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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Values, Lineup Strategy for January 7

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

Friday’s NHL slate features two games, which 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 $45K Kick Save [$10K to 1st]

DraftKings Sportsbook

St. Louis Blues Moneyline -115

The Blues come into this game off a loss, but overall, they have been very consistent in the win/loss column of late. The Blues have won four of their last six games and have a 12-3-2 home record this season with a great +25 goal differential. Despite that, they are only very small favorites at -115, which seems like a bit of an overreaction. The Capitals have a strong road record but are just 4-4 in their last eight games. The Blues may be without Vladimir Tarasenko today but have the scoring depth to overcome that absence. Take the good odds available on them.

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

Top Stack

St. Louis Blues vs. Washington Capitals

Ryan O’Reilly ($4,300) — Brandon Saad ($3,400) — David Perron ($4,500)

As mentioned above, there’s a good chance Vladimir Tarasenko will be out of the lineup today given his COVID-19 diagnosis. That means we’ll likely see even more of the likes of Ryan O’Reilly, who anchors the Blues’ top-line. O’Reilly enters this game having averaged 4.2 shots on goal + blocked shots over his last 10 games and certainly is a player who can go off any night given his strong tertiary stats.

The Capitals have a strong penalty-kill, but the Blues’ number-one ranked power-play is still the best unit on this slate to target as they also come with some cheaper wingers we can stack with our anchor in O’Reilly. David Perron comes in averaging nearly a point per game over his last 10 games but we can also use winger Brandon Saad with these two as well. Saad’s slumped a bit of late but has grabbed five of his 12 goals on the power-play this season and will likely see better usage in the shots on goal department today on the power-play too given Tarasenko’s likely absence.

The Capitals may not give up a ton of shots, but the first-line for St. Louis has been opportunistic on special teams all season and faces a Washington team that has allowed 3.0 goals per game over their last six starts. This incredibly cheap top-line is a good way to begin lineups on this shorter slate.

Superstar to Target

Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes vs. Calgary Flames ($8,200)

The Flames come into this game off a tough loss to the Lightning and have now lost two in a row, allowing 10 goals in the process. The Canes’ offense is not one to fade against teams struggling on defense and center Sebastian Aho comes into this game still locked in the midst of a massive hot streak that includes him grabbing 16 points over his last 10 games.

We only have a couple of studs to pay up for on this slate, but there’s still a chance that the aura of the Flames’ goaltending/defense keeps ownership somewhat reasonable on Aho. He should be the main target though for those wanting to build around a reliable stud as the Flames are in a tough spot to rebound quickly and have been no match for the other elite Southeast teams on their current road trip. Pay up for Aho in what is a better than advertised matchup.

Value on Offense

Pavel Buchnevich, St. Louis Blues vs. Washington Capitals ($4,900)

The Blues being without Vladimir Tarasenko tonight would likely mean we’ll see Pavel Buchnivich move into a top-six role. The Russian already plays decent minutes but would also potentially fill in on the top power-play unit for the Blues, which is significant given how efficient they are as a unit. Buchnevich has been playing over 17 minutes a game just in his regular role and is averaging 3.4 shots on goal over his last 10 games as well. He’s a strong value if you’re looking to really go full throttle on St. Louis forwards today.

Daniel Sprong, Washington Capitals @ St. Louis Blues ($3,700)

One player to consider taking from the other side of this Blues - Capitals game is Daniel Sprong. The Capitals’ injury issues have meant Sprong has remained in a top-six role for Washington and he comes in averaging over 14 minutes a game and 2.6 shots on net over his last 10 games as well. The Capitals have a few different cheap wingers you could target realistically, but Sprong has proven that his upside includes 5+ shots on net and multiple points, and has hit over 20.0 DKFP twice now in his last six games. He’s a good GPP target, regardless of if you need the savings or not.

Stud Goalies

Frederik Andersen, Carolina Hurricanes vs. Calgary Flames ($8,300)

We don’t have a huge goalie pool to choose from today but we do have a pretty solid favorite in Andersen, who sits at -180 on the Moneyline today on DraftKings Sportsbook. Andersen will surely grab a big chunk of ownership today but the fact he’s going against an elite goaltender in Jacob Markstrom on the other side may mean we get smaller ownership than usual on the biggest favorite.

Andersen has been terrific all season, and carries a .936 save percentage at home. With so many value options and cheaper salaries available at other positions, paying up for the huge gap in odds between Andersen and the other goalies seems appropriate and a good way to get an edge on the field, and those looking to hit lightning in a bottle with one of the other goalies.

Value on Defense

Brady Skjei, Carolina Hurricanes vs. Calgary Flames ($2,700)

On small two-game slates, we should always be looking for ways to be different in bigger fields and using less than our full salary allocation is at least one way to ensure we have a more unique build in bigger fields. The Canes’ offense can hurt teams in multiple ways and that means a player like Brady Skjei, who has been playing well over 20 minutes a game of late, has the potential to grab us a point or more on a nightly basis. Despite having grabbed four points in his last three games—and averaging 3.2 blocked shots + shots on goal over his last 10 games—Skjei seems unlikely to be highly targeted here at all.

The min-salary available on Skjei may not be necessary for you to fit in all the players that you want, but he’s got as good a fantasy upside as anyone on the Canes’ blueline, and will certainly come with little to no ownership. Go for the extreme value on a slate where many may not even be interested in scrolling down to these levels at all.

Power-Play Defensemen

John Carlson, Washington Capitals @ St. Louis Blues ($6,800)

Much like goalie, there’s a pretty big gap in performance between the top-end defenseman and the next tier of players on this slate. John Carlson comes into this game averaging 15.0 DKFP over his last 10 starts, and more importantly, has started to produce better shots on goal numbers over his last 10 starts as well.

He comes in averaging 4.9 blocked shots + shots on goal over his last 10 games and faces a Blues team who is allowing over 32 shots per game and has a goaltender in Jordan Binnington who has posted a save percentage better than .900 just twice in his last six starts. You don’t have to stack the Capitals’ offense necessarily, but Carlson doesn’t really have any peers or clear pivots on this slate. He’s a good way to ensure you get a piece of a great Washington offense and a player who can pay off for us in multiple ways today.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $45K Kick Save [$10K 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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