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Fantasy picks: Taylor Hall affordable in debut

Devils forward among DFS positional targets for Oct. 13

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Fantasy Insider

Each day this season,'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 - Evgeny Kuznetsov, WSH ($6,200)

The Pittsburgh Penguins will raise their Stanley Cup championship banner at home against the Washington Capitals on Thursday, and few Capitals players will be more motivated than Kuznetsov, who was held in check offensively throughout the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Kuznetsov, who's expected to skate alongside Alex Ovechkin at even strength, ranked third in even-strength points (59) last season and avoids matching up against Sidney Crosby, who will miss the game because of a concussion.

C - Mika Zibanejad, NYR ($5,100)

The New York Rangers open their season at home against the New York Islanders, setting the stage for Zibanejad to feed off his strong preseason. Zibanejad, who has played mostly with Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich, had six points, a plus-5 and 16 SOG in four preseason games. Derek Stepan will likely square off against John Tavares, leaving Zibanejad free to roam the ice against lesser Islanders options down the middle.

W - Taylor Hall, NJD ($5,800)

Hall was strong in the preseason (three points, 11 SOG in four games) alongside Adam Henrique and is priced low given his chances of scoring 70 points this season with the New Jersey Devils. The 24-year-old wing has 328 points in 381 career games for the non-contending Edmonton Oilers, so a fresh start could help him return to fantasy dominance. This is quite a discount for a high-volume shooter who has exceeded 250 SOG in two of the past three seasons.

W - Kyle Connor, WPG ($2,500)

Rostering a player or two at minimum price allows you to spend up elsewhere, and it's especially convenient when a preseason stud like Connor is priced so low. The rookie bounced around the Jets lineup this preseason but had four points and 12 SOG in five games. He could feasibly start the season alongside Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler on the first line or with Bryan Little on the second unit.

Video: OTT@WPG: Connor goes top shelf on the power play

D - Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF ($5,600)

Forwards Jack Eichel (ankle) and Kyle Okposo (knee) won't be in the Sabres lineup because of injuries, but Ristolainen will still have Ryan O'Reilly and Sam Reinhart on the first power-play unit against the Montreal Canadiens, who will be without elite goalie Carey Price (illness). Take advantage of Ristolainen's affordable price after he was one of five defensemen with at least 40 points, 20 power-play points and 200 SOG last season. The others were Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, Kris Letang and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

D - Yohann Auvitu, NJD ($2,500)

Auvitu made preseason waves (six assists in five games), but it hasn't reflected in his DFS price. Take full advantage of his chance to man a Devils power play that finished ninth in the NHL last season (19.9 percent) before adding Hall. The French-born defenseman is a fantasy wild card entering the regular season, and, like Connor, has the bottom-of-the-barrel price that provides plenty of lineup flexibility on this busy game slate. If you have extra salary cap space, Columbus Blue Jackets rookie defenseman Zach Werenski ($2,700) is expected to play on their top pair and see power-play time.

G - Ben Bishop, TBL ($8,500)

Bishop has won 46 of 67 home games with a .924 save percentage over the past two seasons combined, the third-most wins League-wide in that span. The offseason has been filled with trade rumblings and talk about the Lightning's future goalie plans, but Bishop has a strong grasp on the starting job, at least for now, and a favorable matchup to start the season against the Detroit Red Wings, who no longer have Pavel Datsyuk.

G - Connor Hellebuyck, WPG ($7,000)

Hellebuyck got a huge break when the Winnipeg Jets waived veteran goalie Ondrej Pavelec, opening the door for him to become a top 20 fantasy goalie to start the season with an even higher ceiling. Hellebuyck won 13 of his 26 games last season as a rookie and carries an extremely low price tag entering Winnipeg's opener against the Carolina Hurricanes at home. Hellebuyck was tied for second in even-strength save percentage (.937) among goalies with at least 25 games played last season.

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