I haven’t exactly lit the world on fire with my DraftKings NHL DFS Picks over the last couple of weeks, something I am certainly looking to change this week. That begins with a strong lineup tonight.
We have a five-game Monday night slate on our hands tonight. Our lineup is going to consist of a couple of high-floor, high-ceiling stacks, but also a very low-cost mini-stack complete with a roll of the dice goaltender who could provide nice value at a dirt cheap price.
Let’s go ahead and check out the picks as I look to get the week started on the right note!
C – Mika Zibanejad (NYR) – $6,300 vs. OTT
Considering the super-favorable home matchup tonight, Zibanejad’s price is rather attractive against the visiting Senators. Zibanejad will enter tonight’s contest with seven goals and 12 helpers in 24 games on the season, but the 25-year-old has also fired 84 shots on goal. The result is a small 8.3% shooting percentage, well under his career mark of 11.2%. We also need to keep in mind that he is going to take on one of the league’s very worst defenses tonight. The Senators currently check in ranked dead last with 4.35 goals against per game. That’s not only the worst mark in the league, it’s the worst mark in the league by an astounding 0.73 goals per game as the Panthers are second-worst with 3.62 goals against per game. Furthermore, the Sens have yielded a whopping 5.40 goals per game on the road, which is last by a shocking 1.22 goals per game. He may very well have the best matchup on the slate tonight.
C – Aleksander Barkov (FLA) – $6,100 vs. NJ
Considering the matchup he faces tonight at home against the Devils, I also think that we are getting Barkov at an extremely reasonable price tonight. I mentioned above that the Senators are the league’s worst road defense by 1.22 goals per game. Well, the team that sits 1.22 goals per game better, but still tied for 30th in the league, are these very New Jersey Devils with 4.18 goals against per game on the road. Combine this with the fact that the Panthers rank 11th with 3.50 goals per game at home this season and we have ourselves a beauty of a matchup. He enters play tonight with very similar stats to Zibanejad as he has seven goals and 11 assists in 21 games on the season, but Barkov is also logging a whopping 22:39 of ice time per game, a massive number for a forward. The Panthers have scored at least four goals in four straight home games, so let’s lock in their top center tongiht in a very favorable home matchup.
W – Chris Kreider (NYR) – $6,600 vs. OTT
Kreider has been incredibly productive lately as he and Zibanejad could very well be the highest-scoring duo on this slate tongiht considering the matchup against the visiting Senators. Kreider has potted six goals over his last 10 games while adding five assists in that span for 11 points over his last 10 contests. Kreider had 16 goals in an injury-shortened 58 games played last season, however he’s already knocking on the door of that total in just 24 games this season with 12 goals to go along with eight assists on 68 shots on goal. His 17.6% shooting percentage is a luitlte high at this point, but I’m not sure this matchup is the night to start fading the 27-year-old. He is a must-have in cash games tonight but he can also be used in this optimal-type lineup that can go both cash and GPP on this short slate.
W – Mike Hoffman (FLA) – $7,300 vs. NJ
Another must-have in cash games tonight if Hoffman who could team up with Barkov for some serious offenses against the leaky road defense of the New Jersey Devils. Hoffman had a whopping 18-game point streak snapped in Friday’s loss to the Hurricanes, but he wasted no time in getting back on the scoresheet with a goal and an assist in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Blackhawks. The end result is 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points in 21 games for the first-year Panther who is loving his new digs in Florida. Hoffman is also dynamite on the power play with five goals and five assists on the man advantage. Hoffman is slated to skate with Barkov at both 5v5 and on the Panthers’ top power play unit tonight, giving them a big opportunity to team up for some production in a favorable matchup. You have to like the ceiling this duo provides tonight.
W – Josh Leivo (TOR) – $2,500 vs. BOS
We are going to roll with a couple of dirt-cheap Maple Leafs tonight in their home matchup against the banged up Bruins tonight. We have used Leivo a couple times in this lineup lately in an attempt to extract some big-time value out of him, however we’ve been unsuccessful. That said, Leivo did provide that value to those who rolled the dice on him Saturday as he tucked his third goal of the season in the Leafs’ 6-0 route of the Flyers. Although it was just his third of the year, it was also his second goal over his last six contests with 12 shots on that span as well. He’s a bottom-six forward on a loaded Maple Leafs offense, but Leivo also skates on the Maple Leafs’ second power play unit where he’s averaged 1:46 of ice time per game. The floor isn’t high by any means, but I am going to mini-stack him with another Maple Leaf tonight in a matchup against the Bruins on home ice.
D – Keith Yandle (FLA) – $5,800 vs. NJ
We have completed stack number one here with the addition of Yandle. The Panthers’ blueline is enjoying another top-notch season this year after a career resurgence a season ago. Yandle has tallied 20 points in 21 games on the season while 13 of those points have come on the Panthers’ top power play unit where he will skate with Barkov and Hoffman above. He is simply one of the most consistent defenseman in terms of points as he has tallied at least one point in nine of 12 November games while he has been held pointless in just five of his 21 games all season. In a matchup like the one he has tonight against the visiting Devils, that type of production is just too hard to ignore, especially considering he has nine points in eight home games this season. Look for the 32-year-old to keep up the good work as part of this three-man stack tonight.
D – Neal Pionk (NYR) – $5,700 vs. OTT
Pionk’s price is speaking to how good he has been this season and how good his matchup is tonight against a horrendous Senators defense. Pionk got called up for 28 games last season, and he showed a preview of what he is capable of with 14 points in those 28 games. He’s already bested that point total this season with 15 points in just 22 games to go along with 38 shots on goal. The nice thing about Pionk tonight is the fact that he will skate alongside Zibanejad and Kreider at both 5v5 and on the Rangers’ top power play unit where he resides as the lone defenseman. He’s also been very consistent with nine points, including all four of his goals for this season, in 12 games for the month of November. I have high hopes for this three-man group tonight.
G – James Reimer (FLA) – $7,200 vs. NJ
There is risk in rostering Reimer considering the 3.43 GAA and a .894 Sv% he sports on the season, however I don’t mind the roll of the dice in this one tonight considering the price. First, he’s actually been better in November with a .907 Sv% in six appearances. Second, he is taking on a Devils team that is not only bad on the road defensively but also on offense as well with just 2.27 goals per game on the road, good for 26th league-wide. Finally, I like the fact that the Panthers are listed as -140 favorites in this one, giving me some confidence that Reimer can indeed pull off the win with some of the expected goal support mentioned above. I’ll take the value upside tonight at a very attractive price in a very attractive matchup.
UTIL – Tyler Ennis (TOR) – $2,500 vs. BOS
Considering both of these Maple Leafs players are at the minimum cost and both see a little bit of power play time together while also skating together at even strength, I don’t mind using them in an effort to fit a couple of high-upside stacks into this lineup. Ennis and Leivo actually have the exact same stat line with three goals and two assists on the season, although Ennis has done his in 21 games and Leivo has skated in 24. Clearly, there isn’t a ton of production to speak of here, but Ennis is seeing 1:38 of average power play time this season alongside Leivo and his 1:46 mark. The Bruins are still dealing with a plethora of injuries to their blueline so I will look to take advantage of that fact with a couple low-cost members of the league’s fourth-ranked offense tonight on home ice.