DraftKings NHL: Thursday Picks
DraftKings NHL: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

GOALIE

Martin Jones, SJ at NYR ($7,600): Jones has not been particularly sharp to start the season amidst high expectations, but the Sharks are 2-1 so far in their road trip and scored eight goals against the Flyers on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Rangers are 0-3 and have looked so discombobulated David Quinn has at various points benched or scratched veterans Kevin Hayes, Kevin Shattenkirk and Vladislav Namestnikov. Semyon Varlamov ($7,500) is also a good choice.

CENTER

Auston Matthews, TOR at DET ($8,100): He's scoring at a historic pace with 10 points in four games, and despite playing on the unfamiliar left-hand side of the power play he's scored three points with the man advantage. The Red Wings have allowed 10 goals in three games while playing three rookies on the blue line and expected starter Jimmy Howard allowed eight goals in three games against the Leafs last year. Matthews is worth the premium.

Steven Stamkos, TB vs. VAN ($6,400): The Lightning were anything but electric in their season opener but they will be heavily favored against the Canucks, who have been outshot in all three games this season. Their defense is as porous as it was last year, which is great news for the Lightning's deep offense. While he's dialed back the shot volume recently, Stamkos has been very successful against the Canucks in his career, scoring 17 points in just 11 games.

WING

Johnny Gaudreau, CGY at STL ($7,100): He's been outstanding with back-to-back three-point games and was the driving force behind an impressive 3-0 win against the Predators on Tuesday. His size and lack of strength has not held him back at all and through three games has seven points, including five on the power play. The Blues have allowed 10 goals in two games and may have trouble in net all season.

Evander Kane, SJ at NYR ($6,900): Anyone who frequents this space knows my love for Kane knows no bounds. Kane is a fantasy beast; he's a high-volume shooter who can score a ton of goals, pile up the hits, block the occasional shot and contribute in basically all categories. The Rangers defense is in shambles and no one will be able to contain Kane. He has four goals in four games this season.

Kasperi Kapanen, TOR at DET ($4,700): Mike Babcock mercifully moved Tyler Ennis off Auston Matthews' line and promoted Kapanen, who provided immediate dividends with four points in two games. He's bigger, quicker and more skilled than Ennis, and will likely stay in the top six until William Nylander returns. The Red Wings should be an easy target for an explosive Leafs offense. Kapanen is a great value pick among mid-tier forwards due to the opportunities he's been given.

DEFENSE

Erik Johnson, COL at BUF ($5,400): He was a minutes eater and a legitimate top-pairing defenseman before injuries derailed his career, but so far he's looked great with four assists in three games at full health. He's been pretty good at getting pucks through and was always a very good shot blocker. In 11 career games against the Sabres he's scored nine points and traditionally has had very strong Octobers.

Dustin Byfuglien, WPG at NSH ($4,700): Byfuglien didn't score a point in his first two games, but following a 5-1 loss to the Stars, he logged a team-high 24:42 with an assist and three shots on goal in a 2-1 win against the Kings. Big Buff is just warming up and he has a date with the Predators, a team he crushed with eight points in seven games during last year's playoffs.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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