Fantasy picks: Ryan Ellis of Predators among most valuable
Nashville defenseman one of top May 4-5 DFS targets against Blues in Game 5by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor
NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL games during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (until end of conference finals). This article includes expensive and value plays and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
NOTE: This contest includes Game 4 of OTT-NYR on Thursday and Game 5s of STL-NSH and ANA-EDM on Friday.
TOP CENTER: Mika Zibanejad, NYR ($5,300) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 1.0
Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf ($7,300) is the ideal DFS building block every night he plays; he's one of three active players (others: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin) and 20 all-time with at least as many career Stanley Cup Playoff points as games played (minimum 100 games), per Elias Sports Bureau. But Zibanejad is another strong center option, leading the New York Rangers with seven points in nine playoff games with at least one point in four of his past five. He has three assists, one blocked shot and 12 shots on goal in three games against the Ottawa Senators, his former team, in this series, including back-to-back games of at least 5.0 DraftKings points. Zibanejad can be conveniently stacked with Mats Zuccarello ($5,300) or Chris Kreider ($5,000), his linemates at even strength and on the Rangers' first power-play unit, for Game 4 at home.
Video: OTT@NYR, Gm3: Zuccarello buries Zibanejad's feed
VALUE CENTER: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, OTT ($4,000) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 3.5
There is not much risk in continuing to ride the hot hand with the still-affordable Pageau, who followed up his four-goal Game 2 with one goal and five SOG (5.5 DraftKings points) in Game 3. His price has only risen $200 after these strong games, and his track record against the Rangers is too good to ignore. He has 10 points, two blocked shots and 17 SOG (6.3 DraftKings points per game) through six games against them in the regular season and playoffs combined.
BONUS CENTER: Colton Sissons, NSH ($3,200) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 0.0
Among those with at least seven games played this postseason, Sissons ranks seventh League-wide in points per 60 minutes (3.31). The Nashville Predators center had one assist in Game 2 and two in Game 3 against the St. Louis Blues, and also had one goal, one assist, one block and five SOG (8.0 DraftKings points) in the cliching game against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. He will likely carry low ownership and has been one of the most productive depth scorers this postseason.
TOP WING: Viktor Arvidsson, NSH ($6,400) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 1.5
The Predators have a 3-1 lead in their best-of-7 series against the Blues despite Arvidsson being held without a point in each of the four games. His drought shouldn't last much longer considering he has 13 SOG in the series, including six in Game 4. He remains a high-floor option with multiple shots in six of eight playoff games and at least four SOG four times. Arvidsson had one goal, one assist and two SOG in the Game 4 clincher against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.
Video: NSH@STL, Gm2: Arvidsson tips one off the post late
VALUE WING: Patrick Maroon, EDM ($4,700) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 2.0
Maroon has a four-game point streak for the Edmonton Oilers against the Ducks, totaling two goals, four assists, three blocks and 10 SOG (5.1 DraftKings points per game). He has had his former team's number with 11 points (two goals, nine assists), four blocked shots and 22 SOG in nine games this season. He has 25 points in 39 career postseason games, and offers coveted exposure to Connor McDavid more nights than not.
TOP DEFENSEMAN: Ryan Ellis, NSH ($5,500) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 3.0
Ellis has emerged as a daily fantasy lineup lock this postseason, leading all defensemen in points (nine) and ranking among the leaders at his position in shots (18 SOG, T-10th) and blocked shots (27, T-6th) through eight playoff games. His current seven-game point streak is the longest League-wide this postseason, forwards included. Ellis is priced behind Erik Karlsson ($7,500), Roman Josi ($6,400) and Alex Pietrangelo ($5,700) among defensemen in this two-day, three-game contest.
Video: STL@NSH, Gm4: Ellis cleans up rebound for PPG
VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Joel Edmundson, STL ($3,300) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 1.0
Edmundson's fantasy production spike can no longer be considered a fluke. He has points in three of the past four games for the Blues, and now has at least 2.5 DraftKings points in six of nine playoff games and at least 4.0 in four of them. Despite averaging 3.1 DraftKings points per game in the playoffs and 3.6 against the Predators (season average: 1.7), Edmundson is priced $800 above the DraftKings minimum. He's averaging 21:06 per game this postseason.
GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Pekka Rinne, NSH ($7,600) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 4.0
The only player who's been more valuable to the Predators this postseason than Ellis is Rinne, who is 7-1 with a .953 save percentage and two shutouts. He has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his eight playoff games and one goal or fewer five times. He's 5-2-0 with a .921 SV% against the Blues this season and has a chance to help the Predators advance to the Western Conference Final for the first time. Despite Rinne's all-world numbers, he's still being underestimated based on DraftKings price (fourth among six projected goalies).
Video: STL@NSH, Gm4: Rinne extends for pair of pad stops
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