high-paced Panthers squad.

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Top NHL DFS Stacks Today

BOS1: Bergeron-DeBrusk-Marchand

Since the return of Brad Marchand, this line has picked up where it left off last year, generating 3.5 expected goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, controlling over 66% of the expected goal share in their time together. They are shooting just 3.4%, which is a problem offensively, but that will regress heavily, and they are a top offensive line regardless.

Tampa Bay is in town tonight and they are playing their second game in as many nights on the road, having gone to overtime against Buffalo last night. A bigger problem is their penalty kill, as the Lightning are just behind the Oilers in both shots and goals allowed when down a man. Boston’s power play is elite, and all three guys are on the top PP unit. Jake DeBrusk can be subbed out for David Pastrnak to get their top PP producer in the stack, but Boston’s leverage is one of the best on the slate per our Top Stacks tool. They should be considered as a top-end option tonight.

MTL2: Dvorak-Gallagher-Dadonov

While San Jose is a better team than many of us expected, their second line is still giving up a lot of chances against. That three-man unit is giving up 2.7 expected goals against and 3.6 actual goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Meanwhile, this Christian Dvorak line for Montreal is above 50% by expected goal share, being able to control the play, even if they play to a slow pace. Ice time is a concern, but they’re not priced as if they play big minutes, and the positive offensive matchup is what makes them an option tonight. Going with a duo stack of, say, Dvorak and Brendan Gallagher, or Dvorak and Evgenii Dadonov, is one way to get a cheap stack in a tournament lineup, enabling DFS players to pay up for the expensive options.

*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick

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