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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Values, Lineup Strategy for December 17

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for today’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings.

Friday features a six-game main NHL slate that begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings lineups, plus some DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $60K Kick Save [$20K to 1st]

DraftKings Sportsbook

Golden Knights -115 Money Line

The Golden Knights’ offense has been on an absolute tear of late. They’re averaging 4.6 goals per game over their last seven starts—in which they are 6-1. The Rangers top line has been struggling to generate consistent offense, and they are still without the services of their best goalie in Igor Shesterkin. Vegas with their improved special teams and fully healthy top line, is likely too much for the Rangers, who haven’t shown the ability to hang with their opponents in shootouts. Keep riding the Vegas heater.

Predators +115 Money Line

I also like taking the money line on another team currently on a big winning streak. The Predators have quietly won six games in a row and face off against a Blackhawks team who has struggled with consistency all year. The Blackhawks haven’t won two games in a row since early November and are coming off a big 5-4 win against Washington. Nashville's improved offensive depth and consistency in net gives them a big enough edge here that the plus-money on tap is worth taking.

Place your NHL bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Top Line Stack

Anaheim Ducks vs. Arizona Coyotes

Trevor Zegras ($6,600) — Rickard Rakell ($6,400) — Sonny Milano ($5,200)

The Ducks have a 3.6 implied team total, which is tied for the best on the slate with Pittsburgh. The Ducks have escaped COVID issues in their top six for now, and that means we’ll be able to target a fully healthy top line against a Coyotes team that continues to be one of the best opponents for daily fantasy.

Anaheim’s fifth-ranked power play will have a shot at producing a slate-breaking kind of day as the Coyotes rank just 28th in penalty-kill percentage. While both Zegras and Rakell are priced up here, it is worth noting that this line has already produced seven power-play goals this season. While they may not be as dominate 5v5 as some other team’s elite lines, this trio does play together at both even strength and on the power play, giving them great correlation for DFS purposes.

If we’re paying up for Ovechkin today, then using this trio alongside, can help keep the average salary lower. Sonny Milano may not be the busiest shooter but like Zegras, he’s proven (with two games of 19 or more DKFP in his last eight starts) that his big nights can produce some monster scores in DFS. Target the Ducks top unit in an A+ matchup.

Superstar to Target

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals at Winnipeg Jets ($9,600)

We don’t have a huge slate with just six games on tap, and there’s a pretty obvious gap in production between Ovechkin and the next highest priced player on the slate in Sidney Crosby. Crosby may have the Sabres tonight, but Ovechkin is averaging an insane 4.9 shots on goal per game—over his last 10 starts—and continues to produce at a rate that defies his age. The Jets also don’t make for a poor opponent either. Winnipeg continues to feature one of the worst special team units in the league with a penalty kill that ranks second to last in efficiency. You also have the deflation factor with the Jets having lost their head coach today in Paul Maurice, who resigned for personal reasons. Ovi and the Capitals should rebound, and on a slate lacking a ton of star power, he’s where you should be spending up.

Value on Offense

Eeli Tolvanen, Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks ($3,400)

The Predators will likely be without Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen and Mikael Granlund, creating a huge void in their top six. It should lead to more minutes for the likes of Eeli Tolvanen, who has been featured for the Predators at times on their top line in years prior. Tolvanen should be getting some solid PP1 exposure tonight in a role where he’ll also likely push for over 18 minutes. He’s averaged 2.4 shots on net in his last 10 games and has four goals in his last six games. The upside is more than worth taking at such a low price tag.

Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes at Anaheim Ducks ($4,100)

Keller has really picked up his game of late for the Coyotes. The winger has grabbed 11 points in his last 10 games, which is impressive considering he’s playing on a team that is last in the league in goals per game at 1.8. Keller’s shot rate of 2.7 per game makes him a decent value regardless of point production, and the Ducks have allowed the 11th most scoring chances in the league to date. Keller’s a great value target again.

Stud Goalies

Anthony Stolarz, Anaheim Ducks vs. Arizona Coyotes ($8,200)

The Ducks offense has been getting most of the credit for their resurgence in 2021, but their goaltenders certainly deserve some as well. Anthony Stolarz heads into this game with a .932 save percentage over his last 10 games and is a -300 favorite on the DraftKings Sportsbook (as of writing). The Ducks still allow 32 shots against per game, so there’s pretty solid upside with Stolarz who is taking on an offense who is one of the worst at actually converting chances. He’s a great pay-up option, if he gets the start.

Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks ($7,800)

The Predators will be a little short-handed tonight and come into this game as slight underdogs. Despite that, they are taking on a Blackhawks team whose offense has been inconsistent all year. Chicago ranks fourth to last in goals scored per game and are second to last in expected goal rate (xGF%) at 5v5. Saros has been brilliant all year and brings a .925 save percentage into this game. At under $8,000, he remains a good bet for GPPs.

Value on Defense

Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres at Pittsburgh Penguins ($4,300)

The Sabres have won a couple of games in a row and have started to show some better proficiency on the power play, where they’re connecting at just under 20% (right around league average). Dahlin’s play has been a big help in keeping the Sabres afloat of late, and the Swede enters this game having grabbed seven of his 17 points on the power play. He’s also averaging a strong 3.8 blocked shots + shots on goal per game over his last 10 games, which is elite for a player with just a 4.3k salary.

The matchup isn’t as bad as it seems. Pittsburgh is missing plenty of its top-six forwards, who often help out on the penalty kill. Ride with the great value you’re getting with Dahlin on a Sabres team, whose lower-priced top liners could surprise tonight.

Power-Play Defensemen

Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas Golden Knights at New York Rangers ($6,000)

The Golden Knights’ Alex Pietrangelo sets up as the Rodney Dangerfield of this slate, as he’s certainly not getting any respect in terms of his salary today. He leads all defensemen in long-term form at 5.34 blocked shots + shots on goal per game and has been a beneficiary of the Golden Knights’ improved offense with 10 points in his last 10 games. Despite all that, he’s available at his lowest price point in over 10 games (and potentially the season), which really makes no sense as the Rangers are still without their top goalie and have lost three of their last five games.

Pietrangelo can also be used as part of any Golden Knights top-line stack, given he plays so much and also gets top-unit power-play exposure. Regardless of whether you like loading up on Vegas here, or not, there’s no denying this price on Pietrangelo is one you have to take advantage of today.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $60K Kick Save [$20K to 1st]

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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