There are just six games on tonight’s NHL slate but there are a lot of mid-range lines and players among the 12 teams. That means it is imperative to narrow down our NHL DFS picks to separate those values in the middle of the pricing range. The premium tools and data at Awesome will be used, and non-subscribers can check out our NHL Player Rankings, which are free for everyone to view today. Subscribers should check our Discord for lineup and injury news that will pop up. Let’s get to some DFS picks for this Wednesday, March 30.
NHL DFS Picks Today, Top Stacks & Lineup Optimizer Plays
Connor McDavid (EDM vs. LA): DraftKings – $9,000 | FanDuel – $10,200
Connor McDavid is on quite the tear of late with points in 10 straight games and 23 points through 14 games in March. The Edmonton superstar is also landing just over 3.5 shots per game in that span, including three shot bonuses on DraftKings. It has been another MVP-caliber season for him.
Coming to town is a Los Angeles team that is still missing no fewer than four regular defensemen, including their top pair. While it has not made them a poor defensive team, they have been around the middle of the league by expected goals allowed both at five-on-five and on the penalty kill. Being league average against a top-end talent like McDavid can lead to some very long nights.
The bigger question is how to use McDavid tonight. Besides Leon Draisaitl, he is in a tier by himself as far as pricing is concerned among centers. That should draw some heavy ownership his way in tournaments, and he is the only player on his line on the top power play unit. There may be a lot of one-off McDavid fantasy players tonight, so when it comes to tournaments, using him in a line stack or as part of a power play stack will help dilute that ownership a bit.
Andrew Copp (NYR at DET): DraftKings – $4,600 | FanDuel – $5,000
With the injury to Ryan Strome, Andrew Copp has moved to the second line and top power play unit for the Rangers. That is a lot of time spent with an elite winger like Artemi Panarin, and that is nothing but good news for Copp’s fantasy value. It is a big reason why he leads center projections on DraftKings for pivots priced under $5,000.
What gets lost sometimes with Copp’s game is that he is a good offensive player. He does things well like entering the offensive zone with control, which is not as easy as it sounds and helps drive offense with great work in the neutral zone. Those things go a long way to a line being able to generate offense regularly, rather than relying on counterattacking. The team is on a back-to-back and that is a tough situation, but this is a soft matchup. The Red Wings have stacked their top line and the depth has been depleted through injury and trades, not that they were good defensively anyway.
To that last point, Detroit is in the bottom-10 of the league by expected goals against in the month of March, and dead last in actual goals against, at five-on-five. Copp is cheap enough where he can be used for anyone needing a one-off center but using him at least with Panarin, given all their shared ice time, seems a better option.
He is listed as a winger on FanDuel so for those looking for a comparably priced center, look at Phillip Danault (LAK – $5,100).
David Perron (STL at VAN): DraftKings – $6,300 | FanDuel – $6,400
Very quietly, David Perron has been on an absolute tear in the month of March with 12 goals and 17 points in 12 games. He is also averaging over 3.5 shots per game in that span as his top line has really come alive over the last several weeks. They did not have a good start to the season but have found their game since the All-Star break and the results are evident.
Vancouver had a big turnaround after firing their old head coach but have fallen off a bit defensively in that same span where Perron has started clicking. The Canucks are 23rd by expected goals against over the last month at five-on-five, but their goaltending has been top five in the league so it has not looked as bad. The penalty kill has not been good, either, ranking in the middle of the league by expected goals against. Their goalies have been sixth in the league in save percentage on the penalty kill in that span. In short, this team is not playing well defensively but are getting bailed out by their goalies. Relying on goaltending every night is a precarious game and could be very advantageous for the Blues.
Perron is fine by himself in tournaments tonight but perhaps is best used in a line stack, given their reasonable prices.
Tyler Bertuzzi (DET vs. NYR): DraftKings – $5,500 | FanDuel – $7,800
While the Detroit depth has taken a beating due to injuries and trades, the top line has been stacked, which is why Tyler Bertuzzi is listed. He has been reunited with Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond, and they have been very good together this year: 2.8 expected goals for per 60 minutes at five-on-five and 2.9 actual goals scored. Those are not eye-popping numbers, but this team is not very good to begin with, and that is what makes them stand out.
Another part of Bertuzzi’s inclusion is the situation for the Rangers. This is a road back-to-back for them, with starting goalie Igor Shesterkin having played last night. Shesterkin is an MVP candidate and not having him in goal is a big bonus for the Red Wings. Not to mention the Rangers are not much better than a middle-of-the-road defensive team anyway.
