NHL Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 3/18/21

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 or 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.

Let's jump in to take a look at today's slate and some players to consider for your lineups.

Goalie to Target

Andrei Vasilevskiy ($8,700): With Vasilevskiy confirmed as tonight's starter, you should be looking to him all in formats. He is the most expensive goalie on the slate but we see the Tampa Bay Lightning coming in as massive -270 home favorites, putting him in a prime spot to pick up the win. Vasilevskiy will be going for his 10th straight win tonight, a streak that has featured five games where he allowed two goals or fewer.

Part of this success comes from the fact he sits behind the Tampa defense who are allowing a 50.02 Corsi Against (Total Shot Attempts Allowed) per 60 minutes in five-on-five situations, which is fifth-best in the league. The Lightning have shown to be a solid defensive group of the past few seasons and are continuing that effort this season by severely limiting their opponent's offensive chances. Vasilevskiy should be in for an easier night in net and a win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

High-Salaried Skaters

Nathan MacKinnon ($8,600): When a player such as MacKinnon is hot, you don't want to fade him. He comes in three goals in his last five games and has 23 shots on goal in that time, which is insane. Over four shots on goal per game is an elite level of production and combine that with his scoring ability and you have a great combination of a strong floor and a high ceiling. The matchup tonight versus the Minnesota Wild is a good one, since they have the fifth-worst (56.90) Corsi Against (Total Shots Attempts Allowed) per 60 minutes in five-on-five situations.

So far this season, the Wild are allowing 2.00 goals per 60 minutes in five-on-five situations, which is sixth-best in the league. That just doesn't add up. A defense can't allow the fifth-most shot attempts while allowing the sixth-fewest goals. This could point to the Wild being in a spot for some regression back to the mean. If that is the case, you should be very interested in buying into MacKinnon even more, considering the strong floor of shots he has on a nightly basis.

Kyle Connor ($6,900): Kyle Connor is en fuego right now with 6 goals, 5 assists, and 35 shots on goal over his last 10 games. His role on the second forward line and the first power-play has granted him plenty of offensive opportunities every night, something that should continue against the Edmonton Oilers tonight. The Oilers come in with a bottom-10 defense in both Corsi Against and goals allowed, both per 60 minutes in five-on-five situations.

Tonight's matchup has a 6.5 over/under and will feature both teams on the second night of a back-to-back, which means they are down to their backup goalies. This should put both teams in a good spot for plenty of scoring, but that won't be a surprise for this matchup. Seven of the last 10 games between these two teams have hit the over, according to KillerSports.

Value Skaters

Kasperi Kapanen ($5,200): With Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup tonight, Kapanen will move up to the first power-play unit alongside Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, and Kris Letang. This immediately increases his ceiling of points since he has an expanded offensive role. He is also skating alongside elite players, who could put him in a position to pick easy NHL points simply for being on the ice with them. It helps that they are up against the New Jersey Devils, who are allowing the 11th-most (2.48) goals per 60 minutes in five-on-five situations.

Carter Verhaeghe ($4,800): Verhaeghe has a very impressive 9 NHL points and 27 shots on goal over his last 10 games. The Florida Panthers are -235 home favorites tonight and have the second-highest (3.83) implied goal total on the slate. Verhaeghe is on the first forward line and the second power-play unit, making him a clear slam dunk tonight based on his salary and offensive expectation.