Spend up for: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings ($6,100)
Datsyuk is one of the hottest scorers in the NHL since Feb. 6, tied with John Tavares ($8,100) and Ryan Getzlaf ($5,800) for the most points (10 in six games) in that span. Datsyuk has 39 shots on goal in his past 10 games and is playing alongside potent, affordable linemates Henrik Zetterberg (C, $5,500) and Justin Abdelkader (W, $4,700). Datsyuk is a point-per-game player on two days' rest this season and plays the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road, where he has 13 points in 19 games this season. He's priced 13th among centers on this 11-game night.
Value pick: Ryan Strome, New York Islanders ($4,100)
Strome needs to be taken seriously in DFS when he plays at Barclays Center. He had two points and four SOG Monday against the Red Wings, giving him 19 points and 50 SOG in 24 home games this season (2.8 DraftKings points per game). He has a point in four of his past five games alongside Tavares and can offset his linemate's steep price. Strome has one assist, one block and four SOG in two games against the Washington Capitals this season, and has power-play exposure despite being priced outside the top 50 centers.
Spend up for: Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets ($7,000)
Since 2012-13, Wheeler is tied for 15th in the NHL in points. He scored a goal with two blocks and four SOG earlier in the season against his Thursday opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and has 24 points in 29 road games this season. His chances of returning DraftKings value are high, and he offers nearly $2,000 of savings compared to top-priced wing Alex Ovechkin ($8,900). Wheeler is fifth among wings in price and has a point in three straight games with 15 SOG in that span. He gets high-end scoring chances with more than 19 minutes per game and has been productive on the power play this season (14 power-play points).
Value pick: Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings ($4,200)
Brown is tied for 40th in the NHL with 157 SOG entering Wednesday; his total in that category is in the vicinity of higher-priced forwards Claude Giroux, Corey Perry and Joe Pavelski. Brown shoots a much lower percentage (5.1) than those players, but is in a much better spot (alongside Anze Kopitar and Milan Lucic) than he's been for much of the season. His scoring is way up in his past 10 games, with nine points, three blocks and 33 SOG for an average of 4.1 DraftKings points per contest. He is very familiar with the St. Louis Blues, scoring 23 points in 40 regular-season games against them. Brown comes with little risk and plenty of upside priced outside the top 60 players at his position.
Spend up for: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes ($6,100)
Ekman-Larsson started the season with one goal in 15 games; he has 16 goals in his next 41 games, most among defensemen in that span. He averages the fifth-most DraftKings points per game among defensemen (3.9), yet is tied for 11th in price at the position. The Coyotes host the Dallas Stars, who allow the second-most DraftKings points to opposing defensemen. Ekman-Larsson has three three-point games in his past six, and has 35 SOG in his past 10 games. He's an elite, high-floor option who has 176 SOG and 52 blocks this season.
Value pick: Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers ($3,800)
Campbell is priced outside the top 50 defensemen, but the veteran is trending in the right direction with an average of 3.0 DraftKings points in his past 10 games (eight points, 10 blocks, 13 SOG). He has a point in four of his past six games, logged more than 25 minutes Monday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and is playing on the Panthers' top power-play unit. Seven of his eight power-play points have come at home. He faces a tough task against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, but had a strong game against them with one assist and three SOG (3.5 DraftKings points).
Spend up for: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators ($7,900)
There are a number of elite goalies available Thursday who have been better and more consistent than Anderson, but DFS comes down to one game and the matchup at hand. The Carolina Hurricanes score 2.29 goals per game on the road this season, and Anderson's home splits are superior to his road splits. Eight goalies are priced higher than Anderson, who's 14-6-3 with a .931 save percentage and three shutouts at Canadian Tire Centre for an average of 5.8 DraftKings points. He stopped 38 of 39 shots Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres for 9.6 DraftKings points.
Value pick: Pekka Rinne or Carter Hutton, Nashville Predators ($7,300)
Hutton has made two straight starts for Nashville, shutting out the Panthers on Saturday and losing to the Stars in overtime Tuesday. He has allowed four goals in his past four games and could get another start Thursday. Each goalie has been strong at home this season: Hutton is 1-0-1 with three goals allowed at Bridgestone Arena, and Rinne is 13-9-3 with two shutouts. The Predators goalies are tied for 20th in price at their position Thursday and provide against-the-grain upside against the Bruins, who have 17 goals in the first four games of their six-game road trip.
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