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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for May 19

Neil Parker gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Wednesday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings, which starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.

It’s a busy four-game slate in the NHL on Wednesday, and the league scheduled it right by staggering all four start times. The Bruins and Capitals kick-start the action at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by Nashville-Carolina at 8:00 p.m. ET, Winnipeg-Edmonton at 9:00 p.m. ET, and St. Louis-Colorado at 10:30 p.m. ET. Note, the regular-season finale between the Flames and Canucks is not included on the main DraftKings NHL slate. The Avalanche are the largest DraftKings Sportsbook favorite on the docket by a wide margin with the Hurricanes, Bruins and Oilers also receiving notable chalk, as there isn’t a road favorite on the docket.

Top Line Stacks

Avalanche vs. Blues

Gabriel Landeskog ($6,500) - Nathan MacKinnon ($8,600) - Mikko Rantanen ($8,100)

Colorado’s No. 1 line combined for 21 shot attempts and 11 high-danger scoring chances during Monday’s win, as St. Louis didn’t have an answer for MacKinnon, Rantanen and Landeskog. Things could definitely flip on Wednesday, and the cap hit is steep, but MacKinnon, Rantanen and Landeskog also have long-standing chemistry with 6.21 goals per 60 minutes in the postseason over the past three years.

Bruins vs. Capitals

Taylor Hall ($5,300) - David Krejci ($4,500) - Craig Smith ($3,800)

A more affordable line to target, Krejci, Hall and Smith totaled 24 shot attempts and 13 high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5 during Monday’s win. They’re up to 37 shots attempts — 17 of the high-danger variety — at 5-on-5 through the first two games of the series and only scored once for an unsustainably low 5.6% shooting percentage. Even if there is notable regression to their shot share and volume, they’d still be dangerous.

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Superstar to Build Around

Connor McDavid, EDM vs. WPG ($9,000) - While it’s definitely low-hanging fruit highlighting McDavid in this space, it’s impossible to overlook his dominance against the Jets this season or his form entering the playoffs. Plus, he is the current superstar prototype. McDavid racked up seven goals, 15 assists and 41 shots through nine meetings with Winnipeg this year, and he capped off the regular season with a 10-26-48 line through his final 14 showings.

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Value on Offense

Anthony Mantha, WAS at BOS ($4,900) - Projected to continue skating on the No. 1 line and top power-play unit, Mantha is positioned to reward on his manageable salary. He’s already made an impact in the first two contests with an assist in Game 1 and seven shots in Game 2. Additionally, the first-year Capital has now gone 12 games and 35 shots without finding the back of the net, so look for puck luck to turn in his favor soon.

Kailer Yamamoto, EDM vs. WPG ($2,800) - Expected to return from a two-game absence due to an undisclosed injury, Yamamoto’s salary is way down. He struggled down the stretch with just a single assist through his final 10 regular-season games, and he also hasn’t scored in any of his past 13 contests. He’s expected to return to a line with Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, though, and the trio has clicked for a rock-solid 4.92 goals per 60 minutes over the past two seasons.

Stud Goalies

Philipp Grubauer, COL vs. STL ($8,500) - Even at his lofty salary, Grubauer is probably the safest option in the goaltender pool. He turned away 22 of 23 shots in Monday’s win, and Colorado only allowed five high-danger scoring chances to the Blues while also driving possession with a 65.7 Corsi For percentage at 5-on-5.

Alex Nedeljkovic, CAR vs. NSH ($8,300) - After posting a high-end .932 save percentage and 1/90 GAA through 15 appearances during the regular season, the rookie stopped 22 of 24 shots in Carolina’s Game 1 win. Additionally, after allowing the fifth fewest goals per game during the regular season, the Hurricanes held Nashville to just five high-danger scoring chances on Monday.

Value on Defense

Matt Grzelcyk, BOS vs. WAS ($4,500) - Considering Grzelcyk recorded two assists and eight shot attempts in Game 2 and finished the regular season with a 19th-ranked 1.64 points per 60 minutes among regular blueliners, this salary looks a little short. Grzelcyk is also locked in as the power-play quarterback of the No. 1 unit.

Neal Pionk, WPG at EDM ($4,400) - A cross-category contributor, Pionk is projected to return to quarterbacking the No. 1 power-play unit after collecting 25 power-play points last season. He finished the 2021 regular season with 32 points, 100 shots and 74 blocks through 54 games, which affirms his ability to post fantasy points in multiple ways.

Power-Play Defenseman

Tyson Barrie, EDM vs. WPG ($6,000) - The Jets finished the regular season with a middle-of-the-road 80.5% penalty-kill percentage while allowing the most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes in the league. Considering the soft matchup, Barrie is definitely a solid option after posting the second most points per 60 minutes among regular defensemen this season and racking up 23 power-play points through just 56 games.

Torey Krug, STL at COL ($4,600) - A potential contrarian target, Krug has collected a respectable nine points, 16 shots and 11 blocks through the past eight games dating back to the regular season. He’s a proven power-play quarterback, and his improved production highlights his fantasy upside.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $60K Kick Save [$20K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is naparker77) 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.

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