Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This list of targets includes expensive and value options at each position to help you build a winning roster.
C - Kevin Hayes, NYR ($5,200)
In three games since returning from injury, Hayes has a goal and four assists, including a three-assist game in a 4-3 win against the Nashville Predators on Thursday. The New York Rangers center had a goal and 4.5 DraftKings points in a 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, and has fit in nicely with linemates Michael Grabner and J.T. Miller. Hayes is a good play at this price against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
C - Brandon Dubinsky, CBJ ($4,100)
Dubinsky isn't known for his scoring, but had two assists, three shots on goal and three blocks (7.0 DraftKings points) in a 2-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. He has two goals, seven assists, 19 SOG and 10 blocks in his past nine games. Dubinsky has three multipoint games in his past five, and can contribute both offensively and defensively.
W - Cam Atkinson, CBJ ($7,200)
The Blue Jackets have lost five of their past eight games but blame shouldn't be placed on Atkinson. He leads Columbus in goals (27) and points (49), and has three goals in his past five games. Atkinson has two points in three games against the Rangers this season and plays in all situations, which helps his cause.
Video: DET@CBJ: Atkinson puts home a loose puck in crease
W - Johnny Gaudreau, CGY ($6,600)
The Calgary Flames have won four of five games, and Gaudreau has a goal and five assists in that span. Despite missing time because of an injury earlier in the season, he has 11 goals and 35 points in 46 games. Gaudreau is one of the better playmakers in this contest and likely is in for a good game against a suspect Arizona Coyotes defense.
W - Michael Grabner, NYR ($5,200)
The price is quite low for a player who is among the League leaders in goals (26). Grabner has been sizzling of late with seven goals in 10 games and 12 goals in the past 15 games. He takes plenty of shots on goal (123) and generates plenty of scoring chances with his speed. Grabner also has 14 goals in 24 road games this season and will be in Columbus on Monday.
Video: NSH@NYR: Grabner roofs Hayes' dish from in close
D - Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI ($4,700)
Ekman-Larsson is having a disappointing season (10 goals, 30 points in 53 games) after scoring at least 21 goals in each of the past two seasons. However, he had two assists against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, and has seven points in the past 10 games. The offense usually runs through Ekman-Larsson, who has 16 power-play points this season, and he's priced reasonably for this matchup.
D - Mark Giordano, CGY ($5,100)
Giordano has 22 points in 56 games this season, well below his pace from last season (21 goals, 56 points in 82 games) and has been outperformed by teammate Dougie Hamilton (eight goals, 33 points in 55 games). However, he does do most of his damage at home (five goals, 14 points) and is a blocks machine (123). Even if he is held without a point, Giordano should be able to rack up a few DraftKings points with his SOG and blocks.
G - Mike Smith, ARI ($7,000)
Smith is the cheapest option among starting goalies in this contest and is coming off a 28-save performance in a 4-3 overtime win against the Penguins. Smith is 6-3-1, averaging 4.7 DraftKings points per contest in his past 10 games, and even if he doesn't get a win, he often faces 30 or more shots, so should be able to rack up the points.
Video: PIT@ARI: Smith uses pad to stop Guentzel's backhand
UTIL - Matthew Tkachuk, CGY ($4,600)
Tkachuk has put his early struggles behind him and is having a fine rookie season with the Flames. He has 10 goals and 24 assists in 52 games, and is averaging 2.5 DraftKings points per game, but 2.8 in his past 10 games. The lone downside is that Tkachuk takes a lot of penalties (92 PIM) which lessens his ice time. However, if he can stay disciplined, there's a good chance he'll get on the scoresheet against the Coyotes.
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