NHL DFS Picks: Strategy, advice, values for DraftKings, FanDuel for Thursday, March 29

Chris Wassel has NHL DFS picks and strategy advice to help you take down Thursday's DraftKings and FanDuel contests.

We have a large, 10-game NHL DFS slate on Tuesday, which includes a two-game late option, two-game later option, and a three-game turbo option. As always, we're here to help daily fantasy hockey players with potential value picks and strategy advice for DraftKings and FanDuel contests. Our tips are based on advanced stats, Vegas odds, matchups, and potential points per dollar, among other factors. Besides Natural Stats Trick, Corisca, and Hockey Reference, we now use RotoQL and Dobberhockey’s Frozen Tools combined for last-minute analysis.

There are quite a few nice DFS tournaments, including a $300 Triple Deke that pays $15,000 for first place and another $8 two-man advantage for lower stakes players which awards $5,000 to the top finisher. Furthermore, according to Vegas, several games could have an over/under of six. Keep in mind, Vegas is not always right.

MORE: SN DFS | DFS Lineup Builder

Because of the volatile nature of goalies (and other reasons), there will be more information on social media coming closer to roster lock. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are looking for even more advice and insight, please check me out on Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. Let’s get into tonight’s value picks after a visit from the RotoQL optimizer.

Thursday NHL DFS Picks: Center values

Casey Mittelstadt, Buffalo vs. Detroit (DraftKings $3,000, FanDuel $3,000)

Please note that Mittelstadt is a winger on FanDuel. The young forward from the University Of Minnesota signed his entry deal this week after putting up some crazy numbers in college. He is a top draft pick who will be placed into top-six ice time right away. He gets the Red Wings, who are the fifth-worst team in the league defensively. Do not be surprised if Mittelstadt even sees some occasional power play time with Jack Eichel. What will his ownership percentage be? That is a great question here. It could honestly be high.

With the ten game slate, there is room to set up a few different lineups that are outside the limits of being safe. This can even be a nice one-off or part of a mini-stack. How high event does that Tampa Bay-Boston game become or the Florida-Ottawa game, for that matter? Those are good questions given their center options and some high floors (lots of shots and/or block potential). We should also mention New Jersey and Pittsburgh for all the goal potential.

The good news is there are several other options as far as value on Thursday night. There are some solid value options. Watch for line shifts as teams try to maneuver that are not rested.

Other Options: Joe Pavelski, Leon Draisaitl, Brayden Point, Anze Kopitar, Kyle Turris, Jeff Carter, Pierre Luc-Dubois, Connor McDavid (chalky yet almost must own), Patrice Bergeron, Jack Eichel, Dylan Larkin, Sidney Crosby, Nico Hischier, Mark Scheifele, Aleksander Barkov/Vincent Trocheck, Matt Duchene (still hot), Nick Schmaltz, Eric Staal, Derek Stepan. (More choices on Twitter).

Crazy Value Possible: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Pavel Zacha, Adrian Kempe, Christian Dvorak (dangerous risk).

Thursday Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks: Winger values

Ryan Donato, Boston vs. Tampa Bay (DraftKings $5,100, FanDuel $4,200)

Donato is a nice GPP play tonight because he is still a bit under the radar and his production creates a nice floor! He has five points in five games and will not be heavily owned because of how spread out this slate is. Also, playing with an excellent second line and seeing top power play time will provide ample scoring chances, as Tampa Bay gives up chances galore and 3.5 goals per game since late January! This may be an even nicer play on FanDuel because of the price discrepancy. Any gift is a good one this time of year.

Donato answered some questions on Tuesday as he played 19 minutes against a tough Winnipeg team and held his own. He had a goal and five shots along with four scoring chances. Some will ask if he can do it again. Tampa, like we said, sets up well for Donato’s skill set.

Finding value plays is relatively easy on a large slate like this. The hard part is finding those plays that produce. Look to teams that are riddled with injuries for punt plays. Watch Ottawa and Florida for high-event craziness. Also, will the Columbus second line be used too much tonight? It’s a great question. Boone Jenner, Alex DeBrincat, and Richard Panik are all nice options on DraftKings tonight. With this slate, even these riskier plays are viable.

Other Options: Nick Bjugstad/Jonathan Huberdeau, Taylor Hall/Kyle Pamieri, Mike Hoffman, Zach Parise (risky), Johnny Gaudreau (see if he plays), Filip Forsberg, Patric Hornqvist (power play help), Viktor Arvidsson, Evander Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Kevin Fiala, Nikita Kucherov (near chalk), Yanni Gourde, Clayton Keller, Dustin Brown/Tyler Toffoli, Artemi Panarin (HOT), Thomas Vanek (may be higher owned than expected), Jamie Benn, Sam Reinhart, Blake Wheeler/Patrik Laine, Kevin Labanc. More plays will be on social media. Also, watch to see if there are any last-minute line shifts (Extra choices will come later this afternoon on Twitter). Watch the value that comes out of Buffalo and Detroit.

Crazy Value Possible: Tyler Bertuzzi, Ty Rattie (some risk), insert Arizona winger here (dead serious), Sam Gagner (crazy risk).

Thursday NHL DFS Advice: Defensemen picks, values

Will Butcher, New Jersey vs. Pittsburgh (DraftKings $3,100, FanDuel $3,800)

Choices are abundant among defensemen on Thursday night. Butcher is priced well on DraftKings and FanDuel. Pittsburgh has been allowing 3.36 goals a game on the road and the sixth-most points to defensemen in DFS over the past month. Butcher had about a 20-30 game slump where his value just plummeted. His past five games have seen him at around a $400-per-FanDue-point level). That is high value. It is also a sign that his confidence is back. When Butcher is moving the puck well and hitting the net, that is great for New Jersey.

