Welcome to a fresh week of NHL DFS action! We’re going to go with an optimal lineup that could be used in both cash and GPPs tonight as it has a touch of chalk as well as some lower owned players to differentiate. Let’s go!
C – Sean Monahan (CGY) – $7,600 vs. BUF
We start this lineup with Monahan who is part of the cash portion of this lineup. Monahan enters tonight’s contest against the visiting Sabres with 21 goals and as many assists for 42 points across 45 games for the season. Monahan has scored seven of those 21 goals on the power play, and another can be anticipated tonight considering the Sabres own the NHL’s 28th-ranked road penalty kill at a paltry 73.8% for the season.
C – Max Domi (ARI) – $4,800 vs. NYI
I am thinking a lot of the ownership for this contest will go to the Islanders, but in fact it’s those Islanders that are the NHL’s worst defense, not the Coyotes. Although Arizona’s defense ranks 28th, it’s important to note the Islanders yield a whopping 3.72 goals per game on the road, also last in the NHL. Enter Domi who has only three goals on the season, but has taken 102 shots, so I fully expect that 2.9% shooting percentage to increase moving forward. He also had two assists in his last game so perhaps the confidence is back with Domi.
W – Johnny Gaudreau (CGY) – $8,000 vs. BUF
Back to the cash portion here with Gaudreau. He could very well be one of the highest owned players on tonight’s slate, but Johnny Hockey could have a big night against the visiting Sabres. He had a seven-game point streak snapped Saturday, however he had 13 points over those seven games. It’s quite likely he gets another streak started against the NHL’s 30th ranked defense tonight so might as well roster the diminutive superstar.
W – Christian Fischer (ARI) – $4,600 vs. NYI
Fischer is having a great rookie season, however he has understandably flown under the radar of an elite rookie class this season. Fischer enters tonight’s contest with 13 goals and 21 points on the season to go along with 96 shots on goal. Five of those 13 goals have come on the power play, and it’s possible he notches another power play tally on the top unit alongside Domi tonight. The Islanders carry a pitiful 69.2% penalty kill on the road into play tonight, good for last in the league.
W – Zach Parise (MIN) – $5,800 vs. OTT
Parise has missed all but eight games this season, so understandably it took him some games to get his legs underneath him. However, he scored his first goal of the season Saturday against Tampa Bay, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get on a roll here. After all, Parise is still very capable of production and gets a nice home matchup tonight against the struggling Ottawa Senators. Ottawa enters play tonight yielding 3.45 goals per game, good for 29th overall.
W – Jesper Bratt (NJ) – $4,800 vs. DET
Another one-off winger here with Bratt. Skating on the top line and top power play unit, Bratt has been consistently productive as of late. Bratt has six points over his last seven games and has at least one point in five of those seven contests. He isn’t a big shooter, but Taylor Hall is and Bratt skates alongside hall in all situations these days for the Devils. New Jersey gets a nice home matchup against the lowly Red Wings tonight who rank 23rd with 3.04 goals against per game.
D – Mark Giordano (CGY) – $5,900 vs. BUF
Giordano is a real nice cash portion play tonight as he brings a solid floor with him as well as a high ceiling against the visiting Sabres. He has eight goals and 21 points for the season, but Giordano also contributes in the peripheral categories with 117 shots to go with 94 blocked shots as well. He is the lone defenseman on the top power play unit as he completes a three-man power play stack here alongside Monahan and Gaudreau.
D – Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI) – $5,100 vs. NYI
Ekman-Larsson also completes a three-man power play stack here alongside Domi and Fischer. He also has eight goals for the season, but it’s nice to see that half of those goals have come on the power play. He also has 14 assists on the season, to go along with 122 shots on goal. He has three points over his last four games and is coming off a six-shot effort against the Blues, and I expect plenty of looks at both even strength and on the power play for the offensive-minded blueliner tonight.
G – Mike Smith (CGY) – $8,300 vs. BUF
Smith will be highly owned tonight, but that will just mean he is in a fantastic spot and we will take the safety of his matchup tonight. Smith has been lights out lately, allowing just one goal in each of his last three starts and no more than two goals over his last five. He brings a stout .925 Sv% with him into play tonight and will take on the NHL’s worst offense as the Sabres pot just 2.24 goals per game. He should get plenty of goal support at the other end so let’s roll with Smith while he’s hot.