Five NHL games are on the docket to start this first week of 2016 DraftKings hockey contests, so DFS hockey players have a decent player pool to probe to fill-out their lineups with some potential great scoring matchups. Let’s take a look at some of top and bargain buys for tonight’s game:
Jonathan Quick ($8,200) – Quick is my top goalie of the night tonight when the Kings travel to take on the Avalanche. He is arguably the best goalie in the league at the current moment, and if he’s not he’s giving Braden Holtby a strong run for his money. He sits second in the league in wins with 22 on the season and sits just outside the top-10 in the league in both GAA and SV%. In his last 10 games Quick is 8-2-0 with a 1.97 GAA, a .934 SV% and two shutouts. He is riding a five-game win streak and has allowed more than one goal against just once in his last four starts. Quick has been more favorable on the road this season with a 2.01 GAA and .934 SV% away from Staples Center this year.
Brian Elliott ($7,500) – Despite seeing limited playing time and losing two of his last three starts, Elliott is a solid play tonight against the Senators who are coming off their second-straight shutout loss last night in a 3-0 decision against the Blackhawks. Elliott gets the nod over Jake Allen tonight and in his last three starts he has been solid allowing only two goals against in each of his last two starts, while making at least 35 saves in each game. With Ottawa struggling to produce much offensively lately Elliott is a great play tonight at home where he is posting a GAA almost a half-goal less per game and a .925 SV% on home ice.
Others to Consider: Cory Schneider ($7,900), Petr Mrazek ($7,300), Louis Domingue ($6,200), Cam Talbot ($6,600).
Drew Doughty ($5,700) – Doughty has come alive lately with five points in his last five games for the Kings. He has always been a solid all-around fantasy option thanks to his SOG and blocked shots total. He has two goals and three assists in his current five game span and has 12 shots on goal and eight blocks in that streak as well. On the season he has 14 points in 20 road games and is averaging over 1.5 blocked shots and over two shots on goal away from home.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($5,600) – I have written about OEL in the past and he continues to be one of the better offensive blueline options in the league for a surprisingly better Arizona team. He leads the Coyotes with 109 shots on goal, is third on with 26 points and has six points in his last five games with two multi-point games. He has seen even production on the season with 13 points at both home and on the road and faces the Canucks on the road tonight against whom he recorded an assist in the Coyotes only game against them this season.
Brendan Smith ($2,900) – Smith has never been known as an offensive threat for the Red Wings with 47 points in his career going into this season. He has 10 points in 31 games this year but seven of those points have come in his last 10 games, including five points in his last five games. The more impressive item to consider is that he is doing this in largely a third-pairing role on the defense averaging just a shade over 17 minutes of ice time this season. For the price he’s worth a flier on a limited night of action with the level of production that he has been putting up lately.
Others to Consider: Justin Faulk ($6,300), Erik Karlsson ($7,500), Kevin Shattenkirk ($6,400), Tyson Barrie ($5,000), Jake Muzzin ($4,600), Michael Stone ($4,000).
Anze Kopitar ($5,500) – A player greatly outplaying his salary at the moment, Kopitar is one of the hottest scorers in the league over the last few weeks. After a slow start to the season, 17 points in his first 28 games, he has come on strong for LA with 12 points in his last 10. In that span he has only been kept off the scoresheet twice and is riding a modest five-game point streak that has produced a goal and eight assists. He has found a great chemistry on the Kings top line with Milan Lucic and Tyler Toffoli and the impending return of Jeff Carter to the lineup should only help this line get more prime offensive opportunities. He’s nearly a point-per-game player on the road this season with 18 points in 20 games and is a point-per-game player against the Avalanche, who LA plays tonight in Colorado, with 34 points in as many games in this career.
Paul Stastny ($4,800) – Stastny is beginning to put up the production that was expected of him playing with Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen on the Blues top line. He missed a hefty chunk of time earlier this season with an injury, only playing 25 games so far, but he has largely been effective when in the lineup and especially after he shook off his rust from missing all of November. He currently has points in three straight games and has a favorable matchup with the Senators on Tuesday night who are sitting in the bottom-five of the league in scoring defense and have allowed 13 goals against on their current three-game losing streak. For a first-line center, playing with the playmakers that are around him, with the price tag and level of production he’s capable of Stastny is a great option for you tonight.
Mikkel Boedker ($5,000) – Always an underrated producer for the Coyotes Boedker is having a breakout season for Arizona and has 30 points and is averaging 3.4 FPPG in 38 games this year. He leads the Coyotes in points and assists, sits second in goals and has 12 power-play points on the year. At $5,000 he’s a great value as a top-line scorer as tonight’s 13th-most expensive winger. The Coyotes have a favorable scoring matchup with the Canucks tonight in what could quickly turn into a high-scoring affair and Boedker recorded an assist in the team’s first matchup earlier this season.
Jordan Eberle ($5,000) – Another mid-range value player tonight who has seen a production uptick and has a favorable matchup is Eberle. He has five points in his last four games (2G, 3A) and eight SOG. He’s settled in nicely on the Oilers second line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Benoit Pouliot and the Oilers face the Hurricanes on Monday night and with both team sitting in the bottom-10 of the league in scoring defense this is another prime opportunity, like the Arizona vs Vancouver game, for a high-scoring affair and with Eberle finding the scoresheet as much as he has lately he’s a prime candidate for your lineups tonight.
Others to Consider: Leon Draisaitl ($5,000), Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,800), Taylor Hall ($7,600), Kyle Palmieri ($4,900), Tomas Tatar ($5,200), Max Domi ($4,900), Mike Hoffman ($5,800), Victor Rask ($4,700), Pavel Datsyuk ($5,700), Nathan MacKinnon ($6,700), Alexander Steen ($7,100).
Make sure to check out the Cheat Sheet and NHL Line Stacks posts today and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey