NHL Daily Fantasy Picks and Helper: Sunday 2/25/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Daily Fantasy Picks and Helper: Sunday 2/25/24

NHL DFS is similar to MLB in terms of how you build lineups, how you view stacking, and how to value players.

Two main points to always focus on in NHL DFS are what lines the players are on and making sure the goalies you are rostering are confirmed as the starters.

Two of the best resources for that are LeftWingLock.com and DailyFaceOff.com. That is where you can find updated forward and power-play lines for each team, along with which goalies are confirmed as the starters.

Using our projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- as a guide, let's take a look at today's slate to find a goalie, some stacks, and value plays for your NHL DFS lineups on FanDuel.


Goalie to Target

Ukko Pekka-Luukkonen, Buffalo Sabres ($7,300)

The safe choice here today is Connor Hellebuyck ($8,300), who is facing the lowly Arizona Coyotes. We'll get to Hellebuyck's Winnipeg Jets in a moment, but there is a value alternative today for the daring.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen ($7,300) has quietly been one of the best goalies in hockey. He's won four of his last five starts while ceding just nine goals in that span. A deeper dive into the analytics also reveals that UPL is second across the NHL in goals saved above expectation (GSAx) over the past 30 days (8.40).

This home matchup for him with the Carolina Hurricanes is a bit dicey -- but comes with great reward. Carolina's 69.1 Corsi per 60 minutes leads the NHL, so they get a ton of scoring chances. Those can also be save points in the right hands.

Pekka-Luukkonen is projected by FanDuel Research for 16.6 FanDuel points this evening, which is easily the best mark for a sub-$8,000 goalie.


Winnipeg Jets

Not dissimilar to yesterday, the reason to shy away from Hellebuyck might be his salary, popularity, and because we want four Winnipeg Jet skaters instead.

Arizona is one of the worst teams in the NHL on both ends of the ice. Over the past 30 days, they're scoring the second-fewest expected goals (xG) per 60 minutes themselves (2.42), and they're allowing the fifth-most to opponents (3.45). Plus, Connor Ingram's hot start has faded to -1.81 GSAx in the same period.

Winnipeg is one of the few teams left in the NHL where you get their four best pieces for an easy, corollary stack. They concentrate Kyle Connor ($8,600), Mark Scheifele ($7,300), Josh Morrissey ($6,500), and Gabriel Vilardi ($6,500) to the top line at even strength and on the power play. That's three of Winnipeg's four leading goal-scorers plus their top defenseman as a point-earner.

I'm not entering cash game without these four tonight, which will lead to the unfortunate sacrifice of their well-positioned netminder.

New York Rangers

As into Winnipeg as I am, I know the rest of the field is likely starting with the New York Rangers, though.

Akin to last year's Seattle Kraken, the regression might just never come for the Rags. Over the past month, only the Toronto Maple Leafs have posted more goals per 60 minutes than New York's 3.88, but the Rangers have posted a measly 2.88 xG per 60 in the same period. They're the luckiest team in hockey at present, and I'm sure they'll keep flowing tonight against the paltry Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus has been a mess defensively all season but are, specifically, allowing the eighth-most goals per 60 in the past 30 days. Their xG numbers suggest improvement, but I'm doubtful with how fortunate New York has run all season.

The Rags' lead power-play crew sees first-liners Chris Kreider ($8,100), Mika Zibanejad ($8,000), and Adam Fox ($7,000) joined by second-liners Artemi Panarin ($9,900) and Vincent Trocheck ($7,700). Especially with the salary savings UPL can provide, I'd stick to these five leaders in points for NYR this season.

On a larger slate, I'd consider a fade here, but they're in a solid spot without much argument.

Value Skaters

Gustav Nyquist, W, Nashville Predators ($5,600)

The last place we can pluck value from is the contest between the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks -- both of whom are on a back-to-back.

Nashville has a legitimate stacking argument when Anaheim has allowed 3.46 xG per 60 minutes in the past month, which is right next to Arizona. Plus, the Ducks will be forced to deploy Lukas Dostal, who has amassed -2.45 GSAx in the same period. If I had more faith in Nashville's offense, they'd have bumped NYR out of the stacking tier.

Nonetheless, Gustav Nyquist ($5,600) is a handy piece for one-offs even if stacking elsewhere. The Preds' left wing skates on the first even-strength and power-play unit, posting seven points in seven February contests.

Nyquist is projected by FanDuel Research for 13.4 FanDuel points, leading all forwards in the $5K range.

Cam Fowler, D, Anaheim Ducks ($4,400)

On the other side, the Ducks should be aided by the fact that the Predators used Juuse Saros in last night's win over the San Jose Sharks.

That'll put Kevin Lankinen in goal for Nashville tonight; that's been a welcome sight for opposition. Lankinen is third-worst in GSAx (-4.14) over the past month of play. Nashville's 3.03 xG per 60 minutes allowed in the same period is mediocre, so without Saros, they're a fairly welcome target.

We know how poor Anaheim's offense can perform with minimal correlation, but their lead defenseman is truly all I need from this one. Cam Fowler ($4,400) was recently promoted to the team's top power-play unit, so it's no surprise he's topped 13 FanDuel points in three of his last six despite an unproductive 2023-24 campaign otherwise. The veteran had just 22 points entering February and has 6 this month already.

Fowler's TOI average this month (23:42) is also elite. Personally, he's the best defense target per dollar of salary this side of Josh Morrissey.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.