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.
Aleksander Barkov, C, Florida Panthers
DraftKings price: $4,800
Barkov lines up next to Jaromir Jagr ($5,000) and a moderately expensive Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,000) for this game, so he's in a position to thrive again on the Panthers' top line and first power-play unit (averaging 3:43 power-play ice time per game). He's averaging four DraftKings points per game with one goal, two assists and 10 shots on goal in three games. He's winning 51.1 percent of his faceoffs this season and faces Sabres backup goalie Chad Johnson, who's starting again with Robin Lehner injured. Stacking Jagr and Barkov could pay off if they combine on a goal or two like they did in the season opener.
Anthony Duclair, W, Arizona Coyotes
DraftKings price: $2,900
I realize back-to-back hat tricks are just about as rare as snow in the desert, but how can you not take Duclair at the same insanely low salary he went for ahead of his breakout performance Wednesday? Duclair is averaging six DraftKings points per game and has at least one point in each of his first three games this season. He also has six shots on goal and one blocked shot and has one of the best goals for/against differentials in the League (seven goals for, one goal against). He plays with another DFS stud in Martin Hanzal ($4,100) at even strength, and that duo joins with Max Domi and reigning defenseman goal-scoring leader Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the first power-play unit. Duclair will be highly owned in most contests, but he still has a good chance at an encore multipoint showing.
Colton Parayko, D, St. Louis Blues
DraftKings price: $2,600
Kevin Shattenkirk (lower body) likely will be out of the lineup Thursday, so Alex Pietrangelo and Parayko, a 22-year-old rookie, will be on the points on the Blues' top power-play unit. Parayko scored two goals Tuesday against the defensively sound Calgary Flames, one with the man-advantage, so you have to expect he could take advantage of the Oilers with heightened minutes. He has seven shots on goal, a plus-3 rating and four blocked shots, and he is priced near the bottom of the barrel. You're not going to find a first-unit power-play defenseman for this cheap very often, so take full advantage.
Thomas Greiss, G, New York Islanders
DraftKings price: $6,400
Mike Smith, coming off his third straight win to start the season, remains the cheapest goalie ($5,800) on the board in DraftKings for Thursday because of a relatively unaltered prize structure. But Smith, if he is confirmed as the starter, will be playing his second game in as many nights. His opponent is no slouch either in the unbeaten Minnesota Wild. The Islanders, who haven't played since Monday, likely will start Greiss, the fourth-cheapest possible starter behind Smith, Coyotes backup Anders Lindback and Johnson. In Jaroslav Halak's absence, Greiss is 1-0-1 with five goals allowed in two starts and has been respectable heading into New York's home game against the Nashville Predators on Thursday. If this game was in Nashville I probably wouldn't recommend Greiss, but I could see him battling and allowing two goals or fewer against a Predators offense that was inconsistent on the road last season.