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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Values, Lineup Strategy for January 5

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

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s a quiet two-game slate in the NHL on Wednesday, and there is one fewer superstar in the player pool after it was announced Connor McDavid has entered COVID-19 protocols. As a result, the Maple Leafs are even larger favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook. Pittsburgh is also receiving modest chalk on home ice against the Blues. Here’s a peek at the fantasy landscape ahead of Wednesday’s action on DraftKings.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $40K Kick Save [$10K to 1st]

Top Line Stacks

Maple Leafs vs. Oilers

Alex Kerfoot ($2,700) - John Tavares ($6,600) - William Nylander ($7,100)

Toronto’s second line has been solid this season and should see favorable on-ice matchups with Edmonton’s suspect depth. Tavares, Kerfoot and Nylander have clicked for 4.01 goals and 14.21 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes for the campaign, and they combined for two goals and four assists during Saturday’s win over Ottawa. The Oilers have also lost four straight with 17 goals against.

Penguins vs. Blues

Jake Guentzel ($6,000) - Sidney Crosby ($7,400) - Bryan Rust ($5,000)

Pittsburgh has its No. 1 line back intact, and the trio has oodles of chemistry with 5.21 goals and 14.61 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes over the past three seasons. The Blues also rank second last in expected goals against at 5-on-5, so this could prove to be a sneaky soft matchup.

Superstar to Build Around

Mitch Marner, TOR vs. EDM ($6,600) - This is a soft salary to target Marner at. While he was held off the scoresheet in his return to action Saturday, the 24-year-old winger still registered five shot attempts and was on the ice for five high-danger scoring chances. As noted, Edmonton has been surrendering goals in bunches since the break.

Value on Offense

Jordan Kyrou, STL at PIT ($4,000) - Even with the Penguins allowing the fifth fewest goals per game overall and sporting the best penalty-kill percentage in the league, this ticket appears low. After all, Kyrou has exploded for three goals and four assists through the past two games to climb to a fifth-ranked 4.03 points per 60 minutes for the campaign.

Robert Thomas, STL at PIT ($3,400) - A stack candidate with Jordan Kyrou, Thomas has found the scoresheet in consecutive games to climb to 25 points through 26 games for the campaign, albeit with just three goals and 39 shots. Still, he’s locked into a secondary scoring role for the Blues and has regularly produced above this salary range throughout the campaign.

Stud Goalies

Jack Campbell, TOR vs. EDM ($8,100) - Expect Campbell to be a popular target Wednesday. He’s posted an incredible .939 save percentage and 1.86 GAA for the campaign and gone 11-3-1 with .939 and 1.73 marks on home ice. Additionally, the Oilers are reeling with four consecutive losses, and this will also be their fifth straight road game out of the holiday break.

Tristan Jarry, PIT vs. STL ($7,800) - This salary stands out as a bargain considering Jarry has won five consecutive starts with a .927 save percentage and 1.79 GAA, and he boasts .932 and 1.93 marks for the campaign. As noted, the Penguins also boast one of the stingiest defenses in the league.

Value on Defense

Evan Bouchard, EDM at TOR ($4,600) - With Tyson Barrie ($5,100) in the COVID-19 protocols, Bouchard projects to quarterback the No. 1 power-play unit. While the Maple Leafs have surrendered the third fewest goals and rank ninth in penalty-kill percentage, Bouchard still receives a value boost with the promotion. Additionally, he’s been solid all season with 19 points, 77 shots and 52 blocks through 33 contests.

T.J. Brodie, TOR vs. EDM ($2,500) - With two goals and three assists during his active three-game point streak, Brodie is in his best offensive form of the season, and it’s a little surprising to see him at a minimum salary. While he’s probably a long shot to have another big offensive showing, the veteran is an affordable addition to a Toronto stack.

Power-Play Defenseman

Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. EDM ($5,900) - As noted, Edmonton is on the ropes, and Rielly ranks ninth in points per 60 minutes among regular defensemen this season. His salary is reasonable, and he provides decent secondary statistics with 84 shots and 32 blocks through 31 games for the season.

Kris Letang, PIT vs. STL ($5,500) - In a nice groove with 11 assists, 29 shots and 14 blocks while logging 25:30 of ice time (2:42 with the man advantage) through his past 10 games, Letang checks out as a solid addition to a Pittsburgh stack. As highlighted, the Blues have probably overachieved defensively this season, too.

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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 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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