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.
Mathieu Perreault, C, Winnipeg Jets
DraftKings price: $4,100
Through seven games, the Tampa Bay Lightning have the NHL's second-worst penalty kill (66.7 percent), so look for the physical Jets to keep control of the puck in the offensive zone at home and exploit their opponent's weakness. Perreault plays at even strength with Mark Scheifele ($4,700; 2.8 DraftKings points per game) and Nikolaj Ehlers ($4,400, 3.3 DraftKings points per game) and on Winnipeg's first power-play unit alongside Dustin Byfuglien and the Jets' top line of Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler. He has five points in six games this season, and while he doesn't shoot a ton (nine in six games; 1.46 per game in career), any combination of two or three of these players should be sparsely owned in DraftKings and have high ceilings for Friday. Perreault alone can provide five or six DraftKings points in this game. Anders Lee ($4,900) of the New York Islanders and Dylan Larkin ($4,000) of the Detroit Red Wings are also strong center-eligible value picks who are playing wing for their respective teams, but their ownership is likely to be much higher than Perreault's on this night.
Brock McGinn, W, Carolina Hurricanes
DraftKings price: $2,500
Rarely do you see a top-liner at the bottom of the barrel in terms of DraftKings price, but this is the situation for McGinn on the road against the Los Angeles Kings. Since being recalled from Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Oct. 14, he has played on the first line with veterans Eric Staal and Kris Versteeg, and even had a multipoint effort on the road against the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 16. Carolina is an underrated puck possession team that has played its best hockey on the road so far this season. The Kings have snapped out of their early funk but are still far from a given on home ice on the second leg of a back-to-back. McGinn is a boom-or-bust pick, but it's not a bad idea to stack him with Staal ($5,600; 3.3 DraftKings points per game) in case they combine for a team goal or two.
Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Buffalo Sabres
DraftKings price: $4,100
Fill out your forward group with high-end offensive talent and leave your defense to value picks who provide category coverage as a foundation. Ristolainen fits the bill, especially at home against Montreal Canadiens backup goalie Mike Condon. The Habs remain unbeaten but run into a Sabres offense that has some deceptive weapons and has both of its wins this season on home ice. Ristolainen is third on the Sabres (including forwards) with 19 shots on goal and averages 1.5 blocked shots per game (nine) through six games. He plays on Buffalo's top power-play unit with Jack Eichel, Evander Kane and Co., and has all three of his points with the man-advantage. He's a young defenseman capable of a multipoint effort on any given night.
Cam Talbot, G, Edmonton Oilers
DraftKings price: $6,500
Not many DFS owners will have the guts to roll out Talbot against the best offense in the League, but here's my case for why he's an against-the-grain value pick that could pay off in larger contests. It's a total measuring-stick game for Talbot, who has won two in a row and is averaging 4.1 DraftKings points per contest. He has allowed two goals or fewer in four of his five outings this season and has proven so far he wasn't a one-hit wonder with the New York Rangers as a fill-in for Henrik Lundqvist in 2014-15 behind a stout defense. The Capitals, who haven't lost with Alex Ovechkin in the lineup this season, are wrapping up a stretch of three road games in four nights and could be sluggish on the second of a back-to-back set in Western Canada. The best part? Talbot is priced 17th among goalies, so you can spend your precious DraftKings dollars elsewhere. (Editor's Note: Anders Nilsson, $6,200 in DraftKings, will be making his third start of the season against the Capitals. He made 48 saves in a road loss at the Dallas Stars and allowed one goal in a win at the Vancouver Canucks this season. With 7.6 DraftKings points per contest, Nilsson is even cheaper than Talbot and has value Friday.)