With seven NHL games the slate to start this weekend of DraftKings DFS Hockey contests, DFS hockey players have a solid player pool to delve into to fill-out their lineups with both superstar and value plays. Let’s take a look at some of top and bargain buys for tonight’s games:
Jonathan Quick ($7,700) – Quick is re-establishing himself as an elite goaltender and has been nothing but fantastic as of late. On the season his 15 wins sits second in the NHL behind Braden Holtby, and he’s seeing his SV% and GAA numbers steadily improve from earlier this season. He has not lost in regulation since before Thanksgiving and is 6-0-1 in his last seven starts. In those games he has allowed more than two goals against in a game just once and has four one goal games in that span. He has a tough matchup against Pittsburgh on Friday night, but role him while he’s on this current hot streak.
Corey Crawford ($7,800) – Crawford gets the nod Friday night for Chicago after ceding the crease the Scott Darling in last night’s loss against Nashville. After a shaky outing last week against Ottawa, Crawford bounced back big and posted back-to-back one goal against wins against Winnipeg and Nashville. He has posted solid numbers this season against Winnipeg going 1-1-0 with four goals against, but it’s the matchup being at home that is the reason you should take Crawford tonight. On home ice this season he’s 8-3-1 with a 1.92 GAA and .935 SV% with two shutouts and Crawford has allowed only four goals against total in his last three home starts.
Jimmy Howard ($7,400) – With Mrazek getting the start last night for Detroit against Montreal, it’s safe to assume that Howard will get the Red Wings net duties tonight. The two have been locked in a true handcuff time-share this season with Howard posting slightly better numbers overall. Howard has been very good in his last two starts, a win over Arizona and an OT loss to Washington, allowing three goals against in that span. The Red Wings travel to New Jersey on Friday night and Howard for his career against the Devils has posted a very solid 2.01 GAA.
Others to Consider: Henrik Lundqvist ($8,100), Kari Lehtonen ($7,100), Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,800), Cory Schneider ($7,500).
John Klingberg ($6,000) – Klingberg snapped a three-game scoreless streak on Tuesday with a three assist performance in Dallas’ 6-5 win against Carolina. The game pushed Klingberg back into the top-10 league wide in scoring, now sitting in a tie for sixth with 30 points, and he sits just two points shy of Erik Karlsson for the scoring lead among defensemen. He’s having the breakout season that many expected after his performance last year in Dallas’ league-leading offense, and should be a candidate for your lineup every night.
Olli Maatta ($3,200) – After a six-game absence Maatta has returned and put up points in his first three games back. He has produced very good all-around numbers in those games with two goals, two assists, four shots on goal and five blocked shots. With Kris Letang missing practice on Friday, his status is uncertain right now for the game and should sit out Maatta would be the Penguins d-man to target.
Duncan Keith ($5,400) – Keith has points in seven of his last eight games for the defending champs and is beginning to hit his offensive stride. He had a six-game point streak snapped against Nashville on Tuesday but bounced back immediately and put up an assist against the Predators last night. With Winnipeg playing last night, expect them to start Michael Hutchinson, sporting a 3.00 GAA this season, in Friday night’s tilt and expect Keith to play a major role in the Hawks offensive game plan.
Christian Ehrhoff ($3,000) – Ehrhoff hasn’t had the effect that the Kings were hoping when they brought him in this off-season, but he’s been coming on offensively as of late and has two goals and nine shots on goal in his last three games. His eight points on the season are a far cry from his former elite-level production earlier in his career, but he’s an inexpensive option tonight who seems to be finding the confidence in his offense, and should have an extra step tonight going against one of his former teams.
Others to Consider: Justin Faulk ($6,100), Dustin Byfuglien ($6,500), Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($5,300), Shayne Gostisbehere ($3,800), Brent Seabrook ($5,600), Alec Martinez ($3,700), Ryan McDonagh ($4,800).
Victor Rask ($4,500) – Rask is having a breakout season for the lowly Hurricanes and joins Justin Faulk as one of the lone bright spots for the team this year. The 22-year-old center, who produced an 11 goal, 33 point season his rookie year last year, is well on his way to shattering those numbers with eight goals and 19 points through 28 games this year. He had a three assist game, two coming on the power-play, on Tuesday against the Stars and has eight points and 19 shots on goal over his last 10 games. He has points in back-to-back games, three coming on the man-advantage, and is a great value for your lineup tonight at the center slot to off-set some of the more expensive options.
Mark Scheifele ($4,700) – Another player who is a great value play at center tonight is Scheifele. He’s always been a consistent two-way player for the Jets but this season has quietly put together 19 points which sits fifth on the Jets at the moment. He’s centering the Jets second line and is seeing plenty of power-play time on their second unit. Scheifele has been on a tear in his last four games and has put up six points and 21 shots in that span. He’s on pace to break his 49 point season from last year, and despite a tough matchup against Chicago tonight Scheifele’s recent offensive form make a compelling argument for putting him in your lineup.
Leon Draisaitl ($4,600) – Draisaitl has been nothing short of impressive and is proving he was worth the top-pick that the Oilers used on him before last season. He has found great chemistry with Taylor Hall and the two have powered the Oilers offense through the loss of Connor McDavid. Draisaitl continues to produce now with 22 points in 19 games and is riding a three-game point streak that has produced one goal and three assists. On the night he is averaging the third-highest FPPG out of all centers, right behind Tyler Seguin and Jeff Carter.
Patrick Kane ($8,700) – It pretty much can go unsaid at the moment that Kane should be in your lineup every night but for the sake of saying it, Patrick Kane should be in your lineup every night at the moment. Has he gotten lucky with some timely empty-net goals and assists that have helped keep his 24-game point streak alive? Yes. But the man is riding a 24-game point streak and sometimes you need some luck to go along with the amount of skill he has, and he’s showing a new level to his game this season. He has an outstanding matchup with the Jets on Friday night, who he had an assist against earlier this season during the streak, and in his career vs the Winnipeg he has 17 points in 15 games.
Wayne Simmonds ($5,300) – Simmonds is beginning to find his offensive game despite being off his scoring pace from last season, and has four points in his last five games for the Flyers who are beginning to turn things around with six wins in their last 10 games. The Flyers power forward has two goals, two assists and eight shots on goal in his last five games and has a good matchup against the Stars on Friday night in what could turn into a high-scoring affair in Dallas. Simmonds has done his most damage away from home this season with 12 of his 16 points coming on the road and Dallas is sitting in the bottom-six in the league in goals against at home this season.
Justin Abdelkader ($4,900) – Abdelkader started the season as hot as anyone with five points in his first two games, and then proceeded to put up a mere seven points more from October 13 through the end of November. He has snapped out of his funk and has now produced six points in five December hockey games. So far in December he has five goals, one assist and 17 shots on goal and continues to play with playmakers Henrik Zetterberg ($6,300) and young sniper Dylan Larkin ($5,400). With his recent return to form, it’s now safe to start considering Abdelkader for your lineup again and that should start tonight against the Devils.
Others to Consider: Taylor Hall ($7,200), Jamie Benn ($8,400), Tyler Seguin ($8,800), Artemi Panarin ($5,900), Mathieu Perreault ($4,000), Rick Nash ($7,000), Jordan Eberle ($5,300), Brayden Schenn ($4,000), Derick Brassard ($5,600), Anze Kopitar ($5,100), Mike Cammalleri ($5,500).
Make sure to check out the Cheat Sheet and NHL Line Stacks posts today also and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey