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NHL Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 10/20/17

Sidney Crosby is in a great situation to keep his strong start to the season going on Friday. Which other NHL players should be on your daily fantasy hockey radar?

A good chunk of you probably already play daily fantasy football, and I'd be willing to bet a significant portion have also tried out daily fantasy basketball and baseball. But hockey? Hockey?

It's time to give it a try over on FanDuel.com because it's a ton of fun. And our analysis and projections can help you win.

To help, let's take a look at some goalies, high-priced skaters, and lower-priced players to target for today's slate.

Goalie to Target

Braden Holtby ($9,500): After finishing as the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy last season, Holtby is off to another hot start. Among all goalies with three or more starts, his 2.19 goals against average (GAA) and .931 save percentage both rank inside the top-10. Our models have him well ahead of any other goalie as the most likely to come away with a win tonight, and he is also the most likely to record a shutout. Holtby is expensive, but he also has racked up at least 14 FanDuel points in each game this season, providing the kind of floor that is well worth paying up for.

John Gibson ($8,300): The Anaheim Ducks goalie has struggled -- his current 2.66 GAA would be the worst of his career -- but he has a very appealing matchup tonight. His opponent, the Montreal Canadiens are averaging at least 0.57 goals per game less than any other team, and they will be playing their third straight road game. Helping Gibson's possibility of racking up points, the Candiens are actually averaging the fourth-most shots per game (36.6) in the league. His chances at a win are not nearly as good as Holtby's, but he provides an excellent pivot for tournaments for $1,200 less.

High-Priced Skaters

Sidney Crosby ($9,200): The Pittsburgh Penguins have the second-highest implied total on this slate, and guess who currently leads the team in points? Yup, that would be Sidney Crosby, with four goals and five assists through just seven games. He has recorded at least 9.6 FanDuel points in every game so far, including more than 20 FanDuel points three times already. His opponent tonight is the Florida Panthers, who are giving up the second-most goals (4.14) of any team this season. That's just one spot above the Penguins themselves, lining this up for a high-scoring affair. The Panthers also have the league's seventh-worst penalty killing percentage (76.2%), which further adds to the appeal of Crosby, who has already tallied four points on the man-advantage this season.

Brent Burns ($7,400): With eight or more points in each game, Burns has continued to show off an impressive floor. He has scored 17.6 FanDuel points in the past two games despite totaling just one assist and no goals during that span. Instead, he did it by averaging three shots and blocking 4.5 more per game. He is also averaging the ninth-most ice time of any player this year, and will be up against the New Jersey Devils just one night after their overtime loss. The safety with Burns is unmatched by any other defenseman on this slate, making him the perfect guy to build lineups around.

Value Skaters

Tom Wilson ($3,200): Due to Andre Burakovsky underperforming to start the season, Tom Wilson is moving to the top line to skate alongside Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie, who have combined for 19 points through the first seven games. That will surely lead to an uptick in ice time after Wilson averaged under 12 minutes over his first three games and will give him a great opportunity to get on the scoresheet. At just $200 above the minimum salary, Wilson provides excellent salary, with an extremely high ceiling for that price range.

Jason Zucker ($4,200): With the Minnesota Wild already dealing with injuries, Jason Zucker's ice time has increased by over a minute after each game. In his most recent game, he was on the ice for a season-high 22.5 minutes. He wasn't able to get any FanDuel points out of that, but the siginificant ice time is very appealing for a player at his price. Plus, Zucker averaged 27.7 FanDuel points over the two previous games. He will be skating on the top line at both even strength and on the power play in a game with an over/under of 6.0 goals. His opponent, the Winnipeg Jets, are giving up the fifth-most shots (35.8) and sixth-most goals per game (3.83), while their 75.0% penalty killing percentage is tied for the third-worst mark in the league. This gives Zucker a great opportunity to rebound from the goose egg he put up in his last game.

Bryan Little ($5,200): Across the ice of that projected high-scoring matchup, Bryan Little will center the Jets' second line at both even strength and on the power play. Their opponents, the Wild, are actually allowing the second-most shots (36.5) and seventh-most goals (3.75) of any team. Winnipeg also leads all teams on this slate with a whopping 3.11 implied goal total. Due to a scoreless outing in his most recent game, Little's price has fallen by $300, providing us with a very appealing value option on the projected highest-scoring team.

Barry Cohen is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Barry Cohen also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username barryc4. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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