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DraftKings picks: Build lineup around Crosby

Penguins center has most points in NHL since Jan. 1; DFS targets

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Fantasy Insider

CENTERS

Spend up for: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins ($8,200)

How are the Penguins surviving without injured Evgeni Malkin? Their depth forwards and defensemen have stepped up of late, but Crosby's offensive explosion is the biggest reason for Pittsburgh's resurgence. Crosby has taken the League by storm yet again with 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists) in his past 35 games -- the most League-wide since Jan. 1. He has 16 points in his past 10 games with 36 SOG and seven blocks (6.0 DraftKings points per contest). It doesn't get much better than that.

Value pick: Cody Eakin, Dallas Stars ($4,000)

Eakin has a five-game point streak with four blocks and 11 SOG in the span, and has nine points in his past seven games. Tyler Seguin was injured in the third period last Thursday, and Eakin has responded by scoring goals in two straight games on a line with Jamie Benn. He had a goal and six SOG at the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday and has become a late-season fantasy gem. The Arizona Coyotes allow the fourth-most DraftKings points to opposing centers, so continue to take advantage of his affordable rate.

WINGS

Spend up for: James Neal, Nashville Predators ($6,000)

Neal is heating up with 11 points, 33 SOG and four blocks alongside a suddenly revitalized Ryan Johansen. He's tied for 15th in price among wings and has an equal or better DraftKings points-per-game season average (3.5) than seven of the wings priced ahead of him. He has six straight games with multiple SOG and has multipoint outings in three of his past four. Whether you stack him with Johansen or roll him out on his own, he's a safe bet to return value against the Vancouver Canucks at Bridgestone Arena, where he has 28 points in 35 games this season.

Value pick: PA Parenteau, Toronto Maple Leafs ($4,500)

Parenteau, William Nylander ($4,100) and Zach Hyman ($3,200) are emerging as value line-stacking options after combining for four goals and five assists in their past two games. Parenteau has averaged 2.5 DraftKings points this season through all the Maple Leafs' ups and downs, so this is an opportunity for him to thrive alongside two young talents. Although the Anaheim Ducks provide a daunting task to the Maple Leafs, all seven of Nylander's points this season have come in nine games at Air Canada Centre.

DEFENSEMEN

Spend up for: Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche ($6,100)

Barrie, who mans the top power-play unit for the Avalanche, faces the Philadelphia Flyers in a game with Stanley Cup Playoff implications for each fringe team. You can get creative by stacking Barrie and affordable wings from that first power-play unit in Mikkel Boedker ($5,000) or Jarome Iginla ($4,800), whom you can rely on for exposure to scoring chances with Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon still sidelined with injuries. Barrie has goals in back-to-back games to go along with three blocks and seven SOG in the span. He also has favorable home splits (27 points in 33 games).

Value pick: Trevor Daley, Pittsburgh Penguins ($4,000)

Daley likely won't replicate his 10.5-point DraftKings masterpiece (one goal, two assists, four blocks, three SOG) from Sunday against the Washington Capitals, but he's still likely to return value against the New Jersey Devils and third-string goalie Scott Wedgewood. The Penguins defenseman has goals in two straight games with six blocks and six SOG in the stretch, is playing nearly 20 minutes per game in his past 10, and is tied for 48th in the D-men price scale.

GOALIES

Spend up for: Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators ($8,100)

Rinne has excellent home marks this season with an 18-9-5 record, 2.25 goals-against average and four shutouts. He has won three straight and eight of his past 10 games, and is 1-1-0 with a .929 save percentage in two games against the Canucks this season. The Predators are four points behind the struggling Chicago Blackhawks with one game in hand, and Rinne has a chance to capitalize on the banged-up Canucks, who allow the second-most DraftKings points to opposing goalies.

Value pick: James Reimer, San Jose Sharks ($7,100)

If you need to fit a lower price point with a similarly favorable draw, lean on Reimer, who's confirmed to start for the Sharks. The Edmonton Oilers allow the fourth-most DraftKings points to opposing goalies, and Reimer had a 31-save road shutout against them March 8.

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