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NHL DFS Picks Today: Erik Karlsson, Jakob Chychrun Are Musts

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NHL DFS Picks Today: Erik Karlsson Strong-Floor/Elite-Upside Play

With a couple of games on TNT and five other matchups set to take place, there is a good seven-game slate on Wednesday night. With that in mind, there are some great options to sift through for the best NHL DFS picks today.

Let’s examine the best plays for Wednesday on DraftKings and FanDuel NHL DFS today. Of course, be sure to check Stokastic’s NHL DFS rankings and NHL DFS projections.

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NHL DFS Picks for DraftKings

Stack 1 – San Jose Sharks

(C) Tomas Hertl: $5,200

(W) Timo Meier: $8,000

(D) Erik Karlsson: $8,100

The first stack to target on Wednesday’s slate features the San Jose Sharks, who host the Vancouver Canucks in Wednesday’s nightcap. Projected to take the crease for Vancouver is goaltender Spencer Martin, who has had a tough start to the campaign.

Through 12 appearances in the crease, he possesses a .892 save percentage (SV%) and 3.37 goals against average (GAA). Positive regression is unlikely based on his underlying metrics.

If he qualified, Martin would rank third-to-last among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at five-on-five. In front of Martin is one of the worst defenses in hockey.

At five-on-five, the Canucks rank second-to-last in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). The injuries to defensemen Travis Dermott and Tucker Poolman have drastically hurt this team’s depth at the blue line, which has proven to be true through the first quarter of the season.

A stack consisting of Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, and Erik Karlsson is a great build for this game. Karlsson is one of the early front-runners for this year’s Norris Trophy with 34 points through 28 games.

Not only does he score, but he shoots the puck and blocks shots at a high clip, which is why he averages an outstanding 15.9 fantasy points per game. Hertl and Meier are also two elite scorers, both of which average just south of a point per game and north of 10 fantasy points per game.

All three of these guys skate together on the first power play unit, which should feast against an undisciplined Vancouver team. Entering this contest, the Canucks rank 25th in the league in penalty minutes and fourth-to-last in penalty kill percentage.

Hertl and Meier also skate together on the Labanc-Hertl-Meier line, which boasts a 57% xGoals% through 207 minutes this season.

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Stack 2 – Buffalo Sabres

(C) Dylan Cozens: $5,100

(W) JJ Peterka: $2,900

(W) Jack Quinn: $3,100

The second stack to target on Wednesday’s slate features the Buffalo Sabres, who travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets in the first TNT game. Since Columbus is on the second half of a back-to-back, goaltender Joonas Korpisalo is slated to take the crease for the Jackets.

Through 10 appearances in the crease this season, Korpisalo is 4-5-1 with a .905 SV% and 3.51 GAA. Those are relatively solid surface-level stats, although his underlying metrics suggest that regression is looming for Columbus’ netminder.

Among starting goaltenders, Korpisalo ranks just 24th in GSAx/60 at five-on-five. In front of Korpisalo is a blue line that is depleted due to injuries.

Columbus enters this game without defensemen Zach Werenski, Adam Boqvist, Jake Bean, and Nick Blankenburg. Missing so many pieces on the back end, the Jackets’ blue line has struggled to hold things together defensively, allowing four or more goals in 11 of their last 17 games.

At five-on-five, Columbus ranks just 26th in the league in xGA/60. A stack consisting of Dylan Cozens, JJ Peterka, and Jack Quinn is a great build for this game.

All three of those guys skate together on the same line, a line that has dominated opposing teams over the past month. While the attention of most people goes to the Skinner-Thompson-Tuch line, which has been excellent as well, the Perteka-Cozens-Quinn line has really ignited the offense over the last few weeks and boasts a 63% xGoals%through 92 minutes played together this season.

Cozens has gone nuclear over his last eight games, posting five goals and eight assists during that stretch. Across those eight contests, he is averaging over 20 fantasy points per game.

Obviously, if the center of this line is doing well, then his wingers are likely also finding the scoresheet. Over those same eight games, both Peterka and Quinn are averaging north of eight fantasy points per game.


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Stack 3 – Arizona Coyotes

(C) Travis Boyd: $3,100

(D) Jakob Chychrun: $7,100

The last stack to target on Wednesday’s slate features the Arizona Coyotes, who travel to Edmonton to take on the Oilers. Projected to take the crease for Edmonton is goaltender Jack Campbell, who, in his own words, has been “pathetic this season”.

Through 13 starts this season, Campbell possesses a troubling .872 SV% and 4.12 GAA. His metrics are just as bad as he ranks dead-last among starting goaltenders in GSAx/60 at five-on-five.

To be fairer to Campbell, the defense in front of him bleeds high-danger scoring chances at an incredibly high clip. At five-on-five, Edmonton ranks fifth-to-last in the league in xGA/60.

With the amount of money the Oilers have allocated to their big-name forwards, they have been unable to fix a blue line that has been an issue for years now in terms of defensive efficiency. A mini stack consisting of Jakob Chychrun and Travis Boyd is a great build for this game.

Both of these guys skate together on the second power play unit, which should not struggle to score against an Edmonton team that ranks fifth-to-last in the league in PK%. Since returning from injury, Chyrchrun has been a must-play in DFS as he is averaging 16 fantasy points per game with three goals and three assists through seven games while demonstrating a willingness to shoot pucks and block shots.

While Boyd has not been a strong contributor this season in terms of fantasy points, now could be a good time to buy low on a guy who skates with the second power play unit and centers a line alongside wingers Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller, who are the best two forwards on the team.

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Goaltender

Karel Vejmelka (ARI at EDM): $7,000

To round out the lineup, Arizona’s netminder Karel Vejmelka could be a great contrarian play against the Oilers and Connor McDavid/Leon Draisaitl, who will be among the two highest-owned players on the slate. While those two superstars will likely continue to put up points, the rest of Edmonton’s offense is a major concern.

Since Evander Kane got his wrist cut by a skate blade in a scary situation against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the lack of depth on the Oilers has become an even bigger problem. In the 12 contests since then, Edmonton is averaging just 2.8 goals scored per game, with almost all of the scoring stemming from just two guys.

To make matters worse for this offense, Zach Hyman missed Monday’s game due to undisclosed reasons against the Washington Capitals and is questionable for this contest against the Yotes. If this forward group loses him as well, then the depth takes an even bigger hit.

In his second year in the NHL, Vejmelka has proved that he can hang in there despite the poor defense in front of him. Through 17 appearances between the pipes this season, he boasts a .912 SV% and 3.03 GAA.

His metrics are even stronger as Vejmelka ranks seventh among starting goaltenders in GSAx/60 at five-on-five. Since the Yotes typically allow a ton of shots every night, Vejmelka is almost always a good play as he racks up points quickly with the number of saves he has to make.

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