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Fantasy picks: Phil Kessel nears point-per-game realm

Penguins right wing among Feb. 16 DFS targets against Jets at home

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Senior Fantasy Editor

DraftKings Daily Picks: Thursday

DraftKings Daily NHL Picks for Thursday

The NHL Tonight crew makes its picks for top DraftKings players for Thursday night including Nino Niederreiter and Jake Guentzel

  • 01:05 •

Each day this season,'s fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This lineup has been constructed with expensive and value picks and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.


C - Anze Kopitar, LAK ($5,400)

After a five-game point streak, Kopitar was held without a point in three straight heading into the Los Angeles Kings' six-day break. That said, he forms a moderately-priced stack with Tyler Toffoli (W, $5,600), who recently returned from injury Feb. 4. The Arizona Coyotes are allowing the most DraftKings points per game to centers, and Kopitar has five points, a block and six shots on goal in two games against Arizona (7.3 DraftKings points per game).

Video: LAK@ARI: Kopitar crashes net, buries loose puck


C - Brock Nelson, NYI ($4,400)

The New York Islanders came back down to earth in a 7-1 road loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, but could bounce back at home against the New York Rangers. The Islanders have won five of their past six games against the Rangers since last season, and Nelson has combined for five points and 18 SOG in those games. He has eight points in his past 10 games and is playing on the second line with a resurgent Ryan Strome (W, $3,800).


W - Jamie Benn, DAL ($7,000)

Benn has 49 points in 46 games since the beginning of November, and 14 points and 34 SOG in his past 10. The Dallas Stars have a suspect defense (3.21 goals allowed per game; second-most in NHL), but Benn is still worth the price of admission on the road, where he has 22 points in 25 games. He has three points and 11 SOG in four games against the Minnesota Wild.

Video: DAL@NSH: Benn roofs blistering wrist shot for PPG


W - Phil Kessel, PIT ($6,500)

In the shadow of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Kessel is quietly scoring nearly a point per game (54 in 55 games) for the Pittsburgh Penguins. His 24 power-play points are tied with Tyler Seguin for the NHL lead entering Wednesday, and he's averaging nearly three SOG per game (2.9). He should add to his elite totals against the Winnipeg Jets at home, where he has 33 points in 29 games. Kessel is tied for 15th among skaters in DraftKings price -- much cheaper than Crosby ($8,500) and Malkin ($7,700).


W - Zack Smith, OTT ($3,900)

Even after Smith's recent stretch of one point in five games, he has 19 points in his past 22 games dating to Dec. 17. He's occupied a top-six role for the Ottawa Senators for most of that stretch, seeing plenty of even-strength ice time with Kyle Turris and Mike Hoffman. Smith and the Senators visit the New Jersey Devils, whom he had a goal, an assist and two SOG against on Dec. 17. His DraftKings price has dipped below $4,000, making him a sneaky value pick.

Video: NYI@OTT: Smith caps off rush with a nifty backhand


D - Kris Letang, PIT ($6,300)

Even though Letang missed a chunk of time because of injury, he has totaled 17 points and 55 SOG in 19 games since the beginning of December. He has 16 points in 19 home games, has points in two straight, and has combined to score 20 points in 24 games against the Jets franchise. He's on the Penguins' first power-play unit with Kessel, Crosby and Malkin, so you'll want him on your roster. The Jets have been outscored 97-80 on the road.


D - Colton Parayko, STL ($4,900)

Parayko has five points, 10 blocks and 10 SOG in six games since the St. Louis Blues replaced coach Ken Hitchcock with Mike Yeo on Feb. 1. The Blues are on the second of a back-to-back set at home against the Vancouver Canucks, but Parayko has five points and 16 SOG in eight games on no days rest. He has scored 19 of his 27 points at Scottrade Center.

Video: TOR@STL: Parayko pots scorching wrister for PPG


G - Robin Lehner, BUF ($8,200)

Lehner is 7-4-1 with a .930 save percentage this calendar year, and has a .928 SV% at home this season. He faces the Colorado Avalanche, who are allowing the most DraftKings points to goalies. Lehner is 8-4-1 with a .920 SV% against Western Conference teams. If the Buffalo Sabres start Anders Nilsson instead, he's $100 cheaper and averaging 4.6 DraftKings points in his past four games.


UTIL - Christian Dvorak, ARI ($3,400)

Dvorak has seven points, three blocks and 12 SOG in six games in February, including three multipoint games. He's a boom-or-bust pick in DFS, but is averaging 2:14 per game on the power play in that span. He also covers blocked shots well for a forward (36 in 51 games). The Coyotes face the Kings, who are coming off their break. NHL teams enter Wednesday 3-8-1 in the first game after their break in the schedule.


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