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DraftKings lineup: Spezza as dangerous as ever

Stars veteran fresh off 30-30 season, elite in playoffs

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Fantasy Insider

DraftKings Daily Picks: Thursday

DraftKings Daily NHL Picks for Thursday

The NHL Tonight crew makes its picks for top DraftKings players for Thursday night including Marcus Johansson and Ryan Strome

  • 01:04 •

C - Jason Spezza, Dallas Stars ($6,100)

Spezza had his third straight season with at least 60 points and first 30-goal, 30-assist campaign since 2011-12. He excelled on Dallas' top power-play unit (24 power-play points) and exceeded 200 shots on goal (202). He had 10 points in his final 10 regular-season games, averages 3.9 DraftKings points per contest at home this season, and had three points, three blocks and 10 SOG in four games against the Minnesota Wild this season (3.4 DraftKings points per contest). The 32-year-old is no stranger to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with 52 points in 56 career postseason games.

C - Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers ($4,400)

Since Dec. 15, Couturier has 1.85 assists per 60 minutes, 17th in the League among players with at least 39 games in that time. He got to rest Sunday in the Flyers' season finale and is an X-factor in the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Washington Capitals on Philadelphia's second line. Couturier is priced 15th among centers on this four-game playoff night, and is a low-risk, high-reward option who could easily return value.

Video: WPG@LAK: Toffoli funnels home a one-timer

W - Tyler Toffoli, Los Angeles Kings ($5,800)

Toffoli was a huge component of the Kings' Stanley Cup run in 2014, with seven goals, seven assists and 65 SOG in 26 games -- including three goals and two assists in their miraculous seven-game series win against the San Jose Sharks. Ever since, the 23-year-old has become a top-six mainstay for the Kings, with 58 points, 213 SOG and an NHL-best plus-35 this season. He's a high-end DFS option alongside Jeff Carter, and has five points (three goals, two assists, 12 SOG) in five games against the Sharks this season.

W - Justin Williams, Washington Capitals ($5,200)

Speaking of that Kings' championship run in 2014, Williams returns to the postseason on a similar quest in his first season with the Capitals. He has 78 points and six game-winning goals in 115 career playoff games, and has four points in four games against the Flyers this season. He's in the midst of a seven-game goal drought, but will be relied upon heavily in a top-six role alongside either Nicklas Backstrom or Evgeny Kuznetsov in Game 1. He's tied for 18th in price among wings for Thursday.

Video: DAL@LAK: Eaves buries a loose puck, ties game in 3rd

W - Patrick Eaves, Dallas Stars ($3,800)

Eaves has 67 career playoff games of experience and is in a favorable spot entering the postseason in the Stars' top-six forward group. He has four goals in his past nine games with 17 SOG, and also is seeing more than two minutes per game on the power play in that stretch. He's priced below $4,000 and has one goal, two assists, one block and five SOG in four games against the Wild this season. With Tyler Seguin out for Game 1, expect Eaves to skate alongside Jamie Benn and Cody Eakin.

D - Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks ($8,600)

Burns had a brilliant fantasy season, finishing second among defensemen in scoring (75 points in 82 games) and as one of three Sharks among the League's top 11 in points (Joe Thornton, 82; Joe Pavelski, 78). His 27 goals were the most by a defenseman since Mike Green had 31 in 2008-09. Thirty of Burns' points came on the power play, and his 353 SOG ranked second in the NHL behind Alex Ovechkin (398). His DFS price is steep (second among skaters), but he's a huge threat at Los Angeles, whom he had four goals, three assists, 10 blocks and 22 SOG against in five regular-season games (6.8 DraftKings points per contest).

Video: NYI@WPG: Hamonic feeds de Haan, Isles tie game

D - Calvin de Haan, New York Islanders ($4,200)

The Islanders are expected to get Travis Hamonic back in the lineup Thursday in Game 1 against the Florida Panthers, but that's not the only DFS development on their blue line. In addition to 30 blocks and 11 SOG in his past 10 games, de Haan also has five assists for an average of 3.1 DraftKings points in the span. He had three assists, two blocks and five SOG in the Islanders' final two games of the regular season, and has been a high-floor DFS option when healthy this season. Kris Russell of the Stars is the only playoff participant with more blocked shots per game (3.4) in the regular season than de Haan (2.8).

G - Thomas Greiss, New York Islanders ($8,100)

Prior to allowing two goals on nine shots in the Islanders' regular-season finale Sunday with a depleted lineup in front of him, Greiss was on a roll with four straight wins and seven goals allowed in that span. He will make his first career playoff start against the Panthers, whom he's 1-0-0 against this season with two goals allowed on 25 shots. Greiss had a .924 save percentage in 18 road games this season, and brings a strong even-strength save percentage (.933, tied for fifth among goalies with minimum 40 games) into the series against Florida. The Panthers have struggled with the man-advantage (16.9 power-play percentage; 23rd in NHL), so the Islanders have a chance to win the series if Greiss limits them at 5-on-5.

NOTE: If you need a cheaper goalie to fit your price point, Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi ($7,400 each), depending on who starts for the Dallas Stars, has a favorable draw at home against the Minnesota Wild, who will be without Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek because of injuries.

UTIL - Joonas Donskoi, San Jose Sharks ($3,800)

Donskoi has found a home alongside Logan Couture in a secondary role for the Sharks, and had success in the regular season against the Kings with one goal, two assists, four blocks and six SOG (3.0 DraftKings points per contest). He finished sixth among rookies with at least 75 games played in points per 60 minutes (2.01), and is a value flier worth employing to round out your lineup.

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