This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Mike Smith, CGY vs. MON ($7,500): While a 2-2-2 record is nothing to write home about, Smith's recorded a .935 save percentage and 1.64 GAA during the stretch. He lands in a decent matchup, too. The Canadiens rank seventh last in high-danger scoring chances generated per 60 minutes, and their statistics are still inflated by the 10-goal outburst Dec. 2. Smith's salary is also manageable.
Nicklas Backstrom, WAS at ARI ($6,500): Fading Washington's top players is risky Friday. Arizona enters with a 1-8-2 record and have allowed the second most goals (3.39) and fifth most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes (12.05) this year. Backstrom has also found an offensive groove with four goals and 13 points through his past 13 games. He's also locked into top offensive minutes.
Mark Jankowski, CGY vs. MON ($3,500): A low-priced flier, Jankowski has recorded a respectable six goals, five assists and three multi-point showings through his past 20 games. He's been skating with the No. 1 power-play unit through the past two contests, so considering his upside, taking a chance on the rookie can open up plenty of spending room at other positions.
Alex Ovechkin, WAS at ARI ($8,000): Expect No. 8 to be a popular play against the lowly Coyotes. He's marked the scoresheet in nine of his past 13 contests for 10 goals, 17 points and 59 shots, so Ovechkin also enters in strong form. While there's always risk, Ovechkin's shot volume does buoy his value if Arizona can keep him in check.
Claude Giroux, PHI at BUF ($6,800): The Sabres are struggling, and Giroux is scorching hot. He's collected two goals and 11 points through his past seven contests, and the lone game where he missed the scoresheet during that span was against Buffalo. Considering his 3.41 points per 60 minutes rank 13th in the entire league, the veteran is another strong option for a stars-and-scrubs lineup approach.
Sam Reinhart, BUF vs. PHI ($3,600): Projected to skate with Jack Eichel and Evander Kane against Philadelphia, Reinhart is a ripe value. Last season, the 22-year-old forward combined for an impressive 4.35 goals per 60 minutes, so this year's 4.05 mark highlights their long-standing chemistry. Just note that this salary will probably make Reinhart a popular option, though.
Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI at BUF ($5,800): With five goals and five assists through his past 12 games, Gostisbehere is up to 2.44 points per 60 minutes for the season. That mark paces all defensemen with at least 550 minutes played, and his role on the No. 1 power-play also boosts his value. The Sabres have allowed the fourth most goals per hour (3.28) in the league.
Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF vs. PHI ($4,900): In small player pools, targeting high-floor options is encouraged. Despite posting just four assists through 12 games since returning from an undisclosed injury, he also offers upside. Ristolainen has recorded 36 shots and 33 blocked shots while logging 26:27 of ice time (3:10 with the man advantage) during the 12-game stretch, so he has the potential to approach value without marking the scoresheet.