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.
Leon Draisaitl, C, Edmonton Oilers
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DraftKings price: $2,600
The most potential bang for your buck in the Oilers' game against the Philadelphia Flyers is Draisaitl, who could easily be stacked with linemate Taylor Hall ($6,500) and/or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($4,700) in DraftKings. Draisaitl has five points (three goals, two assists) and seven shots on goal in his first two games, and is making up for the void left by the injured Jordan Eberle. The Oilers have a favorable home matchup against the Flyers, who have allowed 21 goals in five road games this season and have lost four straight. There are other value center options near the bottom of the barrel (i.e. Dylan Larkin at $4,100, David Desharnais at $3,900, Travis Zajac at $3,500 and Sam Bennett at $3,400), but none more promising than this 20-year-old.
Patrick Sharp, W, Dallas Stars
DraftKings price: $6,000
We usually reserve these picks for the most affordable options with upside, but Sharp is a must-draft player for his reasonable price alongside Jamie Benn ($8,000) and Tyler Seguin ($8,500), who rank first and second respectively in scoring this season. Stars coach Lindy Ruff has shuffled combinations quite a bit so far, but Sharp is beginning to stick in the coveted right wing spot on that line and is tied for 11th in price at his position; he's $3,300 cheaper than most-expensive wing Alex Ovechkin, who has a much tougher matchup at the New York Rangers. The Stars are coming off a road loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, so expect Dallas to rebound on the second of its back-to-back set and flex the muscles of its offense, which ranks third in goals per game and power-play conversion percentage. The Boston Bruins, Dallas' opponent, have allowed 21 goals in five home games this season (1-3-1 record), so they are vulnerable in this spot. After being held without a point in six of his first eight games, Sharp has busted out for a four-game point streak with four goals, two assists and 16 SOG in that span.
Jake Muzzin, D, Los Angeles Kings
DraftKings price: $4,400
Muzzin is usually a great daily fantasy play, but that wasn't the case early this season. He was held without a point in his first seven games and was a minus-2 in each of the Kings' three home losses to open the season. He was chipping in blocked shots and SOG, but lacked the third component of the DraftKings triple threat -- points. Now, with points in four straight games, top-unit power-play minutes alongside Drew Doughty and back-to-back multi-assist games, Muzzin is trending upward while his price remains low compared to other defensemen with such capability. He's inching closer to three SOG per game (28) and two blocks per game (19) through 11 games and faces the St. Louis Blues, who average the fourth-most SOG per game (32.3) this season. This gives Muzzin a chance at a three- or four-block outing to pad his offensive production.
Anders Nilsson, G, Edmonton Oilers
DraftKings price: $6,200
There are plenty of intriguing goalie matchups on tap for Tuesday, but few individuals that give you enough confidence to spend up for their services. I would certainly not touch the Stars, Bruins, Colorado Avalanche or Calgary Flames goalies given their matchups, so why not take a flier on Nilsson (lowest-priced projected starter) at home against the slumping Flyers? Nilsson got roughed up by the Washington Capitals his last time out, but previously stopped 81 out of 85 shots faced in two road games. Cam Talbot, Edmonton's starter, has allowed three-plus goals in each of his past four games, so this is a big opportunity for Nilsson to lift himself back into the Oilers' rotation. The struggling Flyers have the most SOG per game and SOG against per game this season, so even if Nilsson allows three goals, he will likely get enough goal support for the win and rack up saves in the process.