It’s a challenging night with just three games on the NHL schedule Wednesday. The focus will be on the rivalry game between the steadily improving Pittsburgh Penguins and recently consistent New York Rangers and owners should consider taking a few players from each of those teams. But like with any light night, it’s also important to roll the dice on some likely lesser-owned value picks. Here are some players to target who can help distance your team(s) from the rest of the pack.
Petr Mrazek ($7,900) – When there are only six choices for a goaltender, owners have to go with Mrazek who leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.97) and save percentage (.933). Considering that the Penguins-Rangers game could be high scoring and the Vancouver Canucks at Arizona Coyotes matchup not offering any better goalie options, taking Mrazek at home against the Ottawa Senators is the safest selection. The young Czech beat Ottawa, 5-3, in a road game on Oct. 31. Mrazek has also played his best hockey following one day of rest as all four of his shutouts this season have come in that scenario.
Ryan Miller ($7,100) – Going 11-15-8 in 35 starts is certainly not an indicator of a good goalie, but Miller is better than his record. Although the veteran is 0-3-2 in his past five starts, his GAA is 2.40 over that span. And Miller has been fantastic against the Coyotes in his career with an 8-1-0 record, 1.65 GAA and .946 save percentage in nine starts. While it’s always recommended to go with the strongest goalie on a three-game night, Miller should prove a fine value choice assuming coach Willie Desjardins confirms him as the starter.
Others to Consider: Craig Anderson ($7,800)
Kris Letang ($6,700) – With 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) in the past 15 games, Letang is a great choice as a top defender. Owners should assume that most DraftKings lineups will feature Letang, so they will have to assure that their second pick is a lesser-owned, high-potential player. Letang will try for a three-game point streak when the Penguins host the Rangers; he has five points (two goals, three assists) and eight shots on goal in the past two games.
Dan Boyle ($3,900) – Going with a depth defenseman like Boyle is necessary since owners will need production from unlikely sources Wednesday. The veteran blueliner has four of his five goals and 45 of 67 blocked shots in 24 away games this season, making him a strong value play at Pittsburgh. If Boyle has a decent showing then he can help move you up the ladder in your respective contests with minimal impact on the budget.
Others to Consider: Alexander Edler ($5,000), Keith Yandle ($4,800), Kevin Klein ($3,300)
Sidney Crosby ($8,100) – Suggesting picking Crosby in daily fantasy is like saying pizza tastes good or that Miles Davis was a talented trumpet player but, with all joking aside, owners simply cannot miss out on a player in the midst of an 11-game point streak. The Penguins captain has 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) over his current scoring streak and 34 points (18 goals, 16 assists) in the past 21 games. Crosby has also dominated the Rangers in his career with 67 points (22 goals, 45 assists) and 176 SOG in 51 games. If more proof is needed to justify taking Crosby; 18 of his 24 goals this season have come in 26 home games.
Gustav Nyquist ($4,700) – If owners go with the premium cashmere sweater that is Crosby, then they’ll have to hit up the sales rack for an additional garment that can keep them just as warm. Consider Nyquist your comfortable cotton turtleneck when the Red Wings host the Senators. The Wings depth forward has been excellent against the Sens in his career with 10 points (five goals, five assists) and 29 SOG in 10 games, including a goal and assist in a 4-3 win at Ottawa on Nov. 16.
Others to Consider: Mats Zuccarello ($5,900), J.T. Miller ($4,500), Martin Hanzal ($4,000)