These are the nights where DFS hockey gets tricky. You have a mere three games on the docket and a sense of where some of them may be headed. But remember, daily fantasy requires an open mind, short memory, and creativity when it comes to against-the-grain ideas. If most people are prioritizing Blackhawks and Capitals, you might want to stack up a few Oilers and Red Wings. Also while many DFS owners take first or second-line players, it may be a good call to take a stab on a quality third-liner. On this light of a game night, there’s no wrong answers when constructing your lineup. Let’s get right to some targets at each position:
Petr Mrazek ($7,100) – Mrazek has been confirmed for Wednesday against the Capitals, whom he blanked with a 38-save shutout at home on Nov. 10. Mrazek is going against a vaunted Washington offense that’s due for a breakout game, but his .935 save percentage on the season makes him as good of a goalie bet as you’ll find in the three games this evening. His even-strength save percentage is even better (.941) and only pads his value. With Pavel Datsyuk back and a deep offense in front of him, build your lineup around Mrazek to differentiate your roster from the pack.
Ondrej Pavelec or Michael Hutchinson ($6,500 apiece) – The Jets, winless in their past six games and stumbling after an 0-4-0 road trip, return home to face the Canucks, who will play the final game of their grueling seven-game road trip and could be a bit gassed. This is a perfect example where you run into a struggling goalie tandem in a refreshing situation and can find value in their cheap prices and opponent; the Canucks allow the eighth-most DraftKings points per contest to opposing goalies this season. Hutchinson and Pavelec are proven guys who are in the midst of slumps, so don’t overlook them in daily contests Wednesday.
Duncan Keith ($4,900) – Keith is back from injury and has points in each of his first two games since returning. He’s a force in terms of puck possession and has produced blocked shots (12) and shots on goal (12) through eight games. If the Blackhawks have a big offensive day, Keith will be well worth the price of admission in DraftKings. He’s the reigning Conn Smythe winner and is going for $700 cheaper than his teammate Brent Seabrook ($5,600) and $1,500 less than John Carlson of the Capitals, the most expensive defenseman who’s in the midst of a four-game scoring drought.
Oscar Klefbom ($4,000) – Haven’t heard of Klefbom? Get to know the name. The Oilers, even without Connor McDavid, have a loaded nucleus of young talent and this 22-year-old Swede could be along for the ride for years to come. He has 10 points, 24 SOG and 38 blocked shots (2.1 per game) this season and has locked down a first-unit power-play role on the blue line. He has at least a point in seven of his past 10 games and is still extremely affordable in DraftKings at ninth in terms of price among D-men.
Others to consider: Tyler Myers ($3,800), Andrej Sekera ($3,200), Ben Hutton ($3,000), Danny DeKeyser ($2,900)
Pavel Datsyuk ($5,200) – Datsyuk is working his way back from injury but is priced extremely low for a player who has been nearly a point-per-game player in his illustrious career (869 points in 890 games). He has gone pointless in three games since returning, but does have seven SOG and is playing alongside Dylan Larkin ($4,500) and Tomas Tatar ($5,100). His time is coming, so stack him with either of those value options with confidence knowing not nearly as many people will be drafting Datsyuk as there would be had he been producing right out of the gate.
Leon Draisaitl ($3,600) – Draisaitl’s price has remained relatively unaltered despite the fact that he has three straight games with a point (two goals, four assists in span) and 13 points in eight games on the season. The only knock is his SOG output (15), but he is playing in a top-line role alongside Taylor Hall ($6,800) and presents an easy, against-the-grain line stacking option. Four of his points have come with the man-advantage and he faces a Blackhawks team that has allowed three-plus goals in five of its seven road games this season.
Others to consider: Bryan Little ($5,500), Henrik Sedin ($4,800), Dylan Larkin ($4,500), Andreas Athanasiou ($2,500)
Blake Wheeler ($7,000) – Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane are the crown jewels of the night on the wing, but they are priced accordingly. Many DFS owners will find a way to spend up for one of them and sprinkle value picks around them, but I would advise giving Wheeler a look for $2,600 cheaper than Ovi and $1,600 cheaper than Kane. Wheeler will be much lesser owned because he has been held without a point in each of his past two games, but this is the time to pounce. Wheeler is better than a point per game (20 in 19) on the season, is averaging nearly three SOG per game (56 in 19; 2.9) and is also among the League leaders in blocked shots at his position (14, T-33rd among forwards). The Canucks have allowed 30 goals in 11 road games this season, so you gotta love Wheeler’s chances at a multipoint game at home alongside Little ($5,500).
Teddy Purcell ($3,400) – Purcell has seen a ton of power-play time this season (2:55 per game), but his value lies in the fact that he’s playing on the top line of late with Hall and Draisaitl ($3,600). Purcell has points in three of his past four games, averages well over two SOG per game this season and will have a ton of exposure to scoring chances. Call him a boom-or-bust pick, but for this price you can’t go wrong with him as your FLEX. You can even roll out the entire Edmonton top line for a total of $13,800.
Others to consider: Taylor Hall ($6,800), Artemi Panarin ($5,500), Tomas Tatar ($5,100), Justin Williams ($4,700), Marko Dano ($3,500)