As the calendar turns the page from February to March, many teams around the NHL hope that they can hit their stride beginning with Sunday's six-game slate.
Three matinees are on tap during the daytime, with the Los Angeles Kings' visit to the Winnipeg Jets highlighting the early affairs. At night, the Pacific-leading Anaheim Ducks will face a last-place Dallas Stars crew desperately fighting to enter the playoff picture.
With some of the NHL's best scorers and netminders in the fold, finding a couple of high-value players on a low salary is crucial in order to lock down those can't-miss guys. Here's the best way to do that for Sunday's six games on DraftKings.
|NHL DraftKings Ideal Lineup for March 1|
|Pos.||Player (Team)||Opp (OPRK)||FPPG||Salary|
|C||Steven Stamkos (Lightning)||FLA (7th)||4.2||$8,800|
|C||Brandon Sutter (Penguins)||CLS (28th)||2.4||$4,100|
|W||Daniel Sedin (Canucks)||STL (2nd)||3.4||$6,700|
|W||Emerson Etem (Ducks)||DAL (30th)||1.8||$3,500|
|W||Michael Frolik (Jets)||LA (14th)||2.7||$4,700|
|D||Francois Beauchemin (Ducks)||DAL (30th)||2.4||$4,100|
|D||Dion Phaneuf (Maple Leafs)||WAS (22nd)||2.8||$4,300|
|G||Ben Bishop (Lightning)||FLA (28th)||4.6||$8,700|
|UTIL||Radim Vrbata (Canucks)||STL (2nd)||3.6||$5,100|
Centers: Steven Stamkos ($8,800) and Brandon Sutter ($4,100)
The constant production and recent dominance of Steven Stamkos makes it an easy decision to take on his $8,800 salary and find value picks later on. His Lightning come off a rest day to face the hapless Florida Panthers, and Stamkos has been good for a goal in five of his last seven outings—including a two-goal performance for 9.5 fantasy points on Friday.
After failing to score in Tampa Bay's only meeting with Florida on opening night, Stamkos will be hungry to continue his recent spurt against a Panthers squad giving up the third-most points to opposing centers.
Make up some of what was lost on Stamkos' salary with Brandon Sutter. The Penguins center has goals in two of his last three and has been highly productive on Pittsburgh's third line.
Wingers: Daniel Sedin ($6,700), Emerson Etem ($3,500) and Michael Frolik ($4,700)
The Vancouver Canucks won six of their last nine to close out February, and Daniel Sedin's hand in the scoring has paid dividends in that span. He has an unbelievable seven assists in his last six games, along with a big goal Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres, and he should be handing out even more helpers come Sunday against St. Louis.
Recently called up from the AHL, Emerson Etem has been making the most of his latest chance at the top level. He has a goal in two of the last three games. And with the Ducks going up against a Dallas Stars crew giving up the most points to opposing wingers, Etem would be a steal at $3,500 if he netted another.
Winnipeg's Michael Frolik has bagged a point in three games running, scoring at least four fantasy points per game in that span. He has an assist in both meetings with the Kings this season and is a good bet to make it three-for-three on Sunday.
Defensemen: Dion Phaneuf ($4,300) and Francois Beauchemin ($4,100)
Maple Leafs defenseman and captain Dion Phaneuf returned in style after missing most of the month of February, scoring a goal against Philadelphia on Thursday in his first game back. Recent struggles before his injury have dipped his salary down to just $4,300, which makes him a high-value pick after logging his most minutes in a game in nearly two months.
Francois Beauchemin has the scoring touch so desperately coveted from fantasy blue-liners, having scored four goals in his last 10 games—three of which have come in the last five. No team has conceded more points to opposing defensemen than Sunday's opponent, the Dallas Stars.
Goalie: Ben Bishop ($8,700)
Aforementioned bargains like Etem and Beauchemin make way for the closest thing to a sure bet that you can get on DK, which is a stud goaltender going up against one of the league’s worst offenses.
Ben Bishop came off five days rest to post a shutout of the esteemed Chicago Blackhawks on Friday. Not only did the opposing Florida Panthers play a taxing game Saturday while Bishop and the Lightning rested, but they were beaten 3-0 Thursday by the same Blackhawks that Bishop blanked the day after.
With leading goal-scorer Nick Bjugstad on a five-game point drought and Bishop a winner in his last four outings, the star Lightning goalie is well worth indulging on with a pricy salary for Sunday’s matinee.
Advanced stats are courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
Follow B/R Daily Fantasy writer Steven Cook (@steventerrycook) on Twitter.