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DraftKings daily fantasy value picks for Dec. 19

by Eric Goodman

Each day during the 2015-16 season,'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.

NOTE: These picks and salaries are for eight-game DraftKings contests Saturday, Dec. 19. These contests do not include the 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET games.

Brock Nelson, C, New York Islanders

Prohibited and/or not available in AZ, IA, LA, MT, NV and WA. Offered in NY pursuant to court ordered stay. See Official Rules for for additional eligibility rules.

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DraftKings price: $4,400

It's a surprise that Nelson is priced so low considering he is a constant threat to score while skating alongside his more expensive first-line teammates John Tavares ($7,800) and Kyle Okposo ($5,900). Nelson will seek to extend his point streak to four when the Islanders visit the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; MSG+ 2, FS-A). The 24-year-old forward has two goals, one assist, two blocked shots and 11 shots on goal in the past three games, and in five career games against the Coyotes he has two goals and three assists.

James Neal, W, Nashville Predators

DraftKings price: $6,000

Neal has thrived at home with eight goals and six assists in 16 games at Bridgestone Arena. The second-line right wing is a reliable source for fantasy points with a Predators-leading 12 goals and 102 shots on goal. Neal should be a fine pick at home against the Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, FS-TN) based on his average of one point per every two games against the Wild. He did not have a point in two road games against Minnesota this season so he should be due for a goal or an assist Saturday.

Drew Doughty, D, Los Angeles Kings 

DraftKings price: $5,400

The Kings play at the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET; CBC, FS-W) and goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who is 0-8-3 in 11 games this season. Doughty has been good against Toronto with two goals, five assists, 13 blocked shots and 28 shots on goal in eight career games against the Maple Leafs.

Michal Neuvirth or Steve Mason, G, Philadelphia Flyers

DraftKings price: $7,100 each

Choosing either Flyers goalie at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-PH, FS-O) is not so much about the fantasy potential of Neuvirth or Mason but more about how Philadelphia's opponent has struggled recently. In its past six games Columbus is 1-3-2 and has allowed an average of 4.33 goals per game while scoring 2.83 goals per game, thus increasing the chances of getting a solid return on investment from Neuvirth or Mason. While there are more expensive goalies out there, it's recommended that DraftKings owners save their money to select better forwards and take the chance on the Flyers playing a team in the midst of a cold spell.


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