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.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Washington Capitals
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DraftKings price: $5,700
With an average of 1.15 points per game through 13 games this season, Kuznetsov is a huge bargain at his current DraftKings price. Centering the Capitals' top line with Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie on the wings has worked well for the young Russian as he is tied with Ovechkin for the Washington lead in points with 15 (five goals, 10 assists). Kuznetsov will try for a three-game point streak in a visit to the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports). He has two goals and seven shots on goal in three games against the Red Wings.
Jason Zucker, W, Minnesota Wild
DraftKings price: $4,200
Zucker had a seven-game point streak end Saturday in a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning but still warrants serious consideration as a value pick in DraftKings. The American forward had his breakout season in 2014-15 with 21 goals in 51 games and is out to prove he can maintain that offensive output this season with three goals, seven assists and 42 shots on goal through 13 games. Zucker has been seeing top-line minutes with Mikko Koivu and Nino Niederreiter and should prove a worthy pick Tuesday at home against the Winnipeg Jets. He has one goal, five assists, four blocked shots and 20 shots on goal in seven home games this season and has one goal and 11 shots on goal in three career games against the Jets.
Erik Johnson, D, Colorado Avalanche
DraftKings price: $4,600
Johnson may not provide the same offensive pop as some of the top-tier defensemen, but he remains a good choice as a secondary option in DraftKings contests because of his blocked shots and a recent increase in shots on goal. The veteran has one goal, two assists, six blocked shots and 11 shots on goal in the past three games and can be counted on to provide DraftKings owners with a few fantasy points when the Avalanche visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. Johnson has three assists, 14 blocked shots and 18 shots on goal in seven career games against the Flyers.
Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers
DraftKings price $7,900
DraftKings owners can splurge on a goaltender if they select enough skaters at cheaper prices and Lundqvist should provide a tremendous return on investment if he gets the start Tuesday against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. The veteran goalie is 4-0-2, including a current three-game winning streak, with a 1.50 goals-against average and 187 saves on 196 shots against in his past six starts and has dominated Carolina in his career (20-9-1, 2.10 GAA, 799 saves on 863 shots against). Lundqvist has been excellent at Madison Square Garden this season, going 4-1-1 with a 1.82 GAA and 174 saves on 185 shots against in six home starts. The Hurricanes have struggled to score through 14 games with an average of 2.14 goals per game, which should make Lundqvist an even better pick if he starts Tuesday.