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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for February 20

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Saturday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Nashville Predators v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Today’s big contests feature an eight-game NHL slate starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. In this article find DFS advice for DraftKings plus some DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target as well.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL $60K Twine [$10K to 1st]

DK Sportsbook

San Jose Sharks +153 Money line at St. Louis Blues

The Sharks stick out on this slate as an underdog worth taking a shot with. Both Martin Jones ($6,800) and Devan Dubnyk ($6,600) have put together a couple of good starts in a row now, and the Sharks are coming off three hard-fought games in a row where they’ve limited their opponents to three goals or less. The Blues and Sharks have played three times this year with each game being decided by one goal and two of them going to OT/SO. With the Blues playing more inconsistent hockey in 2021 than in recent years, I like going with SJ here as a big dog.

Top Line Stacks

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Nashville Predators

Jack Roslovic ($5,200) – Cam Atkinson ($6,200) – Patrik Laine ($6,700)

We have two teams going in completely opposite directions here tonight. The Blue Jackets have already made a big trade/player move and look to be turning their season around as they’re now 4-3-1 with Laine and Roslovic in their lineup. Since then, they’ve increased their scoring and special teams effectiveness, so the move looks to be paying dividends. The Predators, on the other hand, look like they’re about ready to call it a season, especially after losing 3-0 to the Blue Jackets a couple of nights ago. I’d expect Columbus to really go for the jugular here against such a despondent team.

The top line for the Blue Jackets has really been cooking over the past couple of weeks too as Cam Atkinson has clearly benefited from having an offensive talent like Laine on his line. Atkinson enters with nine points in his past five games (five of them goals) and is shooting the puck more as well, as he comes in averaging 4.5 SOG over his past four outings too. This line all sees solid power-play exposure and offers good all-game correlation. With all three players under $7K and going up against a weak opponent, there’s no reason not to consider the emerging Blue Jackets offense as one to stack around today.

Superstar to Target

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames ($8,600)

We picked up the win on the DraftKings Sportsbook target last night when the Oilers beat the Flames but fell short by featuring McDavid here, who recorded zero points. I outlined how badly McDavid has owned the Flames over his career yesterday — 16 goals in 22 games against them over his career — but the other split we may want to pay attention to is his home/away ones. He’s recorded 21 of his 32 points at home in just 10 games compared to 11 points in nine on the road. There’s no doubt the insanely hot Auston Matthews ($8,800) will be popular tonight, but he does have a tougher matchup against Montreal and will still likely be the higher-owned of the pair, just based on recency bias alone. I’d give McDavid one more shot here after we got a slight price reduction, especially now that he has a home game and is going against his own virtual punching bag in the Flames.

Value on Offense

Mike Hoffman, St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks ($5,500)

Hoffman isn’t that cheap, but he still looks like a solid value here given the matchup. The former Panther has finally been moved up into a more offensive role and currently is sitting on a line with Brayden Schenn ($6,000) in the top six for the Blues. He played over 19 minutes in his last game against the Sharks and produced like the Hoffman of old, landing five SOG and two points. Considering Hoffman is more of a shoot-first type player who could get moved around on the power play, he makes for a great standalone target in the midrange tonight and has a great opponent to take advantage of again here.

Martin Necas, Carolina at Tampa Bay ($3,800)

Necas comes in with four points over his past four games and with nine points in his past 12 games. The Czech is playing on a solid scoring line with Vincent Trocheck ($6,500) and is also getting power-play exposure for the Hurricanes, who are rolling three solid scoring lines every night. Necas’ versatility and the Canes’ scoring outburst to begin the season makes him a great value right now, regardless of opponent. He’s a good value tonight and should be on your radar if his role in the top-six here for Carolina continues.

Stud Goalies

Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes vs. L.A. Kings ($8,300)

Kuemper’s been solid for Arizona most of the year and comes in with a .934 save percentage over his past 10 games. While he’s coming off a 3-2 OT loss to the Kings, you should probably consider going back to him here. The Kings have been getting more SOG this year but are still among the worst in the league at creating good scoring chances as they rank last in expected goal rate (xGF%). There are not many matchups better than L.A. for goalies, and Arizona comes in as one of the biggest faves on the slate at -162 on DK Sportsbook, making Kuemper a great pay-up target.

Mike Smith ($7,700) or Mikko Koskinen ($7,900), Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames

The Oilers haven’t announced their starter for today yet, but whoever they go with will make for a good GPP target. The Oilers are now 8-2 over their past 10 games and have received improved goaltending from both of their goalies in that span. The Flames aren’t good at burying their chances as they rank just 21st in goals per game, while the Oilers still allow plenty of SOG per game as well. It’s a high upside spot, and the Oilers have moved into significant favorite status at -132 on the Money line today on DK Sportsbook.

Value on Defense

Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks ($4,100)

Spurgeon remains one of the Wild’s primary PP1 defensemen. The 31-year-old enters this game with just two points on the year though, although he is still averaging 6.2 DKFP per game. His peripheral output has been solid this season, as he’s averaging 2.0 SOG and 1.6 blocked shots over his past 10 games, which is solid production for a player priced this cheap. Given the power-play exposure and the fact that he’s playing over 22 minutes a night, you can’t go wrong here, and we know the veteran has offensive upside given that he’s cracked 10-plus goals in four of his past five seasons. He’s a solid value today as the Wild will look to get their offense on track after a long layoff.

Power-Play Defensemen

Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Nashville Predators ($5,900)

Jones may still have to carry a bigger load tonight as Zach Werenski remains day-to-day and may miss this game. We’re already targeting the Blue Jackets forwards here (read above), but Jones really does make for a great pay-up option on defense regardless of if you choose to stack him with the Blue Jackets’ forwards or not. He enters this game averaging 11.5 DKFP over his past 10 games, a span which includes him scoring eight points. He’s also a great blocked-shot producer, as he’s now hit the blocked-shot bonus three times in his past six games. If he gets more PP1 exposure tonight as a result of Werenski missing, he’ll be a steal under $6K.

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues ($6,600)

I don’t mind taking a shot here with the Sharks’ PP1 tonight, as the Blues haven’t been as dominant defensively in 2021 as we’ve seen them be in past years. The Blues actually have the eighth-worst penalty kill coming into this game, and while he only has four points in his past 10 games, Burns did put up a three-point game against St. Louis earlier in the year, where two of those points came with the man advantage. He’s not the fantasy stud he once was as his point production has dipped a bit, but Burns still carries good upside and makes for a nice contrarian target tonight along with the rest of the San Jose PP1 unit.

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 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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