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Fantasy picks: Pavel Buchnevich stellar when healthy

Rangers wing leads NHL in even-strength points per 60, among Jan. 19 targets

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.

 

C - John Tavares, NYI ($6,500)

Tavares had two multipoint games in his first 35. But since Dec. 31, he has three multipoint games in his past seven, totaling seven points and 23 shots on goal. The New York Islanders made a coaching change Tuesday, firing Jack Capuano and promoting Doug Weight. Fantasy owners can expect plenty of line adjustments and roster moves the rest of the way, but Tavares at least gets a favorable draw Thursday at home against the Dallas Stars, who are allowing the second-most DraftKings points to opposing centers.

 

C - Tyler Bozak, TOR ($4,900)

Bozak's five-game point streak ended against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. Bozak and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the reeling New York Rangers, who are forced to use struggling goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the absence of injured backup Antti Raanta. Lundqvist has allowed at least four goals in six of his past eight games, and the Rangers defense hasn't done him any favors. Look for Bozak and linemates James van Riemsdyk and Mitchell Marner to score in another potential offensive slugfest.

Video: TOR@OTT: Bozak takes advantage of Ryan's turnover

 

W - Jamie Benn, DAL ($6,700)

Like Tavares, Benn has come alive lately after a slow start. Benn, who recently missed time because of a foot injury, had 10.0 DraftKings points (one goal, two assists, one block, five SOG) against the Rangers on Tuesday. Whether Benn plays alongside Tyler Seguin or on a separate line with Patrick Eaves and Cody Eakin, he should score at least one point with multiple SOG against the Islanders on the road, where he has 17 points and eight power-play points in 20 games.

 

W - Mikael Granlund, MIN ($5,500)

Granlund is in the midst of a breakout season with 36 points, nine on the power play, in 43 games for the Minnesota Wild. He has kept it rolling in his past 10 games, totaling 11 points (three PPP) and 30 SOG. He has a four-game point streak entering Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes, who are allowing the most DraftKings points to opposing right wings. Granlund plays on one of the most impressive second power-play units in the NHL with Mikko Koivu, Nino Niederreiter, Jason Pominville and defenseman Jared Spurgeon.

Video: CBJ@MIN: Granlund tucks home Spurgeon's pass for PPG

 

W - Connor Brown, TOR ($4,600)

The scoring splash is in full effect for Brown on a line with rookie Auston Matthews, who's now third in goals (22) behind Sidney Crosby (27) and Jeff Carter (23). Brown has at least one point in nine of his past 11 games, totaling 12 points (two PPP) and 25 SOG in the span. Brown offers cheap exposure to one of the most dominant centers in the League and scored on his only shot against the Rangers on Jan. 13.

 

D - Jared Spurgeon, MIN ($4,800)

Spurgeon has translated his heavy workload (23:48 per game) and power-play usage (2:19) into DFS production all season long (3.0 DraftKings points per game). Even though plus/minus doesn't count in DraftKings, Spurgeon is on the ice for a ton of goals (plus-26, T-1st in NHL). He faces the Coyotes, who are allowing the fourth-most DraftKings points to opposing defensemen, and is a high-floor DFS pick who covers blocks (80) and SOG (70).

 

D - Matt Niskanen, WSH ($4,400)

Niskanen has back-to-back multipoint games and remains affordable. He has 16 blocks and 21 SOG with seven points in his past 10 games (3.5 DraftKings points per game). If John Carlson (lower body) is sidelined again Thursday against the St. Louis Blues, Niskanen will be manning the first power-play unit with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Niskanen has been especially effective on the road with 16 points in 19 games.

Video: PHI@WSH: Niskanen tallies off Ovechkin's feed

 

G - John Gibson, ANA ($8,300)

Don't overthink your goalie pick on this eight-game slate. Gibson is expensive but faces the Colorado Avalanche at home, where he's 12-5-2 with a .930 SV% and two shutouts. He stopped 33 of 34 shots in a win against the Avalanche on Jan. 12 and is in the midst of his best stretch of the season with two or fewer goals allowed in each of his past seven games.

 

UTIL - Pavel Buchnevich, NYR ($4,200)

Buchnevich has been tremendous when healthy, scoring 13 points in as many games and leading the NHL in even-strength points per 60 minutes (3.82; minimum 100 minutes played), according to stats.hockeyanalysis.com. He had three points in a 7-6 loss to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, giving him five points in three games following a two-month absence because of a back injury. He's in a great spot on the second line with Mika Zibanejad and Rick Nash and is averaging 2:38 per game on the second power-play unit since returning.

 Video: DAL@NYR: Buchnevich pots deflection off end boards

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