Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This article includes expensive and value plays and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
TOP CENTER: Bryan Little, WPG ($5,600)
Little, despite being limited to 50 of a possible 73 games, is closing in on a 20-goal (20), 20-assist (19) season for the Winnipeg Jets with a respectable shot total (107) and power-play output (10 power-play points). He's centering Calder Trophy candidate Patrik Laine of late, and has been strong on the road (19 points in 23 games), where he faces the Anaheim Ducks. Little has eight points in his past 10 games and seven points in eight games played on no days rest.
Video: WPG@NYI: Little bangs a rebound past Greiss
VALUE CENTER: Brayden Point, TBL ($5,300)
Point has become a daily fantasy lineup lock alongside Nikita Kucherov on the Tampa Bay Lightning's first line and power-play unit, and should be rostered again on the road against the Detroit Red Wings. Point is averaging 3.7 DraftKings points per game during the six-game absence of Tyler Johnson (lower body), much better than his season average of 2.3. The Red Wings are allowing the fifth-most DraftKings points to opposing centers, and Point has reaped the benefits with two points and four SOG in three games against them this season.
TOP WING: Joe Pavelski, SJS ($7,000)
The San Jose Sharks face the Dallas Stars for the second time in four days, and look to redeem themselves after a 1-0 loss to them Monday. The Sharks' 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday extended their losing streak to four games, but fantasy owners can expect Pavelski, Joe Thornton (C, $4,800) and Brent Burns to respond with multipoint games given how much ice time they share at even strength and on the power play. Pavelski has two goals on seven SOG in two games against Dallas, and is closing in on his fifth-straight full season of at least 30 goals (28).
Video: BUF@SJS: Pavelski snipes Couture's feed for PPG
VALUE WING: Scott Wilson, PIT ($3,500)
Wilson has played in mostly a bottom-six role this season, scoring 23 points in 69 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins. But top-line forward Jake Guentzel sustained a concussion Tuesday, opening the door for Wilson to potentially fill the void alongside Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary. He practiced in that spot Thursday and offers cheap exposure to the Penguins offense. He has one assist, two blocked shots and eight SOG in two games against the New York Islanders.
TOP DEFENSEMAN: Brent Burns, SJS ($8,500)
Burns has been held without a point in nine of his past 10 games, but his elite coverage, favorable matchup and potential dip in ownership make him an intriguing bounce-back candidate on this four-game slate. The Stars are allowing the sixth-most DraftKings points to opposing defensemen and allowed 18 goals in four home games prior to shutting out the Sharks on Monday. With such a high shot volume (287, leads NHL), Burns is bound to eventually snap out of his funk, and it's likely to come against such a favorable opponent on the road, where he has 39 points in 36 games.
VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Nick Leddy, NYI ($4,900)
Leddy has tied his career high with 40 points (15th among defensemen), with half coming on the road. He hasn't scored a point in three games against the Penguins, but has salvaged his DraftKings value with a combined nine blocked shots and five SOG in the season series. Leddy has at least one point in five of his past seven games, and has a chance to hold his own offensively against the Penguins, who likely will be without Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang again because of upper-body injuries. Leddy mans the first power-play unit with John Tavares and has 13 PPP.
Video: NYI@STL: Leddy nets PPG to trim deficit
GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Jaroslav Halak, NYI ($6,500)
If Halak gets the start on the road against the Penguins in the first leg of the Islanders' back-to-back set, he will be available for the minimum goalie price in DraftKings. Halak struggled on the road (1-5-1, .896 save percentage, one shutout) prior to being waived by the Islanders and assigned to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, but daily fantasy owners should throw out that small sample size given how low he's priced. The Penguins are depleted across their lineup, and are on the second half of a back-to-back set, giving Halak a chance to prove he still belongs in the NHL and steal a road win. He is 7-5-1 with a .926 SV% in his career against Pittsburgh.
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