There might be only seven NHL games to pick apart for Thursday night, but the smaller amount of variables make lineups slightly easier to construct. For those hoping to add some extra cash on DraftKings before the weekend, here's a look at one lineup and players to target.
|DraftKings Fantasy Lineup for Feb. 19|
|C||Nicklas Backstrom||WPG (17th)||3.7||$5,900|
|C||Mike Fisher||@ NYI(23rd)||3.5||$5,200|
|W||James Neal||@ NYI (14th)||3.5||$6,300|
|W||Filip Forsberg||@ NYI (19th)||3.8||$5,400|
|W||Jimmy Hayes||@ MON (15th)||2.6||$4,300|
|D||James Wisniewski||@ PIT (14th)||3.0||$5,300|
|D||Tyler Myers||@ WAS (23rd)||2.5||$5,000|
|G||Antti Niemi||@ DAL (12th)||4.6||$7,700|
|UTIL||Chris Kunitz||CLS (25th)||3.0||$4,800|
|Information courtesy of DraftKings.com|
C Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals ($5,900)
Here's the bad news: Nicklas Backstrom has just one goal in his last 10 games. The good news? He has nine assists during that span, including five in his last four outings. That's the life of being on the top line for the Washington Capitals alongside Alex Ovechkin.
Backstrom is always a quality play, but playing the Winnipeg Jets at home certainly helps. With all of the focus squarely on Ovechkin, expect the alternate captain to come away with great production on Thursday night.
W James Neal, Nashville Predators ($6,300)
Just when the price started dropping for James Neal, the wing tallied his 20th goal to drive his price back up. His third goal in the last four games makes him a great No. 1 wing for daily fantasy players. It also put him in the history books, according to NHL Public Relations:
After spending some time on the Nashville Predators' second line, Neal is once again locked into the top line. He's no Ovechkin or Jamie Benn, but Neal is a quality addition. Playing with Mike Ribeiro and Colin Wilson, owners can count on Neal as a top wing at the reasonable price.
D James Wisniewski, Columbus Blue Jackets ($5,300)
Do you like players who are producing well above their average? Of course you do, which is exactly why James Wisniewski is the perfect value defenseman. The Columbus Blue Jackets player is coming off a game where he scored a goal, blocked four shots and registered four hits.
Though he doesn't put up numbers like that every night, Wisniewski does have eight points in his last 10 games. Going against a Pittsburgh Penguins team that ranks 14th in scoring for defensemen, Wisniewski should have another exceptional performance for DraftKings owners.
G Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks ($7,700)
Despite the matchup, Antti Niemi should be a popular fantasy option on Thursday. The San Jose Sharks' top goaltender has been up and down recently, causing his price to slip below the $8,000 mark. Even against the surging Dallas Stars, that's a great value.
Niemi's name recently surfaced in trade rumors from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun on Winnipeg's TSN 1290 (h/t The Score and Nichols on Hockey) with the team looking to get younger. Look for Niemi to come out angry on Thursday, rewarding fantasy owners with a great night in the crease.
UTIL Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins ($4,800)
Rather than focusing on a young player who is surging, let's target an experienced player who has a premium matchup. That's the definition of Chris Kunitz, who currently has just one point in his last five games but plays Columbus on Thursday night.
With 35 points already this season, Kunitz knows how to tickle the twine. On the top line with Sidney Crosby, the fantasy points are sure to come for the veteran wing. Facing the Blue Jackets at home, Kunitz should finally get back on track in a big way.
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