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 - Connor McDavid, EDM ($8,500)
McDavid is a straight chalk play Friday against the Arizona Coyotes, who are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. The young center has been unstoppable lately with four goals and four assists in his past three games. After working through some growing pains in his first season with the Edmonton Oilers, left wing Milan Lucic ($5,200) and McDavid have sparked some chemistry and make for an intriguing stack option for cash games.
C - Kevin Hayes, NYR ($5,300)
The New York Rangers have scored 28 goals in six games following a loss this season. Hayes is tied for first with J.T. Miller for the team lead with 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) and has been one of the best value plays in DraftKings (3.4 points per contest). The Philadelphia Flyers are allowing the sixth-most DraftKings points to opposing centers and the injury to Mika Zibanejad has given Hayes a promotion to the first line with Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. The Rangers are a great team to stack considering they have the NHL's top offense and none of their forwards and defensemen cost more than $6,600.
W - Joe Pavelski, SJ ($7,300)
The San Jose Sharks captain has turned it on with a goal, three assists and 22 shots on goal during a four-game point streak. He has 19.5 DraftKings points combined in his past three games and gets a great matchup against the New York Islanders, who are allowing the second-most points to opposing right wings. Pavelski has been a point-per-game player at SAP Center (eight points in eight games) and the Sharks have scored a power-play goal in seven of eight at home. There also are similarly priced wings that have upside in Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks ($7,400) and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars ($7,300).
Video: SJS@ARI: Pavelski nets nice deflection past Smith
W - Rickard Rakell, ANA ($6,400)
If you aren't willing to pay up for Perry, then Rakell makes sense considering he's riding a three-game goal streak. There's a chance Jonathan Toews won't play for the Chicago Blackhawks, which would give Rakell a much easier matchup, particularly on the power play. Rakell has been a point-per-game player at home with five goals and two assists in seven games (4.5 DraftKings points per contest). Among wings in Friday contests, Rakell ranks sixth in DraftKings points per game (4.3) despite being priced 19th.
D - Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI ($5,600)
Rarely will you see Ekman-Larsson this cheap in DraftKings, but that's what happens when you haven't scored a goal in 11 games. Ekman-Larsson has three assists in that span and hasn't had more than 3.5 DraftKings points in any of his past 10 games. This is a risky play, especially in cash games, but the Oilers are streaky and have allowed 13 goals in their past four road games. Ekman-Larsson is 13th in the League in ice time per game (24:38) and first in power-play ice time per game (4:18). He gets a ton of usage and could be a huge play in tournaments if he has a game he's accustomed to against Edmonton.
Video: ARI@PHI: Ekman-Larsson spins, scores through traffic
D - Julius Honka, DAL ($3,600)
Since being recalled from Texas of the American Hockey League to replace Johnny Oduya in the lineup, Honka has played well with an assist and 10 SOG in two games. He's skating on the top defense pair and top power-play unit for the Dallas Stars, whose offense has underperformed this season, but could have a strong game against the Canucks, who allowed five goals against Dallas on Nov. 13. Honka's price tag will only increase as he continues to produce, so employing him while he's not as established is key.
G - Martin Jones, SJ ($8,300)
Jones has allowed a goal, stopping 59 of 60 shots in back-to-back wins against the New Jersey Devils on Monday and Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. He has been stellar at home this season, going 6-2-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in eight starts. The Islanders have scored two or fewer goals in each of their past six games (1-3-2) and have scored at least three goals in one of seven road games. Backup Aaron Dell ($8,000) would also be a great play; he was in net for a 3-2 win against the Islanders at Barclays Center on Oct. 18.
Video: CHI@SJS: Jones denies Hossa's wrist shot
G - Chad Johnson, CGY ($7,300)
Johnson has, for now, taken over the starting job for Brian Elliott, who has struggled this season. The once backup has started five of the past six games for the Calgary Flames. Johnson is 4-1-0 and has allowed six goals with two shutouts in his past five games. The Boston Bruins will be playing their third game in four days and Johnson has been impressive on the road (4-1-1, 1.48 GAA, .945 SV%). Proceed with caution should the Flames opt to go back to Elliott ($7,300), but perhaps the start against a depleted Boston team will bring out the best in his game.
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