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DraftKings picks: Pavelski worth steep price

Sharks forward a consistent force; targets by position

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Fantasy Insider

CENTERS

Spend up for: Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks ($7,500)

Pavelski has been one of the League's most consistent road point producers with 40 points (14 on power play) with nearly three shots on goal per game (99) in 36 such games. He had one goal, one assist, one block and seven SOG (9.0 DraftKings points) against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday and faces them again with more DraftKings upside on the horizon. He's still the third most-expensive center behind John Tavares ($7,800) and Sidney Crosby ($7,700), but has the most favorable matchup of the three.

Value pick: Eric Staal, New York Rangers ($4,900)

After a quick turnaround following the trade Sunday, Staal joined the Rangers on Monday and played 15-plus minutes, posting no points and one SOG in a low-scoring game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He played mostly with Kevin Hayes and Oscar Lindberg on New York's third line, but saw some top-six action in the third period alongside Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard. Staal has 46 points in 46 games against the Pittsburgh Penguins and is tied for 35th in price among centers.

WINGS

Spend up for: Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers ($6,900)

Simmonds will be heavily involved offensively in an important home game for the Flyers against the road-weary Edmonton Oilers. The physical wing has been playing alongside Claude Giroux and red-hot Brayden Schenn of late, as well as on Philadelphia's first power-play unit. He's tied for fourth among wings in price and had 3.5 DraftKings points (one assist, two blocks, one SOG) in one game against the Oilers earlier in the season. His home SOG volume (94) is much higher than his road total (68) in the same number of games (31), so trust Simmonds and the Flyers' top trio in a favorable spot.

Video: CGY@PHI: Flyers take the lead on Simmonds' PPG in 2nd

Value pick: Mikkel Boedker, Colorado Avalanche ($4,800)

Boedker had a power-play assist and one SOG in his Avalanche debut Tuesday at the Minnesota Wild, and looks to gain more chemistry over time on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. He played 3:34 with the man-advantage on Colorado's top power-play unit with those same linemates as well as Jarome Iginla and Tyson Barrie. The Florida Panthers are leading the Atlantic Division but have been generous to opponents away from home lately, with 27 goals allowed in their past eight road games. Boedker is tied for 45th in price among wings.

DEFENSEMEN

Spend up for: Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings ($6,200)

On this 12-game night, Doughty is available at a major discount compared to fellow consistent, high-priced defensemen Erik Karlsson ($8,100), Brent Burns ($8,000) and Kris Letang ($7,000). Doughty had one goal, one assist, two blocks and two SOG (7.0 DraftKings points) against the Montreal Canadiens earlier in the season, and Los Angeles is licking its chops with the Habs on the second of a back-to-back set. He has been better than a point per game when on three or more days rest this season (11 points in nine such games) and is due to bust out of his 10-game goal drought.

Value pick: Calvin de Haan, New York Islanders ($3,800)

The 24-year-old is behind Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic on the power-play pecking order and DraftKings price scale, but plays major minutes in a top-four role and is a shot-blocking aficionado. He averages 2.5 blocks per game this season (142 total), tied for fourth in the NHL among players with at least 50 games played. He also chips in SOG often, with 80 in 56 games. He's not the scoring type, but any points would be icing on the cake for one of the most overlooked DraftKings category cogs. He logged more than 25 minutes and blocked three shots in his return from injury Tuesday and is $1,300 above the DraftKings minimum price.

GOALIES

Spend up for: Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning ($7,800)

Bishop was exceptional at home last season, but his road save percentage has been superior to his home rate this season. He has a .927 road SV% and two shutouts through 24 road games and quite the track record against his former team; he is 8-0-3 with a .929 SV% in his career against the Ottawa Senators and 2-0-0 with three goals allowed against them this season. He has won four straight and has an even greater chance to earn the win bonus if the Lightning offense is facing Senators backup goalie Andrew Hammond. Bishop is tied for 12th in price among possible starting goalies for Thursday.

Video: TBL@BOS: Bishop stones Beleskey, freezes the puck

Value pick: Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche ($6,800)

This is as close to a must-win game as you'll find in early March. The Avalanche have been caught by the Wild in the standings after losing two straight and three of their past four. Pickard gets the call Thursday at home against the Panthers over slumping Semyon Varlamov, who has allowed 11 goals in his past three games. Pickard is 5-3-1 with a shutout in nine starts this season, and has a .944 SV% at Pepsi Center. Take a chance on the affordable backup, who's tied for 40th among goalies in price.

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