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Fantasy picks: Phil Kessel affordable for Game 1

Penguins right wing among April 12 DFS targets against Blue Jackets

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This article includes expensive and value plays and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.

 

TOP CENTER: Patrice Bergeron, BOS ($7,100)

The Boston Bruins return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a two-year absence, and Bergeron has 66 points, 275 shots on goal and is plus-30 in 95 postseason games, including deep runs in 2011 (Stanley Cup) and 2013 (Cup Final loss). He should bring a heavy shot volume (302 SOG, 3rd in NHL) against the Ottawa Senators in Game 1, and playing with high-scoring Brad Marchand provides a high ceiling. After a slow start, Bergeron had 43 points and 186 SOG over his final 45 games.

Video: BOS@CHI: Bergeron beats Crawford short side

 

VALUE CENTER: Brandon Dubinsky, CBJ ($4,600)

Dubinsky, as he has in the past, will match up against Sidney Crosby when the Columbus Blue Jackets visit the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1. Dubinsky has a stellar track record against Pittsburgh with six points and five SOG in four games this season (4.6 DraftKings points per game) and six points in six postseason games against them in 2014. Dubinsky had 60 blocked shots, tied for 27th among forwards.

 

TOP WING: Phil Kessel, PIT ($5,700)

Kessel was phenomenal for the Penguins in the 2016 postseason with 22 points and 98 SOG in 24 games. He had three points and 18 SOG in four games against the Blue Jackets and was better than a point per game at home in the regular season (42 points in 41 games). His price tag is surprisingly moderate coming off a three-game point streak to end the regular season, and the return of Evgeni Malkin ($7,900) means more success should be on the horizon for his frequent linemate.

Video: PIT@TOR: Kessel rifles opening goal past Andersen

 

VALUE WING: Mark Stone, OTT ($5,100)

Stone has not scored for the Senators in eight games since returning from a leg injury, totaling four assists and 14 SOG. He was productive against the Bruins with two points, four blocks and six SOG (3.3 DraftKings points per game) in three regular-season games. He was on a line with Mike Hoffman and Kyle Turris at practice Tuesday, a spot where he can end his goal drought. Stone had 54 points in 71 regular-season games and plays on the first power-play unit (14 power-play points).

 

TOP DEFENSEMAN: Oscar Klefbom, EDM ($5,300)

Klefbom dominated the San Jose Sharks with six points, 10 blocks and 11 SOG in five regular-season games (4.9 DraftKings points per game). The Edmonton Oilers play the first postseason game at Rogers Place on Wednesday and should be up for the task, especially if the Sharks are without Joe Thornton (lower body) and/or Logan Couture (mouth). Klefbom finished the season with eight points over his final six games and offers power-play exposure to Art Ross Trophy winner Connor McDavid (100 points).

Video: DAL@EDM: Klefbom scorches home one-timer for PPG

 

VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Trevor Daley, PIT ($3,600)

Daley is an affordable defenseman with fantasy sleeper upside this postseason. Daley, Justin Schultz and Mark Streit will be tasked with leading the Penguins by committee in the absence of Kris Letang (neck). Daley scored 15 of his 19 points this season at home. His coverage of blocks (83) and shots (84 SOG) through 56 games makes him a high-floor second defenseman against the Blue Jackets.

 

GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Cam Talbot, EDM ($8,000)

From Feb. 14 to the end of the regular season, Talbot went 15-6-1 with a .918 save percentage and two shutouts for the Oilers. He was 23-12-3 with a .923 SV% and three shutouts at home in the regular season, and is 3-1-1 with a .912 SV% against the Sharks (4.6 DraftKings points per game). He tied Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals for the NHL lead in wins (42) and looks to make a statement in his first Stanley Cup Playoff start.

Video: ANA@EDM: Talbot blockers aside Perry's breakaway bid

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