With six NHL games on tap for this Friday of DraftKings DFS Hockey contests, DFS hockey players have a hefty player pool to delve into to fill-out their lineups with both superstar and value plays. Let’s take a look at some of the top and bargain buys for tonight’s game:
Pekka Rinne ($8,200) – (With the Predators playing a back-to-back this weekend, the could opt for Carter Hutton ($6,900) on Friday.) Rinne has shaken off the rough patch he hit earlier in the month, 15 goals against in four games, and has gotten back on track for Nashville. In his three games since that stretch Rinne has gone 2-0-1 and has allowed only three goals against in as many games. On the season his numbers are still superb as the Finnish net-minder has posted a 10-2-3 record with a 2.11 GAA, good for 10th in the league. Should he get the nod Friday against the Blue Jackets, Rinne is the top goalie on the night for your lineup.
Jaroslav Halak ($7,500) – Halak continued his strong play on Monday holding the Coyotes to two goals on 34 shots. The win improved Halak’s record to 5-4-1 on the year but more importantly pushed him into a tie for second in GAA with a 1.91 mark and tied for 10th in SV% with a .927 SV% mark. The Islanders have a tough matchup with the Canadiens, coming off a loss to Arizona yesterday, on Friday night in the first night of the Friday-Sunday back-to-back. Halak has only given up more than two goals twice in his last 10 outings and has seen a 2.02GAA and .926 SV% on home ice this year.
James Reimer ($6,500) – “Optimus Reimer” has been nothing short of fantastic since taking the reins on the Maple Leafs net with Jonathan Bernier banged up and has potentially played himself into a larger playing role. In his last 10 games, Reimer has gone 6-2-2 and posted fantastic numbers with a 2.08 GAA and .935 SV%. He is riding a four game winning streak at the moment and has only surrendered six goal over that span, which includes wins over the Stars, Predators and Avalanche. He is one of the hottest goalies in the NHL right now and has a prime matchup with Carolina, averaging just 1.8 goals per game, tonight on the road where Reimer has posted a 1.86 GAA this season. He is my value-buy of the night for goalies and should be heavily considered for your DFS lineups.
Others to Consider: Carey Price ($8,000), Petr Mrazek ($7,100), Scott Darling ($7,200), Cory Schneider ($7,100).
Roman Josi ($6,400) – Josi continues to be one of the best defensemen in the league and is currently one of the best producing. Over his last four games Josi has three points, 15 blocked shots and 10 SOG. The Predators have the Blue Jackets on Friday night in Columbus, and Josi has managed 10 of his 13 points this season on the road, so roll him in your lineup against a vulnerable Columbus team who were shutout by Ottawa last night.
Duncan Keith ($5,000) – In three games back from injury Keith has points in all three. The Blackhawks blueliner has put up two goals and one assist since his return and has also managed five blocked shots and eight shots on goal. A two-time Norris winner, Keith is perennially one of the best all-around defensemen in the NHL and should absolutely be a target for your lineup tonight and every night, especially with as affordable a price as he has at the moment.
Johnny Boychuk ($5,600) – Boychuk, who has points in two straight games, has managed a point in five of his last six and seems to have found his scoring touch that was not present earlier this season. Coach Jack Capuano has split up Nick Leddy and Boychuk and put him with Calvin de Hann which has coincided with his recent outbreak. Not only is Boychuk finding the stat sheet, he’s seeing great category coverage with 22 shots on goal and 14 blocked shots in those past six contests. Expect him to be heavily involved on Friday as the Isles try to take advantage of the rust on a returning Carey Price.
Mattias Ekholm ($3,000) – Another Predators defensemen on this list, because they are unbelievably deep at the position, is Ekholm. The young Swede is beginning to find his scoring touch now that he has a shiny new six-year contract extension. In his last four games Ekholm has managed five of his eight points on the season, including two multi-point games and has put up points in back-to-back contests. The fact that he’s doing this in a third-pair role and seeing no power-play time is a testament to how deep the Predators are on the blueline, and his recent level of production coupled with his great monetary value make him an intriguing option for your DK DFS hockey lineup on Friday night.
