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Fantasy Hockey Picks: DraftKings NHL Lightning vs. Islanders Showdown Targets For September 9

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

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - 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. Tonight’s DraftKings NHL Showdown slate features Game 2 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders, which follows Monday’s Game 1 in which the Lightning hammered the Islanders in an 8-2 blowout.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL Showdown $30K Kick Save [$10K to 1st] (NYI vs TB)


DraftKings Slate Strategy

The Lightning beat the Islanders 8-2 in Game 1 of this series. It was a bloodbath as New York was clearly fatigued from being taken to seven games by the Flyers in the last round. Nikita Kucherov ($11,000) ended the game with five points and 37.5 DKFP. You can expect him to be a popular play today in Showdown contests and likely one of the chalkiest captain’s choices.

Andrei Vasilevskiy ($10,800) played well again but didn’t have to do much in the first game, facing just 24 SOG. He’s now won five straight games and recorded double digit fantasy points in each of those starts. A lower scoring game two could make him a bigger factor in Showdown contests today.

Vasilevskiy may not have produced a huge fantasy performance in Game 1 but he’s likely to gain a ton of ownership too as the Islanders’ goalie situation is a huge mess right now as both Semyon Varlamov ($10,200) and Thomas Greiss ($10,000) looked horrible. DFS players will likely need to wait right up until lock for confirmation of who is going to actually start in net for New York today, but going with whoever plays could be a nice leverage play in DFS here. Greiss posted back to back games with 20 or more DKFP against the Flyers before slipping in game one against Tampa so don’t be shocked if he starts and plays well in Game 2.

This Showdown slate has the potential for big time condensed ownership as nearly all the Lightning offensive players are coming in off massive games and they are again big favorites in this game at -175 on DraftKings Sportsbook. Going with a predominately Islanders stack could really give you big leverage in GPPs.


Top Captains Options

Tampa Bay Lightning

Victor Hedman ($13,200)

The nice thing about targeting Hedman in the captain’s spot is that he’s not as reliant on this game being another high scoring event to go off for you. The Lightning’s top D-man still managed four SOG in Game 1 despite skating just 20 minutes. The low minutes in the first game also means that if this game ends up being closer he should be available to see a ton more ice time today. He’s averaged 3.6 SOG in his last 10 games and also hit the blocked shot bonus three times in that span. Paying up for him in the captain spot also frees up more room to either fit in both goalies—and structure your lineups for a low scoring game—or stack the Tampa power play.

Andrei Vasilevskiy ($16,200)

While I expect the Tampa goalie to be a fairly popular selection today it’s pretty hard to ignore the fact that the Lightning are currently -175 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook in this game. Vasilevskiy is going to have a great shot at picking up the win again today and he comes in having posted a .924 save percentage over his last 10 games. Given all the goals that were scored in the last game the ownership might not get too crazy on Vasilevskiy either as many DFS players may just choose to pay up for the Tampa PP1.


New York Islanders

Thomas Greiss ($15,000) or Semyon Varlamov ($15,300)

The Isles enter this game as large underdogs on DraftKings Sportsbook and have not confirmed who their starting goalie will be. There’s always some value in targeting a low-owned goalie at the captain’s spot in Showdown, especially when the offensive players on the other side of the game are almost certain to be the most popular plays on the slate. Both Greiss and Varlamov have been good at bouncing back from poor games in these playoffs and Greiss (the likely starter) had stopped 52 of the last 54 shots he’d faced prior to game one with Tampa.

Mathew Barzal ($13,200)

The good news about targeting any of the Isles skilled players today is that you really don’t have to worry much about ownership considering the drubbing they took in Game 1. Barzal has been pretty boom or bust in these playoffs for fantasy purposes yet remains the highest priced Isles forward on this slate, which should keep ownership down. He posted 30.0 DKFP in Game 6 of the series with Philly, but hasn’t exceeded 15 DKFP in any of his other prior 10 starts. Tampa’s penalty-kill has by no means been unbeatable in these playoffs, stopping just 81% of power-plays thus far. Barzal and the rest of his line could turn the tables here in game two.


Top Value Flex Options

Tampa Bay Lightning

Ryan McDonagh ($4,200)

McDonagh has seen his time on ice fluctuate a bit as these playoffs have gone on, but he’s been pretty reliable from a production standpoint for DFS, regardless of how much he actually skates. The veteran has now averaged 2.1 SOG and 2 blocked shots per game over his last 10 starts. Don’t expect him to land you a goal every night, like he did in Game 1, but if you’re planning on game two being a much lower-scoring affair, his ability to rack up stats in those peripheral categories will almost certainly make him a viable play at this price point. He’s a solid pay-down target for those who think we’ll see less scoring in game two.

New York Islanders

Derick Brassard ($4,000)

Brassard makes for a decent value target on his own or as part of an Isles PP2 stack. The slick forward is spending a lot of his time playing on the Isles’ third-line but is also seeing some power-play minutes alongside the likes of a solid goal scoring forward in Brock Nelson ($8,600). He comes in having registered four points in his last four games and gives you pretty solid upside for the price here.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL Showdown $30K Kick Save [$10K to 1st] (NYI vs TB)


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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.

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