We’ve got five games on the DraftKings main slate for today with a couple of favorites facing elimination. The Oilers and Penguins are both down 2-1 in their series and will be out with a loss today. They were the two biggest favorites from a series perspective prior to the bubble beginning.
Arizona and Vancouver can also close out their series today with wins. The Canucks won 3-0 yesterday and will be playing on back-to-back days. With no round robin games today, the last game involves the Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs, who also played yesterday. Tyler Toffoli (questionable-foot) looks like the big name to watch here injury wise. He missed game three and looks highly questionable to play in game four given he was still seen in a walking boot prior to the last game.
Top Line Stacks
NSH at ARI
Ryan Johansen ($4,400) – Filip Forsberg ($5,800) – Viktor Arvidsson ($4,500)
The Coyotes and Predators have combined for 18 goals through three games, making this one of the more offensive series from the play-ins. The Preds’ top line has looked rejuvenated since the bubble began with both Forsberg and Arvidsson potting multiple goals already. The two have been somewhat unstoppable for the Coyotes, who have a thin group of forwards up front, as they combined for a ridiculous 33 SOG between them through three games—with Forsberg hitting the DraftKings SOG bonus in each game thus far.
Johansen has been the clear benefactor for fantasy here too, as he’s collected three assists thus far and played over 19 minutes in his last game. With his price sitting at under $4.5K for this slate, and some clear chemistry brewing between the three, it only makes sense to put him out there between the two higher priced—but still affordable—wingers. The Preds’ top offensive unit should get tons of play tonight in a do-or-die game four and their salaries are easy to fit in, making them a clear top unit to target for stacking purposes today.
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Superstar to Target
Sidney Crosby ($7,000), PIT at MTL
While he sometimes gets overlooked for DFS due to his price being more expensive than his teammate, Evgeni Malkin ($6,800), Crosby enters this game with three points to Malkin’s zero, is averaging just under four SOG per game in the series, and has been the Penguins’ best catalyst on offense thus far. Entering an elimination game here with the pesky Canadians, targeting the veteran center—whose DK salary remains affordable and way under his regular season price point at a flat 7K—is a good starting point for DFS lineups. Crosby has only played 19 minutes in his last two games but feels much more likely to approach the 24 minutes of ice he saw in game one today given the must win situation. As good as Montreal has been in this series, the Penguins’ PP1 makes for good targets against Montreal’s 19th ranked penalty kill and starting with Crosby as your main weapon there makes sense as well.
Value on Offense
Kirby Dach ($3,500), CHI vs. EDM
Dach has had an incredible series for CHI thus far and is part of the reason the Blackhawks are up in the series. The rookie has averaged over 20 minutes per game and excelled in the larger role, landing himself four assists thus far. While his upside may be limited somewhat due to the fact he’s more of a feeder of the puck for Patrick Kane (7,800), he can be easily paired with the veteran for correlation purposes due to his cheap salary. Given their lack of depth down the middle, the Hawks should keep rolling Dach out a ton the rest of the series and until his price rises, he’ll remain an elite value on DraftKings.
Phil Kessel ($4,200), ARI vs. NSH
Kessel has come alive in these playoffs after a disappointing season, landing three points already in this series. He’s been a great catalyst on the power play for Arizona already, landing two power play assists, and has seen 18 minutes of ice the past two games. He’s been seeing time with Taylor Hall ($6,100) at even strength as well which only adds to his upside. Going up against a bottom 10 penalty kill in Nashville his price here makes him a good value and great stacking target with the Coyotes’ star forward.
Tristan Jarry ($8,000), PIT at MTL
Editor’s note: Penguins G Tristan Jarry will start in net today vs. the Canadiens.
The Penguins haven’t declared their starter for a pivotal game four today yet, but all signs are pointing to Jarry. Statistically, he was their best goalie this year, posting a .921 save percentage during the year. While he had his ups and downs, the change can only bring good things for Pittsburgh at this point as starter Matt Murray ($8,200) allowed three straight goals to cough up the lead in his last outing and has been consistently out-played by Carey Price ($7,700). While Price has been good, it’s hard to see the still heavily favored Penguins at least not pushing this to a fifth game. Jarry would be a good DFS target for one day anyways, if he does get the game four call.
Jacob Markstrom ($7,800), VAN at MIN
Markstrom was a touch shaky through the Canucks’ first two games but rebounded in game three, posting a 27-save shutout. The Wild’s offense has been solid so far in this series but Markstrom’s a goalie who can certainly elevate his games at times and posted a sterling .919 save% during the regular season. Markstrom’s faced 35 or more shots against in five of his last 10 games now and with the Wild facing elimination, he should be in a position to nab you a bunch of saves here. The Canucks allowed the fourth most shots against in the regular season so anytime he’s in form he generally rates out as a nice play for DraftKings purposes.
Value on Defense
John Marino ($3,800)
I mentioned Marino on the last slate the Penguins played, and he came through with a PPA and three blocked shots for 14.9 DKFP. The defenseman has been consistent in fantasy for most of the year, producing well in all peripheral categories while also showing some offensive flare which has kept him involved in the power play for Pittsburgh. He’s also outplayed Justin Schultz ($3,700) and seen far more ice than him in this series, averaging about 22 minutes per game. The Penguins are the biggest favorites on this slate so targeting some of their cheaper options here isn’t a bad idea as their projected team total is one of the biggest on the slate. Marino’s DK price has barely moved since his last productive outing so continuing to target him as a value option on defense, for as long as the Penguins stay alive, makes sense.
Kris Letang ($6,300), PIT at MTL
Letang has yet to score a point in this series. While his offensive production was down a touch this year it’s really hard to see the talented point-man go much longer without some kind of outburst. The Penguins have obviously been outplayed but still possess the far more talented team here and have a power play that should be looking for blood early in game four. As mentioned above, I really like targeting the Penguins’ veterans tonight as we should see them get big workloads. Time is running out for this team, but building around two of their PP1 mainstays in Crosby ($7,000) and Letang makes sense here given the Pens are still anywhere from -150 to -160 favorites to win today’s game.
Duncan Keith ($4,800)
Keith has been a huge part of the Hawks’ turnaround in the bubble, playing over 25 minutes in each of the last two games. The Hawks’ power play has been able to overcome the Oilers’ penalty kill thus far, going for 4/16 in the series. Keith has been playing the majority of the minutes with the man advantage for Chicago and already picked up three assists, while also averaging two blocked shots per game. Given the minutes, the role he’s playing and the weakness of his opponent, the opportunity for a massive game is there every night and at under $5K in price he’s one of the best overall value targets on today’s slate.
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