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Fantasy Hockey Picks: DraftKings NHL Stars vs. Golden Knights Showdown Targets For September 12

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

Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game Three 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. Tonight’s DraftKings Showdown slate features Game 4 between the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars, which follows Wednesday’s Game 3 in which the Stars earned a 3-2 OT win and now lead the series 2-1.

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


DraftKings Slate Strategy

Game 3 saw the Stars prevail on the back of some solid goaltending and goals from two of their top forwards. Anton Khudobin ($10,400) continued his trend of bouncing back from sub-par efforts in these playoffs, stopping 28-of-30 shots faced and making some big saves for the Stars down the stretch. The Stars’ goalie should continue to garner some solid ownership tonight as the spread-out nature of the scoring for Dallas makes it hard to determine who to target for Showdown contests.

Jamie Benn ($8,200) had his biggest night in a while, posting six SOG, a goal and an assist in the game. He did it in only 15 minutes of ice, though, and with the Stars’ power play struggling a bit, don’t bet on a repeat performance. Alex Radulov ($7,400) saw his time on ice increase a little in Game 3 and showed off his goal-scoring upside by landing a snipe in OT to end the game. He remains a complete boom-or-bust target as well but his price and ownership make him a good tournament target once again.

After Robin Lehner ($10,800) allowed three goals on 23 shots last game, the question marks for Vegas around who will start in net tonight will likely surface once again. Expect Marc-Andre Fleury ($10,600) to garner heavy consideration. Dallas’ power-play has struggled and to be fair to Lehner, the game-winning goal was not his fault (it was just a perfect shot). Whoever starts for Vegas makes for a solid captain’s pick.


Top Captains Options

Dallas Stars

Denis Gurianov ($9,900)

I don’t like trusting the Dallas goalie to give us two good games in a row and the Stars’ PP1 has also been pretty poor in this series. Gurianov is back in the top six, playing on a line with Joe Pavelski ($7,600), and those two have produced some great moments in spots during these playoffs. Gurianov has been quiet thus far in the series but if this game sees a little more scoring, I could see him busting out again. Dallas has a lot of players who can explode at any point for multiple goals but pinning down which one to target can be tough. Gurianov is cheap and should be quite lowly owned in the CPT’s spot, making him an ideal GPP target for me here.

Vegas Golden Knights

William Karlsson ($12,000)

The Knights don’t really have a dominant No. 1 center which means Karlsson is going to get heavy usage the rest of the way. He has already played over 20 minutes in two of the past four games for Vegas and with him, we don’t have to worry about his minutes getting limited if he shifts linemates. He doesn’t bring the same kind of nightly shot volume as a player like Max Pacioretty ($10,000) but he’ll get plenty of PP1 exposure and is playing in a mostly offensive role now between Jonathan Marchessault ($8,400) and Reilly Smith ($7,200). The probability of a three-point game here is decent and putting him in the CPT’s spot should be a pretty unique play as most will target the Golden Knights’ wingers in this spot. Karlsson’s experience and current usage, though, means he has just as much chance for a multi-goal game as anyone on Vegas tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury ($15,900) or Robin Lehner ($16,200)

I mentioned the goalies for Vegas above, so I’ll be brief here. Neither goalie has played poorly for the Golden Knights in these playoffs but Vegas has been so good at limiting shots in the playoffs — fewest shots allowed per game of all 24 bubble teams — that whoever starts for them needs to be near perfect to pay off for DFS purposes. Dallas has scored by way of some solid regular-strength sniping in the first few games but their lack of power-play efficiency could catch up to them eventually. The chance for a shutout or big game from whichever goalie starts for Vegas — which enters as -175 favorites — seems high here and their ownership should be lower than usual coming off a loss.


Top Value Options

Dallas Stars

Blake Comeau ($2,000)

Comeau feels like a near must-target at this price point. The Dallas winger only has one assist in this series but it’s his usage and ice time that make him such a crazy value here. Comeau played over 17 minutes in his last game in a mostly checking role but is averaging well over 15 minutes per game over his past 10 starts in the playoffs. Even if he doesn’t get much, if any, power-play exposure, the Stars haven’t been doing much with the man advantage anyways. The time on ice alone makes him a great value to pay off at this price and he does have four points now for the Stars in his past 10 games.

Vegas Golden Knights

Brayden McNabb ($4,000)

None of the lower-salaried Vegas forwards have done much for DFS purposes lately, with only one of their five goals coming from a bottom-six player. McNabb isn’t likely to get you much on the offensive end either but he has upped his blocked shot rate in this series, recording eight so far in three games and has averaged around 1.5 SOG in these playoffs. If he ends up producing a garbage assist there’s a high likelihood he’ll end up as one of the must-own values on this slate and any lower-scoring game means his blocked shot production will be even more valuable than normal. I like the range of outcomes for him to be a factor tonight and there are too many question marks on the lower-end forwards right now for the Golden Knights.

Set your DraftKings lineup here: NHL Showdown $20K Sticks [$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.