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NHL Picks: Best Bets, DraftKings Fantasy Hockey DFS Cheat Sheet for April 4

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

Monday features a four-game NHL slate, 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

Lightning Money Line -135

The Lightning head into this game off a shocking 5-4 OT loss vs. the Canadiens. It’s not a momentum-boosting kind of performance, but it’s also likely affected the odds for their Monday game. Tampa is 21-6-5 at home this year and hasn’t lost two home games in a row since October. The Leafs coming off a 6-3 win over the bottom-feeder Flyers is also likely skewing things, but it’s worth noting Jack Campbell still allowed three goals against in that start. A much sterner test awaits him Monday, and the odds simply look too small on the Lightning not to take them.

Pavel Buchnevich over 2.5 SOG -115

The Blues are taking on the Coyotes, who have now drifted to dead-last in terms of shots against per game this season. That means we should be looking for some potential over targets on the Blues’ top six (for shots on net), and Buchnevich looks like our best target. He’s been a bit of a boom-or-bust play from a shots on net perspective but has averaged 3.3 SOG over his last 10 games. He’s also played over 18 minutes in eight straight games and landed four SOG the last time these teams played. He looks like decent value in this spot.

Parlay both on DraftKings Sportsbook = +225

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

Top Stack

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Brayden Point ($6,400) — Steven Stamkos ($7,000) — Nikita Kucherov ($7,800)

The Lightning head into this game off a 5-4 loss vs. the Canadiens and should be steaming through the ears Monday as a result. They get the Maple Leafs, who are coming off a 6-3 win but still have major issues in net with Jack Campbell, who hasn’t allowed less than three goals in any of his last six starts.

Tampa Bay’s top unit is pricy, but it’s also in a great spot to explode Monday against the weaker Toronto defense. Tampa’s L1 has recently been rejigged to include Stamkos, who heads into Monday with goals in each of his last three games and now playing alongside Kucherov. This combo has plenty of potential with Kucherov feeding such a great shooter the puck. Stamkos has traditionally been a streaky scorer in his career, and he is still shooting under his season-long shooting percentage over his last 10 games — despite having scored in three straight.

Those two have combined for 14 points on their own in the last three games and also elevated Point, who has goals in three straight games and helps bring down the overall salary average for DFS purposes, given his $6.4K salary. Don’t let the matchup with a more elite Eastern Conference team keep you away from the Tampa top-unit — these three are well worth their salaries.

Superstar to Target

Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets ($7,500)

Much like Tampa Bay, the Bruins’ top line is in an immaculate spot vs. Columbus, who remains bottom five in terms of shots allowed and scoring chances allowed per game. Both of the Boston wingers look like must-haves, but the value on Marchand at just $7.5K is undoubtedly better. He’s not quite getting his shot through at the same pace as David Pastrnak ($8,000), but 4.3 shots per game over his last 10 starts is nothing to sniff at, and he’s been far more efficient of late, posting an 18% shooting percentage over that same span.

Marchand also continues to play with a top center at regular strength in Patrice Bergeron ($7,200), while Pastrnak gets Erik Haula ($3,800), which undoubtedly has helped Marchand’s scoring lately. Building around Marchand saves us a bit of cash and gets us exposure to the Bruins top unit, which is a near must on Monday’s slate.

Value on Offense

Tyler Toffoli, Calgary Flames at Los Angeles Kings ($4,600)

If we’re trying to pay up for top offenses in Boston and Tampa Bay, then we need to look at grabbing better values from the other favorites. Toffoli has cooled off a bit after having a hot start to his Flames career, but he’s still playing over 17 minutes a night most games for Calgary in a top-six role. He landed five shots on net vs. the Kings in his last game and is in a solid upside spot considering Calgary has a 3.4 implied team total Monday. He’s a good pivot off the sure to be popular Flames top unit, as well.

Brandon Saad, St. Louis Blues vs. Arizona Coyotes ($3,300)

Saad looks mighty undervalued Monday considering he’s playing in a top-six role on a team which sits as a -425 favorite, with an implied goal total hovering close to 4.5. The veteran is playing alongside the talented Ryan O’Reilly ($4,500) and has seen consistent usage on the top power-play unit for St. Louis lately, as well. He’s not the high-volume shooter he’s been at other stops in his career, but Saad has also improved his playmaking skills and has been near a point-per-game player of late. Using him allows you to create a cheap Blues stack if desired and fit in our other top plays.


Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames at Los Angeles Kings ($7,900)

The Flames are now losers of three in a row, but they still sit at -170 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook Monday, which tells you all you need to know about the gap between these two teams. The Kings are a solid young squad — they beat Calgary 3-2 a couple of games ago —but make for good fantasy opponents, as well. The Kings average over 35 shots on net per game but also average well under three goals per game, making them one of the most inefficient offenses in the league.

They’re a great opponent for Markstrom, though, who has lost three games in a row but has yet to lose four games in a row on the season. Markstrom has actually been better on the road this year, too, averaging a .927 save percentage and 17.1 DKFP per game in 20 road appearances. He looks undervalued at under $8K, making him a fine bounce-back target in net.

Value on Defense

Noah Hanifin, Calgary Flames at Los Angeles Kings ($4,100)

The Flames remain one of the most undervalued teams across the board for daily fantasy purposes. Hanifin is one of the leaders in that regard and has been a fantastic fantasy bargain of late, producing an average of 4.5 blocked shots + shots on goal over his last 10 games. Calgary lacks a big name on defense, and we’ve also seen Hanifin’s time on ice rise as the season has progressed, to the point where he’s now averaged 22.1 minutes per game over his last 10 — a full minute more than his season average.

Development-wise, he’s also shown more offensive flare of late with eight points in his last 10 games and gets a Kings team that ranks 10th-worst in penalty-kill efficiency on the season. Don’t overthink this one, as Hanifin is an absolute steal at just over $4K and will save you room to stack whoever you want up front.

Power Play Defensemen

Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets ($5,800)

McAvoy remains an easy player for us to target on the back end. He once again has a plus matchup vs. the Blue Jackets, who rank bottom-five in penalty-kill and shots allowed. He’s been racking up points like an elite defenseman of late, with seven assists over his last four games. The lack of goals is the only thing holding McAvoy back from being up there with the truly elite fantasy defensemen, but he’s also priced below $6K and $900 cheaper than the top play at his position.

The Bruins are -230 road favorites with an implied team total over four goals, so getting a piece of their offense Monday is something that needs to be high on our list. Regardless of which forwards you land on, McAvoy stands to correlate well, as he’s been a power-play-point machine of late and still eats up a lot of the minutes for the B’s with the man advantage.

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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