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, CGY ($6,100)
Monahan has been heating up lately for the Calgary Flames, and he has a great track record against the Nashville Predators. He has 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 21 games since the NHL All-Star break playing on a line with Johnny Gaudreau. In two games against the Predators, he has five points (one goal, four assists), one blocked shot and seven shots on goal (7.5 DraftKings points per game). Nashville has allowed 10 goals over its past three home games.
Video: CGY@WSH: Monahan picks the top corner with a wrister
VALUE CENTER: Nick Schmaltz, CHI ($4,500)
Schmaltz is likely to have low ownership with 12 games on the schedule, so he's a must-have center at home against the Dallas Stars, who are allowing the second-most DraftKings points to opposing centers. Schmaltz has three assists, one blocked shot and four SOG in his past two games, and has made the most of his recent top-six usage with 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in his past 17 games. You won't find a value center in a better spot than Schmaltz, who's centering Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin in the absence of Artem Anisimov, who is out with a lower-body injury.
TOP WING: Leon Draisaitl, EDM ($6,300)
Draisaitl has five straight multipoint games and is second on the Edmonton Oilers with 16 such games behind linemate Connor McDavid's NHL-best 25. With a favorable matchup at the Colorado Avalanche and 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 36 road games, Draisaitl is a no-brainer in daily fantasy priced outside the top 15 wings. He had one goal, one assist and two SOG against the Avalanche on Nov. 23 (6.0 DraftKings points). He has seven points in eight games played on no days rest.
Video: EDM@WSH: Draisaitl beats Holtby from the slot
VALUE WING: Charlie Coyle, MIN ($5,100)
Coyle has had one point in each of the past three games to break out of his recent slump, and his shot volume has been strong over his past 10 games (31 SOG). He has a great chance of reaching 50 points (49 through 72 games) for the first time in his NHL career playing on the Minnesota Wild's first line and top power-play unit with Eric Staal and Zach Parise. The Philadelphia Flyers are allowing the third-most DraftKings points to opposing right wings.
TOP DEFENSEMAN: Duncan Keith, CHI ($5,600)
Keith has at least 4.0 DraftKings points in six of his past 10 games, and he reached 50 points for the third time in his NHL career with an assist in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. He offers coveted power-play exposure to Kane, Panarin and Jonathan Toews, and is tied for eighth among defensemen in DraftKings price. He has a low shooting percentage (3.6) for an elite scoring defenseman, so expect him to pad his low goal total (six on 168 SOG) down the stretch. He has four assists, five blocked shots and nine SOG in four games against the Stars.
Video: CHI@WPG: Keith blasts long-range slapper to pad lead
VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Matt Dumba, MIN ($4,100)
Dumba has at least 2.5 DraftKings points in seven of his past eight games, and he has totaled three points (two goals, one assist), six blocked shots and eight SOG in his past three. He's playing on the Wild's first power-play unit, making him a cheap forward-defenseman stack with Coyle. He returned value against the Flyers on Nov. 12, when he had three blocked shots and three SOG, and 18 of his 30 points have come at home. He has scored a power-play goal in two of his past three games, giving him 10 power-play points this season.
GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Braden Holtby, WSH ($7,800)
Two goalies on this Thursday schedule play home games with their opponent on the second leg of a back-to-back set: Holtby and Colorado Avalanche backup Jeremy Smith ($6,800). Holtby is affordable compared to other elite goalies, so fall back on his pedigree rather than taking a cheap flier on Smith. Holtby, who will face Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets, is 24-6-2 with a .930 save percentage and seven shutouts at Verizon Center. He is 1-1-0 with a .942 SV% against Columbus this season.
Video: CGY@WSH: Holtby sprawls back to rob Frolik's chance
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