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NHL DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Friday (1/20)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Jan 20, 2023
Nathan MacKinnon

After delivering beefy multi-game slates throughout the week, the NHL will reel it in a bit and slow down the action with only two games on Friday’s slate. Any hockey is great hockey, so we’ll take it, but the value of players dries up in DFS with fewer options to select. The games are relatively even matchups, starting with Ottawa and Pittsburgh facing off for the second consecutive matchup after the Senators pulled out a 5-4 overtime win on Wednesday. This time, the Penguins will be on their home ice, which is why they remain favored at -155 on the moneyline. Colorado will travel to Vancouver as a -165 road favorite. The Canucks are just 2-8 SU in their last ten games and have a -24 goal differential, while the Avalanche are on a three-game winning streak with a +13 goal differential.

My recommended picks from Tuesday had massive production, excluding the goaltenders, who both allowed four or more goals to destabilize their upside in DFS lineups. Let’s focus on the positive. Tage Thompson (C – Sabres) scored a goal, Mitch Marner (RW – Maple Leafs) netted two assists, Moritz Seider (D – Red Wings) notched an assist, and Seth Jones (D – Blackhawks) exploded with a three-point performance that included two goals and a game-winner against Buffalo in overtime. Kirill Kaprizov (LW – Wild) was an expensive bust, while Matty Beniers (C – Kraken) was the only other skater to dud without a point or high shot volume. It wound up being a wash due to the bad goaltending, but four of six skaters generated solid production on DraftKings and FanDuel, making it a wash.

We’re officially past the halfway point of the 2023 NHL season, meaning every game becomes increasingly important, while the NHL All-Star Weekend looms just a couple of weeks away in Miami, Florida. We’ve had a lot of success on smaller slates in the past, so let’s keep the momentum going and cash a few DFS contests to start the weekend!

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

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Nathan MacKinnon (C – Avalanche): $8,800
Limited players on a light slate means we’re starting with a chalky play. Nathan MacKinnon has 49 points through 32 games played for Colorado this season and he’s produced four consecutive multi-point games entering Friday’s road contest in Vancouver. MacKinnon has at least two assists in every game during this streak, so facing Canucks goaltender Spencer Knight (G – Canucks), who has allowed four to five goals in his last three starts, we’re staring down a massive floor and ceiling by rostering MacKinnon on DraftKings.

Alex DeBrincat (LW – Senators): $6,400
Alex DeBrincat has been sporadic for Ottawa lately but he did score a goal after taking four shots against Pittsburgh netminder Casey DeSmith (G – Penguins) on Wednesday. DeSmith is slated to continue starting in the crease for the Penguins and he’s 2-3-1 as a starter recently, allowing three to five goals. DeBrincat earns close to 20 minutes ATOI and attempts four to five shots on goal, so he’s worth investing in against a bad defensive team like Pittsburgh.

Ty Smith (D – Penguins): $4,100
Ty Smith has only played nine games with Pittsburgh this season after spending his first two years in New Jersey. The 22-year-old defenseman is heavily involved on offense at times, attempting six shots against Anaheim and netting an assist against Ottawa on Wednesday. He’s more of an offensive asset than a defensive mauler, but Smith’s high-shot volume and ability to net an occasional assist is enough for me to insert him into DraftKings lineups at $4.1K.

Alexandar Georgiev (G – Avalanche): $8,200
Colorado has the only reliable goaltender on Friday’s two-game slate. Alexandar Georgiev has experienced struggles in the crease at times but he’s fresh off logging 34 saves in a 4-1 win over Calgary. He had a rough stretch in early January but Vancouver doesn’t have an elite offense, so play the matchup and ride the chalk to land Georgiev in DraftKings lineups.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000

Josh Norris (C – Senators): $4,800
Josh Norris returned from injury against Pittsburgh on Wednesday after being on I.R. for three months, so it’s not shocking that he didn’t do much in his first game back. Now that he’s shaken off the rust and faces the same opponent for the second time in three days, expect a better version of Norris on the ice. He earned over 19 minutes ATOI on Wednesday and attempted a couple of shots on goal, so it’s only a matter of time before he pops off for a multi-point outing, which could happen against the volatile goaltending of Casey DeSmith. Norris is cheap and worth investing in ahead of Friday’s only 7 p.m. ET puck drop.

Jason Zucker (LW – Penguins): $6,100
Jason Zucker isn’t a household name but he’s seen his production spike in his fourth-year with the Penguins. The 12-year veteran has three goals and two assists across his past five games and will face Ottawa netminder Anton Forsberg (G – Senators), who surrendered 13 goals across his previous three starts, including seven goals in a 7-0 rout against Colorado. Zucker is priced accordingly based on his recent uptick but he’s still plenty affordable and should be prioritized entering the Penguins’ home game on Friday night.

Marcus Pettersson (D – Penguins): $4,800
A defensive player who spends plenty of time blocking shots in the defensive zone is Marcus Pettersson. The 6-3 big-bodied defender also attempts two to three shots on goal per game and finally ended his point drought with a pair of assists against Ottawa on Wednesday. Pettersson isn’t going to score a goal but the assist upside is enough to justify inserting him into lineups at under $5,000 on FanDuel, especially with a high floor due to the frequency of his blocked shot metrics.

Anton Forsberg (G – Senators): $7,800
We’re left with difficult choices between the final three projected starting goaltenders on Friday’s two-game slate. I’m opting to roll with Anton Forsberg, who I’ve already labeled a liability in the crease. However, the Senators beat Pittsburgh on Wednesday in a high-scoring affair, so as long as Forsberg doesn’t allow more than four goals, he’ll still get the boosted point value from securing a win. He had logged consecutive wins prior to his bad play, so we know he can deliver a good performance, so let’s fire Forsberg up and sweat out the game in Pittsburgh on Friday night.

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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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