NHL Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 4/30/21

Nathan MacKinnon has a dream matchup tonight against the Sharks and should be a core option. Who else should you build your lineups around?

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

Philipp Grubauer ($8,500): The Colorado Avalanche will have their starting goalie back tonight, and that has them as massive -390 home favorites against the San Jose Sharks. This is very encouraging news for the Avalanche, who've lost three straight games and are in the midst of fighting for the top spot in the Western Division. While we don't know if he will be a bit rusty getting back into the flow of the game, we do know that it's a very soft matchup for the offense in front of him. Essentially, you are paying up for the win equity from Grubauer due to how bad the Sharks are on defense. We are expecting plenty of goals from the Avalanche, putting Grubauer in a spot for the win.

High-Priced Skaters

Nathan MacKinnon ($9,100): On this slate, it's Nathan MacKinnon up at the top, then it's everyone else. Over the last 10 games, there is not a single other player on the slate who can match his production. I know that people like to use the phrase "and it's not particularly close" as sort of a joke, but this is no hyperbole. MacKinnon is THE best fantasy option on the slate, and it's not particularly close. He has 18 NHL points and 45 shots on goal in his last 10 games, which are the best numbers of any player on the entire slate.

Yes, it's only a four-game slate. Yes, MacKinnon is the most expensive skater. But you simply find a way to pay up for him in all of your lineups, and you don't look back. The matchup against the Sharks is also fantastic, as they are allowing the fifth-worst (56.74) Corsi Against (Total Shot Attempts Allowed) and the third-most (2.91) goals allowed, both per 60 minutes in five-on-five situations. His role on the first forward line and the first power-play unit is more secure than Fort Knox, so spend up for him tonight.

Shea Theodore ($6,800): Paying top-dollar for a defenseman isn't everyone's cup of tea, but the consistency and upside Theodore has is phenomenal. Theodore is an ideal cash-game play or one-off for some tournament lineups because he can do it all. His floor of points comes from his 35 shots on goal and 13 blocked shots in his last 10 games, while his ceiling comes from his time on the first power-play unit and the 12 NHL points over the last 10 games.

The Vegas Golden Knights are the second-largest (-215) favorites on tonight's slate, which should make them a popular option in all formats, but that could mainly consist of their first forward line. Theodore may not be as chalky as that line, offering a bit of leverage, which is always nice.

Value Skaters

Mason Appleton ($3,500): Appleton is now skating on the first forward line and the first power-play unit for the Winnipeg Jets, which is a surprising role for a player who is at this salary. Appleton only comes in with 3 NHL points and 22 shots on goal over his last 10 games, but it's clear that he is too cheap for the amount of ice time he is seeing currently. The Jets will be taking on the Montreal Canadiens in a matchup that has seen six of their eight games this season hit the over, according to KillerSports. If we are going to see a ton of scoring in this matchup, you want some exposure to this game and Appleton can help you achieve that easily.