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Fantasy picks: J.T. Miller having breakout season

Rangers forward among Nov. 18 DFS targets against Blue Jackets

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This list of targets includes expensive and value options at each position to help you build a winning roster.

C - Evgeny Kuznetsov, WSH ($6,000)

Kuznetsov's DFS ownership is likely as low as it's been at any point this calendar year. The Washington Capitals scored seven goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Kuznetsov was held without a point despite skating with Alex Ovechkin and Andre Burakovsky. It's only a matter of time before his fortunes improve, and it could come Friday at home against the Detroit Red Wings, who are allowing the second-most DraftKings points to opposing centers.

C - Alexander Wennberg, CBJ ($5,100)

Wennberg's production has largely come on assists, but it's hard to pass up his home splits for a shade above $5,000. He has 11 points (two goals, nine assists), seven blocks and eight shots on goal in eight games at Nationwide Arena (3.9 DraftKings points per contest). Roll him out against the New York Rangers with Cam Atkinson ($5,300), Nick Foligno ($5,000) or defenseman Zach Werenski ($5,700), each of whom is better than a point per game at home. The Columbus Blue Jackets have the best power-play efficiency in the NHL (30.8 percent).

Video: STL@CBJ: Wennberg scores off defenseman's stick

 

W - Phil Kessel, PIT ($6,300)

Kessel has 11 points in his past 10 games with 21 SOG (3.6 DraftKings points per contest), and scored a goal on two SOG for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday against the Washington Capitals. He had a goal, two assists and two SOG (8.0 DraftKings points) against the New York Islanders on Oct. 27, and has 34 points in 37 career games against them. The slumping Islanders should have a great deal of trouble containing the Penguins' three strong lines, especially with Pittsburgh fresh off a lopsided loss to Washington.

W - J.T. Miller, NYR ($5,600)

Forward Chris Kreider (upper body) is expected to return Friday, but Miller has been productive all season whether on New York's second or third line. Priced 16th among wings, Miller remains affordable considering he has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in as many games. He has points in three straight with nine SOG in the span, including two goals Tuesday in a 7-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks to give him five points in seven road games. The Blue Jackets have been scoring in bunches at home, but their goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is 3-8-2 with a 3.00 goals-against average and .903 save percentage in his career against the Rangers.

Video: NYR@VAN: Miller nets redirect between his legs

 

D - Zach Werenski, CBJ ($5,700)

Werenski is the fifth most-expensive defenseman on this five-game slate, but is second at the position in DraftKings points per contest (4.0) behind Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens (4.3) and $1,000 cheaper. He's tied for third among rookie skaters in points (13 in 14 games) entering Thursday behind Patrik Laine (17) of the Winnipeg Jets and Mitchell Marner (15) of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and has scored six of them on the Blue Jackets first power-play unit.

D - Brent Seabrook, CHI ($4,900)

Seabrook and the Chicago Blackhawks face the Calgary Flames, who have the second-worst penalty kill (75.0 percent) behind Chicago (67.3). If you draft Seabrook and go the cheaper route at goalie, it's a good move to spend up for Artemi Panarin ($7,300), who has two points, one on the power play, in two games against the Flames this season. Seabrook skates on Chicago's first power-play unit with Panarin, Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, so he'll have a chance to chip in a point or two with respectable category coverage (10 points, 27 blocks, 29 SOG in 17 games).

G - Braden Holtby, WSH ($8,200)

Holtby is coming off a dominant performance against the Penguins (25 saves on 26 shots faced) and hosts the Red Wings, whom he's 6-2-0 against with a 1.97 GAA and .931 SV% in his career. He's been strong at home this season, going 4-2-0 with a 2.00 GAA, .918 SV% and 4.5 DraftKings points per contest. Detroit has been one of the worst road offenses in the League this season, scoring 13 goals (T-26th) in seven such games.

Video: PIT@WSH: Holtby makes unbelievable goal line save

 

G - Cam Ward, CAR ($6,800)

There's not much debate that the Canadiens are a better team than the Carolina Hurricanes, but DFS comes down to one night and Ward has some against-the-grain value in this spot. Montreal has been outscored 21-16 in road games this season, and the Hurricanes have been competitive in their own building (15 goals, 15 allowed in six games). Ward, confirmed to start Friday, has won two straight against the Capitals and San Jose Sharks, allowing one goal on 43 shots faced. He's $1,400 cheaper than his opponent, Canadiens backup Al Montoya ($8,200), and drafting him allows you to spend up at other positions.

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