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Fantasy Hockey Picks: DraftKings NHL Stars vs. Golden Knights Showdown Targets for September 10

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Geoff Ulrich gets you ready for Thursday’s DraftKings fantasy hockey showdown slate with picks and strategy.

Dallas Stars v Vegas Golden Knights - Game One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

We’ve reached Showdown season in NHL DFS on DraftKings, as the playoffs have progressed to the Conference Finals with the Eastern Conference and Western Conference alternating games throughout each series. Tonight’s DraftKings Showdown slate features Game 3 between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars, which follows Tuesday’s Game 2 in which the Golden Knights evened the series with a 3-0 win.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL Showdown $20K Twine [$5K to 1st] (VGK vs. DAL)


DraftKings Slate Strategy

Robin Lehner ($11,000) stopped 24 shots for his fourth shutout of the playoffs in game two and put up 26.8 DKFP in the process. Vegas has been rotating goalies a lot during the playoffs so, despite that performance, there’s no guarantee he plays in Game 3. Lehner will certainly be a popular pick if he starts again, as the Star haven’t exactly lit the world on fire in this series, scoring just one goal in 120 minutes of play. The Golden Knights are also big favorites at -165 on DK Sportsbook, so even if Marc-Andre Fleury ($10,800) starts, expect him to be popular, as well.

Anton Khudobin ($10,600) was a good example of why you generally don’t chase big games by goalies, as he went from posting a shutout in Game 1, to allowing three goals on 27 shots in Game 2 — and producing just 6.3 DKFP. The shots on goal in this series haven’t been absurdly high, so playing goalies from both teams doesn’t seem like it will be a viable strategy most nights. Khudobin is suffering from a lack of offense from his forwards right now, too, and sets up as a potential fade in Game 3.

The Stars have really mixed and matched their stars of late, spreading out Tyler Seguin ($8,600), Jamie Benn ($8,200) and Alex Radulov ($7,600) over three different lines. Those three will play together on the power-play, however, and Vegas ranked just 27th on the penalty-kill during the regular season. Joe Pavelski ($7,400) is centering Radulov and will join him on the PP1 for Dallas, so those two could be a solid correlation pairing.

The Golden Knights have also mixed their lines up. Alex Tuch ($6,200) has moved up to play alongside Mark Stone ($9,000) while Max Pacioretty ($10,200) is now playing beside Paul Stastny ($5,400). The Pacioretty-Stastny duo has some chemistry in the past and combined for three points between them in Game 2. They’ll be a good stacking option in Game 3. This could obviously all get jumbled around again in-game, but the PP1 for Vegas remains mostly unchanged, with Shea Theodore ($9,400) playing alongside Vegas’ best wingers in Stone and Pacioretty.


Top Captain’s Picks

Dallas Stars

Alex Radulov ($11,400)

Radulov is a streaky scorer but also someone fully capable of potting you multiple goals on a nightly basis. The Russian is now playing alongside Joe Pavelski ($7,400) at even strength, and while it remains to be seen how that pair gels, they’re also regulars on the PP1 for Dallas. Dallas’ power-play has been quite good in these playoffs and it rank 5th in power-play efficiency among teams who participated in the bubble. Radulov could easily be part of any offensive outburst in that area for Dallas in game three so paying down for him at the captain, where he should be quite low-owned, will give you solid upside and good roster flexibility.

Vegas Golden Knights

Reilly Smith ($10,800)

Smith feels like a solid lower-owned option to use from Vegas’ forward group. The winger only has one goal in his last 10 games, but with 31 goals in 88 games, he’s truly capable of breaking out for a big game any night. Despite the small slump, he’s still playing a ton of minutes every night, too, getting regular PP1 time and is still on a line with William Karlsson ($8,000) and Jonathan Marchessault ($8,400). Smith’s recorded three or more SOG in each of his last four games and gives you salary flexibility to stack him other line-mates or members of the Golden Knights PP1.

Max Pacioretty ($15,300)

I like this game to be a little higher scoring than the first two, as the Dallas offense has been solid in these playoffs and should get back on track soon. Rather than pay up for whoever is in net then for Vegas, I’d rather pay up in this spot for Vegas’ best offensive player in Pacioretty. The sentiment on him might be a little low after he was shifted around on the official depth chart, but he still played over 19 minutes in game two and hit the DK-SOG bonus in that game, as well. You can stack him with the very affordable Paul Stastny ($5,400) for a good correlation play. The two produced lots of chances together in Game 2.


Top Value Options

Dallas Stars

Corey Perry ($5,200)

I wouldn’t go about making habit of rostering Perry, but if you like this game to produce more goals than the first two, then he’s not a bad option. Playing alongside Tyler Seguin ($8,600) at even strength definitely boosts his upside, and he’s been a consistent power-play producer for the Stars all year, considering his smaller ice time, with eight points and three PP goals. He landed three SOG last game on his new line, and if he finds the back of the net, he’ll easily pay off this salary.

Radek Faska ($4,400)

Faska is less of a boom-or-bust play than Perry and likely carries better upside, as well. The Czech is playing solid minutes every night and is now centering Jamie Benn ($8,200) on a regular shift which makes them a good stacking combo and gives Faska a better shot at picking up an assist or two. Faska isn’t a huge offensive producer but has landed 10 or more DKFP four times now in his last 10-games and is the rare forward who will land you blocked shots consistently. He’s good value and continues to play a significant role every game for Dallas.

Vegas Golden Knights

Nicholas Roy ($3,000)

Roy is playing consistent minutes for the Golden Knights every game and saw his role change in Game 2 in which he moved onto a line with Paul Stastny ($5,400) and Max Pacioretty ($10,200). The winger picked up an assist and should have more opportunity for offensive production moving forward in that role. The Roy-Pacioretty-Stastny line had 4-1 edge in high-end chances at 5-5 last game so targeting the cheapest piece of that line again tonight, in Roy, makes sense as a value play.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL Showdown $20K Twine [$5K to 1st] (VGK vs. DAL)


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.