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

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

Thursday features a nine-game NHL slate, which begins at 7 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 $65K Kick Save [$20K to 1st]

DraftKings Sportsbook

Columbus Blues Jackets over 2.5 goals (-125)

If you head into the team props page on the DraftKings Sportsbook, you can find the alternate team totals for every team in action today. The Blue Jackets take on the Flyers, who have allowed the most shots on net per game this year and fourth-most scoring chances. They’ve now allowed 3.0 or more goals in nine straight games and take on a Blue Jackets, who actually rate out above average in goals per game at 3.1. Columbus is coming off an embarrassing 9-2 loss but landed six goals the game prior to that. Their offense has a great shot at keeping this terrible streak going for the Flyers.

Los Angeles Kings +165 Money Line

It’s not often that we should go out of our way to bet against the Colorado Avalanche, but they do come into Los Angeles having played four games in six days and are also on the tail end of a back-to-back. The Kings have been a solid home team. They played Tampa Bay tough in their last game and rate out as a top-10 5v5 in expected goal rate (xGF%). The Kings can go a step further here against a tired division rival and pick up the win.

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

Top Stack

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators

Sidney Crosby ($7,500) — Jake Guentzel ($7,400) — Bryan Rust ($6,000)

The Penguins are in a great spot today as they have the Senators coming to town. Ottawa ranks out with the 13th-worst penalty kill and have allowed four or more goals in three of their last four games. Ottawa has also allowed 3.6 goals in 16 road games this year and are just 6-9-1 in those games, so visiting elite teams like Pittsburgh really hasn’t been a great spot for them.

Pittsburgh’s top line hasn’t been healthy for a lot of the season, but when they have been, they’ve scored in bunches. This trio has five goals between them over their last five games, and it feels like they’re just getting started, now that all three of them are seeing time together at even strength and on the power play.

Both Crosby and Guentzel are being undervalued in this spot, but especially Guentzel who has averaged 17.4 DKFP over his last 10 games, yet continually gets priced under the other elite wingers. The Penguins’ top line is over $4,000 cheaper to roster than the Avs’ first unit and has a better matchup. Stacking these three are a good way to go about creating those high-ceiling lineups for GPPs today.

Superstar to Target

Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers vs. Florida Panthers ($7,800)

It’s hard times in Edmonton right now. The Oilers are going through an embarrassing phase that includes having their top stars get called names by the local media. Maybe the Oilers don’t turn things around fast enough to save their season, but there’s still plenty of fantasy goodness left in this team and the prices on both of their stars are ridiculously low today. Leon Draisaitl being under $8,000 is something we haven’t seen in a longtime, and he enters this game with the best long-term goal rate of 0.65 per game at his position.

This is the classic buy low spot for Draisaitl, but it’s also a pretty decent matchup as the Panthers have just an average penalty kill and have taken the 10th-most penalties against this year. Against a good skating Edmonton team, the power play should get on track and lift Drasaitl to a big night. He’s a great building block at this price.

Value on Offense

Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche ($4,800)

The Kings take on a Colorado team who could be in a bit of letdown spot after playing last night. Colorado has now played four games in six days and take on a Kings team who has averaged 3.5 goals per game over their last six starts. Kopitar should be deployed for big minutes here and continues to see over 20 minutes in many games for the Kings. He’s averaged 3.3 blocked shots + shots on goal over his last 10 games and faces an Avalanche penalty kill that’s the sixth worst in the league. Kopitar’s recent uptick isn't being recognized here at all, and he’s far too cheap at under $5,000, making him one of the best value targets on this slate.

Alex Tuch, Buffalo Sabres vs. Dallas Stars ($4,900)

A more contrarian move today may be to look at the Sabres’ top line which has recently added Alex Tuch to the mix. The former Golden Knight has slotted in nicely on the top unit for Buffalo. He landed a multiple point game in his last outing. Tuch has always been great at creating his own shot and regularly averaged over 3.0 shots a game with Vegas in a more tertiary role. In his heightened role with Buffalo, taking shots with him under $5,000 seems well warranted. He’s facing a banged up Stars team who has gotten terrible goaltending of late. Tuch is a good boom or bust target for big fields.

Stud Goalies

James Reimer/Adin Hill, San Jose Sharks at Seattle Kraken ($7,600)

The Sharks head into Seattle today for a short road trip against the Kraken. Seattle is just 1-8-1 over their last 10 games and their skaters remain one of the worst groups at converting scoring chances in the league. The money line has San Jose at -105 on the DraftKings Sportsbook, but that does seem a tad high for San Jose, who have won four of their last six. San Jose also has James Reimer back in the fold, who stopped 39 of 41 shots in his last game, and are coming off a spirited six-goal effort in their last game against a divisional opponent.

Reimer would be the preferred starter here for DFS purposes as he’s been the better Sharks goalie all year, but there does seem to be value in rostering either of the Sharks’ goalies against this weaker Kraken offense. This is a good pay-down spot which has the potential to give your GPP lineups a boost with the added savings.

Value on Defense

Matt Grzelcyk, Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals ($3,600)

The Bruins are coming off a terrible loss to the Hurricanes (on a historic night for their franchise) and should be in a mood to put up some goals. Washington gave up seven goals to the Bruins the last time they met and have struggled with consistency of late on both ends.

Matt Grzelcyk has been taking on more of a special teams role for Boston on the power play of late and it has paid off with some monster games for him—including a five point game against Washington in their last meeting. We shouldn’t expect the same here obviously, but Grzelcyk is talented and when he’s priced this low, he makes for an excellent GPP target. With an extra game and day of rest under his belt after a spell of COVID, don’t be shocked if he bounces back with another nice game against a regressing Capitals team.

Power-Play Defensemen

Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights vs. Montreal Canadiens ($5,900)

The Golden Knights have the highest implied team total on the board today at 4.1 goals and face a Montreal team who has lagged in the bottom five of the penalty-kill ratings all season. Shea Theodore has played well since returning to the lineup and enters this game averaging a very solid 4.6 blocked shots + shots on goal over his last 10 starts. Also, he has landed four or more shots on net in each of his last five games.

Theodore actually led the Vegas defensemen in power-play time in their last game, and there’s reason to believe Vegas won't skate Alex Pietrangelo into the ground against such a weak opponent. The sub-6k salary on Theodore looks like a great value considering his recent uptick and the opponent.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $65K 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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