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NHL Picks: DraftKings Fantasy Hockey DFS Cheat Sheet for Lightning vs. Avalanche on June 26

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for the Stanley Cup Final Game 6 fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday features Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final and a single-game NHL slate, which begins at 8:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings lineups.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL Showdown $100K Kick Save [$25K to 1st] (COL vs TB)

Captain’s Picks

Cale Makar ($15,600)

Despite avoiding elimination in Game 5, Tampa Bay still had no answer for Makar, who scored again in the losing effort. The defenseman is still the overwhelming favorite for the Conn Smythe (although he’ll need Colorado to win to cash in) and has posted 5.0 shots on net in each of his past three games. He’s easily been the Avalanche’s best fantasy skater to target for showdown purposes, landing 25.0 or more DKFP in three of his past four starts, as well. Look for him to push for 30.0-plus minutes of ice time tonight as Colorado tries to avoid having to play in a winner-take-all Game 7.

Andrei Vasilevskiy ($14,100)

Using Vasilevskiy tonight won’t be a contrarian move. The Russian goalie has posted save percentages of .940 or better in two of his past three starts and hasn’t lost a playoff series in over two years now. The Avalanche have also now fired 37 or more shots on net in four of the five games in this series. It’s been an up and down battle between the Colorado offense and Tampa Bay’s star netminder, but Vasilevskiy has posted over 26.0 DKFP in two of his past three starts and is flawless in elimination games over the past three years. There’s no harm in eating some chalk up top in Showdown lineups and being contrarian elsewhere.

Darcy Kuemper ($14,700)

The last three times Kuemper has incurred a loss in these playoffs he’s bounced back with a win. He also posted a .949 save percentage in Colorado’s last game in Tampa Bay, stopping 37 of 39 shots faced. Tampa Bay may have an edge in net but we can hardly fault Kuemper, who has rarely posted two poor games in a row in these playoffs. Tampa Bay outshot Colorado in Game 4 and there’s a chance that Kuemper’s upside is even better than his counterpart’s in this spot. As a daily fantasy hockey target, using Kuemper in the captain’s spot feels like a great contrarian move given we should be expecting a lower-scoring game and most will drift toward Vasilevskiy when choosing between the two goalies.

Flex Options

Victor Hedman ($8,800)

One thing we got right in Game 5 was the fact that Hedman looked like a great flex option given how he was progressing in this series. The defenseman has played over 25 minutes in each of the past two games and has a hefty 12 shots on net for Tampa Bay over those starts. To be frank, he’s been perhaps their best offensive weapon outside of Nikita Kucherov ($13,500 CP; $9,000) and should continue to see plenty of minutes in the waning moments of this series. With everything on a line, a tighter, lower-scoring game should be expected tonight. If Hedman actually does break through and score for Tampa, his fantasy totals could easily push for high scorer on the slate. He’s a captain’s candidate too, for that matter, but is a near must for flex purposes given his low salary and how well he scores throughout the different stat categories.

Bowen Byram ($5,000)

Another defenseman who feels like he’ll be extra valuable today is rookie Bowen Byram from Colorado. Byram has had an excellent postseason for Colorado and continues to impress from a real-life standpoint. Lately, he’s been flashing more upside for daily fantasy hockey purposes too, landing 10 shots on net over his past three games. With the past two games yielding just five goals, Byram’s ice time and peripheral stats are something you should value heavier tonight. His upside isn’t quite equal to Colorado’s other studs on the backend but his salary will let you stack one of the big lines or captain whichever goalie you like.

Andre Burakovsky ($2,000 - questionable)

Burakovsky was a key figure in helping Colorado get out to an early 2-0 series lead. The Russian scored three points in the first two games, before leaving midway through Game 2 with an injury. He’s questionable to return tonight, but did fly with the team to Tampa Bay, which is an excellent sign that he’ll be active for Game 6. His presence on the second or third line gives Colorado some much-needed depth down their forward chain and he is a player who Tampa Bay has had no answer for in this series. You’ll need to wait for lock to get confirmation, but if he does play don’t be afraid to take the min-price salary on offer. If Burakovsky sits, looking to veteran Andrew Cogliano ($2,000) makes sense, as he’s been one of the only other consistent performers from the bottom six for Colorado and would undoubtedly see a few extra shifts with Burakovsky out.


Andrei Vasilevskiy ($9,400) — Nikita Kucherov ($9,000) — Ondrej Palat ($7,400)

One nice thing about playing for a Tampa Bay win is that we almost certainly know who the main contributors will be. In the two Tampa Bay wins both Kucherov and Vasilevskiy have accumulated 20.0 or more DKFP. Palat hasn’t shown as much upside, but he’s playing big minutes alongside Kucherov and has scored three goals in the series. Any win by Tampa Bay likely sees these three contribute in big fashion again with Vasilevskiy likely carrying the most upside (and therefore making him the best captain’s candidate) thanks to Colorado’s high shot volume.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL Showdown $100K Kick Save [$25K to 1st] (COL vs TB)

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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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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