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.
MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: DFS strategy guide | Cheat sheet
Spend up for: Ryan Johansen, NSH ($6,100 - 4.5 DraftKings points) -- Johansen avoids the matchup against defensive juggernaut Patrice Bergeron, who's out with a lower-body injury. Many forget Johansen has had four-straight 60-point seasons. He's fully healthy after the thigh injury that ended his productive Stanley Cup Playoff run (3-10-13) after 14 games.
Value pick: Filip Chytil, NYR ($3,600 - 0.0 DraftKings points) -- The Rangers are turning to this 18-year-old to fill their second-line center vacancy alongside proven scorers in Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello. He has a ripe matchup in his Rangers debut against the Colorado Avalanche, who allowed the most goals per game in the NHL by far last season (3.37).
Spend up for: Brandon Saad, CHI ($6,000 - 12.0 DraftKings points!) -- Two familiar faces, forwards Saad and Patrick Sharp (W, $4,900), return to the Chicago Blackhawks lineup after rejoining them during the offseason. Saad scored four goals on 18 shots in four preseason games and finished among the top 15 even-strength point producers (50 ES points; T-13th) last season. A spot alongside Jonathan Toews at even strength and on the power play should make Saad worth your while in DFS.
Value pick: Clayton Keller, ARI ($4,100 - 6.5 DraftKings points!) -- The Arizona Coyotes rookie looks to feed off a strong preseason; his eight points in four games tied for third in the League behind Connor McDavid (10 points in five games) and Jake Guentzel (nine in four games). A top line spot with Max Domi and Derek Stepan, and some power-play time against a severely depletedAnaheim Ducks lineup, should lead to Keller returning value in the Coyotes opener. An under-the-radar strategy would be to stack Keller with power-play defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($4,700) in this favorable spot.
Video: ARI@LAK: Keller beats diving Quick for nice PPG
Spend up for: Drew Doughty, LAK ($5,300 - 3.5 DraftKings points) -- The Los Angeles Kings open their season at home against the Philadelphia Flyers, who will be on the second leg of a back-to-back set after defeating the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on Wednesday. Doughty and the Kings are coming off a disappointing season, but look to turn the page under new coach John Stevens. Even in a relatively quiet offensive season by his high standards, Doughty provided some of the best points (44), blocked shots (109) and shots on goal (181) coverage among defensemen.
Value pick: Charlie McAvoy, BOS ($4,500 - 6.0 DraftKings points!) -- With Torey Krug (fractured jaw) sidelined for the Boston Bruins opener, expect the rookie McAvoy to run the first power-play unit with forwards Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, David Krejci and Ryan Spooner. The Predators have switched up their defensive pairs with Ryan Ellis (knee) sidelined long term, so don't be surprised if the Bruins take advantage on home ice. McAvoy should be ready to fill in adequately after shouldering a heavy workload last postseason.
Top pick: Robin Lehner, BUF ($7,300 - 5.6 DraftKings points) -- In a contract year, Lehner has a lot to prove on opening night against the Montreal Canadiens at home. Center Jack Eichel just signed an eight-year contract extension with the Buffalo Sabres, and left wing Evander Kane is also in a contract year. Don't be surprised if they finally give Lehner some goal support at home in new coach Phil Housley's debut. Lehner, who had a .920 save percentage last season, is fairly affordable for a home goaltender against a team with lineup holes on defense and at center like the Canadiens.
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