On a light gamenight like this, consider a lower-priced goalie with a favorable matchup and build around that netminder with two high-floor defenseman. Then, you need to focus on forwards with breakout potential. Just looking at hot players won’t always work out when there are so few games. Look at second- or third-liners with upside and more importantly top-notch assets who are looking to emerge from pointless droughts. Keep an eye out for any forwards priced in the middle or lower tiers among centers and wings who could feasibly notch a multipoint game. On a night where many DFS owners will pursue name value, it’s all about a short memory and looking at each player’s ceiling based on matchups and lineup trends.
John Gibson ($6,200) – Since Gibson has been summoned by the Ducks from the American Hockey League, he’s averaged 5.4 DraftKings points per contest, including a 25-save shutout his last time out against the Canucks. He’s allowed three goals or fewer in each of his first four outings, and the Ducks own the fourth-best home penalty kill percentage (88.4). Gibson is a talented prospect with postseason experience who has been patiently waiting for this opportunity. He has a great chance at the win bonus against the underachieving Lightning (5-6-2 on road).
Connor Hellebuyck ($6,100) – Hellebuyck didn’t face many shots in his NHL debut (15), but only allowed one goal in a road victory against Minnesota. Against Toronto at home, he’s a low-risk, high-reward option in DFS. Spend your money elsewhere on forwards with potential and take your chances on the Jets against the Leafs, who are allowing the third-most DraftKings points to the goalie position this season. He’s cheapest goalie of the night, slightly below Gibson, making each a great play on home ice.
Others to consider: Tuukka Rask ($7,600) or Jonas Gustavsson ($6,600), depending on who starts
Ryan McDonagh ($4,800) – McDonagh, the Rangers captain, provides such strong DraftKings foundation points that he’s worth rolling out with confidence in what will be a heated rivalry game against the Islanders in Brooklyn. McDonagh is still searching for his first road goal of the season, but it just might come in this spot with a sizable contingent of Ranger fans expected to be in the house. He’s averaging nearly two SOG (48) and blocked shots (47) per game through 25 contests, and he has six points with nice peripherals over his past 10 games.
Dion Phaneuf ($4,100) – If you’re not rostering Hellebuyck, take a cheap flier on Phaneuf. He has points in three straight games and blocked shots in four straight, and has five separate games with five-plus shots on goal on the season. He ranks 12th in terms of defenseman price but is fourth at his position in DraftKings points per contest (3.1). Whenever there’s such a discrepancy on a four-game night, you almost have to take advantage. Also, for what it’s worth, the Jets are allowing the second-most DraftKings points to the defenseman position this season.
Others to consider: Victor Hedman ($5,000), Hampus Lindholm ($4,400), Jacob Trouba ($3,800), Colin Miller ($3,200), Thomas Hickey ($2,700)
Bryan Little ($5,400) – Little has gone two games without a point, so DFS owners won’t be flocking in his direction. That said, his upside lies in the fact that he’s tied for fifth in the NHL with eight multipoint games this season — one of which came earlier in the year against Toronto (one goal, one assist, one block, three SOG). If he scores two-plus points again at this price with low ownership, he’ll be a home run for your lineup. He’s back with usual running mates Andrew Ladd ($5,200) and Blake Wheeler ($7,100), so he’s certainly worth a stack with Ladd against a favorable opponent.
Oscar Lindberg ($3,800) – With Derek Stepan injured, Lindberg and Kevin Hayes ($4,200) are nice value picks on the road against the Islanders with an uptick in usage from their normal third-line roles. Lindberg skated with Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast on the second line against the Hurricanes on Monday and scored a power-play goal. The 24-year-old has points in four of his past six games and saw 1:23 of action with the man-advantage against Carolina. He ranks fourth among rookies in points (16) behind only Artemi Panarin, Max Domi and Dylan Larkin, and he’s an under-the-radar FLEX option for Wednesday.
Others to consider: Patrice Bergeron ($6,400), Ryan Kesler ($5,200), Frans Nielsen ($5,100), Leon Draisaitl ($4,200), J.T. Miller ($3,100)
Kyle Okposo ($6,100) – John Tavares, Okposo’s trusted center, has 28 points in 31 career games against the Rangers, and the Islanders are more than capable of putting up goals against their banged-up crosstown rivals. Okposo scored a goal against the Avalanche on Monday and nearly had another when he was robbed on a point-blank try. He has 20 points and 50 SOG in 25 games this season and has revitalized his DraftKings stock since being reunited with Tavares. He’s priced sixth among wings in this contest and $1,100 cheaper than Rick Nash (most expensive wing of the night).
Loui Eriksson ($5,100) – The Bruins’ power play is tops in the NHL (32.4 percent), largely because Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Torey Krug continue to set the table for their finisher in Eriksson (five power-play goals). Eight of Eriksson’s 20 points through 22 games this season have come with the man-advantage — and the Bruins are glad to finally see him turn it up offensively after dealing Tyler Seguin for him years ago. You have to love his matchup against the struggling Oilers, who are allowing a generous 3.2 goals per game on home ice this season.
Others to consider: Corey Perry ($6,600), Ryan Strome ($4,400), Drew Stafford ($3,800), Rickard Rakell ($3,600), Frank Vatrano ($3,100)