NHL Daily Fantasy Sports: DFS Picks of the Day (Jan.7)

NHL Daily Fantasy Sports: Winnipeg/Buffalo, Tampa Bay/Philly, and Minnesota/LA are set to take on one another Saturday afternoon. Later on, Taylor Hall and the Devils face a familiar face in the Oilers, Montreal/Toronto lock horns in a bitter rivalry, Columbus looks to bounce back with a win at home versus Columbus, and Calgary looks to stop the red-hot Canucks who edged them 4-2 on Friday night.

NHL daily fantasy sports (DFS) continues to grow in popularity despite the uncertainty surrounding the industry. Companies like Fan Duel and Draft Kings are still immersed in legal battles and in turn are unable to offer their services in certain American states.

Even with restrictions, the DFS community continues to thrive and in likelihood will emerge victorious when all is said and done. Just think of the way fantasy sports in general has evolved over the last 15-20 years. Daily fantasy sports is just the next step. Instead of drafting a team, spending an entire season tweaking and adjusting your lineup. You can select a roster of players for that given night and compete against other individuals.

Welcome back to my NHL daily fantasy sports series intended to help give fans an edge selecting their DFS rosters today. I’m targeting one player at each position (center, winger, defense, goalie) that make for quality value picks that won’t break the bank.

NHL Daily Fantasy Sports: DFS Picks of the Day (Friday, January 6th)

NHL Schedule (Saturday, Jan.7)

Earlier Games (not included)

Winnipeg Jets at Buffalo Sabres
Tampa Bay Lightning at Philadelphia Flyers
Minnesota Wild at Los Angeles Kings

7pm (et) and later

Edmonton Oilers at New Jersey Devils
Washington Capitals at Ottawa Senators
Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs
Boston Bruins at Florida Panthers
New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues
New York Islanders at Arizona Coyotes
Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames
Detroit Red Wings at San Jose Sharks

*Important Note: Prices from DraftKings.com

Center – Christian Dvorak, Arizona Coyotes $3,300 (vs. NYI)

Coyotes center Martin Hanzal left Friday night’s game versus Anaheim with an upper-body injury. He’s listed as day-to-day and it’s unclear whether or not he’ll suit up for Arizona on Saturday night. If that’s the case, expect rookie Christian Dvorak to see an extended role versus the Islanders.

Dvorak was averaging around 10 minutes of ice-time/game leading into the New Year, but played over 16 minutes twice in the past three games and 13 minutes in the other contest. It hasn’t translated to the scoresheet just yet, but with two goals, two assists in his last 10 games, Christian may be due for a big game.

Winger – Kevin Lebanc, San Jose Sharks $3,600 (vs. DET)

If you haven’t been riding this wave recently, it’s time to jump aboard. His price has progressively increased over the last month from around $3,000, yet he keeps producing as if he’s worth double that amount.

The former Barrie Colts forward is having a stellar rookie season and is recently a benefactor of playing alongside Logan Couture. With three goals, three assists in his last 10 games, Lebanc screams value.

Defenseman – Esa Lindell, Dallas Stars $3,500 (at STL)

Similar to Lebanc, here’s another guy benefitting from an expanded role. In Lindell’s case, the Finn has fit nicely alongside John Klingberg on that top defensive pairing. As a result, he’s averaging well over 20 minutes of ice-time/game.

Esa won’t tear up the scoresheet the way his defensive partner will/is, but he can contribute as he’s shown with seven points in 30 games. Even if he doesn’t find the scoresheet, Lindell likes to shoot the puck and accumulates a decent amount of blocked shots.

Goaltender – Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs $7,300 (vs. MTL)

Picking netminders in NHL daily fantasy sports can be difficult. At the same time, picking a decent goaltender can be a real difference maker in the final results. I failed miserably with my Cory Schneider prediction on Friday, but thankfully it’s a new day.

So, why not ride the hot hand that beat the Devils? Maple Leafs starter Frederik Andersen is likely to get the start in this back-to-back (although Bibeau is always a possibility). Either way, Toronto goaltenders feel like a safe bet tonight. The Leafs allow an average of over 33 shots/game, and although the Canadiens are banged up, these two clubs always play an exciting contest. Even if Andersen/Bibeau come out on the losing end, 30+ shots add up to decent points in DFS (as long as the goals against are relatively low).

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