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.
Artem Anisimov, C, Chicago Blackhawks
DraftKings price: $3,500
Artemi Panarin ($3,700) and Patrick Kane ($7,600) have combined for points on four Blackhawks goals (T-1st in NHL) through three games, so it's only a matter of time before their linemate gets in on the action. Anisimov has one goal in three games, scored shorthanded against the New York Islanders last Friday, to go along with five shots on goal. He has served as Chicago's second-line center to this point and is seeing more than two minutes per game on the power play. He's especially worth taking a chance on since the Philadelphia Flyers are starting backup goalie Michal Neuvirth.
Michael Raffl, W, Philadelphia Flyers
DraftKings price: $3,900
Claude Giroux ($6,700) and Jakub Voracek ($6,400) were an elite point pair last season, but their salaries have dipped because they have combined for one point on 19 SOG in their first three games. Giroux is better than a point per game (11 points in eight games) in his career against the Blackhawks, which bodes well for Voracek and the third component of their line, Raffl. The 26-year-old is pointless so far but racked up six shots on goal Monday against the Florida Panthers. Raffl's goals-per-60 rate was outstanding last season (21 goals in 67 games), so he could be due for a goal or two if Giroux sets him up. It's a great strategy to pair Raffl with Giroux to offset the Philly captain's cost.
Francois Beauchemin, D, Colorado Avalanche
DraftKings price: $3,500
Beauchemin had three power-play points last season in 1:32 per game with the man advantage as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, and has nearly eclipsed that total in two games with the Avalanche. He has two power-play points (1:39 per game on PP) and six SOG to go along with stellar totals in assists (five, T-1st in NHL) and blocked shots (12, 2nd). I expect Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie to get the bulk of the power-play minutes over the long haul, but Beauchemin is clearly coming into his own offensively and is worth rolling out every day of the week for as long as Colorado's offense is clicking and his price is this affordable.
Mike Smith, G, Arizona Coyotes
DraftKings price: $5,800
One week into the season, Smith and Martin Jones of the San Jose Sharks have been the biggest surprises League-wide among fantasy goalies. Smith is 2-0-0 and has 67 saves on 69 shots. His run could come to an end against the desperate Ducks, who are winless in two games, but there are two reasons why he's a no-brainer in DFS: he's the hot hand (never a bad idea to see where it takes you) and he's the cheapest goalie in the contest despite averaging 8.7 DraftKings points per game (highest among Wednesday goalies). You might want to go a different route in larger contests because his ownership will be high, but if you're doing a head-to-head matchup there's no better move than to draft Smith and use your savings to land higher-caliber forwards and defensemen.