Wednesday’s NHL schedule features a three-game slate, so obviously the potential picks for NHL DFS contests are limited. Nonetheless, you can still build some good daily fantasy hockey lineups from the Canadiens-Sabres, Devils-Flyers, and Kings-Canucks matchups as long as you know where to look. That’s where the experts from Fantasy Alarm can help.
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Today’s NHL DFS Picks: DraftKings, FanDuel advice for Wednesday, Oct. 9
Canadiens @ Sabres
Of the three games tonight, this game has the most even odds with the Sabres only being a -115 favorite as of this writing. Montreal has the worst team matchup of the night per my matchup stat, and Buffalo has a middling matchup, so this isn’t a game to lean on too heavily. However, backup goalie Keith Kinkaid is expected to start for the Habs, so that sweetens the matchup a bit for Buffalo.
Jack Eichel is obviously somewhat matchup-proof and always has enough upside to be part of a contest winner. He’s priced entirely reasonably on FD and could be included in a GPP lineup there. Sam Reinhart and Victor Olofsson play with Eichel at even and on the top PP unit if you want to use a BUF1 stack. Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen is also priced well on FD, and though he plays on the second PP unit as opposed to the first, his pair does play the most with the Eichel line at even strength.
One other Sabre to note is Marcus Johansson. He centers the second line and plays on the second PP unit and is a bargain on DK at only $3,200. And speaking of value, defenseman Jeff Petry is a value from the opposing Habs. Montreal has used two PP units almost evenly so far this season, and Petry runs the blue line on one of those units. He is underpriced at $4,500 on FD.
Given that one Montreal defenseman as a value play is the only Hab skater mentioned above, Buffalo’s goalie, Carter Hutton, is an obvious option tonight. He’s my top projected goalie of the slate despite the Sabres only being a slight home favorite. Montreal was a team that put a lot of pucks toward the net last season, and through two games they rank fourth in SF/60 at 5v5. That gives Hutton quite a bit of upside. Hutton is easily the best value in net on FD (assuming he ends up getting the start).
Devils @ Flyers
This is a much more interesting game with more options. The Flyers are a -125-home favorite in a game with an over/under of six goals, and Philly and Vancouver are tied for the highest implied goal total of the slate. Those two teams also have the best matchups of the night per my matchup stat, so they’re the teams to lean on in cash games. The Devils are also squarely in play as both of their top six lines are underpriced and thus appealing stack options in GPPs.
Of the Flyers top six lines, the preferable line is the one that won’t matchup with New Jersey’s top line. While that line isn’t one of the league’s lockdown possession lines, they are New Jersey’s best in that regard. In Philly’s first home game of the season (played in Prague but Philly still got last change) it was Sean Couturier’s line that got the opposing top line. That means Kevin Hayes’ line, with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek on his wings, is the preferred play. That line stays together on the top PP unit where D-man Shayne Gostisbehere joins them. All four of those guys are priced better on DK, so that would be the spot for a full-on PHI PP1 stack. That said, none of them are grossly underpriced on FD, so you want to use some of them in FD cash lineups.
As mentioned, Philly’s top line took the opposing top line in their first home game, but they let a depth line take the opposing second line. That makes New Jersey’s second line of Travis Zajac, Jesper Bratt and Kyle Palmieri appealing. Adding to the appeal are their collective price tags. They’re the second-best value as a line on both sites among top six lines. Zajac and Palmieri play on the top PP unit. Defenseman P.K. Subban plays on that unit and should skate some with Zajac’s line at even strength. Subban is priced better on DK.
The top six line that is a better value on FD than Zajac’s line (albeit only slightly a better value) is New Jersey’s top line. Nico Hischiercenters that line with Taylor Hall and rookie Nikita Gusev joining him. Hall plays on the top PP unit while Hischier and Gusev play on the second.
If you’re using a New Jersey stack, you could consider including goalie Cory Schneider in the lineup. Using a goalie in a lineup with a stack of skaters from the same team isn’t the worst idea as that goalie is likely to pick up a win if the stack hits. Schneider is the cheapest goalie of the slate on DK (and a decent value on FD) and probably the only G to consider other than Hutton.
Kings @ Canucks
The Kings are playing for the second night in a row on the road, and they are the biggest underdog of the slate with the lowest implied goal total. That makes the Kings the easiest team to disregard. Jeff Carter could be used as salary relief on either site as could Alec Martinez on FD, but that’s about the extent of it. The Canucks, however, are the biggest favorite of the slate and have the best matchup rating of the slate.
Los Angeles doesn’t present any individual matchups to target or avoid. Vancouver’s top line is the better value of their top six lines on both sites, so that’s the play without a matchup concern. Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller are the members of that line, and they all stay together on the top line. Exposure to that line in cash games is advisable, and they’re a great stack option as well. They’re the top-rated line stack of the slate on DK by a long shot per my projections. Alexander Edler is the D-man who joins them on the top PP unit. Edler can be included in a VAN1 stack, but he’s also priced very well on both sites and useful on his own.
Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom could be an option with the Canucks being the biggest favorite of the slate. The problem is that the Kings do not put many pucks toward the net which limits Markstrom’s upside and makes his margin for error thin.
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