NOTE: Player prices are for two-game contests spanning Wednesday, May 25 (one game) and Thursday, May 26 (one game).
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues ($7,600)
Tarasenko, who has the third-most goals (77) in the past two regular seasons combined and had the highest career playoff goals-per-game average among active players as recently as the Western Conference First Round, has been completely shut down by Marc-Edouard Vlasic and the rest of the fast, physical Sharks. Tarasenko has one block and 12 shots on goal in five games, minimal DraftKings impact considering his steep price tag ($7,600-7,900 range this series). The Blues have adjusted his line this series; he's back with usual center Jori Lehtera ($3,700) but now has rookie playoff scoring leader Robby Fabbri ($4,100) on his opposite wing. Tarasenko is well overdue for a breakout, and the Blues' hopes of forcing a Game 7 could very well hinge on him coming through. If you're in a large DFS contest, Tarasenko's ownership will probably be lower than any other high-priced skater in the two remaining series. Drafting him alongside affordable Lehtera and/or Fabbri is risky, but could pay massive against-the-grain dividends.
SPEND UP FOR:
Joe Pavelski ($8,100) and/or Joe Thornton ($5,900)
The Pavelski-Thornton duo has been elite for years and is on pace to be as productive a point pair as we've seen in the past five postseasons.
Video: SJS@STL, Gm5: Pavelski buries one-timer for PPG
DEFENSEMAN TO WATCH:
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks ($5,100)
Vlasic has been the focal point of San Jose's defensive scheme to neutralize Tarasenko, but has also become the complete package in terms of DraftKings production per dollar. He broke out for one goal, one assist, four blocks and four SOG for 9.0 DraftKings points in Game 5, and his peripheral category coverage has been excellent in his past 10 games (eight points, 29 blocks and 21 SOG; 4.2 DraftKings points per contest). As well as the pair of Brent Burns and Paul Martin has played, Vlasic leads all skaters who made it past the first round in blocks per game (3.1) and may be the best-kept secret in DFS.
Troy Brouwer, St. Louis Blues ($4,400)
Don't expect the Blues to go quietly in Game 6, and Brouwer has been their most reliable goal scorer this postseason. They are 6-1 when he scores a goal this postseason, and he has three in his past two games. He has nine points in his past 10 games with eight blocks and 22 SOG, and 31 of his 52 points this regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs combined have come on the road. He ranks fourth in the playoffs in goals behind Joe Pavelski (12), Nikita Kucherov (11) and Phil Kessel (nine), and remains a lineup lock for such a low price (15th among wings).
Video: SJS@STL, Gm5: Brouwer swats home goal for the lead
Chris Tierney, San Jose Sharks ($2,600)
Tierney has been an unsung hero for the Sharks this postseason, especially in the Western Conference Final. He has goals in back-to-back games and also had two goals in Game 6 against the Nashville Predators in the second round. He's centering the third line with Joel Ward, who scored two goals in Game 5 against the Blues and has a knack for scoring big goals in series-clinching games over the years. Tierney's gutsy effort late in Game 5 resulted in an empty-net goal after the Sharks played keep away, and the fact that he was on the ice that late in a crucial game is telling about his role. Priced $100 above the DraftKings minimum, he's a cheap flier who can either be rolled out with Ward to make room for more expensive options around your lineup, or on his own in your UTIL spot.
BETTER GOALIE OPTION:
Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks ($8,300)
The Blues are turning back to Brian Elliott for Game 6, but it just might be too late to right their wrongs in a series that has seen the Sharks dominate possession and dictate play in four of five games. San Jose has only pulled Jones in favor of backup James Reimer once (Game 4 against Blues), but Jones responded with a win and three goals allowed on 21 shots faced in Game 5 for 3.6 DraftKings points. That's low for a winning goalie, but this has been a high-scoring series with low shot volumes on each side. Jones is 6-2 at SAP Center this postseason with a .938 save percentage and two shutouts, one of which came in Game 3 against the Blues. Trust Jones and the Sharks, who have had the most stable goaltending situation of the four remaining teams, to finish the job at home and book their first-ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
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