All season long, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This article includes expensive and value plays and can be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
Anze Kopitar, LAK ($6,700 at TOR)
The Los Angeles Kings have been one of the biggest fantasy surprises early in the season, ranking third in goals per game (3.86) and seventh in shots on goal per game (34.4). Kopitar is a mismatch for the Toronto Maple Leafs centers, and is off to his best start in years with 11 points (six goals, five assists) in seven games. He has multiple points in four of seven games and is priced well below Auston Matthews ($8,100) despite similar production and an easier matchup.
Video: LAK@CBJ: Kopitar scores off Brown's great feed
Other value center: Logan Couture, SJS ($6,400 at NYR)
WORTH NOTING: If you're looking for a true bargain, center David Desharnais ($3,600) has quietly had a strong start to his tenure with the New York Rangers. He was centering the second line last week, but has since been pushed back down to the third line with Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller. Those are decent linemates for a depth role, and Desharnais carries a four-game point streak (two goals, three assists) into the game against the San Jose Sharks on Monday.
Alex Iafallo, LAK ($3,900 at TOR)
If you're looking for someone to stack with Kopitar, his linemate Iafallo isn't a bad option. The 23-year-old rookie is averaging 16:39 per game with three assists and 17 SOG through his first seven NHL games. While his plus-9 doesn't help you in DraftKings, it's an indicator that Iafallo is on the ice when the Kings are scoring, so it's only a matter of time before more points could come his way. He has a high ceiling for a player priced this low.
WORTH NOTING: Sharks coach Pete DeBoer is looking for secondary scoring and will turn to veteran forward Joel Ward ($3,200) on the fourth line. Ward is scoreless in two games this season and isn't expected to be on either power-play unit. Still, he has a penchant of stepping up when San Jose needs a boost, and provides a contrarian option for use in tournaments. If some of the Sharks' younger players struggle, Ward could also be moved into a top-nine, or even top-six role during the game.
Ron Hainsey, TOR ($3,100 vs. LAK)
Hainsey is second on the Maple Leafs in ice time per game (21:53) and provides a solid floor given his salary. In eight games, the veteran defenseman has six assists, 12 blocks and eight SOG (2.8 DraftKings points per game). If Toronto can limit penalties against Los Angeles, Hainsey would see more time at even strength with exposure to Matthews and William Nylander ($6,700). Hainsey also shouldn't have high ownership, which is always a plus for a light night.
Henrik Lundqvist, NYR ($7,300)
The Rangers look to build off their 4-2 win against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, when Lundqvist made 23 saves for his first win since Oct. 8. The Sharks are 26th in goals (19 in seven games) yet 13th in shots per game (32.3). Lundqvist has a chance to reach 30 saves and be in line for another win without facing high-danger scoring chances. He's also the cheapest starting goalie on this two-game slate.
Video: NSH@NYR: Lundqvist flashes his pad to rob Fiala
WORTH NOTING: With how potent the Maple Leafs and Kings offenses have been, it may be best to steer clear of each of their goalies. Jonathan Quick ($7,700) and Frederik Andersen ($7,500) should each see a high volume of shots; Toronto (34.3) and Los Angeles (34.4) each rank among the top 10 in shots per game. Your best bet is to pick between Lundqvist and Martin Jones ($7,900), and use forward stacks from the Maple Leafs-Kings game.
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