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DraftKings daily fantasy value picks for Dec. 16

by Pete Jensen / NHL.com

Each day during the 2015-16 season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will identify one player at each position worth owning in DraftKings daily fantasy hockey contests. Based on factors including but not limited to matchups, line combinations, power-play usage, statistical coverage and recent production, we'll provide you with lower-priced options that can help you build a winning lineup.

Players accumulate points in DraftKings for each goal (3 points), assist (2), shot on goal (0.5), blocked shot (0.5) and shootout goal (0.2). Bonuses are given for shorthanded points (1) and hat tricks (1.5). Goalies accumulate points for each win (3) and save (0.2), and lose a point for each goal allowed. Goalie bonuses are given for a shutout (2) where the goalie completes the entire game with no goals allowed in regulation (and overtime, if applicable). Shootout goals will not prevent a shutout, and goalies will receive points for any goals or assists they score in a game. Penalty minutes, hits, plus-minus and PP points DO NOT count in DraftKings. DraftKings lineups must include nine players (2 C, 3 W, 2 D, 1 G, 1 FLEX) and fit within the $50,000 salary cap.


Mika Zibanejad, C, Ottawa Senators

DraftKings price: $4,500

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Zibanejad has recently been upgraded to the top line for the Senators alongside two of the most consistent point producers League-wide in Mike Hoffman ($5,900) and Bobby Ryan ($5,600). Those two rank second and fourth among wings in DraftKings points per game for Wednesday games, and Zibanejad already saw the splash effect his last time out against the Los Angeles Kings when he scored a goal with two assists and one shot on goal. He has 20 points in 30 games this season and this line adjustment could be the start of something special fantasy-wise for the 22-year-old center. The Washington Capitals, Zibanejad's opponent, are allowing the seventh-most DraftKings points to the center position this season.

Chris Kunitz, W, Pittsburgh Penguins

DraftKings price: $4,100

Kunitz's DraftKings points per game average (2.0) is subpar for the season, but it's all about the here and now with this value pick. He's playing on Pittsburgh's top line with Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist, and has eight points in his past six games with an increasingly high shot volume (10 SOG in past three games). For this cheap, 12th among wings to be exact, he's a no-brainer to roll out every night in DFS -- especially on light nights like Wednesday where multipoint games could be at a premium.

Trevor Daley, D, Pittsburgh Penguins

DraftKings price: $3,400

Daley burst onto the scene for the Dallas Stars in 2014-15 with 16 goals, fifth in the League among defensemen. His time on ice (22:52 to 14:45) and power-play usage (2:44 to 1:29) in 29 games with the Chicago Blackhawks this season declined significantly with Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Nicklas Hjalmarsson ahead of him on the totem pole, and his offensive production (no goals, six assists, 43 SOG in 2015-16) also took a hit. With Kris Letang out, Olli Maatta ($3,300) and the recently acquired Daley have tremendous upside under new coach Mike Sullivan. Daley's Pittsburgh debut comes Wednesday against the Boston Bruins, who have allowed 47 goals in 15 home games this season.

Andrew Hammond, G, Ottawa Senators

DraftKings price: $7,600

It's a two-game night so only four starting goalies are in play, and Hammond is third on the DraftKings price scale behind Braden Holtby ($8,200) and Tuukka Rask ($7,700). He has missed a ton of time because of injury and has been overtaken by Craig Anderson as the starting goalie for the Senators, but is finally back healthy and carries wild-card potential into his first game since Nov. 12. He's 1-0-1 on the road this season with four goals allowed and a .947 save percentage, and his .945 even-strength save percentage since the beginning of 2014-15 (675 saves on 714 even-strength shots faced) is exceptional. Many lineups Wednesday will be heavy with Capitals players, but the Senators have deceptive upside in any given road game with four-plus goals scored in six of their 15 away games.

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