Daily Fantasy Hockey 2015: NHL DraftKings Strategy for Jan. 31

R. Cory Smith@@RCorySmithSenior Writer IJanuary 31, 2015

COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 24:  Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames and Team Toews competes in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge event of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena on January 24, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The final day of January also happens to be a busy day for DraftKings NHL fantasy players. With a full slate of games on tap for Saturday, below is a look at an ideal lineup and strategy for daily owners.

DraftKings Fantasy Lineup for Jan. 31
Pos.PlayerOpp (OPRK)FPPGSalary
CTyler JohnsonCLS (28th)3.9$5,400
CJoe ThorntonCHI (16th)3.0$5,000
WPhil Kessel@PHI (24th)4.0$6,600
WWayne SimmondsTOR (26th)3.2$5,400
WJohnny GaudreauEDM (27th)3.2$5,300
DTrevor Daley@WPG (14th)3.1$5,200
DDuncan Keith@SJ (23rd)3.1$4,700
GCory SchneiderFLA (28th)4.4$7,900
UTILMathieu PerreaultDAL (26th)2.9$4,500
Information courtesy of DraftKings.com

C Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks ($5,000)

SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 09:  Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks in action against the Edmonton Oilers at SAP Center on December 9, 2014 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Thornton Last 16 Games
GoalsAssistsSOG
31423
NHL.com

Experience does not always promise production in fantasy hockey, but Joe Thornton has been on a tear recently. The 35-year-old center has 17 points over his last 16 games, including five in his last four. Over the last two games, he's also seen over 20 minutes of ice time.

On Saturday, Thornton faces a porous Chicago Blackhawks defense that allows the 28th-most points to centers. Expect him to keep up his recent streak, finishing with at least four fantasy points in DraftKings leagues.

W Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames ($5,300)

By this point, every daily fantasy owner knows just how lethal Johnny Gaudreau can be. With over four fantasy points in three of his last four games, the undersized winger is proving to be a potent offensive star for the Calgary Flames.

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Dobber Hockey on Yahoo Sports notes why Gaudreau has been such a stud this season: "Right now, Johnny Hockey has nine power-play points. That's for the entire season. He's getting all his points at even strength and when the PPPts start to come, watch out."

Things might only get easier for Gaudreau facing the scuffling Edmonton Oilers. After scoring two goals against the Oilers at home last month, he'll look to do the same on Saturday.

D Trevor Daley, Dallas Stars ($5,200)

Jan 13, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Travis Moen (27) watches a shot by defenseman Trevor Daley (not pictured) get by Ottawa Senators goalie Robin Lehner (40) during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jer
USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, Trevor Daley was a bargain defenseman in my lineup at $4,400. Following his 10.5-point performance for DraftKings owners, Daley's salary has skyrocketed. Even at $5,200, he's still worth the price against the Winnipeg Jets.

Granted, his lone goal was a shorty into an empty net, but Daley's two assists were key for owners. Though he likely won't have another double-digit night, Daley is still a quality defenseman for the price.

G Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils ($7,900)

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils looks on against the Carolina Hurricanes during the game at the Prudential Center on December 23, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Andy Marlin/Getty Images

Despite making 41 saves on Friday, Cory Schneider took a tough loss in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Even with the defeat, Schneider's efforts were rewarded by earning the first star of the night. Per the NHL's Twitter account:

Having an awful team in front of him makes life tough, but his 2.37 goals-against average is still solid for owners. Facing a Florida Panthers team that ranks 25th in the league in goals per game (2.4), look for Schneider to carry the team.

UTIL Mathieu Perreault, Winnipeg Jets ($4,500)

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Like any flex player, fantasy owners are simply looking for solid production for a low asking price. Already having eight goals and four assists in 10 games this month makes Mathieu Perreault a perfect fit.

The Winnipeg Jets center isn't always potent, but his nine fantasy points on Thursday marked his sixth game with over 3.5 points in the last nine. His price has dropped dramatically since hitting $7,300 earlier in January, but it should rise again after playing the Stars.

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