clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NHL Picks: Best Bets, DraftKings Fantasy Hockey DFS Cheat Sheet for April 18

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

Carolina Hurricanes v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Monday features a six-game NHL slate, which begins at 8 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 $30K Kick Save [$10K to 1st]

DraftKings Sportsbook

Ottawa Senators at Seattle Kraken under 6.0 goals -120

The Senators and Kraken meet today in a game that has little to no meaning for either side. Motivation aside, this game also matches up two of the worst offenses in the league as both Ottawa and Seattle average under 2.8 goals per game. The Senators have been decent of late but they’ve still been good under bets when on the road, with only two of their last 11 road games seeing more than 6.0 goals scored. The Kraken have similar trends with just two of their last seven home games seeing more than 6.0 goals scored. The total here looks 0.5 goals too big and the under looks ripe as a play.

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

Top Stack

Vegas Golden Knights vs. New Jersey Devils

Chandler Stephenson ($3,300) - Max Pacioretty ($6,700) - Mark Stone ($4,600)

The Golden Knights are in a tough spot after losing two of their last three games and will perhaps need to win out just to have a shot at getting into the playoffs. They’ve done well at beating up on weaker teams of late though and get a Devils squad who has been in “play-out-the-string” mode for quite some time—and rank fifth-worst in goals against per game.

With Mark Stone back, the Devils make for a great opponent to use the Golden Knights’ former top-line against, a line that is finally back to full strength. Stone has been kept off the scoresheet in each of his first three games back but has created magic games with Max Pacioretty in the past. Pacioretty, who himself has been injured for plenty of 2022, has been rounding into form of late and fired six shots on net in his last game. Both men are likely struggling to get up to game speed after mid-season injuries, but are also both available today at prices well below their usual value. Going back to December, Pacioretty had a six-game streak where he exceeded 20.0 DKFP in five of six games, so the upside with him is tremendous at this sub-$7K level.

With the Knights’ season on the line, I’d look for these two to take a step up in performance today against a weaker club and likely bring regular strength center Chandler Stephenson into the mix as well. Stephenson is barely above the minimum price today, has 11 points in his last 10 games played, and would benefit in a small, or potentially big way, should Stone and Pacioretty find their footing today.

Superstar to Target

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche vs. Washington Capitals ($9,000)

Using the Vegas top-six for some value is key, as that also lets us get up to Nathan MacKinnon, who should almost certainly be the player you look to build around today. The Avalanche have had better contributions from their depth scorers this season, but lately, a lot of their offense has been coming straight from their top player. MacKinnon enters this game with a hefty 15 points over his last 10 games, but nine of those points have been goals and he’s shooting at over 22% clip over his last 10 games as well.

MacKinnon’s shooting percentage may be due for some short regression soon, but the Avalanche’s and Capitals’ offenses have both been on fire lately and we have Colorado sitting at home with a 3.9 implied goal total. With plenty of value stacks available and cheaper mid-tier options, getting up to MacKinnon seems like a must move in a game that screams shootout.

Value on Offense

Artturi Lehkonen, Colorado Avalanche vs. Washington Capitals ($3,500)

The Avalanche have averaged 5.2 goals over their last five games, so we should be looking up and down their lineup for potential value options we can deploy tonight as well. Lehkonen has fit in well with Colorado, playing in a top-six role with the club ever since arriving. He’s now up to four points scored in his last three games and has hit double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four outings too. With solid minutes (over 15 a night) and a role playing with the top power-play unit, Lehkonen stands out as one of the best forward values on the slate and a good way to finish off rosters if you’re in need of a cheap upside option in the flex today.


Anton Forsberg, Ottawa Senators at Seattle Kraken ($7,500)

As always, with goalie, we want to see if there are some good upside options under $8K that we can potentially target to maximize what we can spend at the other positions. Today, the Senators stand out as a team to potentially target in net as they’re on the road against Seattle—a team that averages just 2.6 goals per game—but sit as just -105 underdogs on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Anton Forsberg is likely a huge reason why the Senators have such short odds in this road spot as he’s been the most consistent goalie, on either side, this season. Forsberg has averaged 16.0 DKFP per game over his last 10 starts and has also been stellar on the road for Ottawa, where he’s produced a .925 save percentage in 22 road starts this season. If you’re looking for a high-risk, high-reward play today for your goalie, Forsberg is the play. Seattle’s offense shouldn’t scare us away from taking a slight underdog in our daily fantasy hockey lineups.

Value on Defense

Alec Martinez, Vegas Golden Knights vs. New Jersey Devils ($3,900)

The Golden Knights are in desperate need of a win today and finally have their entire roster healthy. Alec Martinez has struggled to be a fantasy force since returning to the lineup for Vegas a few weeks ago, but the veteran blueliner played over 20 minutes in the Golden Knights’ last game and will likely see solid minutes again in a must-win meeting with the Devils.

Despite having played limited minutes for his first few games back, the former King is still averaging a solid 3.6 blocked shots + shots on goal per game over that span. Vegas sits as -360 home favorites and with a 4.3 implied goal total, so value options like Martinez on the Knights certainly come with a higher degree of upside than normal today. Look for the talented veteran to play bigger minutes and give us a good shot at paying off his sub-$4K salary.

Power Play Defensemen

Noah Hanifin, Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks ($4,800)

The Flames’ offense is coming off a nine-goal performance and they have a monster 4.3 implied goal total on the road against Chicago. Targeting some Flames special teamers then feels like a near must, and lately, it has been Hanifin who has been their most productive defenseman. The 25-year-old has seen 12 of his 42 points come on the power-play and while he still splits time on special teams with Rasmus Andersson, Hanifin has been the far more productive fantasy target of late.

Hanifin’s up to 11 points scored over his last 10 games and produced 10.0 or more DKFP in each of his last four outings. The Blackhawks feature the sixth-worst penalty-kill in the league and Calgary has seen their special teams efficiency rise in the back-half of the season. For value purposes, there’s really no one who stands out more than the Calgary defenseman, who has been one of the most consistent fantasy performers at his position of late.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $30K 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.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA).

21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See for full terms and conditions.