Wednesday's daily fantasy action is reserved exclusively for the diehards. With only six NHL teams in action in three games, favorable matchup plays are hard to find and prices are often skewed in favor of said matchups.
But alas, options remain available for those who do the right amount of digging. Capable offenses like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks and Washington Capitals on the slate make for plenty of choices. Here's a primer for Wednesday's DraftKings NHL action.
|NHL Daily Fantasy Players to Draft: Feb. 25|
|Pos.||Player (Team)||Opp (OPRK)||Last 10 Games||Salary|
|C||Nicklas Backstrom (Capitals)||PIT (13th)||2 goals, 8 assists||$8,000|
|C||Andrew Cogliano (Ducks)||OTT (16th)||4 goals, 3 assists||$4,300|
|W||Michael Cammalleri (Devils)||CGY (26th)||6 goals, 1 assist||$6,800|
|W||Joel Ward (Capitals)||PIT (5th)||3 goals, 1 assist||$4,000|
|D||Francois Beauchemin (Ducks)||OTT (30th)||4 goals, 2 assists||$4,500|
|D||Paul Martin (Penguins)||WAS (24th)||1 goal, 2 assists||$3,500|
|G||Jason LaBarbera (Ducks)||OTT (22nd)||2-0-1 (5 games)||$7,100|
|Info via DraftKings.com|
Centers: Nicklas Backstrom ($8,000) and Andrew Cogliano ($4,300)
If you're going to make one high-stakes purchase in Wednesday's slate, make it Nicklas Backstrom. The Washington Capitals center has three assists in his last two outings against Pittsburgh and is averaging one helper in each of his last five games. The Caps have scored multiple goals in each of their last five games, and Backstrom should be on the giving or receiving end of at least one or two Wednesday.
More of a scoring touch can be found further down the price line with Andrew Cogliano at $4,300. His Anaheim Ducks have benefited from his two goals in his last three games, and he has a real chance to be involved in the Ducks' scoring Wednesday.
Wingers: Michael Cammalleri ($6,800) and Joel Ward ($4,000)
Devils left winger Michael Cammalleri has been hit or miss in daily fantasy as of late, but when he hits, it's a sight to see. In two of the last three games, he's logged multigoal performances, and he should be counted on to continue his recent spurt against a Calgary Flames group that struggles against wingers.
Speaking of struggling, the Penguins have dropped all three games to Washington this season. Joel Ward has a goal and two assists in those games, including a game-winner on the power play against the Penguins on Feb. 17.
With another goal Sunday at Philadelphia to boost his confidence, Ward should be hungry in front of the goal again versus Pittsburgh.
Defensemen: Francois Beauchemin ($4,500) and Paul Martin ($3,500)
Even though he is on the blue line, there are few players in the league with more of a scoring presence in the last few games than Francois Beauchemin. He enters Wednesday on a three-game goal streak, and he has a plus-seven rating with six points in his last 10 games. Against the Ottawa Senators, who rank dead last against opposing D-men, Beauchemin should feast again.
At $3,500, Paul Martin of the Pittsburgh Penguins is a more economical pick to round out a lineup filled with high-priced forwards. But with 12 assists on the season and a goal the last time out against the Florida Panthers, Martin has a chance to outplay his value against the Washington Capitals.
Goalie: Jason LaBarbera ($7,100)
Ducks goaltender Jason LaBarbera hasn't appeared in net in an NHL game since November 2014, but he enters Wednesday with a great chance of ending that drought. The Ducks have relied upon the dependable John Gibson, but he's played in six games in the last 12 nights, and Frederik Andersen is still recovering from injury.
Wait to ensure that LaBarbera gets the starting nod before inserting him, but he's the most affordable option available with stud netminders Marc-Andre Fleury ($9,100), Cory Schneider ($8,900) and Braden Holtby ($8,500) too expensive to mess with. LaBarbera's 2.60 goals-against average is his best in the last three seasons, and he faces an Ottawa squad ranking 18th in goals per game.
Advanced NHL stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
Steven Cook covers daily fantasy for Bleacher Report. Follow and interact with him on Twitter: @steventerrycook