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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for May 12

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

There are five games in the NHL on Wednesday, and the four evening matchups are included in the featured contests at DraftKings. Colorado is a gigantic favorite, while Toronto and Vegas are also receiving notable chalk. St. Louis is a small home underdog against Minnesota to round out the slate. Of course, it’s more important to note that the Avalanche and Golden Knights are the only two teams with anything to play for Wednesday, as the top seed in the West Division hasn’t been locked in yet. Unless you consider Toronto still fighting to win the President’s Trophy.

All statistics from Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Reference.

Top Line Stacks

Maple Leafs at Senators

Mitch Marner ($7,900) - Auston Matthews ($9,200) - John Tavares ($6,300) - William Nylander ($5,300)

It’ll take some creativity, but you can stack Toronto’s No. 1 power-play unit while also gaining exposure to both of the Maple Leafs’ top two lines. Tavares has quietly racked up eight goals and 21 total points through his past 17 contests, and Nylander is riding a seven-game point streak since returning from the COVID-19 protocol. Matthews and Marner are on another level all together, though. The duo has been on the ice for 76 goals together this season. The Maple Leafs also have an unsustainably low 4.4% shooting percentage with the man advantage through the past 25 games — the second-lowest mark in the league.

Senators vs. Maple Leafs

Brady Tkachuk ($7,000) - Josh Norris ($4,800) - Drake Batherson ($4,400)

If you’re looking to fade the Maple Leafs or load up on a potentially high-scoring game, Ottawa’s No. 1 line is in play and affordable. Toronto’s goaltending question marks are still prevalent, and the Maple Leafs also rank 26th in the league in penalty-kill percentage. Norris, Tkachuck and Batherson have combined to generate 18.75 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes this season, and they’ve piled up nine goals and 11 assists through eight meetings with Toronto this season.

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Superstar to Build Around

Mark Stone, VGK at SJ ($6,500) - With San Jose allowing the third-most goals per game in the league this season, Stone is in a favorable matchup, and his salary doesn’t break the bank. He’s racked up nine goals and 19 total points through his past 15 games and he logged an impressive 22:38 of ice time with Vegas down to 15 skaters Monday against Colorado. If the Golden Knights ice a shorthanded lineup again Wednesday, Stone will see plenty of ice time.

Value on Offense

Gabriel Vilardi, LA at COL ($3,300) - The 11th overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft has seen his role and ice time climb, and he’s rewarded with four tallies and three helpers through his past eight contests. Additionally, Vilardi enters with a four-game point streak. Just note, he’s more of a contrarian flier with Colorado allowing the fourth-fewest goals per game in the league.

Alex Newhook, COL vs. LA ($2,700) - The 2019 first-round selection collected two assists last time out and has now recorded three helpers through four games. He’s an obvious low-salary consideration and projects to be a popular target Wednesday. Just note, his fantasy floor could be low with just three shots and 11 attempts since joining the Avalanche, and Newhook didn’t receive power-play time during Monday’s game.

Stud Goalies

Frederik Andersen, TOR at OTT ($8,100) - There’s obvious risk here considering this will be Andersen’s first start since Mar. 19, and he went 1-5 with an .862 save percentage and 3.84 GAA before being shut down because of the lower body injury. Still, he’s had a few practice runs in the AHL, and the Maple Leafs are significant favorites. Additionally, even with Ottawa’s strong 9-3-1 finish to the campaign, the Senators still score just 2.85 goals per game and rank 26th in power-play percentage.

Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK vs. SJ ($8,000) - This salary is probably short considering Fleury has won eight consecutive games with a .938 save percentage and 1.61 GAA to improve to a season-long 25-10, .927 and 2.04 line. Vegas is also 21-5-2 on home ice, and San Jose enters with a 3-10-3 record in their past 16 contests. It also doesn’t hurt that the Golden Knights allow the fewest goals per game in the league.

Value on Defense

Matt Dumba, MIN at STL ($4,400) - The 26-year-old defenseman is producing well of late with four assists, 12 shots and eight blocks through his past seven contests, while averaging 22:47 of ice time (1:42 with the man advantage). The cross-category contributions provide a targetable fantasy floor, and St. Louis also ranks 28th in the league in penalty-kill percentage.

Erik Brannstrom, OTT vs. TOR ($2,900) - The concerns surrounding the Maple Leafs have already been highlighted, so Brannstrom is a low-salary target to consider. He’s quarterbacking the No. 1 power-play unit and has collected a respectable seven assists, 13 shots and nine blocks through 14 games dating back to mid-April.

Power-Play Defenseman

Shea Theodore, VGK at SJ ($6,600) - With just a single point through his past seven games, statistical correction is ahead for Theodore, especially considering the noted soft matchup against the Sharks. He ranks third in points and first in shot attempts per 60 minutes among all regular defensemen, after all.

Jared Spurgeon, MIN at STL ($5,200) - Considering St. Louis’ noted penalty-kill struggles, this is a solid salary to target Spurgeon at. He’s posted two tallies, seven helpers and two power-play points through his past nine games, while also contributing in the secondary categories with 17 shots and 11 blocks. Spurgeon is logging 22:34 of ice time (2:19 with the man advantage) per contest, as well.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is naparker77) 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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