It's not about finding the most expensive players.
It's about finding the players with the most value up and down your lineup.
You can only go so far with big-name scorers because they are expensive and will eat up a big chunk of your salary cap. If you are going to come away with the cash in DraftKings fantasy hockey, you need consistency.
Good players up and down your lineup will pay off better than two or three superstars. You may love Tyler Seguin, Max Pacioretty and Ryan Suter, but they are not hockey gods. They are human beings who can fill up the net, but they can also get blanked.
In this piece, we look at the best-value players on Saturday night's NHL card. We aren't taking any forward in the top 10 or any defenseman in the top eight. We are spreading our $50,000 salary cap around and looking for productivity up and down our lineup.
|DraftKings NHL Lineup for December 19|
|C||Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles||Toronto||3.0||$5,200|
|C||Eric Staal, Carolina||Pittsburgh||2.7||$5,100|
|W||Brandon Saad, Columbus||Philadelphia||3.0||$5,600|
|W||Mike Cammalleri, New Jersey||Anaheim||3.9||$5,500|
|W||Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia||Columbus||2.7||$5,200|
|D||Johnny Boychuk, New York Islanders||Arizona||3.0||$5,300|
|D||Tyson Barrie, Colorado||Edmonton||2.8||$4,800|
|G||Cory Schneider, New Jersey||Anaheim||4.8||$7,500|
|U||Tomas Plekanec, Montreal||Dallas||3.2||$5,700|
Centers: Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings ($5,200) and Eric Staal, Carolina Panthers ($5,100)
Anze Kopitar was a big part of the Los Angeles Kings during their two Stanley Cup runs in 2012 and 2014. While he has not gotten off to a sensational start this season, he has picked it up recently and is showing signs of becoming a dominant player once again.
Kopitar has nine goals and 11 assists this season, along with nine points in his last 10 games. Kopitar has the ability to draw the defense out of position and then make a perfect tape-to-tape pass. He should have a good opportunity to get on the board against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Every game may be an audition for the Eric Staal. The Carolina Hurricanes don't appear to be legitimate contenders for the playoffs this season, and they may be better off trading Staal when the trade deadline approaches. Staal would love to play for a Stanley Cup, and he certainly has the game to make a serious contribution to a winning team. He has five goals and 13 assists this term, and he should have a chance to take advantage of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who got drilled 6-2 by the Boston Bruins on Friday night.
Wings: Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets ($5,600), Mike Cammalleri, New Jersey Devils ($5,500) and Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers ($5,200)
Brandon Saad made a name for himself as a key member of two of the Chicago Blackhawks' three Stanley Cup winning teams this decade. Saad is a speedy forward who has the ability to jump on loose pucks in the offensive zone and create scoring opportunities.
While the Columbus Blue Jackets are struggling to win games, Saad is hustling every night. he has scored 11 goals and 10 assists, and he will have a good opportunity to take advantage of Philadelphia when the Flyers visit Columbus on Saturday night.
Mike Cammalleri may not be in the upper echelon of forwards when it comes to notoriety, but he is a skilled forward who skates well, handles the puck with expertise and gets his shot away in a heartbeat. The New Jersey Devils have been surprising a lot of observers this season, and Cammalleri is a huge part of their success with 11 goals and 20 assists.
Cammalleri can be a power-play monster with two goals and seven assists. Cammalleri will try to punish the Anaheim Ducks, who will be playing the second of a four-game Eastern road swing.
Wayne Simmonds is one of the keys to Philadelphia's chances of turning things around and becoming a playoff team this year. Simmonds did not get off to a quick start, and he has seven goals and 10 assists in 32 games this season. However, he has four goals and four assists in his last 10 games. Simmonds has speed and power in the offensive zone, and he will try to blitz the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
Defensemen: Johnny Boychuk, New York Islanders ($5,500) and Tyson Barrie, Colorado Rockies ($4,800)
Johnny Boychuk gives the New York Islanders a punishing hitter on the blue line who also has a rocket for a shot. Boychuk regularly takes care of his defensive responsibilities, and he is a straight-line skater with power when he carries the puck up the ice. He has scored three goals and nine assists this season and has a plus-six rating. Boychuk should have a number of opportunities to unleash his big shot against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.
Tyson Barrie is one of the defensemen Patrick Roy counts on to trigger the Colorado Avalanche offense. Barrie is a fine skater who is sharp enough to carry the puck with his head up so he can spot open teammates. He is one of the slickest passers among defensemen, and he has 16 assists to go with his three goals. Barrie has seven power-play helpers, and he should be able to take advantage of the road-weary Edmonton Oilers—this will be their fourth road game since Monday.
Goalie: Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils ($7,600)
Cory Schneider may see double duty this weekend as the Devils host the Ducks on Saturday night before going to Boston on Sunday.
Schneider has been one of the better goalies in the league again this season, recording a 14-9-4 record with a 2.16 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. Schneider had an awful game against the Florida Panthers in a 5-1 loss on Thursday, and we expect him to turn it around here.
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