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NHL DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Friday (12/23)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Dec 23, 2022
Connor McDavid

Happy Holidays! The NHL is gifting us an 11-game slate on Friday night, filled with plenty of high-caliber players and good matchups to take advantage of when constructing DFS builds. Nine of these matchups have juiced odds on the goal total going over, meaning there should be a lot of points to collect in DraftKings and FanDuel lineups as long as we insert the correct players. Fortunately, that’s why I’m here, to navigate you toward the players who possess the biggest upside, immense value based on salary, or pure talent.

We’re roughly over a third of the way through the 2022-23 NHL season and we’re beginning to see teams establish their true identity. Hockey can produce upsets at any given moment, which is why we love it, as the parity has grown in recent years with an increase in big splash signings and trades by aggressive general managers. Let’s recap how my recommended players fared on Tuesday’s slate. We’ll start with the duds, headlined by Kris Letang (D – Penguins), Jacob Trouba (D – Rangers), and Mark Scheifele (C – Jets), who all logged zero points and barely made an impact in the box score. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (G – Lightning) disappointed us by allowing Toronto to net two goals in a 4-1 loss after looking like he was going to maintain his hot streak defending the crease. Now for the good stuff. Travis Konecny (RW – Flyers) scored two goals on three shots, while Pierre-Luc Dubois (C – Jets) and Timo Meier (LW – Sharks) each logged two points in their games, with Meier also scoring a goal. Pyotr Kochetkov (G – Hurricanes) dominated the net with 37 saves against 38 shots from New Jersey, leading the Hurricanes to a 4-1 win. It was truly a mixed bag of overall results from these eight players, but the top four performers came through with huge production.

Let’s try to eliminate as many duds as possible and construct winning lineups that have every chance of cashing by the end of Friday night. Whether you need some last-minute money for gift shopping, or you just want to treat yourself, I’ve identified eight players who possess the talent, usage, and upside required to cash your DFS lineups to start the holiday weekend off properly.

Check out today’s One-Timer contest from FanDuel >>

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Connor McDavid (C – Oilers): $9,700
We’re starting chalky with Connor McDavid’s massive ceiling that is seemingly intact in any matchup. Edmonton will host Vancouver, while being a hefty betting favorite at -225 on the moneyline, against a Canucks team that ranks 30th in goals allowed. McDavid has four goals and six assists in his last five games played, netting at least one point in each outing, so he has to be locked into lineups in such a juicy matchup. Pay the expensive salary to get McDavid inserted into your DraftKings lineups.

Johnny Gaudreau (LW – Blue Jackets): $7,000
Not even Chicago has oddsmakers believing in Columbus as an outright winner, as the Blackhawks are getting -115 on the moneyline in comparison to the Blue Jackets fetching -105. It’s a bit embarrassing for Columbus, who will go up against the 32nd-ranked goal-scoring offense while facing a bad goaltender and defense that allows an average of 3.8 goals per game. Johnny Gaudreau inked a massive contract with the Blue Jackets this offseason, surprising many with his decision. He easily leads the Blue Jackets in assists (24) and total points (34), and he’s logged three assists in his last three games played. Gaudreau is a bit expensive for a shaky floor, but I believe in his upside against a bad opponent.

Rasmus Andersson (D – Flames): $5,500
Calgary has been off to a bit of a sluggish start this season but they are beginning to climb the Pacific Division ranks with increased scoring as of late. Defenseman Rasmus Andersson is benefiting from this scoring spike, finishing with an assist in each of his past three games played entering a Friday night road matchup against the lowly Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks are 32nd in goals allowed this season, averaging 4.1 per game, while also struggling to manufacture anything on offense. It’s the best possible matchup for any Calgary player, so at $5,500, I like the outlook for Andersson to net his fourth consecutive assist and possibly add a couple of blocked shots for good measure.

Pyotr Kochetkov (G – Hurricanes): $8,500
I bought into Pyotr Kochetkov in a tough matchup against New Jersey on Tuesday, so you better believe I’m running back to the 23-year-old netminder once again in an easier matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night. Kochetkov has not allowed more than two goals in his past five starts, which includes two shutouts, so he’s worth every penny of his $8,500 salary on DraftKings against a Flyers offense that averages only 2.5 goals per game.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000

Jack Hughes (C – Devils): $9,500
New Jersey has built quite a balanced roster that also is loaded with young studs. None are more notable than Jack Hughes. The 21-year-old center has 38 points, including 17 goals, for the Devils this season. Hughes is chalky as it gets at $9,500 on FanDuel, but we’re trying to cash lineups, so it’s imperative to add the best players on the slate no matter the cost. Hughes has either a goal or an assist in each of his past four games, so facing a tough matchup against a talented Boston Bruins team shouldn’t force you to pivot elsewhere.

Tyler Toffoli (RW – Flames): $6,600
One of the hottest players on the Flames right now is Tyler Toffoli. The veteran winger was traded at the deadline last season to Calgary from Montreal and he’s assimilated nicely into his role with the Flames in his first full season with the franchise. Toffoli has four goals and two assists in his past three games played, which includes two multi-point finishes, so he’s a great value at $6,600 on FanDuel. Anaheim is by far the worst team in the league right now, so he’s gifted a juicy matchup to exploit. We need to insert Toffoli into lineups of all shapes and sizes ahead of Friday’s 10:30 p.m. ET. puck drop.

Dmitry Orlov (D – Capitals): $5,800
It’s taken a bit for Dmitry Orlov to get going, but Washington can rely on its 11th-year veteran to shore up things on the back end in the defensive zone while utilizing his skill set to finish plays and turn them into scoring possessions. Orlov has consecutive points entering Friday’s matchup against the Winnipeg Jets, so he has some momentum generated to become a viable option that won’t cost much in FanDuel lineups. Especially in such a volatile position like defenseman, you could do much worse than Orlov.

Juuse Saros (G – Predators): $7,900
It hasn’t been the best year on record for Juuse Saros, but he’s finally stringing together some nice performances in recent starts. The 27-year-old netminder is 2-1-1 in his last four starts and has only allowed two or fewer goals in four of his last five. Saros faces a high volume of shots on goal, so as long as the Predators can manufacture offense against Colorado, who ranks 16th in shots against per game, Saros should have enough of a safety net to return value with a win at home.

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Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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