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.
Boone Jenner, C, Columbus Blue Jackets
DraftKings price: $4,000
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A look at Jenner's current 82-game statistical pace (51 points, 21 power-play points, 230 shots on goal, 51 blocked shots) will convince you to use him as an against-the-grain FLEX selection in DraftKings on Friday at the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jenner had a goal and an assist with four SOG against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday and has been a thorn in the side of the Penguins for years. He has three points, seven SOG and three blocks in five regular-season games against Pittsburgh, but also torched them for five points and 16 SOG in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (six games). He's tied for 19th among centers in price and is playing alongside Ryan Johansen ($5,400) and Nick Foligno ($5,200). I would recommend stacking him with Johansen, rather than Foligno. Another value option with an elite linemate is Brock Nelson ($4,000) of the New York Islanders, who can offset the cost of John Tavares ($8,200).
Joel Ward, W, San Jose Sharks
DraftKings price: $4,500
There's a sizable drop-off in DraftKings price and points per game from Alex Ovechkin ($9,600, 5.7) to the next-best wing on Friday (Phil Kessel, $7,300, 3.7), so it's important to look at where the prices and DraftKings production don't line up in order to obtain maximum value. The first case is Ward, who's averaging the same DraftKings output as Kessel, playing with solid linemates in Patrick Marleau and Tomas Hertl, and fresh off an impressive 8.5-point DraftKings outing against the Islanders on Tuesday (one goal, one assist, four SOG, three blocks). Ward has eight goals and 14 points in 15 games this season, including five in seven road games since joining the Sharks. His numbers against the Detroit Red Wings (18 points in 26 games) only help his cause.
Hampus Lindholm, D, Anaheim Ducks
DraftKings price: $4,600
There are three defensemen priced more than $6,000 and another three priced more than $5,000, so it makes more sense in guaranteed prize pool DraftKings contests on a four-game night to avoid the "name value" trap and seek more affordable players with recent production. Lindholm, who ranks seventh among defensemen in price, has a comparable average DraftKings points output to Kris Letang ($5,700) and his Ducks teammate Sami Vatanen ($5,300), each of whom is priced higher. Lindholm is a young defenseman who plays more than 22 minutes per night for Anaheim and faces the Islanders on the second leg of their California back-to-back. He has higher blocks-per-game and SOG-per-game averages at home than on the road, and five of his six points on the season have come at Honda Center.
Philipp Grubauer, G, Washington Capitals
DraftKings price: $6,900
The Capitals are on the second leg of a back-to-back set after routing the Philadelphia Flyers on the road Thursday. They face another favorable opponent Friday and could give their backup Grubauer the nod in net. The Calgary Flames have the worst goal differential in the NHL and have allowed 34 goals in nine road games, also most in the League. After Ovechkin's unlucky past two games, which saw two of his potential goals disallowed by a coach's challenge and his 17 SOG go to waste, I expect Ovi to finally find twine and help the Capitals take care of business. Braden Holtby, the most expensive goalie in the contest at $7,900, should be heavily owned if he starts, but Grubauer will provide value if he gets the call. He is 2-0-0 on the season with five goals allowed on 50 shots faced in two road games, so he certainly deserves to make his first home start of the season.