NHL DFS player picks, projections, strategy

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All season long, NHL.com’s fantasy staff will make DFS player picks for the slate ahead. For more coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Projected lineups, starting goalies

 

THU. JAN. 14

CENTER

Brock Nelson, NYI (at NYR) — The New York Islanders center has scored 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 30 career games against the New York Rangers. He’s expected to skate in his usual spot on the second line with wings Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey and second power play with Beauvillier, Bailey, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and defenseman Noah Dobson on Thursday. The Islanders could have a low roster percentage in DFS against the Rangers, who are loaded on offense with elite forwards Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad.

WING

T.J. Oshie, WSH (at BUF) — The Washington Capitals right wing is expected to skate on the top line with center Nicklas Backstrom and elite left wing Alex Ovechkin at even strength and also on the first power play with Ovechkin, Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and valuable defenseman John Carlson. This new 5-on-5 exposure makes Oshie a must-roster wing against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday; he has scored at least 25 goals in each of the past two seasons (69 games played in each).

Jack Studnicka, BOS (at NJD) — The Boston Bruins rookie forward is expected to skate on the Bruins’ top line with elite center Patrice Begeron and left wing Brad Marchand against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. Studnicka is filling in for elite right wing David Pastrnak (hip, shoulder surgeries) and can be stacked with Marchand, who is ready for the start of the season after offseason sports hernia surgery. Marchand has scored 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 32 career games against the Devils.

LINEUP NOTE: Winnipeg Jets wing Nikolaj Ehlers (COVID-19 protocol) is not expected to play against the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

DEFENSEMAN

Rasmus Andersson, CGY (at WPG) — The Calgary Flames defenseman is skating on the top power-play unit over veteran Mark Giordano with exposure to valuable fantasy forwards Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm. Andersson scored five points (three goals, two assists) in 10 games during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and could be a sneaky play against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. The Flames’ power play thrived under coach Geoff Ward last regular season (25.7 percent, second in NHL from Nov. 29 to end) and in the postseason (28.6, second).

GOALIE

Tuukka Rask, BOS (at NJD) — The Bruins goalie is one of the safer picks on the slate after going 10-4-2 with a .952 save percentage and four shutouts in 17 career games against the Devils. Rask, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, is generally worth spending up for in DFS and has a winnable matchup against the Devils, who did not qualify for the playoffs last season and will be without top center Nico Hischier (leg).

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