NHL Plays will highlight the best and the most underrated daily fantasy options among forwards, defensemen and goaltenders.
Please note, these players were chosen early in the day, so make sure to check NBCSports Edge’s player news for any lineup changes, injuries and potential changes in the crease for starting goaltenders.
Additionally, it is worth reminding everyone that FanDuel allows you to roster nine players (2C, 2W, 2D, 2UTIL, 1G) with a salary cap of $55,000, while DraftKings has a cap of $50,000 for nine players (2C, 3W, 2D, 1G, 1UTIL). Yahoo has a $200 cap for nine players (2C, 3W, 2D, 2G).
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There are 15 games in the NHL on Saturday.
Connor McDavid (Edmonton) - C - $9,200 (FanDuel), $9,200 (Draft Kings), $34 (Yahoo)
What else can you say about the greatest hockey player at this time. McDavid is a shoo-in for the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer. He has 84 points in only 48 games and while it is not Gretzky-like, it is as close as can be as scoring in this century is not even close to the 1980’s. He had a five-game scoring streak end Thursday but had 15 points in the five games. He has an outside shot at 100 points, an amazing feat in a 56-game season.
John Tavares (Toronto) – C - $6,900 (FanDuel), $6,900 (Draft Kings), $26 (Yahoo)
Tavares has been hot of late with 17 points in his last 13 games, giving him 17 goals and 45 points in 50 contests. That total is impressive considering he got off to a very slow start this season. He has four goals and eight points in eight games against the Canucks this season. Take him while he is hot as he is a bargain in Yahoo.
Kevin Fiala (Minnesota) - W - $6,300 (FanDuel), $6,700 (DraftKings), $19 (Yahoo)
Fiala was held pointless Wednesday but came back Thursday with a goal and two assists. He has 18 goals and 35 points this season in 45 games but has been hot of late with four goals and nine points in his last six contests. He was red-hot at the end of last season with 26 points in his final 18 games so perhaps he just loves playing near the end of the season.
Mitch Marner (Toronto) - W - $7,600 (FanDuel), $8,300 (DraftKings), $34 (Yahoo)
Marner is on a five-game scoring streak with four goals and eight points. He has been doing it quietly this season but when you look at the scoring race, there he is sitting in third place overall with 62 points and leading all players who are not Edmonton Oilers. He has two goals and 10 points in eight games against Vancouver, Saturday night’s opponent.
Brady Tkachuk (Ottawa) – W - $6,300 (FanDuel), $7,500 (DraftKings), $20 (Yahoo)
With all the great young talent in Ottawa, Tkachuk is the best of the bunch and the one Ottawa is building around. The talented and feisty 21-year-old has two goals and six assists in his last six contests, giving him 16 goals and 34 points this season. He has 215 hits and 201 shots on goal, second best and best respectively in the NHL.
Bargain Bin: Sam Bennett (Florida) – C - $4,000 (FanDuel), $5,500 (Draft Kings), $19 (Yahoo), Sam Reinhart (Buffalo) – C/W - $5,100 (FanDuel), $6,000 (DraftKings), $18 (Yahoo), Connor Brown (Ottawa) – W - $4,400 (FanDuel) $4,400 (DraftKings), $17 (Yahoo), Jakub Vrana (Detroit) – W - $5,100 (FanDuel), $5,300 (Draft Kings), $19 (Yahoo), Jason Robertson (Dallas) – W - $5,200 (FanDuel), $6,200 (Draft Kings), $22 (Yahoo)
Dougie Hamilton (Carolina) - $6,600 (FanDuel), $7,200 (DraftKings), $26 (Yahoo)
Hamilton has not picked up a point in four of his last five games but scored twice in the one game he hit the scoresheet. That does not take away from his value as he was on an amazing streak before that, scoring in 22 of his previous 26 games. Hamilton has eight goals and 39 points in 50 games with a plus-20 rating and 17 power play points.
Shea Theodore (Vegas) - $6,800 (FanDuel), $6,700 (DraftKings), $26 (Yahoo)
Everyone thought that the offensive relevance of Theodore would come to an end when Vegas signed Alex Pietrangelo in the off-season but it has been Pietrangelo’s offensive play that has suffered while Theodore is having the best season of his NHL career. He saw his five-game points streak end on Friday but had a goal and seven helpers during the streak. Overall, he has seven goals and 41 points with a plus-28 rating with 15 assists coming via the power play.
Jakob Chychrun (Arizona) - $5,600 (FanDuel), $7,000 (Draft Kings), $23 (Yahoo)
Chychrun leads all defensemen with 16 goals and had a pair on Monday against the Sharks to break a tie with Darnell Nurse. Chychrun was selected 16th overall in 2016 and has always played in the NHL since he was drafted so the talent is there. He has 36 points in 51 games this season.
MacKenzie Weegar (Florida) - $4,100 (FanDuel), $5,100 (DraftKings), $18 (Yahoo), Torey Krug (St. Louis) $4,600 (FanDuel), $4,400 (Draft Kings), $18 (Yahoo), Jared Spurgeon (Minnesota) - $4,800 (FanDuel), $5,400 (DraftKings), $17 (Yahoo), Wyatt Kalynuk (Chicago) - $3,500 (FanDuel), $3,600 (DraftKings), $14 (Yahoo),
Juuse Saros (Nashville) - $7,500 (FanDuel), $7,500 (DraftKings), $39 (Yahoo)
Giving up six goals as Saros did on Tuesday usually means a bad game but the Predators gave up 55 shots to Florida as Saros was inundated with shots. Saros is having the best season of his NHL career as he is 18-10-1 with a 2.36 GAA and a .926 save percentage. He has taken over from Pekka Rinne as the Predators number one goalie and they are home to Dallas in an important game Saturday between the fourth and fifth place teams in the Central. It is a must-win for both sides.
Mike Smith (Edmonton) - $8,000 (FanDuel), $8,100 (DraftKings), $36 (Yahoo)
Smith had a couple of mediocre seasons heading into 2020-21 and it was thought at the age of 38 (now 39) that he was a backup at best. But Smith has had an amazing season, going 17-6-2 with a 2.35 GAA and a .922 save percentage with three shutouts. He is a big reason why the Oilers are in second in the North as they have been lacking in net the last couple of seasons, even with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl up front.