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Fantasy picks: Radim Vrbata boosting Coyotes offense

Underrated forward among Nov. 16 DFS targets against Flames

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

DraftKings Daily Picks: Wednesday

DraftKings Daily NHL Picks for Wednesday

The NHL Tonight crew makes their picks for Wednesday night's top DraftKings players, including Tom Wilson and Bryan Rust

  • 01:05 •

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 - Sidney Crosby, PIT ($8,500)

Crosby is the most expensive player in DraftKings for a reason; he's tied for the second-most goals in the NHL entering Tuesday (10 in nine games) despite playing at least five fewer games than the other double-digit goal scorers (Patrik Laine: 11 goals in 17 games; Mark Scheifele: 10 in 17 games; Michael Grabner: 10 in 16 games; David Pastrnak: 10 in 14 games). The Pittsburgh Penguins captain has 55 points in 38 career games against the Washington Capitals and can be easily stacked with linemate Conor Sheary (W, $4,300), who has five points in his past four games.

Video: TOR@PIT: Crosby beats Andersen on bouncing puck

C - Evgeny Kuznetsov, WSH ($5,900)

The center landscape is extremely thin on this two-game slate, so it's a good strategy to zero in on a slumping one priced below $6,000 like Kuznetsov or Sean Monahan ($5,800). The second game of a back-to-back for Calgary and Washington will be on home ice, so DFS owners should start building their rosters by drafting a goalie and then pick whichever center does not conflict. If you need a cheaper center option, keep an eye on Jay Beagle ($3,600), who is expected to see time with Alex Ovechkin for the Capitals against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

W - Phil Kessel, PIT ($6,300)

When the Penguins defeated the Capitals in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kessel had six points in as many games with 23 shots on goal. The Penguins had Kessel, Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on separate lines Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and don't be surprised if they go with that same recipe, one that has derailed the Capitals in the past. Kessel has 13 points in 15 games this season (3.2 DraftKings points per game) and is the fourth most expensive wing.

W - Radim Vrbata, ARI ($4,800)

The young Arizona Coyotes have had plenty of growing pains, but luckily they brought back a wily veteran in Vrbata, who's tied for the team lead in scoring with 11 points and leads Arizona in SOG (39) through 14 games. If you're not drafting Flames goalie Brian Elliott, you should get Vrbata and/or Max Domi ($4,600) on your roster for such affordable prices. Anytime you can look at a two-game slate and see one team that could be overlooked, invest in some against-the-grain options. Vrbata is riding a four-game point streak with 4.9 DraftKings points per contest in the span.

D - Mark Giordano, CGY ($6,000)

Giordano, third in price among defensemen, could finally snap out of his slump against the Coyotes, who are allowing the second-most DraftKings points to opposing defensemen. He has no points in his past nine games, but has 10 SOG in his past two. He also has 43 blocks in 16 games, an outstanding peripheral figure that could help him return DFS value even if he doesn't get a point.

D - Anthony DeAngelo, ARI ($3,400)

All of the reliable, well-known defensemen on this two-game night come with a high price tag, so dig a little deeper and get to know DeAngelo, who has two points, three blocks and four SOG in his first three NHL games. The 21-year-old is seeing power-play time with Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Arizona's first unit (one power-play point), logging 2:19 of his 20:38 per game with the man-advantage.

Video: ARI@COL: DeAngelo scores first career goal in debut

G - Matt Murray, PIT ($7,500)

Elliott, who has lost five straight, is somehow the most expensive goalie of the night, so it makes a lot of sense to spend down for either more-trusted goalie, Murray or Braden Holtby ($7,600) of the Capitals. Murray has started the season 4-0-0 with five goals allowed since returning from a broken hand. He is 2-0-0 with one goal allowed on 65 shots faced in two road games this season, and went 4-2-0 with a .926 save percentage against the Capitals last postseason.

G - Mike Smith, ARI ($7,400)

If you want to get a piece of Capitals and Penguins skaters, take a chance on the cheapest starting goalie of the night in Smith, who has missed time with a lower-body injury but will make his first start since Oct. 18. Calgary will be without its best player, Johnny Gaudreau (fractured finger), so Smith will have an opportunity to regain the starting job from Louis Domingue and get the Coyotes' season on track. Smith allowed three goals on 30 shots faced in each of his first two games, and won his lone decision against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 15. He was solid last season with a 15-13-2 record, .916 SV% and three shutouts in 32 outings.

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