This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
There are only two NHL games Sunday. The Flames visit the Capitals and Anaheim hosts Chicago. Both road teams are playing for the second consecutive night, whereas the two home teams are rested having last played Friday. The Caps and Ducks are both home-ice favorites, and the game between Calgary and Washington registers the higher over/under total.
John Gibson ($8,300) has been inconsistent to start the season, but drawing Chicago on the second leg of a back-to-back set after losing to Los Angeles 4-3 on Saturday projects as a favorable schedule spot. The American netminder has allowed two goals or fewer in eight of his 12 starts, boasts an impressive .926 save percentage and has also topped 35 saves in four games. Chicago's also started the campaign 0-3 on the road.
The other home starter, Braden Holtby ($8,100), has also been shaky at times to start the year but has rounded into form of late with a 5-0-1 record through his past six starts with a low score of 17.1 DraftKings points during that stretch. The Flames will also be suiting up for their fourth road game of the week and likely starting backup Cam Talbot ($7,200).
Robin Lehner ($7,200) is worth considering as a low-priced flyer. He's recorded an impressive .938 save percentage through seven appearances, but it's only translated into two wins. He definitely promises a realistic shot at receiving the 35-save bonus, as the Swede has made at least 30 stops in five of six starts.
Centering the second line and skating with the No. 1 power-play unit has been a cushy fantasy setup for Evgeny Kuznetsov ($5,000) in the past. He's currently mired in a bit of an offensive funk after missing the scoresheet entirely in four of the past five games. But his salary is down as a result.
Chicago has had its lines in a blender for a few weeks, and that's unlikely to change significantly with a 3-6-3 record. There are some solid young players on the roster, and Patrick Kane ($6,700) continues to underwhelm with just two assists through his past six outings. The 30-year-old veteran's salary is declining rapidly as a result. Similarly, Alex DeBrincat ($4,900) offers tremendous value.
As for the younger Blackhawks, Kirby Dach ($3,200), Dylan Strome ($4,000), Alexander Nylander ($3,800) and Dominik Kubalik ($3,700) are all receiving power-play time and have shown signs early this season. Just remember, the Ducks are favored for a reason and could limit Chicago's chances.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
With the Blackhawks surrendering the fourth most expected goals and second most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes this season, Anaheim is positioned to strike offensively. Adam Henrique ($5,700), Rickard Rakell ($5,100) and Jakob Silfverberg ($5,700) are reasonably priced and skate together in all situations. They've clicked for a respectable 3.73 goals per hour at five-on-five while driving possession with a 54.7 Corsi For percentage this season.
The Caps represent a strong club, but they also give up quality chances in bunches with a third-worst 12.8 high-danger scoring chances allowed over the past three years. Enter Sean Monahan ($6,300), Johnny Gaudreau ($6,400) and Elias Lindholm ($6,000), who've clicked for 5.23 goals dating back to last season. The cap hit is manageable as a foundation for an against-the-grain lineup.
Expect Washington's top line to be more popular. Nicklas Backstrom ($5,500), Alex Ovechkin ($8,000) and T.J. Oshie ($5,500) are skating together in all situations and have continued to impress this season with 6.78 goals per 60 minutes, and Ovechkin in particular has been dominant with 10 tallies, eight helpers and 58 shots through his past 12 contests.
John Carlson ($7,000) was scoring at a historic pace to start the campaign. And while there's no doubt he's going to slow down, it's conceivable a slight downtick is coming. After all, his 2.05 points per 60 minutes through the previous two years ranked fifth amongst all regular defensemen. And in a shallow player pool, spending up at defense can be an avenue to differentiating your lineup.
A cheaper option from the Calgary-Washington tilt is Noah Hanifin ($3,100). The second-year Flame offers a respectable floor through his shot volume, willingness to block shots, and he's recorded an assist in consecutive games. Additionally, his 0.71 points per hour are still behind the 1.24 mark he posted over the previous two years.
Turn to Hampus Lindholm ($4,300) as a piece of the noted Anaheim stack. The Swedish defenseman is quarterbacking their power-play unit, and he's off to the best start of his career with nine helpers through 13 games. Just note that his fantasy floor is low because he's a low-volume shooter and matches up against the opposition's top scorers most nights.
Anaheim's other power-play quarterback is Cam Fowler ($4,700), and he's also affordable and producing respectable numbers with seven points - including three goals - through 15 contests. His single power-play assist stands out as a statistic ripe for positive regression with Chicago owning a 21st-ranked 79.5 penalty-kill percentage.
Erik Gustafsson ($3,400) was a healthy scratch Saturday, and it's been a struggle with just four points through 11 games to start the season. However, his 2.4 points per 60 minutes from Dec. 1 through the end of last season ranked second in the league among all regular defensemen. It's far too early in the season to write off Gustafsson, and he's obviously a screaming value if returning to the lineup and receiving power-play minutes.