We have five-games set for Monday for a plethora of weaker teams on the slate. Of the 10 teams in action, four of them are currently ranked in the bottom 10 of the league in GAA average as a team with Red Wings, Rangers, Kings and Devils all taking the ice tonight. With that in mind, there will be some tasty fantasy matchups to target for the players on the opposing ends of these teams, as offenses for teams like Vegas (at NYR) and the Islanders (at DET) will be in great spots to perform.
Top Line Stacks
VGK at NYR
Paul Stastny ($4,800) – Max Pacioretty ($7,500) – Mark Stone ($7,000)
The Golden Knights could definitely be construed as having two No. 1 lines in that they deploy the power-play time quite evenly between their top two units. Choosing which one to target can be frustrating at times, but against the Rangers, a team that gives up the second-most shots on goal per game, I like targeting the heavy shooting duo of Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, and hoping one (or both) pot a multi-goal night. Pacioretty currently sits third in the league in SOG for the year and comes in having hit the DK SOG bonus three times in his last 10 games. He’s due for more positive goal-scoring regression, too, as his season shooting percentage is still well below his career average. Pairing him with Stone, who’s a more opportunistic shooter, and the cheap Stastny makes sense here given that these three play together in all situations and face off against New York, a team that not only gives up a ton of SOG but also have the ninth-worst penalty kill in the league.
Superstar to Target
Patrick Kane ($7,700), CHI vs. STL– Kane enters tonight’s game on a massive heater, having scored eight goals and 16 points in his last 10 games. Despite that, and the fact he now ranks 12th overall in SOG, and he is averaging the most time on ice per game of any winger in the league, the Chicago winger remains just the fourth most expensive player on a slate with few elite studs to choose from. The match-up against the Blues may not be the greatest, as the defending Cup champs are again one of the better defensive teams in the league, but with Kane averaging 19.6 DKFP over his last 10 games and producing against all manner of opponent, taking advantage of his relative affordability on this short slate seems like a must.
Value on Offense
Alex Tuch ($3,600), VGK at NYR– Tuch’s had a horrid start to the season but he’s come on of late for Vegas and should be looked at as a potential value option for tonight. With nine SOG in his last three games, Tuch is still seeing power-play time every night, averaging just under two minutes of ice with the man advantage. The Rangers set up as a perfect opponent for Tuch (and most Vegas forwards) as they give up a ton of SOG and have a bottom-10 power play. Averaging over 16 minutes in his last four games, and showing an improved play of late, means Tuch can be targeted here.
Nikita Gusev ($4,000), NJD at BUF– Gusev has been a bit of a shining light in the horrid season for the Devils, as the former KHL star comes in with some strong advanced stats. Gusev’s role has grown over the last little stretch and he’s coming off his biggest volume game in his last 10 outings, as he played over 19 minutes in the Devils’ loss to the Rangers. Now playing consistent minutes on the first-unit power play, and going up against a Sabres team that sports the third-worst penalty-kill in the league, he’s a good, cheap way to get exposure to the Devils forwards tonight, a group who shouldn’t be overlooked given the match-up.
Malcolm Subban ($7,700), VGK at NYR– With Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,900) looking doubtful for tonight for personal reasons, it’s likely that Malcolm Subban will again get the start for Vegas. Subban looked sharp in his last start for the Golden Knights, stopping 35-of-36 shots in a win against the Coyotes, a game in which he recorded 30.0 DKFP, and enters this game on a two-game win streak. The Golden Knights have actually allowed the 14th most shots against this season, and Subban has now stopped 30 or more shots in his last two games. The Rangers have played well of late, but Subban’s recent play, and his sub-$8K price, definitely makes him a solid GPP play here for this short slate.
Robin Lehner ($7,600), CHI vs. STL– Lehner’s been the epitome of boom-or-bust in fantasy this year, as the new DraftKings scoring rules have really given more upside to goalies on teams like the Blackhawks, who allow a ton of shots against. Lehner has now faced 38 or more SOG in six of his last 10 starts and has hit the DK save bonus in all six of those games. While he’s been under 10 DKFP in four of his last 10 starts, Lehner’s also managed to post 26 or more DKFP in the other six. Despite facing off against the Western Conference-leading Blues tonight, Lehner and the Hawks are small home underdogs, making him a huge upside play as he’ll almost certainly approach 35+ saves if the Hawks do get the win.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Lehner will not play tonight due to flu-like symptoms.
Value on Defense
Brady Skjei ($3,500), NYR vs. VGK– The slate lacks a ton of great value options on defense but Skjei definitely stands out as a potential target for those who don’t want to spend up at the position. The youngster is averaging over two SOG per game and more than one blocked shot per game as well, giving him good peripheral production for his smaller salary. While he doesn’t have a defined power-play role, he’s been playing alongside the Rangers top defenseman in Jacob Trouba ($6,200) and is himself on pace for a 30+ point season, with four goals already in 24 games. Even in a less than ideal match-up, he’s a solid value option who’s hit 10 or more DKFP in four of his last six games.
Sami Vatanen ($5,300), NJD at BUF– Vatanen continues to be the main power-play option for the Devils on the blueline, and he comes into tonight’s game averaging just over three minutes of man-advantage time per game. The Devils’ power play has been lackluster all season, but on a short slate with plenty of bad teams, this unit is still one to target in DFS. The Sabres have the third-worst penalty kill in the league, and they’ve dropped all the way to 10th in shots allowed per game as well, allowing 32.3 shots per game. Vatanen comes in averaging two SOG per game and is in a great spot tonight to potentially nab some assists or a goal, giving him solid upside at just over $5K.
Colton Parayko ($4,700), STL at CHI– The Blues defenseman has finally started to get some regular power-play time of late and comes in averaging 2.32 SOG per game and just under two blocked shots per game as well. While Parayko has been a bit of a boom or bust selection this season, the booms have been significant as he’s posted 19 or more DKFP three-times in his last 10-games. Having seemingly taken over special teams duty from the flailing Justin Faulk ($3,200), the upside for a big game is here tonight for affordable Parayko as the Blackhawks allow the most SOG per game in the league and sport the 13th worst penalty-kill as well.
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