Using Bertuzzi tonight as part of a line stack in tournaments makes a lot of sense. He skates with his linemates at even strength and on the power play, giving them ample time to correlate on goals. However, his price is reasonable enough that he can be used as a one-off, given his prominent role in this offense when he is on the ice.
Kyle Okposo (BUF vs. WPG): DraftKings – $2,500 | FanDuel – $5,100
Though he is sometimes listed as a fourth-liner on lineup sites, Kyle Okposo does not play fourth-line minutes. In fact, he has played at least 16 minutes in 18 straight games, averaging 17:30 along the way. He is even averaging 2.5 shots a game in that span, giving him a very reasonable floor for someone priced where he is.
The way Buffalo runs their lines, Okposo is often sent out against the opponent’s second line. With Winnipeg’s new line combinations, he will likely see Pierre-Luc Dubois’s line. The reason that is important is because Evolving Hockey – a hockey stats website – has all three members of that line as below-average defensively, and two of the three are among the bottom three on the team in this regard. They are skilled and can score, but will likely struggle to defend, and that is why Okposo is on this list. Well, that and the fact that he is very cheap.
Despite never skating on the top line, Okposo’s 82-game paces for this year have him for over 20 goals and 50 points. That is a good season for a guy priced down so much in DFS. He is perfectly fine to use as a one-off tonight for those that need to save some salary on DraftKings.
On FanDuel, Ivan Barbashev (STL – $4,300) is much more reasonably priced.
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Erik Karlsson (SJ at ARI): DraftKings – $5,700 | FanDuel – $5,500
It is not very often that expensive a San Jose defenseman finds himself on this list, but this is a very particular matchup. They are facing the Arizona Coyotes, a team that is in the bottom three of the league by expected goals against both at five-on-five and on the penalty kill this month. Like the aforementioned Canucks, the only thing saving the Coyotes is top-10 goaltending.
Erik Karlsson has skated at least 20 minutes in every game since returning from injury, averaging 24:15 a night in that span. The San Jose power play has started to improve in the second half, particularly with Karlsson. Their top power play unit averages 9.6 expected goals per 60 minutes with the man advantage since Christmas. Against this porous defensive team, it is about as good as matchups can get for San Jose. It is a reason why Karlsson is one of 10 defensemen projected for double-digit points on DraftKings and eighth overall on FanDuel.
Adam Larsson (SEA vs. VGK): DraftKings – $2,800 | FanDuel – $3,900
This is a play that makes more sense on DraftKings, given the importance of peripherals. Adam Larsson has been skating over 22 minutes a game since the trade of teammate Mark Giordano and has hit the block bonus a couple times in the five contests in this sample. He is managing 1.7 blocks per game on the year and Vegas is in the top five of the league by shot rate per minute in the month of March. He is fine as a punt-type option on DraftKings.
For FanDuel users on the other side of this game, Dylan Coghlan ($4,100) has played around 20 minutes a night for his last few games and is reasonably priced in a good matchup.
Craig Anderson (BUF vs. WPG): DraftKings – $7,400 | FanDuel – $7,300
There are a lot of home underdogs tonight, which gives a lot of cheap options to pick from in reasonable matchups. The reason Craig Anderson is here is that Buffalo’s penalty kill has been very good this month, ranking third by expected goals against per 60 minutes. It has been, ironically, the goaltending that has let them down with a .791 save percentage. Rates that low tend to regress positively and a good penalty kill will help limit dangerous shots that Anderson will have to face tonight. He should be considered for any DFS player looking for a cheap goaltender.
Top NHL DFS Stacks Today
BUF1: Thompson – Tuch – Skinner
The big issue with the Buffalo top line is their ice time per game has dropped considerably in March. For example, Alex Tuch was playing over 20 minutes a night in January and February but has dropped to 17:24 a night in March, only breaking the 20-minute mark once in 13 games. They have still been excellent, though, generating nearly 3.6 expected goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five. Their opponent, the Winnipeg Jets, have the worst penalty kill this month by expected goals against and are near the bottom five by actual goals against. It is a good matchup at all strengths for this line, it is just a matter of them playing 17 minutes rather than 20 minutes. On a short slate, those are decisions to be made. They are one of the better leveraged lines according to our Top NHL DFS Stacks Tool.
NYRPP: Kreider – Copp – Panarin
As mentioned earlier, it is a back-to-back for the Rangers and that is a tough spot for teams. On the other hand, they face a Detroit team with a bottom-five penalty kill this month by expected goals against per 60 minutes and dead last by actual goals against. The Rangers, conversely, are third in goals per 60 minutes this month on the power play and third on the season as a whole. It is a good spot for their man advantage and that makes them a tournament stack to target for tonight.
*Additional stats from Natural Stat Trick
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