Fantasy Corner: Pacific Division First Round DFS Sleepers

Things tend to tighten up in daily fantasy once the playoffs hit, making it more difficult to nail down complete lineups. Stars from playoff teams are all going to come with a high salary, meaning it’s imperative to find some sneaky inexpensive plays to fill out lineups. This betting guide offers some sleepers to plug into your daily lineups from the three Pacific Division teams in this postseason’s first round.

Center: Phillip Danault, Los Angeles Kings

Phillip Danault has had a pretty good run of form against the Edmonton Oilers the past few seasons. He notched a goal and two assists in his four games against the Oilers this season and has four goals and seven assists in his last 17 games against them. The Kings will need continued production against a high-flying Oilers squad, and Danault should provide that scoring and be moderately priced in daily fantasy formats.

Phillip Danault Los Angeles Kings
Phillip Danault, Los Angeles Kings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Danault also ended the regular season on a sizzling hot streak. Over the last month, the Kings forward scored six goals and six assists across the final 13 games. He also had a five-game goal streak during that stretch. Danault failed to score a point only twice in those 13 games. He also was part of the Montreal Canadiens team that went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final a year ago, meaning he has the playoff experience to pull from.

Wing: Evander Kane, Edmonton Oilers

Evander Kane was one of the best mid-season acquisitions of 2021-22, and his success with the Edmonton Oilers should continue into the postseason. Kane racked up 22 goals and 17 assists in 43 games for the Oilers this season and had a decent showing in three games against the Los Angeles Kings, tallying a goal and two assists in those contests.

Kane also had four goals and four assists against the Kings last season, and he’s going to be a crucial piece of Edmonton’s success going forward. He delivers the threat of depth scoring every time he’s on the ice, and his success the past few seasons against the Kings and netminder Jonathan Quick is something that should make him a solid DFS play in the first round this season.

Defense: Rasmus Andersson, Calgary Flames

Rasmus Andersson is having the best season of his NHL career, and he’s been solid against the Dallas Stars all season. The sixth-year defenseman’s scoring ability will never be confused with Johnny Gaudreau’s, but Andersson has scored twice as many points against the Stars this season than Gaudreau has.

Rasmus Andersson Calgary Flames
Rasmus Andersson, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Andersson also gets time on the power play, scoring half of his goals this season with the man advantage. He logs more ice time than any Flames skater and is second on the team in blocked shots with 125. He’ll always log a number of minutes, and he has the productivity against the Stars that points to him being one of Calgary’s top performers in this first-round matchup.

Goaltender: Mike Smith, Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have had to bounce back and forth between goaltenders this season, but Mike Smith has to be their go-to netminder in the first round. Smith won both of his starts against the Kings this season, sporting a nifty 2.00 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage. He made at least 30 saves in each of those victories.

The Oilers are also favored to win the series, meaning Smith is likely lined up for some victories. Smith is also one of the hottest goaltenders in the league entering the playoffs. He’s won nine straight starts and has given up more than two goals just twice during that stretch, which also includes a pair of shutouts. He’s playing well, should see some volume, and has a great record against Los Angeles this season. All that stacks up to make Smith a viable, less expensive option in the first round.

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