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NHL Plays will highlight the best and the most underrated daily fantasy options among forwards, defensemen and goaltenders.
Please note, these players were chosen early in the day, so make sure to check NBC Sports EDGE's player news for any lineup changes, injuries and potential changes in the crease for starting goaltenders.
Additionally, it is worth reminding everyone that FanDuel allows you to roster nine players (2C, 2W, 2D, 2UTIL 1G) with a salary cap of $55,000, while DraftKings has a cap of $50,000 for nine players (2C, 3W, 2D, 1G, 1UTIL) and Yahoo has a $200 budget for nine players (2C, 3W, 2D, 2G).
There are eight games scheduled for Friday night.
Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay) – W - $9,800 FanDuel, $8,200 DraftKings, $34 Yahoo
Kucherov definitely falls into the category of “expensive, but worth it.” He’s been limited to nine games this season, but when he’s been healthy, he’s been living up to the high expectations associated with him. In fact, even with just nine contests logged, he’s already contributed six multi-point games. That gives him five goals and 15 points. In terms of points-per-game, he’s leading the league ahead of even Connor McDavid.
Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis) – W – $8,600 FanDuel, $7,700 DraftKings, $26 Yahoo
Tarasenko was kept out of four straight games because he was in the COVID-19 protocol, but he registered an assist in his return on Monday. He’s now recorded at least a point in each of his last seven contests, giving him six goals and 12 points over that span. He’s been one of the league’s feel good stories this season, bouncing back from injury to score 14 goals and 35 points in 35 games.
Brayden Point (Tampa Bay) – C - $8,400 FanDuel, $7,000 DraftKings, $27 Yahoo
Point hasn’t had a ton of big nights, but he usually ends up on the scoresheet. He’s recorded at least a point in seven straight games, 10 of his last 11 contests, and 13 of his last 15 games. That’s a remarkable level of consistency. He’s up to 15 goals and 27 points in 27 contests in 2021-22.
Joe Pavelski (Dallas) – W - $7,900 FanDuel, $7,100 DraftKings, $24 Yahoo
Pavelski contributed two assists on Thursday, making it his second straight multi-point game and his third multi-point contest in the span of five games. He’s been one of the NHL’s best players for a while now, scoring seven goals and 19 points in 11 games dating back to Dec. 17. To put that into perspective, he ranks second in the NHL’s scoring race from Dec. 17 onwards. That makes him a great pickup as his price point.
Bargain Bin: Pavel Buchnevich (STL) - $7,500 FanDuel/$6,400 DraftKings/$23 Yahoo, Roope Hintz (DAL) - $7,400 FanDuel/$7,100 DraftKings/$19 Yahoo, Mika Zibanejad (NYR) - $7,300 FanDuel/$6,300 DraftKings/$28 Yahoo, Sam Bennett (FLA) - $6,900 FanDuel/$6,100 DraftKings/$24 Yahoo, Tyler Bertuzzi (DET) - $6,800 FanDuel/$6,200 DraftKings/$22 Yahoo, Mats Zuccarello (MIN) - $6,700 FanDuel/$6,300 DraftKings/$21 Yahoo, Ivan Barbashev (STL) - $6,100 FanDuel/$4,800 DraftKings/$19 Yahoo, Kevin Fiala (MIN) - $6,000 FanDuel/$5,800 DraftKings/$18 Yahoo, Carter Verhaeghe (FLA) - $5,700 FanDuel/$4,500 DraftKings/$18 Yahoo, Anton Lundell (FLA) - $5,700 FanDuel/$3,500 DraftKings/$18 Yahoo, Ryan O'Reilly (STL) - $5,500 FanDuel/$6,400 DraftKings/$19 Yahoo, Tyler Seguin (DAL) - $5,000 FanDuel/$4,900 DraftKings/$15 Yahoo
Kris Letang (Pittsburgh) - $7,400 FanDuel, $7,300 DraftKings, $26 Yahoo
Letang is going into tonight’s action on an incredible nine-game point streak. He’s up to three goals and 34 points in 35 games this season. That’s good for sixth place in the blueliner scoring race.
Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay) - $7,000 FanDuel, $6,800 DraftKings, $26 Yahoo
Hedman scored two goals and registered an assist on Tuesday to extend his point streak to four games. That gives him nine goals and 43 points in 41 games. No other defenseman has more points than him so far this season and while Hedman’s scoring pace might slow a bit in the second half, he should continue to be one of the league’s best offensive defensemen.
Ilya Sorokin (NY Islanders) - $8,400 FanDuel, $7,800 DraftKings, $34 Yahoo
Sorokin has been on a roll lately, allowing just five goals over his last three starts. With that, he’s improved to 10-7-5 with a 2.37 GAA and .927 save percentage in 22 contests this season. He’s set to face Arizona tonight, which has won its last two games, but has typically not been a particularly threatening opponent this season.
Marc-Andre Fleury (Chicago) - $7,500 FanDuel, $7,400 DraftKings, $35 Yahoo
If you want a cheaper alternative in goal – at least on DraftKings and in particular FanDuel – then Fleury is worthy of serious consideration. He, along with the Blackhawks in general, got off to a rough start this season. He allowed an ugly 18 goals over his first four games. If you look at his performance from Oct. 30 onward though, then Fleury has been one of the league’s top goaltenders with a 13-7-3 record, 2.28 GAA, and .928 save percentage in 23 starts.