We have a three-game slate for this Sunday as the NHL schedule heats up again. The Stars and Avalanche face off here after a wild game three which saw a Dallas comeback be thwarted late in the third by the Colorado offense. This series has seen 25 goals scored now through just three games and Dallas still leads, 2-1
The Canucks, Golden Knights, Flyers and Islanders will all be playing on back-to-back days here with the Golden Knights and Islanders holding 2-1 series leads. From an injury perspective, the Avalanche’s Erik Johnson ($4,200) and the Canucks’ Tyler Myers ($3,600) are the only big names to note. Both are out for today with Johnson likely out for the remainder of the bubble.
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Top Line Stacks
DAL vs. COL
Tyler Seguin ($6,700) – Jamie Benn ($5,600) – Alexander Radulov ($5,300)
Going after the Stars’ L1 tonight on DraftKings makes sense from a lot of perspectives. The slate has a couple of games with decent puck totals of 5.5 or more and loading up on studs from both games will be key. The Stars’ first line is inconsistent but offers you solid savings and good exposure to a series that is averaging an insane 8.33 goals per game thus far and a game that carries the biggest O/U at 6.0.
From a performance perspective, this line has finally started to gel a bit too. After going 10-plus games without a goal, Tyler Seguin has found the net twice in three games and popped for six SOG last game. Jamie Benn and Alex Radulov have actually shown better upside as the two each have recorded four games with 17 or more DKFP since the playoffs began. The Avalanche’s penalty kill and their goaltending have both been soft spots for them recently and these three will likely spend all their time hitched together at regular strength and on the PP1. The value you’re getting on them over the Colorado L1 makes them solid targets and still allows you to roster studs from the other side of this game or elsewhere.
Superstar to Target
Max Pacioretty ($6,800), VGK at VAN
Pacioretty had a dud for us in Game 3, recording just two SOG and playing fewer minutes than usual. His lack of ice time shouldn’t be concerning though as he left the bench for a few minutes during the game but the issue wasn’t apparently injury-related. As I’ve mentioned numerous times in this column in 2019/2020, Pacioretty’s shot rate is nearly unmatched for NHL DFS and at well under $7K in salary he becomes a near-must target against the Canucks. Vancouver continues to allow a ton of shots on net — Vegas has averaged 37.5 per game — and Pacioretty has also proven a great bounce-back target. He’s come through with 11 or more DKFP in the game following the past two instances where he’s posted 5.0 DKFP or less. If his ownership is going to be lower because of one bad game, I’d not hesitate to take advantage of both that potential lower ownership and price here today.
Value on Offense
Denis Gurianov ($4,400), DAL vs. COL
Gurianov has been a revelation of sorts in the playoffs as he’s now recorded seven goals over his past 10 games. The big night for Gurianov came against Calgary in Game 6 where he scored four goals and single-handedly eliminated the Flames. He’s backed that up with more good play against Colorado though, recording a goal and an assist thus far in the series while averaging three SOG per night. Gurianov’s second-line role and power-play exposure — as well as great form of late — make him a high-upside target here, especially in a series where goals are flowing faster than champagne on New Year’s.
Paul Stastny ($3,700), VGK at VAN
Stastny is an integral part of a Vegas Golden Knights team offense and top six who have averaged 37.5 SOG in their series with Vancouver thus far. While he only has two points in his past 10 games the veteran is playing 16-plus minutes per night and did record a power-play point two games ago. The matchup here for Vegas’ forwards is super juicy and Stastny makes for a solid value target on his own or a stacking target with winger Jonathan Marchessault ($5,900), whom he generally plays alongside at both even strength and on the power play
Anton Khudobin ($7,600), DAL vs. COL
There are undoubtedly safer spots on this slate than targeting this COL-DAL series. For instance, Semyon Varlamov ($7,800) continues to play well with the Islanders but has also yet to face more than 30 SOG in a game in these playoffs. You’re almost relying on a shutout right now for a true upside game from Varlamov, whereas a goalie like Khudobin seems almost guaranteed to at least approach the 35-save bonus at some point in Game 4 for Dallas. He’s now faced 40 or more SOG in three of his past six games and at least 31 SOG in five of his past six. While he’s coming off a 6-4 loss where he surrendered five goals on 31 shots faced, he’s also posted a save percentage of .927 or better in three of his past five games and gone for over 20 DKFP in four of his past six starts. The Stars are +115 underdogs but have been very competitive all series, making targeting Khudobin’s heightened save volume make a lot of sense here.
Value on Defense
Jamie Oleksiak ($2,600), DAL at COL
Despite producing four blocked shots and 9.7 DKFP in his last game, Oleksiak’s salary actually went down for this slate by $200 and I see no reason not to him include him in this spot once again. He’s playing a top-four role and is averaging 9.2 DKFP now over his past 10 games, a mark which is nearly his yearly average. The increase in playing time has increased his viability as a blocked shot and SOG producer but his DFS price tag still hasn’t caught up yet. Eventually, he’ll put up a slow game but at this price, you really don’t need him to do that much. Continue to consider him as a min-price punt target unless his top-six role gets taken away from him or his minutes recede again.
Quinn Hughes ($4,900), VAN vs. VGK
Hughes has struggled a bit since coming out hot in the play-ins for Vancouver. The rookie defenseman has just two assists over his past six games and has only hit double-digits in DKFP once over that span. His price is now under $5K, though, so this could be a solid time to take a shot on him in GPPs. Vegas has been solid on special teams in the playoffs but did carry a sub-par regular season penalty kill as they were only effective on 77% of penalty kills this year, a bottom-five team in that regard. Vancouver’s been shut out twice in three games but did bounce back well in Game 2. I’d expect more offense from there here and for Quinn and some of the lagging forwards on the Canucks’ PP1 to also get going.
Cale Makar ($6,000), COL at DAL
Makar had a big Game 3, as he helped the Avalanche rally from a goal down late and recorded three assists on the night. Makar’s been an extremely boom-or-bust target in the playoffs, recording 16 or more DKFP in three of his past six games, while recording 6.5 or less in the other three. His lack of blocked shots means he’s highly reliant on getting actual points to produce for fantasy purposes but his role on an Avalanche power play that’s ranked first in effectiveness of all the teams that are left in these playoffs gives him an incredibly high upside when he does connect. He’s great to use in a mini or full stack with Nathan MacKinnon ($8,500) or Mikko Rantanen ($7,300), who he should see a ton of minutes with in this game.
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