There are ways to spend up while acquiring a punt defenseman, as well, like we mentioned. Butcher is on a list of about 10-12 value picks on Thursday. Part of that is because the regular season is winding down and teams will try and see what they have with younger players.

The biggest tip is to expect the unexpected tonight. At least a couple games will dud or go well over. There is a lot of variance this time of year because of playoff battles, seeding, and then teams that are just evaluating for 2018-19 and beyond. It is a lot to digest. High-event games where mobile defensemen play is a wise choice. Mix in some punt plays for floor effects (blocked shots and shots on goal), and that should prove effective.

Other Options: Seth Jones, Kris Letang, Aaron Ekblad, Roman Josi / P.K. Subban, Duncan Keith, Darnell Nurse, Brent Burns (higher owned), John Carlson, Drew Doughty, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Torey Krug, Victor Hedman, Erik Karlsson (see if he plays), Matt Dumba, John

Klingberg (risky), Dustin Byfuglien, Rasmus Ristolainen, Erik Gustafson, Brent Burns (high shot output but expensive). More choices on social media to come.

Crazy Value Possible: Stephen Johns, Patrik Nemeth, Adam Larsson, Cody Ceci, Niklas Kronwall, David Savard.

Thursday Daily Fantasy Hockey Advice: Goalie picks, values

Anton Forsberg, Chicago vs. Winnipeg (DraftKings $6,800, FanDuel $7,800)

Forsberg is a reasonable tournament play on Thursday because of higher-event shot and goal projections. He is expected to face 30-plus shots potentially even against a Jets team that may still be a little gassed from the recent homestand. Forsberg is a risk as far as a GPP play to a point, but a cheap cash play is viable here. The key is finding cheapness, and the Chicago goalie qualifies. In tournaments, there are enough value plays across the board tonight to play more expensive goalies than normal. Do not be confined to just having to potentially punt a goalie. That can backfire badly.

That leaves the question of who else to play. Confirmations are just coming out, so the best course of action may be to wait a bit. Robin Lehner could be a good flier against a Detroit team just playing out the string. Keith Kinkaid will be a hot commodity because he has faced 195 shots over his past five starts. Jonathan Quick and Pekka Rinne are going to be nice cash plays, and some will argue Rinne could sneak into some tournament lineups, as well. See who Columbus starts in net tonight. Remember Winnipeg is starting Eric Comrie. That is a risk in itself for a goalie who does not have much experience.

The emphasis will be to wait until closer to lock (7 p.m. ET) for any line shifts and goalie changes, etc. Also, watch for injuries and returns tonight, as some projections may be impacted.

Other Options: Jonathan Quick (cash play), Pekka Rinne (cash/some GPP play), Keith Kinkaid (high shot chances), Tuukka Rask (moderate risk), Devan Dubnyk. More choices will come closer to lock. Watch for late line changes and injury news as that will have more impact than usual.

NHL DFS Picks for Thursday: Top Lines to Stack

These are based on RotoQL lineup optimizer projections.

  • · EDM 1 – 1 will be higher owned and rightfully so. Vancouver is one of the worst home teams in the league next to Ottawa. Oh, wait…
  • · FLA 1– The Senators are so abysmal at home that they made the Islanders look good. They are allowing 3.62 goals a night in Kanata and even an unrested Florida team has a prime matchup against one of the worst shutdown lines in the league. One can even try the power play here.
  • · NJD 1 – This has the makings of a game stack with an expected goals of over six. The risk is having too much of both lines, so some may opt for the Devils power play which gains exposure to both top trios. This may move down a bit, and Pittsburgh’s first line makes for a decent option.
  • · BOS 1 – 1 will be owned more heavily, but thanks to the 10-game slate at a slightly lower percentage. Tampa has been so bad on the penalty kill and is allowing nearly 3.5 goals per night after the All-Star break.
  • · EDM 1 – The Senators are in full tank mode. The McDavid play should elevate ownership but do watch for the second line, which is quite cheap, err, dirt cheap.
  • · NSH 1 – It is high risk, but San Jose does not seem to match up quite well in Nashville against the Predators. Line two for Nashville has some possibilities.
  • · CLB 1 – Either top line may be worth playing, and Calgary literally is scoring less than a goal a game over the past five contests. Meanwhile, Artemi Panarin is over a point a game in that span.
  • · SJS 1 –This has some mini-game-stack potential. Consider the goaltending may be questionable and the chances created by both top lines.
  • · LAK 1 / ARZ 1 – Both top lines could have success tonight, but the pace may be a question mark and therefore a concern. Expect LAK 1 to move up as the afternoon moves forward.
  • · WPG 2 / CHI 2– This is a little risky but will move up as the day goes on. When teams play out the string, unexpected things can happen. Yes, Chicago could be in play here again because of sloppy Winnipeg play while Chicago has been a mess since around Christmas (or when Corey Crawford went down to injury). This has slight game stack potential, too.

These are just a few lines. As updates become more available, there will be more on social media. Watch to see who plays. That will swing ownership a little bit. Watch out for injuries, as there has been a heavy spotlight on Twitter. For analysis, The Fantasy Doctors is a good read. Our spotlight picks feature more value, which can mean more inherent risk. Those picks will mostly be lower owned.

NHL DFS Strategy: Reviewing what went wrong

The Avalanche scored just once at home despite an injury to Philadelphia’s Michal Neuvirth. Then Washington and the Rangers combined for just three goals on a boatload of shots. The strange thing is that that was all that went crazy.