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Fantasy picks: Ducks in favorable spot

Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry, Rickard Rakell solid stack against Red Wings in Jan. 4 DFS contests

by Ben Zweiman @BZweimanNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

DraftKings Daily Picks: Wednesday

DraftKings Daily NHL Picks for Wednesday

The NHL Tonight crew makes its picks for top DraftKings players for Wednesday night including Chris Kreider and Sven Baertschi

  • 01:22 •

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 - Ryan Kesler, ANA ($6,800)

With top-line center Ryan Getzlaf (lower body) questionable, Kesler may see upwards of 25:00 of ice time again. He's leading Anaheim Ducks forwards in playing time (21:53 per game) and is coming off his fourth NHL hat trick in a 4-3 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Kesler has at least 5.0 DraftKings points in three of the past four games, and had 4.5 points against the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 17. The Red Wings average 10:21 penalty minutes per game, which should give the Ducks plenty of power plays. Anaheim was 2-for-2 with the man-advantage against Detroit in the previous game, and Kesler is tied for fifth in the NHL with 15 power-play points.

 

C - Mikael Backlund, CGY ($5,600)

Backlund has four goals and three assists on a four-game point streak and has scored in five of his past six. He had two goals and an assist in 11:51 of ice time for 9.5 DraftKings points in the Calgary Flames' 6-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 27. Backlund has six goals, eight assists, 17 blocks and 48 shots on goal (3.5 DraftKings points per contest) in 19 home games. The Avalanche enter Tuesday 25th in the NHL in penalty-kill percentage (.789) and the Flames have the best power play in 12 games since Dec. 4 (16-for-44; 36.4 percent).

Video: ARI@CGY: Backlund finds the net with redirect for PPG

 

W - Rickard Rakell, ANA ($6,300)

Kesler isn't the only Ducks forward worth targeting against the Red Wings. Rakell had two goals and five SOG (8.5 DraftKings points) against Detroit on Dec. 17 and has scored in two of his past three games. He skates on the first power-play unit with Kesler, making the two an appealing stack should they be successful with the man-advantage. The Red Wings have allowed at least four goals in seven of their past 10 games, and Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek has allowed at least three goals in six straight.

 

W - Michael Frolik, CGY ($4,800)

Stacking Backlund with linemate Frolik makes sense given the right wing's salary. Left wing Matthew Tkachuk is the same price, but Frolik has been more productive with a goal and five assists on a four-game point streak. Tkachuk is averaging 2.4 DraftKings points at home, and Frolik is averaging 3.1 (five goals, nine assists in 19 games). The Flames have scored 24 goals in their past five wins, something that is likely to happen against the Avalanche, who have lost nine of 10.

 

W - Sven Baertschi, VAN ($4,600)

Since Dec. 13, Baertschi is tied for fourth in the NHL with 11 points (six goals, five assists). He's averaging 4.4 DraftKings points per contest during that span, being used primarily as a PP specialist (3:35 ice time per game). The Arizona Coyotes have allowed 13 PP goals during a seven-game losing streak and have been outscored 7-3 in two losses to the Vancouver Canucks this season. Baertschi has a goal, two assists and six SOG in two games against the Coyotes.

Video: COL@VAN: Baertschi pots second goal for late lead

 

D - Alexander Edler, VAN ($4,200)

Since returning from a fractured finger, Edler has two assists, nine blocks and four SOG in three games. He leads the Canucks in average ice time (23:01) since coming back and it won't be long before he returns to the point on Vancouver's first PP unit. If that happens against Arizona, Edler could be in store for a huge game, which would make him one of the top value plays. Edler isn't the only Canucks defenseman to consider; Troy Stecher ($4,300), Ben Hutton ($3,900) and Christopher Tanev ($3,700) are viable options.

 

D - T.J. Brodie, CGY ($4,000)

At this point you've probably noticed the Ducks, Canucks and Flames are the most appealing teams to stack given their opponents. Brodie is the third recommendation from Calgary, with two goals and five assists in his past 10 games. He's leading Flames defensemen in average ice time (23:53) and PP ice time (4:00) the past six games, and had two assists and two blocks (5.0 DraftKings points) against the Avalanche on Dec. 27. Brodie is beginning to look more like the player who had 17 goals and 69 assists the past two seasons.

 

G - Michael Hutchinson, WPG ($7,300)

With Connor Hellebuyck starting the first of a back-to-back for the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, expect Hutchinson to be in net against the Florida Panthers on the road. Hutchinson is a risky play, but his numbers on the road are a bit more encouraging (three wins, 2.88 goals-against average, .903 save percentage in 10 games). The Panthers have lost four straight at home (0-1-3) and haven't scored more than three goals in nine straight games. Florida averaged 34.2 shots per game in December but had the worst shooting percent (6.3). Hutchinson will see a high volume of shots of low quality.

Video: CBJ@WPG: Hutchinson turns away Saad from the point

 

UTIL - Corey Perry, ANA ($6,400)

Rounding out the Ducks lineup stack is Perry, whose salary fell below standards due to his lack of goal-scoring. He has seven goals in 39 games, on pace for 15, which would be his lowest total in a full season since 2006-07, when he had 17. It's only a matter of time before Perry goes on a scoring binge, and the Red Wings present a great matchup at home, where he's averaging 0.44 goals per game during his NHL career (182 in 416 games).

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