Daily Fantasy Hockey 2015: Best NHL DFS DraftKings Lineup for Feb. 22

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 22, 2015

Nashville Predators' Craig Smith in action during an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

It's a busier Sunday than usual in the NHL, with more than half of the league in action in eight games from just after noon until late at night.

There's no better day to watch hockey all day than a busy Sunday like this one, with three nationally televised games throughout. If you're looking to take the excitement up a notch with some DraftKings action, look no further than these strong matchup plays.

With six of the eight matchups slated for the 5 p.m. ET contests, the following lineup is based on that time slot—excluding the Capitals-Flyers and Bruins-Blackhawks games.

NHL DraftKings Lineup for Feb. 22
Pos.Player (Team)Opp (OPRK)FPPGSalary
CMikko Koivu (Wild)DAL (25th)2.9$5,200
CCraig Smith (Predators)BUF (30th)3.1$5,800
WNikita Kucherov (Lightning)COL (26th)3.4$4,700
WMats Zuccarello (Rangers)CLS (29th)2.8$4,600
WNino Niederreiter (Wild)DAL (23rd)2.5$4,100
DDan Boyle (Rangers)CLS (18th)2.5$4,500
DRyan Suter (Wild)DAL (29th)3.0$4,400
GMarc-Andre Fleury (Penguins)FLA (27th)5.2$9,400
UTILJames Neal (Predators)BUF (29th)3.5$6,800

Centers: Craig Smith ($5,800) and Mikko Koivu ($5,200)

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Craig Smith's breakout season has reached a new level in the last few games, with Smith notching three goals and two helpers in his last three contests. His confidence has never been higher after a season-high nine shots Thursday followed by a game-tying goal late Saturday. A $5,800 salary is a bargain as he looks to take his point streak to four games against the hapless Buffalo Sabres.

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The Dallas Stars figure to be tired on the heels of a shootout loss Saturday, which should set up an even more favorable matchup for Wild center Mikko Koivu today. His splendid play has been central to Minnesota's recent run, as per Chad Graff of St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Koivu is dealing as of late with four multi-assist games in his last 10. He should create plenty of chances against the tired Stars with his Wild peaking in confidence.

Wingers: Nikita Kucherov ($4,700), Mats Zuccarello ($4,600) and Nino Neiderreiter ($4,100)

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Lightning enter Sunday red-hot having won three of their last four, and Nikita Kucherov has been a central figure with eight points in his last 10 games. The league's No. 2 overall player in plus-minus rating is a steal at $4,700, with almost a point per game this season.

Mats Zuccarello is another bargain at $4,600, having posted an even better recent spurt with five goals and five assists in his last 10 games. A point Sunday against the Blue Jackets would make it a three-game streak.

Mats Zuccarello: Last 10 Games

Nino Neiderrreiter keeps the trend of affordable scoring wingers going. Not only is he on fire with three goals in his last three games, but he will also face a tired Stars team that gives up the league's fourth-most goals per game on average.

Defensemen: Dan Boyle ($4,500) and Ryan Suter ($4,400)

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle has been a big part of his team's recent streak of five wins in its last six. With four goals and two helpers in his last 10 games, Boyle possesses one of the best scoring touches of available defensemen Sunday and should have chances against the Blue Jackets.

It's not very often that a player of Ryan Suter's caliber is available at $4,400, but his recent scoring struggle—one of his two goals on the season came on Feb. 9—drops his price down a bit. But with the opposing Stars ranking a lowly 29th against defensemen, Suter should be able to impact the scoring with the ridiculous amount of ice time he logs.

Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury ($9,400)

Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Bargain picks at center and winger make getting one of the cash cows of NHL Daily Fantasy possible, and the reliable Marc-Andre Fleury is set to go Sunday against the Florida Panthers.

The Penguins play their third game in four nights Sunday, but Fleury received some well-deserved rest Saturday with Thomas Greiss in net for Pittsburgh's 4-2 win in St. Louis. Not only do the Panthers rank 27th against goaltenders, but Fleury has logged two shutout wins in February already and could do so again in a favorable matchup Sunday.

All advanced stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.