Others to Consider: Justin Faulk ($5,800), Shea Weber ($5,900), P.K. Subban ($6,300), Morgan Rielly ($4,500), Dion Phaneuf ($4,200), T.J. Brodie ($4,500), Oscar Klefbom ($3,900), Jack Johnson ($4,000), Jake Muzzin ($4,600), Andrej Sekera ($3,200), Mike Green ($4,400).
Frans Nielsen ($5,100) – Nielsen is finally healthy for the Islanders this season and it is showing as he is flashing bits of the production he showed a couple of years ago when he put up 58 points. So far on the season he has 14 points in 19 games and he has back-to-back multi-point games with a power-play goal, eight shots on goal and three blocked shots in those games. The game got tougher for the Isles with the announcement of Carey Price returning but the Isles are eighth in the league in scoring offense and will look to pepper Price in his first action in a month.
Dylan Larkin ($4,600) – Larkin has surprised many in the league with his production and prowess that he has shown so far in his transition to the NHL at such a young age, only 19. He has gelled with anyone he has played with this season and has been bouncing around their top-six rotation as of late. He has played the last few games with Pavel Datsyuk and got their first point as a pair against Washington on Wednesday night. He skated with Justin Abdelkader and Henrik Zetterberg in practice yesterday so it’s not known who he plays with come game time, but he has points in two straight games and three of his last four outings and seems to find the scoresheet playing with anyone. Take a shot on Larkin Friday night against LA and see what he gives you.
James Neal ($6,500) – Neal is one of the streakiest players in fantasy, but when he gets on a roll he goes for a few games and gets hot very quickly. He’s on one of those rolls right now with at least one point in four straight games and seven points in his last 10 contests. On his little four game streak he has two goals, three assists and eight shots on goal. He has a great scoring matchup against the Blue Jackets on Friday in Columbus and on the road this season he has four goals in seven road games.
Artemi Panarin ($5,700) – Panarin continues to be one of the pleasant offensive surprises of the NHL season to date and his current hot scoring streak and pushed him into a tie for sixth in the league in points with 21. He has clearly found a great chemistry with linemate and current NHL points leader Patrick Kane ($8,600) and has points in six straight, a streak that has produced two three-point games and 10 points overall. He is one of the hottest scorers right now and his salary compared to his production makes him a must start, especially against Calgary’s last-ranked scoring defense in the league that is giving up almost four goals per game.
Brandon Saad ($5,900) – Despite the struggles of the Blue Jackets this season, Saad has been one of their most consistent players and has put up nine points in his last nine outings. Ottawa kept him off the board last night snapping a three game scoring streak that saw him put up five points and two multi-point games in that span. The Blue Jackets aren’t going anywhere at the moment, but Saad is seeing plenty of production opportunities playing on both Columbus’ top line and number one power-play unit.
Teddy Purcell ($3,500) – Purcell has fit in nicely on the Oilers new top-line with Leon Draisaitl ($3,700) and Taylor Hall ($6,800) and most forget his production playing years ago on the Lightning top-line with Steven Stamkos. He has back-to-back multi-point games (1G, 3A) for the Oilers and with the production that Draisaitl and Hall have been putting up lately, as long as Purcell is playing with those two dynamic playmakers he will have great chances to produce and out-perform his fantasy salary as one of the best value plays in DFS hockey.
Others to Consider: Leon Draisaitl ($3,700), Taylor Hall ($6,800), Mike Cammalleri ($5,100), Adam Henrique ($4,700), John Tavares ($8,200), Max Pacioretty ($8,100), Jeff Carter ($6,100), Teemu Pulkkinen ($3,000), Brock Nelson ($4,200), Nazem Kadri ($5,000), Johnny Gaudreau ($6,100), Filip Forsberg ($5,800), Ryan Johansen ($5,500).
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