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Fantasy picks: Josh Leivo intriguing value choice

Maple Leafs forward among Feb. 18 DFS targets with Mitchell Marner's status uncertain

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

Each day this season, NHL.com'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.

NOTE: This lineup is for eight-game Saturday contests beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

C - John Tavares, NYI ($7,600)

The New York Islanders have a home-and-home against the New Jersey Devils before embarking on a nine-game road trip. Expect Tavares, New York's captain, to set the tone in the first game between the Islanders and Devils this season. Since Doug Weight took over as coach, Tavares has 16 points and 59 shots on goal in 14 games. He had two assists against the New York Rangers on Thursday and is a point-per-game player when on one day of rest (28 in 28 games). He's also a threat for shorthanded points averaging a career-high 0:47 per game in those situations.

Video: NYI@DET: Tavares buries Strome's dish for PPG

C - Jonathan Toews, CHI ($5,900)

Toews has 35 points in 33 games against the Edmonton Oilers, including two assists in as many games this season. He's close to a point per game at home (20 in 23 games) and has thrived offensively of late with 13 points and 30 SOG in his past nine games. He is playing on the Chicago Blackhawks' second line with Richard Panik and Nick Schmaltz, and on the first power-play unit with Panik, Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin and Duncan Keith.

W - Tyler Seguin, DAL ($7,100)

The Dallas Stars have lost seven of eight games this month and are coming off three straight road losses. They host the Tampa Bay Lightning, who resume play after a six-day break. Plenty of NHL teams are coming out flat after their bye, so don't be surprised if Seguin, Jamie Benn and the Stars offense bounce back in this spot. Seguin is ninth in the NHL in scoring (56 points in 59 games) and second in power-play points (24) and SOG (216) entering Friday.

Video: DAL@WPG: Seguin snaps PPG from the high slot

W - Viktor Arvidsson, NSH ($5,700)

Arvidsson is quietly second in scoring (39 points) and first in goals (18) on the Nashville Predators, and among the top 20 League-wide in SOG (175, T-18th). He has 11 points and 36 SOG in his past 10 games for an average of 5.3 DraftKings points per game, and has had success against the Minnesota Wild with two assists, three blocks and eight SOG in three games. He's was priced at $6,000 or more earlier in the season, making him well worth his current cost.

W - Matthew Tkachuk, CGY ($4,800)

Tkachuk is fifth on the rookie scoring list with 36 points and has been effective against the Vancouver Canucks with three points, three blocks and 11 SOG in four games (3.5 DraftKings points per game). He has a point in three of his past four games, totaling five points in the span on the Calgary Flames' second line with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. Tkachuk is one of seven rookies with at least 10 power-play points (11).

D - Brent Seabrook, CHI ($4,400)

Whether or not Seabrook plays on the first power-play unit (12 PPP) against the Oilers, he provides outstanding category coverage to make him a safe bet in daily fantasy. He's averaging 2.6 DraftKings points per game but has seen his production spike in his past 10 games (3.4) thanks to 27 blocks and 20 SOG. He has four points, 18 blocks and 10 SOG in six games since the All-Star break, so DFS owners should feel comfortable using him after Chicago's six-day break.

Video: CHI@COL: Seabrook finds twine with long-range slapper

D - Alexander Edler, VAN ($3,900)

Edler has been limited to 44 of a possible 58 games for the Canucks because of injury but is tied for 11th in blocked shots per game (2.1; minimum 40 games). He has a point in five of his past six games and two PPP, nine blocks and 13 SOG in the span. He has two assists, 14 blocks and four SOG in three games against the Flames for an average of 4.3 DraftKings points per game, making him the ideal second defenseman for your lineup for an affordable price.

G - Mike Smith, ARI ($7,200)

Smith has lived up to his 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game selection by going 7-2-1 with a .928 save percentage and two shutouts in his past 10 games. He has been surprisingly dominant against the San Jose Sharks this season (2-0-1 with a .953 SV% in three games). He remains undefeated in regulation when making at least 40 saves this season (6-0-2) after stopping 41 of 44 shots faced in the Arizona Coyotes' 5-3 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

UTIL - Josh Leivo, TOR ($3,300)

Leivo hasn't gotten much playing time this season (six games with Toronto Maple Leafs; five with Toronto Marlies of American Hockey League). That said, he's taken full advantage of his latest NHL opportunity with back-to-back multipoint games against the Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets for a total of five points and 10 SOG in the two games. He's a lock to remain in the lineup against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and should see more power-play time if Mitchell Marner (upper body) is sidelined. Leivo played 2:09 with the man-advantage against Columbus.

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