NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests 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 the Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins game Monday and the Ottawa Senators-New York Rangers game Tuesday.
TOP CENTER: Evgeni Malkin, PIT ($8,200)
There's a reason Malkin is the second-ranked center in terms of price (behind only his Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Sidney Crosby). He leads the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) and has a point in nine of 10 playoff games. He's averaged 4.4 DraftKings points per game despite having 26 shots on goal in 10 games. In the regular season and playoffs combined, Malkin has 55 points (18 goals, 37 assists) in 36 games and likely will be a factor in Game 6 against the Washington Capitals on Monday.
VALUE CENTER: Derick Brassard, OTT ($4,700)
Brassard scored a goal in Game 6 for the Ottawa Senators and had one blocked shot and five SOG, which was good for 6.5 DraftKings points. That total matched his total from his previous four games combined against the New York Rangers. Brassard had eight points (two goals, six assists) in the Eastern Conference First Round against the Boston Bruins but has yet to reach that level in the second round. He's been known to come up big in the playoffs and Game 6 on Tuesday could be his time to shine again. At this price, he's worth a shot.
Video: NYR@OTT, Gm5: Brassard deflects in late equalizer
TOP WING: Phil Kessel, PIT ($6,500)
The two wings ranked higher in price than Kessel are Alex Ovechkin ($8,100) and T.J. Oshie ($7,000). However, Kessel's 3.6 DraftKings points per game is second behind Ovechkin (4.2). Kessel has points in seven of 10 playoff games including four multi-point games. He has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in the playoffs and 33 SOG -- or more than three per game. He's also $1,500 cheaper than Ovechkin, which means you can save money and use it elsewhere, creating a more balanced lineup.
VALUE WING: Andre Burakovsky, WSH ($3,500)
Burakovsky's price remained constant after he had his best game of the playoffs with a goal, an assist, four SOG and a blocked shot (7.5 DraftKings points) in Game 5 on Saturday; he had two points in his previous 10 games. With the Capitals facing elimination Monday, they'll need production from everyone in the lineup and Burakovsky would like to prove his performance Saturday was no fluke.
Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Burakovsky toe drags, buries wrister
TOP DEFENSEMAN: Erik Karlsson, OTT ($7,300)
Even when he's not at 100 percent, Karlsson is more than capable of being a scoring threat. He proved that in Game 5 with three assists in a 5-4 overtime win, also adding two blocked shots and one SOG despite playing with two hairline fractures in his left heel. He had two hits and was a plus-3 in 31:09 of ice time. The Senators have not played well in New York during the second round but expect Karlsson to step up again if they are to avoid playing Game 7 at home Thursday.
VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Brady Skjei, NYR ($3,700)
Skjei had an assist, two SOG and a blocked shot in Game 5 (3.5 DraftKings points). The rookie has not been intimidated by the big stage of the postseason with four goals and an assist in 11 games. He has averaged more than one blocked shot and SOG per game in the playoffs and has fared well against the Senators this season. Including the playoffs, Skjei has two goals, two assists, 12 blocked shots and nine SOG in eight games (2.6 DraftKings points).
GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT ($7,800)
Fleury is the second-most expensive goalie in the tournament but has been one of the most valuable and consistent goalies throughout the playoffs. He allowed four goals on 32 shots in a 4-2 loss in Game 5 (1.6 DraftKings points) but prior to that had at least 7.6 DraftKings points in four of five starts. In 10 playoff games, Fleury is 7-3-0 with a .929 save percentage, averaging 6.3 DraftKings points, and he has dominated at home this season (18-4-2, 2.36 goals-against average, .934 SV%, regular season and playoffs combined).
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