Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This article includes expensive and value plays and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
TOP CENTER: Sean Monahan ($6,100)
Monahan has a favorable matchup against the Dallas Stars at home, where he has 29 points in 35 games. He has totaled three points and five shots on goal in two games against the Stars, and leads the Flames with 22 goals on the season. He has a high shot volume (173, T-2nd on Flames) and is closing in on his third straight 50-point season (46 through 70 games).
VALUE CENTER: Kevin Hayes, NYR ($4,700)
Hayes is stuck in a rough stretch with four points in his past 14 games. That said, he's tied for the New York Rangers' lead with 11 multipoint games and has bounce-back potential centering one of the best third lines in the NHL with J.T. Miller ($4,700) and Michael Grabner ($4,500). Rick Nash ($5,000) is another affordable Rangers skater who could rebound against the Florida Panthers, who will be on the second leg of a back-to-back set. Nash has no goals in his past seven games despite 23 SOG in the span.
TOP WING: Rickard Rakell, ANA ($6,200)
Of the 13 players to score at least 30 goals this season, Rakell has done so on the fewest SOG (145; 20.7 percent). Luckily for daily fantasy owners, his shot volume has spiked in his past 13 games (40 SOG; 3.1 per game) compared to his first 46 (105 SOG; 2.3 per game). He's flanking a resurgent Ryan Getzlaf for the Anaheim Ducks at even strength and had 6.5 DraftKings points (one goal, one assist, three SOG) earlier in the season (Feb. 9) against the Buffalo Sabres, who will be on short rest Friday.
Video: WSH@ANA: Getzlaf wins faceoff, Rakell lights the lamp
VALUE WING: Micheal Ferland, CGY ($3,500)
It's a good strategy to tap into multiple Flames lines against the Stars, who are allowing the most DraftKings points to opposing right wings. Ferland plays on the first line with Johnny Gaudreau and Monahan, and Michael Frolik ($5,100) is a high-volume shooter who plays on the second unit with Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk. Ferland recently had a stretch of four goals in five games and has at least 2.0 DraftKings points in seven of his past nine.
TOP DEFENSEMAN: Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF ($5,400)
Ristolainen is tied with Victor Hedman and Claude Giroux for the League lead in power-play assists (23) and ranks fourth in total ice time per game (26:59). The Sabres defenseman scored a goal with three SOG and three blocks for 6.0 DraftKings points in their earlier game against the Ducks. His major minutes have led to strong performance in points (seven), blocks (15) and SOG (31) in his past 10 games (3.9 DraftKings points per game). He has eight points in 14 games played in the second game of back-to-back sets.
Video: BUF@CBJ: Ristolainen beats Bobrovsky with a wrister
VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Mark Streit, PIT ($3,700)
Streit returned value (one SOG, six blocks, 3.5 DraftKings points) despite being held without a point against his former team, the Philadelphia Flyers, on Wednesday, and should rebound from a four-game scoring slump at home against the New Jersey Devils. With Kris Letang (upper body) sidelined, Streit is averaging 2.9 DraftKings points per game since joining the Penguins, which is better than his season average (2.5). He's a low-risk, high-reward flier in a game that could turn one-sided in Pittsburgh's favor very quickly.
GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Antti Raanta, NYR ($8,200)
Raanta should start against the Panthers, and is 2-2-0 with a .926 save percentage and one shutout in four games this month. It should only be a matter of time before the Rangers reverse their recent trend at Madison Square Garden, where they are 0-4-1 in their past five. Raanta is priced cheaper than projected goalies for the Penguins, Ducks and Flames, so take advantage of potential low ownership against the Panthers, who are allowing the second-most DraftKings points to opposing goalies.
Video: TBL@NYR: Raanta stands tall for series of saves
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