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: Auston Matthews, TOR ($7,800)
Matthews is the most expensive center in the contest, and for good reason. The Toronto Maple Leafs rookie has 38 goals and 28 assists this season, including eight power-play goals and 21 power-play points. Matthews had three points (two goals, one assist) in a 5-4 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, and has a four-game goal streak. He has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in his past 10 games, good for 4.6 DraftKings points, higher than his 4.3 average on the season. Matthews also has two goals in four games against the Buffalo Sabres and is averaging almost a point per game on the road (40 points in 41 games).
Video: TOR@DET: Matthews uses quick hands to bury PPG
VALUE CENTER: Frans Nielsen, DET ($4,100)
The Red Wings may be eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention but Nielsen has turned it on as of late. He had an assist and a season-high seven shots on goal (5.5 DraftKings points) against the Maple Leafs on Saturday. That followed a game in which he had two points (one goal, one assist) and 5.5 DraftKings points in a 5-3 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nielsen has six points in the past 10 games to go with 23 SOG and eight blocked shots. At this price, he's a decent play against the Ottawa Senators, who have lost four straight games and eight of 10.
TOP WING: William Nylander, TOR ($6,300)
Nylander and Matthews have demonstrated excellent chemistry together this season. Nylander has 59 points (22 goals, 37 assists), including four goals and seven assists in his past 10 games (3.8 DraftKings points, up from his season average of 3.2). He's approaching 200 SOG (189) and should help the Maple Leafs score against a below-average Sabres defense. Nylander is the third most expensive wing in the contest behind Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens ($7,000) and Evander Kane of the Sabres ($6,400), but currently has the most upside of the three.
Video: TOR@DET: Nylander shows patience and snaps in wrister
VALUE WING: Mike Hoffman, OTT ($5,400)
We mentioned the Senators struggles above, but those can't be attributed to Hoffman. He had two goals on seven SOG (9.5 DraftKings points) in a 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday and has three goals in his past two games. Hoffman has put up at least 3.0 DraftKings points in eight of his past 10 games thanks to four goals, six assists and 27 SOG. He leads Ottawa with 13 power-play goals, and is second in goals (25), points (58) and power-play points (25).
VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Michael Matheson, FLA ($3,500)
Matheson is a very good defensive defenseman but has limited offensive production with 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) this season. However, he did have a goal in a 6-2 loss to the Canadiens on Thursday to go with two SOG and two blocked shots (5.0 DraftKings points). Matheson hasn't missed a game this season and has 173 SOG (fifth on the Panthers) and 113 blocked shots (first). He also has two of his 16 points against the Canadiens this season.
GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Frederik Andersen, TOR ($8,200)
Andersen is scheduled to start for the Maple Leafs on Monday and is 5-0-1 in his past seven starts. He made 38 saves against the Red Wings in a 5-4 win on Saturday (6.6 DraftKings points). In his past 10 games, he's 7-1-1 with a 2.28 GAA and a .936 SV% (6.1 DraftKings points per game). Three of Andersen's four shutouts this season have come on the road, and he's 2-1-0 in four starts against the Sabres this season. Andersen is 6-1-0 with a 1.79 GAA and .934 SV% in eight career starts against Buffalo. In a three-game contest, Andersen likely is the best option at goaltender.
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