Spend up for: Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings ($6,300)
Kopitar has been brilliant with 25 points in 26 road games and faces the New York Islanders, against whom he's scored 11 points in 13 career games. He's no longer playing with Tyler Toffoli, but has points in five straight games with eight blocks and 16 shots on goal in that span. He's a possession cog and the Islanders have taken a step back in that regard this season, so don't be surprised to see gritty linemates Milan Lucic ($4,600) and Dustin Brown ($4,100) create open space for Kopitar in the Kings' first trip to Barclays Center.
Value pick: Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks ($4,900)
Kesler has nine points in his past 10 games, but his peripheral coverage in that stretch (11 blocked shots, 36 SOG; 4.5 DraftKings points per contest) has been the bigger story. The Columbus Blue Jackets allow the third-most DraftKings points to opposing centers, and, even if Kesler has an off night, he can provide the foundation necessary to keep your team afloat. An example was his three blocks and three SOG despite no points against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. He's been playing far too well to be priced below the $5,000 mark, so take advantage while this lasts.
Spend up for: Evander Kane ($6,300)
Kane had quite the DraftKings showing Tuesday considering he only played 11 minutes against the Florida Panthers. He fought Alex Petrovic three times for a total of 29 penalty minutes. Though that category doesn't count in DraftKings, his high shot volume continued with one goal on three SOG and a block for 5.0 DraftKings points. That marked his third goal in five games to go along with 55 SOG in his past 10. As long as that degree of coverage is there, he's worth spending up for in the low-$6,000 price range (14th among wings). Select him on his own, though. He's no longer playing with Ryan O'Reilly because the Sabres have jumbled their lines of late.
Value pick: Patrick Eaves, Dallas Stars ($3,200)
Andre Burakovsky ($4,300) of the Washington Capitals remains the best value pick on the wing, but Eaves is a low-risk, high-reward option priced even cheaper and playing on the top line for Dallas. Eaves is well outside the top 50 wings in DraftKings cost, but has played with high-priced forwards Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn since Jason Spezza sustained an injury. Eaves had an assist and three SOG against the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 6, and has points in three straight games with eight SOG in that span. He's even seeing time on the top power-play unit for the Stars, so he's a prime FLEX target for exposure to a potentially high-scoring game Thursday at United Center.
Spend up for: Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers ($5,300)
Gostisbehere's latest price adjustment in DraftKings came after his game Feb. 2. In the four games since, he has one goal, four assists, two blocks and 12 SOG for an average of 4.5 DraftKings points per contest. Surprisingly, his price (tied for 16th among 'D') remains unaltered for a fifth straight game. With the defensemen above him properly priced, he's an upper-tier value play at home against the Buffalo Sabres. He is riding a nine-game point streak and is a point-per-game player at home this season (16 points, nine on power play, in 16 games).
Value pick: Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs ($3,500)
Gardiner saw a heightened role in his first game after Dion Phaneuf was traded, logging more than 25 minutes of ice time and scoring a goal on two shots against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. The Maple Leafs continue their Western Canada road trip Thursday at the Edmonton Oilers, who allow the fourth-most DraftKings points to opposing defensemen. Gardiner's coverage has been pedestrian (1.8 DraftKings points per game) through 49 games, but don't dwell on that when selecting him. He's only $1,000 above minimum price and is worth the risk given his new role and solid road splits (13 points, 28 SOG, 19 blocks in 27 games).
Value pick: Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks ($7,300)
It's tough to feel confident spending up for one of the expensive goalies Thursday because of matchups and/or splits. Jones is in the midst of a breakout season for the Sharks after being a backup for the first two seasons of his NHL career, so it's a wonder that he's still tied for 15th among goalies in DraftKings price. After a slow start at home this season, Jones has won four of his past five at SAP Center with 11 goals allowed in that span. He's also fresh off a 33-save shutout at the Blackhawks to help the Sharks break even on their difficult four-game road trip (2-2-0). The Flames are allowing 3.04 goals per game on the road this season, and San Jose is averaging 3.22 goals per game at home since Jan. 1.
Low-priced flier: Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus Blue Jackets ($6,900)
If you build your lineup without Kesler or any of the Ducks value picks, Korpisalo offers against-the-grain upside with expected low ownership at home, where he's 3-2-2 with a .930 save percentage this season. In his past 10 games, Korpisalo is 6-2-2 with a .943 SV% and scored his DFS owners a 6.8-point game Tuesday despite losing to the Islanders because he made 44 saves on 46 shots faced in a shootout decision. Most owners will avoid the Blue Jackets altogether because they are tied for the third-fewest points in the NHL standings and Sergei Bobrovsky is injured, but Korpisalo is a hidden gem who can be helpful if he fits your price point.
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