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2020 NHL Picks: Fantasy Hockey Targets, Goalies, Values For August 16

Geoff Ulrich gets you ready for Sunday’s fantasy hockey main slate with his top line stacks, value plays and goalie options.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Vegas Golden Knights Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The main slate for today has three games going. The Blackhawks will look to avoid getting swept in their series with the Golden Knights, who went up 3-0 last night after a 2-1 win. Max Pacioretty ($7,600) returned to action in that game and played over 15 minutes but Paul Stastny ($4,700) missed Game 3 and is questionable for today’s game.

St. Louis will look to avoid going down 3-0 in their series against Vancouver. Tyler Toffoli ($5,400) remains questionable for the Canucks and Tyler Myers ($3,800) also left Game 2 early for Vancouver and is questionable for Game 3. The Flyers took a surprise loss in Game 2 of their series against Montreal and also endured some injuries with Travis Konecny ($5,600) also now questionable for Game 3. With three late games, lineups for the main slate don’t lock until 6:30 p.m. ET today so you should have plenty of time to digest any injury news that comes down the pipe early.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL $50K Sticks [$10K to 1st]

Top Line Stacks


Brayden Schenn ($4,900) – Jaden Schwartz ($5,000) – Vladimir Tarasenko ($6,100)

The Blues find themselves in unfamiliar territory here down 2-0 against the Canucks. Despite sustaining two losses already though, St. Louis’ first line remains an attractive target for DFS purposes here. The Canucks have allowed two power-play goals already and rated out below average in both penalty kill and shots allowed during the regular season. Jaden Schwartz has taken advantage of the Canucks’ tendencies in that regard as the forward as two goals and 12 shots already through just two games.

Brayden Schenn also picked up his play in Game 2, landing five SOG of his own. The missing piece to this line coming together for a big game thus far has Vladimir Tarasenko, who has zero points through four games. The long injury layoff is obviously still bothering Tarasenko but he’s played over 17 minutes in each of the Blues’ first two games and figures to get plenty more here with the season on the line. These three are affordable, rate out well from a projection and matchup standpoint and showed much better promise in Game 2. A big game today wouldn’t be shocking as St. Louis tries to get back in this series.

Superstar to Target

Max Pacioretty ($7,600), VGK at CHI

Pacioretty returned to action in Game 3 for Vegas in the team’s 2-1 win. The star winger played just over 15 minutes and had just one SOG — both marks which are well below his usual game averages. There’s no doubt that the heavy shooting winger comes with some risk as injury did already keep him out of one game this series. That said, the upside with Pacioretty is pretty humongous as this was a player who averaged over four SOG per game and was a bonus machine most nights on DK during the regular season. Chicago is also a great opponent for a shot-happy player like Pacioretty as they allowed the most SOG per game in the regular season. It’s a risky play but with Vegas hurting in a couple of other areas up front look for him to possibly get a boost in minutes in Game 4. His ownership should stay low making him a great leverage play in GPPs as many may choose to target the second line of Vegas which has been productive thus far.

Value on Offense

Kirby Dach ($3,700), CHI vs. VGK

Dach continues to play big minutes for the Blackhawks in this series, going for over 19 minutes in Game 3, where he collected a series high (for him) four SOG. The rookie has only collected one point for Chicago in this series but with the season on the line for Chicago here you could easily see Game 4 turn back into a more wide-open affair as we saw in Game 2. Dach makes for a solid value target on his own given his top-six role and power-play exposure but his real value lies in how easy he is to fit alongside Patrick Kane ($7,300) in contrarian Blackhawk stacks for GPPs.

Max Domi ($3,900), MTL vs. PHI

Domi came alive in Game 2 of the series with Philly, landing three assists in the Canadians’ 5-0 romp. Despite getting pushed down the depth chart a bit he’s seen his ice time go back over 14 minutes in each of the past two games now. This is still a player who averaged 0.61 points per game in 2019-2020 and is capable of a big outburst on any given night. Given how shaky the Flyers looked in Game 2, Domi makes for an attractive target in Game 3 and his third-line role may get him better matchups to capitalize on going forward. He’s a great one-off value target for all formats here.

Stud Goalies

Robin Lehner ($8,300), VGK at CHI

Make sure you check the starting lineups pre-game for this one as Lehner is expected to get the start but not guaranteed. The Golden Knights rotated to Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,300) who was solid in a 2-1 Game 3 win but are expected to go back to Lehner for Game 4. Whoever starts will be a great pay-up target as Chicago has managed to score more than one goal just once in three games now, while Vegas enters this game as the biggest favorites on the slate.

Carey Price ($7,500), MTL vs. PHI

Price hasn’t slowed down since stealing the play-in series against Pittsburgh. The veteran netminder is coming off a 30-save performance in Game 2, where the Flyers went 0-5 on the power play. Philly has looked great at times this season but the Flyers’ lack of finish may be a cause for concern here as the Flyers rated out with just the 14th-best power play in the regular season and now could be without Travis Konecny ($5,600) for Game 3. Price and Montreal are all only small underdogs heading into Game 3 and his $7.5K salary makes him too cheap not to consider for some GPP lineups on this condensed slate.

Value on Defense

Olli Maatta ($3,200), CHI vs. VGK

Maatta was on the list of targets here last night and produced another solid game, landing his third goal since the play-ins/playoffs began. The goal rate is likely unsustainable but Maatta’s production speaks to how aggressive he’s been of late on the offensive end. Just like last night though, at this price we may not even need Maatta to score if he keeps up his recent blocked shot rate, something that seems far more plausible given what kind of a player he is. Maatta’s collected 13 blocked shots over his past four starts and now hit the DK bonus in that area in four of seven bubble games. Considering how productive he’s been, he may even get a bump in playing time for Game 4 given the do-or-die scenario Chicago is now in.

Alec Martinez ($4,000), VGK vs. CHI

I brought notice to Martinez in this article a couple of nights ago and he promptly delivered a big Game 2 performance, landing four blocked shots and 17.7 DKFP. Martinez is a versatile defenseman but his value has skyrocketed with his increase in blocked shots of late as he’s now averaged over 3.2 blocked shots per game over his past 10 outings. He’s yet to get going on the power play but has still picked up two assists in this series and should continue to see big minutes in Game 4 as the Golden Knights try to close out the Blackhawks. Considering there’s been no increase in salary or change in his role since the last time I wrote him up, continue to target him at will in DFS.

Power-Play Defensemen

Alex Pietrangelo ($6,400), STL at VAN

The Vancouver power play has already allowed two goals in this series on nine power-play attempts for St. Louis, with Pietrangelo factoring in with assists on both of those goals. The Canucks had just the 16th-best penalty kill during the regular season this year and the Blues’ offense did look perkier in Game 2, registering 37 SOG. While there are multiple good targets on the high end, even on this small three-game slate, at defense tonight, Pietrangelo is in a great spot to continue his nice run of production. The stud defenseman has been much more aggressive offensively of late, landing nine SOG combined in his past two games and should be in a good spot to challenge for the DK SOG bonus again considering how poor the Canucks are at blocking shots. He makes for a good stacking target with any of the Blues’ cheaper PP1 forwards, who should all see heavy minutes in what is, essentially, an elimination game for the Blues.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.