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Fantasy buzz: Dadonov second-half sleeper for Panthers

Forward producing with Barkov, Huberdeau; Duclair sees power-play time in Blackhawks debut

by James Harding / NHL.com Fantasy Correspondent

All season long, NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff will have you covered with daily lineup news, production trends and injury notes from around the League. We will identify how these developments affect fantasy owners in year-long (Yahoo) and daily (DraftKings) formats.

 

2 p.m.
DraftKings value picks for Saturday
CENTER

Value pick: Mikko Koivu, MIN ($4,700 vs WPG): Minnesota's captain has been consistent lately while centering the first line between Mikael Granlund ($6,200) and Jason Zucker ($5,900). Koivu has one assist in each of Minnesota's past two games and has seven points (one goal, six assists) and 17 shots on goal in his past eight. He has 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) and is averaging 3.3 DraftKings fantasy points per game in 21 home games. He has one goal, two blocked shots and five SOG in three games against the Winnipeg Jets this season.

Video: BUF@MIN: Granlund, Koivu connect to pad Wild's lead

Spend up for: Tyler Seguin, DAL ($7,500 vs COL)

 

WING

Value pick: Tanner Pearson, LAK ($4,800 vs ANA): Pearson had a power-play assist for the Kings in their last game against the Nashville Predators on Jan. 6, extending his point streak to three games. Pearson has two goals, three assists and seven SOG in that span. He has seen an uptick in performance since his promotion to the first line alongside Anze Kopitar ($6,800) and Dustin Brown ($5,400). Pearson is also skating with Kopitar, Brown and defenseman Drew Doughty ($5,800) on the first power-play unit. He has 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) and 93 shots on goal in 42 games this season, putting him on pace for NHL career highs in points and assists.

Spend up for: Jakub Voracek, PHI ($6,500 at NJD)

 

DEFENSE

Value pick: Sami Vatanen, NJD ($3,900 vs PHI): Vatanen had one assist, two blocked shots and three shots on goal, totaling 4.5 DraftKings fantasy points, in the Devils' 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Jan. 7, their final game before a five-day break. Vatanen has provided solid all-around category coverage in DraftKings with five points (one goal, four assists), eight blocked shots and 17 shots on goal in his past six games. Vatanen has six points (one goal, five assists) in 17 games with New Jersey since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks.

Video: DET@NJD: Vatanen seals the win with empty-net goal

Spend up for: Brent Burns, SJS ($7,200 vs ARI)

 
GOALTENDER

Value pick: Jonathan Bernier, COL ($7,000 at DAL): Bernier was strong filling in for injured starter Semyon Varlamov in the week leading up to Colorado's break. Bernier won each of his three starts, allowing four goals on 93 shots. He has won four straight games and five of his past six. Bernier is a viable streaming option with the Avalanche having four games in the next eight days, making him a top value goaltending option going forward.

Spend up for: Tuukka Rask, BOS ($8,000 at MON)

 

11 a.m.
Dadonov regaining fantasy relevance for Panthers

Florida Panthers forward Evgenii Dadonov extended his point streak to four games with two goals in their 4-2 loss against the Calgary Flames on Friday. 

Dadonov (RW, 17 percent owned in Yahoo) scored one of his two goals on the power play and had eight shots on goal. He has five points (two goals, three assists), two power-play points and 15 SOG in his past four games. Dadonov is back on Florida's first line with left wing Jonathan Huberdeau (46th in Yahoo) and center Aleksander Barkov (61st).

Video: CGY@FLA: Dadonov blasts one-timer for PPG

Dadonov has 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 35 games and is a potential second-half fantasy sleeper given his lineup placement. He started the season strong with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his first 11 games before being held to seven points (one goal, six assists) in 20 games from Nov. 2 to Jan. 2. He missed eight games in that span because of a shoulder injury. 

Fantasy owners should begin to gravitate back toward Dadonov now that his production, especially on the power play, is is picking up again. He is skating with Barkov, Huberdeau, forward Vincent Trocheck and defenseman Keith Yandle on their first power-play unit. The Panthers have a six-day break before they host the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.

 

Duclair excels in debut with Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks forward Anthony Duclair had a productive debut with one assist and one shot on goal in their 2-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

Duclair (LW/RW, 13 percent) played 11:57 on their third line with rookie forward Alex DeBrincat (LW/RW, 24 percent) and David Kampf (C/RW, fewer than 1 percent). He also skated 2:16 on the Blackhawks most-frequent power-play unit with forwards Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz and defenseman Jordan Oesterle. 

Duclair has quickly gained fantasy relevance and could break into Chicago's top-six forward rotation soon. He has seen a double-digit increase in Yahoo ownership since he was acquired in a four-player trade for Richard Panik on Wednesday. 

For more on Duclair's fantasy upside in Chicago, read Pete Jensen's trade reaction

 

Murray takes leave from Penguins; Jarry to start Saturday

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray has gone home to Ontario because of a family matter and will not be available against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, SN, ATTSN-PT, FS-D, NHL.TV). Backup goaltender Tristan Jarry will start in place of Murray on Saturday.

Jarry (26 percent owned in Yahoo; $8,100 in DraftKings) is 7-3-2 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 15 games (13 starts) this season. Pittsburgh has recalled goaltender Casey DeSmith from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

Video: PIT@NYI: Jarry denies Barzal's silky move in front

DeSmith could start against the New York Rangers on Sunday, the second leg of a back-to-back set after Pittsburgh's five-day schedule break

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