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Fantasy picks: Vladimir Tarasenko easy play

Blues forward among Oct. 18 DFS targets

by Ben Zweiman @BZweimanNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This list of targets includes expensive and value options at each position to help you build a winning roster.

C - John Tavares, NYI ($7,500)

The San Jose Sharks will be playing the second of a back-to-back Tuesday and there's a chance the Islanders dodge facing Martin Jones. With backup Aaron Dell expected to make his NHL debut, that bodes well for Tavares' prospects of scoring in his second straight game. The Islanders captain is relatively cheap for an elite center and is a nice against-the-grain pick. 

C - Evgeny Kuznetsov, WSH ($6,200)

It's two games into the season and Alex Ovechkin has yet to score a goal. That likely could change Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche and chances are Kuznetsov will be involved in the play. The young center led the Washington Capitals in assists last season (57) and Colorado's penalty kill struggled mightily in its season opener against the Dallas Stars, so expect the Capitals' strong power-play unit to get going. Kuznetsov is priced in the middle of the pack at center and has high upside.

W - Vladimir Tarasenko, STL ($7,300)

A lot of DraftKings lineups will feature the St. Louis Blues forward, so Tarasenko is more of a cash-game play than anything, but is almost a sure thing against a Vancouver Canucks team playing its second game in three nights. Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom allowed three goals on 22 shots against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, so Tarasenko should have no trouble scoring. Even if Tarasenko is held off the scoresheet, he's averaging 4.3 shots on goal per game.

Video: NYR@STL: Tarasenko beats Lundqvist on a breakaway

W - Jonathan Marchessault, FLA ($4,000)

Another name that will pop up in plenty of lineups is Marchessault, who has played well replacing Jonathan Huberdeau on the Florida Panthers' top line with Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr. Marchessault is averaging 7.0 DraftKings points per game (two goals, two assists, plus-4 with eight SOG in two games) and has a favorable matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The price is too good to pass up and until Marchessault slows down, he should be used heavily.

D - Alex Goligoski, ARI ($4,700)

It's a good strategy to not pay too much at the defenseman position because outside of the top options, players can be unpredictable on a nightly basis. Goligoski provides value not through his offense, but his defense; he had four blocked shots in the Arizona Coyotes' season-opening win against the Philadelphia Flyers and gets time on each special teams units. The Ottawa Senators goaltending has been shaky to start the season, so expect a high scoring game where Goligoski will have a chance at an assist or two with good plus/minus and the added bonus of blocked shots.

D - Jaccob Slavin, CAR ($4,000)

The Edmonton Oilers are tied for last in goals allowed (13) in three games this season and Slavin has been playing on the top pair with Justin Faulk, which should lead to offensive opportunities. He may not play on either power-play unit for the Hurricanes, but Slavin leads the Carolina Hurricanes in shorthanded ice time (8:43) and he had five blocked shots against the Canucks on Sunday.

G - Jake Allen, STL ($8,200)

Allen has a favorable matchup against the Canucks and is rested after sitting against the New York Rangers on Saturday; he hasn't played since Oct. 13. The Blues are allowing two goals per game so far this season and should have no trouble shutting down Vancouver in front of Allen, giving him a high chance at not only a win but a shutout as well. Allen likely will to be highly owned in DraftKings lineups, but is also the safest bet for Tuesday contests.

Video: MIN@STL: Allen turns aside breakaway with the glove

G - Cory Schneider, NJD ($7,700)

The New Jersey Devils have lost their first two games of the season, though Schneider has kept them in each of those contests. New Jersey desperately needs a win as to not fall behind in the Metropolitan Division standings and Schneider has a strong matchup against the Anaheim Ducks' 27th-ranked offense (2.00 goals per game in three games this season). Schneider has averaged 3.8 DraftKings points in two losses, so the high volume of shots the Devils allow should help his value should the team fail to get a win.

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