NHL DFS: Best DraftKings, FanDuel daily fantasy hockey picks for January 18

The 2018-19 NHL season rolls on with a seven-game main slate for NHL DFS tournaments and cash games on Friday beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET. Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Capitals wing Alex Ovechkin will be among the highest-priced options of the night and getting star power like that into your NHL DFS lineups will require some finagling with the salary cap. So before you make your NHL DFS picks for Friday night, be sure to check out the lineups from SportsLine's DFS expert Mike McClure.

McClure is a DFS professional with nearly $2 million in career winnings. He's also a predictive data engineer at SportsLine who uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every minute of every game 10,000 times, taking factors like matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account. This allows him to find the best NHL DFS values and create optimal lineups that he shares only over at SportsLine. They're a must-see for any NHL DFS player.

McClure recommended Rangers wing Chris Kreider for $6,400 on FanDuel on Thursday. The result? He scored a goal and dished out an assist against the Blackhawks -- returning nearly 25 points and almost 4x value for owners. 

For Friday's slate, McClure is banking on Hurricanes wing Andrei Svechnikov at $3,500 on FanDuel and $4,100 on DraftKings.

Svechnikov comes at a bargain price because he plays on the third line for the Hurricanes. However, he gets second-line power-play minutes and he has scoring touch around the net and the 18-year-old has 11 goals and eight assists because of that scoring mentality in his rookie season.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft gets a strong matchup on Friday night against the last-place Ottawa Senators. The Hurricanes put up five goals against them just two weeks ago and Svechnikov should have scoring opportunities on that second power-play unit against a team that takes a lot of penalties.

McClure is also high on Flames wing Johnny Gaudreau ($8,900 on FanDuel, $7,700 on DraftKings).

Gaudreau has a nine-game point streak and has multiple points in seven of those contests. That's the sort of scoring pop you're looking for when you're dishing out that sort of cash against the salary cap.

In fact, Gaudreau has nine games this season of at least three points and he had four points against the Red Wings when the Flames first played them earlier this month. Get Gaudreau into your NHL DFS lineups and expect him to take advantage of a premium matchup against Detroit.

McClure is also targeting an undervalued player who is set to go off for big numbers because of a dream matchup, and he comes at a price that will leave plenty of salary cap flexibility. Picks like these could be the difference between winning your cash games and tournaments or going home with nothing.

So what is the optimal NHL DFS lineup for Friday? Visit SportsLine now to see DFS millionaire Mike McClure's complete optimal tournament lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings, and cash in big on NHL DFS.

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