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NHL DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Tuesday (10/17)

NHL DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Tuesday (10/17)

We have a stacked slate of hockey tonight as 18 teams get ready to hit the ice. A couple of the heavyweight matchups include the Lightning taking on the Sabres and the Stars squaring off against the Golden Knights.

Below I’ve compiled what I believe to be a winning DFS hockey lineup. Let’s dive into my nine-man unit, which can be used in the standard $50,000 salary competitions on DraftKings. I’ve also listed the prices for FanDuel.

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Today’s NHL DFS Picks & Analysis

Lineup below is based on DraftKings, but FanDuel prices are also listed.

C1: Dylan Cozens ($5,400 DK, $5,400 FD)

One of the key games that I’m focusing on for tonight’s slate is the Bolts vs. the Sabres. Neither team has been sharp defensively this season as the Lightning are allowing 4.0 goals per game (27th) while the Sabres sit at 3.5 GAA (23rd).

Sure, there are bigger names than Dylan Cozens available in this Eastern Conference battle, but they also come with larger prices. The second-line centerman has yet to record a point through two games, but he’s getting plenty of ice time at 16:51 per contest. He slots in on the main power play unit, which I’m optimistic about considering Tampa’s goalie situation without Andrei Vasileskiy. The Lightning rank 28th in expected goals against per 60 minutes at 3.67. We should see Buffalo light the lamp quite a bit tonight, and I think Cozens will contribute to a goal.

C2: Nick Paul ($4,400 DK, $4,500 FD)

Keeping it in the same game, I’ll go to the other side and look at Nick Paul. He typically slots in as the third center, behind Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli. However, Paul occupies a spot on the top power play, and that’s where he’s done his damage so far this season.

Both of his goals have come on the man-advantage this season, and he’s added an assist during five-on-five play. Tampa’s offense should be humming tonight against Devon Levi, who is 0-2-0 with a 3.53 GAA and 0.881 SV%.

W1: Artturi Lehkonen ($5,200 DK, $6,000 FD)

One of the interesting Western Conference showdowns tonight features a matchup between the Avalanche and the Kraken. Seattle has yet to win this year (0-2-1), and they haven’t been sharp on either side of the ice. They’ve been out-scored 9-2 through three games.

Seattle enters with the sixth-lowest expected goals against per 60 minutes rate of 3.57. That likely won’t bode well against an Avalanche side that’s first in the NHL in expected goals per 60 minutes at 6.24. Colorado has looked sharp offensively, out-scoring the Kings and Sharks by a combined 7-3.

Enter Artturi Lehkonen, who plays on the second line while also holding down a spot on the top power play. He hasn’t scored yet, but he’s second overall on the team in SOG with 11 (MacKinnon, 18). This should be a high-paced contest in Seattle tonight, and I think Lehkonen is underpriced in this one.

W2: Gabriel Vilardi ($4,900 DK, $5,200 FD)

The Jets are off to a 1-1-0 start this season, and they’ll gear up to host the winless Kings (0-1-1) tonight. Goaltending has been the issue for Los Angeles this year, and I’m not too surprised by that considering their netminding duo consists of Cam Talbot and Pheonix Copley.

The Kings are currently ranked 31st in the NHL in expected goals against per 60 minutes with a mark of 4.32. And while Winnipeg may not be a high-octane offense, they’ll have some opportunities to score tonight. I’ll add Gabriel Vilardi (0G, 1A) to my lineup tonight. The first-line winger plays alongside the crafty Mark Scheifele, so he should get some looks in this contest. He also owns a spot on the main power play.

W3: JJ Peterka ($3,100 DK, $4,300 FD)

The third player from the Lightning/Sabres game that I think is worth a look is JJ Peterka. The winger slides in on the second line, playing alongside the aforementioned Cozens. This allows us to double up if the two combine for a score.

Peterka has one goal through two games, and he has added four total shots. He’ll also get time on the second power-play unit, which offers some value. Sure, this isn’t a guy who’s going to light up the scoreboard on a nightly basis, but with this being the highest total on the board at 7.0 goals, there should be no shortage of offense. This is a solid, cheap option for a DFS lineup.

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D1: Cale Makar ($7,800 DK, $7,800 FD)

The second Colorado player that I want to add to my lineup tonight is defenseman Cale Makar. We don’t need to explain too deeply why the former Norris winner is a viable option for a DFS lineup. He plays north of 25:00 minutes a game and is not afraid to rip the puck on net (10 SOG). Makar already has three points courtesy of two goals and an assist.

D2: Dmitry Orlov ($3,700 DK, $4,300 FD)

The Hurricanes are off to a 2-1-0 start, and surprisingly, all three of their games have seen at least eight goals (8,11,9). Carolina will have another opportunity to rack up the goals tonight as they take on the lowly San Jose Sharks.

I’ll add the inexpensive Dmitry Orlov to my lineup tonight. The newcomer has just one point (1A) through the first three games, but he has not been afraid to shoot the puck (5 SOG). The D-man is also averaging 16:23 of ice time and he runs point on the second power play. Carolina’s expected to win this game with ease (-300 moneyline), and their offense should have no issue scoring.

G: Karel Vejmelka ($7,000 DK, $6,700 FD)

There’s only one goaltender that’s cheaper than the Coyotes’ Karel Vejmelka, and that’s Mackenzie Blackwood ($6,700 DK, $6,800 FD) of the Sharks. I think this is the ultimate value play for tonight’s nine-game slate.

Vejmelka was fabulous in his season debut against a highly-touted Devils team that many have picked to win the Stanley Cup. The 27-year-old earned a shootout win over New Jersey on Friday, posting a 2.77 GAA and .917 SV% in the process. His task tonight is taking on an Islanders side that owns the fourth-lowest expected goals per 60 minutes rate of 2.0. New York ranked 30th last year on the power play, cashing in on only 15.8% of their man-advantage opportunities. I love Vejmelka at this cheap price tonight.

UTIL: Nikita Kucherov ($8,400 DK, $8,800 FD)

Finally, I’m riding with superstar winger Nikita Kucherov as my UTIL player tonight. What else do we even need to say about Kuch? He already has four points courtesy of two goals and two helpers. He also leads the team with 11 SOG over three games played. As I mentioned above, the oddsmakers are expecting a ton of offense, so we’ll likely see Kucherov make his way onto the scoresheet.

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