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NHL Picks: DraftKings Fantasy Hockey DFS Cheat Sheet for Lightning vs. Avalanche on June 24

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for the Stanley Cup Finals Game 5 fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings.

Friday features Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals and a single-game NHL slate, which begins at 8:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings lineups.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL Showdown $100K Kick Save [$25K to 1st] (COL vs TB)

Captain’s Picks

Cale Makar ($15,600)

Makar posted another solid game in game four, grabbing 18.1 DKFP with five SOG and an assist. He’s now up to five points in four games for the series and has landed 5.0 SOG in each of the last two games. The defenseman is the overwhelming favorite to win the Conn Smythe if Colorado wins. He could put a rubber stamp on that award with another solid game Friday. Tampa has really had no answer for him in the series on either end, and the last home game for Makar saw him grab two goals. Colorado winning is a likely outcome tonight with them at -190 on the money line, and they could see a lot of empty chances at the end of the game, as well. Makar sets up for another multi-point effort and should be one of your main targets at captain.

Nathan MacKinnon ($16,800)

If you’re not taking Makar at captain, I suggest sticking with the Colorado studs, regardless. The Avalanche scored 11 goals in the first two home games and Andrei Vasilevskiy simply hasn’t been that good on the road in these playoffs. Colorado’s 3.5 implied goal total means this could finally be the spot where we get a MacKinnon breakout game. The center has been more effective from a defensive standpoint in a lot of ways in these playoffs but has still produced 22 SOG over the first four games. MacKinnon should skate alongside his regular winger in Mikko Rantanen ($8,800) as well, which is huge for his prospects. If Colorado takes control early, it could easily be the result of MacKinnon finally breaking through for a couple of goals.

Valeri Nichushkin ($11,400)

Obviously there’s a theme today and that’s, “ for the Avalanche to end the series tonight with a big win.” If you are following that logic and want a cheaper option in the captain, the upside with Nichushkin is going to be hard to match. The winger is obviously still entrenched in a top-six role for the Avalanche, even if he’ll be playing alongside Nazem Kadri instead of Nathan MacKinnon at full strength. Nichushkin has had four or more shots on net in three games of this series and is also a great special teams player. Expect his ice time to remain high and don’t be afraid to get contrarian and use him alongside Kadri. One of the top two Colorado lines is likely to end the night with some big point totals.

Flex Options

Victor Hedman ($8,400)

Tampa Bay’s top forwards have been shut down for the most part in this series, and as you can probably tell, I’m not huge on that trend switching. One player who should be on the ice a ton for Tampa Bay is Victor Hedman, who has averaged 5.0 SOG, 2.5 blocked shots and 27 minutes of ice over Tampa’s last two games. Hedman’s minutes should be sky high again tonight, and he should be looking to take a few more risks on the offensive end as well — considering the situation Tampa is in. Hedman at just 8.4k looks like the most reliable Tampa Bay player to come back with in our Avalanche stacks and a player whose fantasy production isn’t strictly point related.

Artturi Lehkonen ($6,200)

Lehkonen has hit the lottery this post-season in getting to join the Avalanche late in the year and his luck seems to be continuing in this series. He’ll likely be slotted alongside Nathan MacKinnon at even strength and should see plenty of power-play time alongside the top skaters for Colorado in game four. The former Canadien is no stranger to big games as he went to the Stanley Cup Finals last year with Montreal and also scored the series winning goal for Colorado against the Oilers. He’s been a little boom or bust for fantasy purposes but has goals in two of Colorado’s last three home games.

Andrew Cogliano ($2,000)

Colorado’s role players have been solid from a real-life view, but it has been their studs who have done most of the heavy lifting from a point production view. Cogliano is one exception to that rule as the veteran has three points in his last three games and posted two assists in Colorado’s last home win. While he’s in a clearly defined third-line role, Cogliano has been in this kind of situation many times before and has been a clutch goal scorer throughout his career (he’s the only player in NHL history to score an OT winner in three consecutive games). At the bare minimum price point, he likely provides us with the best upside of that salary group and is a player who we should expect to see get 10+ minutes of ice.


Nathan MacKinnon ($11,200) — Arturri Lehkonen ($6,400) — Mikko Rantanen ($8,800)

I outlined the thought process on MacKinnon above, who has compiled 22 shots on net already in this series but has just one goal to show for it. His shooting percentage feels like it could take a dramatic tick upward today with Mikko Rantanen back on his line. Rantanen has eight assists in this series already and is somewhat being overlooked for his contributions, which have seen him go over 20.0 DKFP in two of the last three games. His move back up with MacKinnon is huge for the center’s prospects, and it makes them a great stacking duo today. Getting Lehkonen as the third wheel makes a ton of sense, given both his cheap salary and propensity for scoring big goals in big games.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL Showdown $100K Kick Save [$25K to 1st] (COL vs TB)

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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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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