Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This lineup has been constructed with expensive and value picks and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
C - Mark Scheifele, WPG ($6,600)
Scheifele has not gone more than two games without a point all season, making him the perfect bounce-back candidate at home against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday. Scheifele has been held without a point in each of his past two games, but has 24 points and 61 shots on goal in 25 home games and 53 points in as many games overall. He had two points and five SOG against the Blackhawks on Jan. 26, giving him four points in three games against Chicago this season.
C - Bryan Little, WPG ($6,000)
Little has 29 points in 33 games and has been a stable daily fantasy option for the Winnipeg Jets since returning from his early-season injury. He has 15 points in 16 home games and, like Scheifele, had a multipoint performance in his most recent game against the Blackhawks (6.0 DraftKings points on Jan. 26). Given how productive and consistent Winnipeg's top two centers have been when healthy, you'll want each on your side with the Jets at home against Chicago.
W - Artemi Panarin, CHI ($6,500)
Fantasy owners should expect a high-scoring game between the Blackhawks and Jets, meaning that having a piece of Chicago's best offensive line should be your priority. The Jets allow the fifth-most DraftKings points to opposing left wings, making Panarin a player worth spending up for. He has 48 points in 55 games overall, 29 in 30 when on one day of rest and 25 in 26 road games. The Jets are 4-0-0 and have outscored the Blackhawks 14-5 this season; they are looking for the season sweep, but expect Chicago to push back.
Video: CHI@ARI: Panarin winds up, buries blazing one-timer
W - Nino Niederreiter, MIN ($5,300)
Niederreiter has 40 points in 53 games and is on pace to shatter his career-high of 43 points in 82 games, set last season. He has 21 points in 24 home games and has showcased his high DFS ceiling during the past few weeks. He has at least 3.0 DraftKings points in 11 of his past 14 games, including six of at least 5.5 and three of at least 9.0. The Tampa Bay Lightning have won two straight but are dealing with injuries to multiple forwards and are among the NHL's bottom 10 with a .904 save percentage.
W - Jason Pominville, MIN ($4,200)
Pominville, an even more affordable Wild top-nine forward ($1,100 cheaper than Niederreiter), has been extremely consistent; he has at least 2.5 DraftKings points in 10 of his past 12 games. The 34-year-old has 14 points in his past 10 games, including six points during his current three-game point streak. Having played for the Buffalo Sabres from 2003-04 to 2012-13, Pominville also has 38 points in 35 career games against the Lightning.
D - Victor Hedman, TBL ($5,600)
There's no question the most suspect offense of the four teams in action Friday is the Lightning, who have been without Steven Stamkos for more than half of the season. That said, Tampa Bay has eight goals in its past two games, meaning you can't afford to completely ignore the Lightning on this light DFS slate. Hedman has a good chance of returning value even if he doesn't record a point; he's one of 21 players with at least 80 blocks (85) and 95 SOG (97) and ranks third in points (42) and tied for first in power-play points (18) among defensemen.
Video: MTL@TBL: Hedman trims the deficit with smooth finish
D - Brent Seabrook, CHI ($4,400)
Seabrook had a rough start scoring-wise this calendar year (no points in his first seven January games), but kept his peripheral coverage strong and now has seen a scoring uptick. He has at least 2.5 DraftKings points in eight of his past nine games and four assists (two on the power play) in his past five games. For such a cheap price with power-play exposure to Patrick Kane, Panarin and Duncan Keith, it's tough to pass up on a high-floor defenseman like Seabrook.
G - Devan Dubnyk, MIN ($8,200)
Dubnyk is the most expensive of the four projected starting goalies for Friday, but easily has the best matchup of the four. He's 15-5-0 with a .927 SV% and three shutouts at home, and has an overall record of 29-9-3 with a .933 SV% and five SO. The Lightning rank 23rd in road penalty kill (78.9 percent), and the Wild have the second-best home power play (27.3 percent), with two loaded units. There's no reason to doubt the Wild can provide enough goal support for Dubnyk to become the first goalie this season to reach 30 wins.
UTIL - Trevor van Riemsdyk, CHI ($3,100)
It's an underrated strategy to load up on high-end forwards and use your UTIL spot to roster a third defenseman. Van Riemsdyk has multiple blocks in eight of his past nine games, multiple SOG four times and has scored three of his seven points this season during that span. The Jets will be without goalie Ondrej Pavelec (concussion), and their back end is already among the weakest in the NHL (3.13 goals allowed per game, fourth-most). Look for the Blackhawks to score at least three goals and for van Riemsdyk (18:32 per game) to chip in a point.
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