Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This lineup has been constructed with expensive and value picks and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
C - Evgeni Malkin, PIT ($7,500)
Malkin has 11 points and 31 shots on goal in his past 10 games, and is tied for fourth in the NHL in scoring with 43 points in 39 games. With that, his career trend of being better than a point per game when healthy continues; he has 803 points in 683 NHL games. He has 47 points in 34 career regular-season games against the Washington Capitals, including one goal, one assist, three blocks and four SOG in two games this season (4.4 DraftKings points per game).
Video: MTL@PIT: Malkin fires in one-timer for overtime win
C - Nicklas Backstrom, WSH ($6,100)
Since New Year's Eve, the Capitals are 6-0-0 with a 24-9 margin of victory in the span. They face a tall task against the Penguins, but Backstrom should be a big part of their offensive attack if history is any indication. Backstrom, who centers Alex Ovechkin in all situations, has erupted for seven points, one block and nine SOG in two games against Pittsburgh (10.6 DraftKings points per game). That gives him 40 points in 36 career regular-season games against the Penguins.
W - Alexander Radulov, MTL ($5,800)
Radulov has been a saving grace for the depleted Montreal Canadiens with 31 points in 39 games and 3.2 DraftKings points per game. He leads the Canadiens with eight multipoint games and has the most power-play points (10) among their forwards. He's averaging more DraftKings points per game on the road (3.4) than at home (3.0). He faces the Winnipeg Jets, who are coming off a 2-0 shutout of the Calgary Flames on Monday but allowed a combined 11 goals in their two prior home games.
Video: MTL@TOR: Radulov tallies PPG on Weber's great pass
W - Conor Sheary, PIT ($5,700)
Sheary, still moderately priced despite flanking elite center Sidney Crosby, is likely to return DFS value given his coverage of points and SOG this season (24 points, 76 SOG in 32 games; 3.0 DraftKings points per game). Sheary has 15 points and 49 SOG in his past 17 games. Crosby, like Malkin, has feasted on the Capitals in his career (55 points in 39 regular-season games), so it's a good idea to get a piece of each of Pittsburgh's first two lines.
W - Drew Stafford, WPG ($3,900)
Stafford played on the Jets' top line Monday against the Flames in the absence of injured forward Patrik Laine (concussion). He scored 21 goals last season with the Jets and has had a knack for short-term relevance in the past when given top-six usage. He has points in back-to-back games and offers cheap exposure to Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele against the shorthanded Canadiens at home.
Video: WPG@BUF: Stafford knocks in his own rebound for lead
D - Dustin Byfuglien, WPG ($5,600)
Byfuglien is a category coverage asset, averaging 3.6 DraftKings points per game (fourth among defensemen). He's tied for fifth among price at his position, but should be worth the cost of admission with 4.0 DraftKings points per game at home (14 points, 32 blocks, 65 SOG in 20 games). His peripheral coverage has been tremendous in his past 10 games (16 blocks, 34 SOG), making him a safe bet even if he doesn't get a point.
D - Ian Cole, PIT ($4,000)
As much as Justin Schultz is an intriguing DFS option for an affordable price of $5,200, spending down for Cole instead offers so much more roster flexibility. Cole ranks 10th in the NHL in blocked shots (87 in 39 games), and is due for a point with none in his past five games. He has at least 2.5 DraftKings points in each of his past three games, and has respectable offensive numbers (14 points, 44 SOG) because of his association to the Penguins offense.
Video: DAL@PIT: Cole scores on snap shot off the crossbar
G - Thomas Greiss, NYI ($7,400)
The New York Islanders went 0-0-2 against the two worst teams in the NHL (Colorado Avalanche, Arizona Coyotes) in the first two games after five days off. But Greiss has been a bright spot, posting 4.2 DraftKings points in a shootout loss at the Coyotes and 5.4 in an overtime defeat at the Avalanche. The Islanders are allowing the second most SOG per game (33.3) on the season, and Greiss sports a .927 save percentage (.932 in past 10 games). He's 6-3-0 at home and faces a familiar opponent in the Florida Panthers, whom he defeated in their 2016 Stanley Cup Playoff series.
UTIL - Timo Meier, SJS ($4,000)
Meier's scoring uptick could be coming very soon, considering he has 31 SOG in his first 10 NHL games and had an assist Saturday on the San Jose Sharks' top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Meier, 20, has brought a physical element to one of the most prolific scoring lines in the NHL. He faces the Calgary Flames, who have allowed 60 goals in 21 home games.
Video: SJS@MTL: Meier scores first goal on first career shot
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