Welcome to a fresh week of NHL DFS! We have a real nice six-game slate on our hands this Monday evening so let’s go ahead and dive right in!
C – Nazem Kadri (TOR) – $5,800 vs. VGK
If there is any team that needs a big effort on tonight’s slate it’s the Maple Leafs. Toronto is coming off of back-to-back losses and given that their hot streak to begin the season is now a distant memory, this will be a hungry team tonight. Also, with Auston Matthews questionable for tonight’s game, Kadri could get big-time minutes for the Leafs. He is off to a real nice start this season with six goals and 11 points on 39 shots in 15 games and plays on the Maple Leafs’ top power play unit as well. He is developed into an excellent 200-foot center and is coming off a career high 32 goals and 61 points last season.
C – Patrick Marleau (TOR) – $5,300 vs. VGK
Mike Babcock has had the blender out the last few games with his lineup and moving Marleau to center was one of many moves involved. With Matthews questionable it’s rather unclear where Marleau will check in tonight, but regardless he should get plenty of opportunities offensively. He has potted five goals on 40 shots in 15 games this season and is a big part of the Maple Leafs second (or 1B) power play unit with Matthews and Nylander. Vegas is only giving up 2.85 goals per game to rank 13th, but their 32.8 shots against per game is tied for 21st and they are currently on their fourth string goaltender in Maxime Lagace.
W – James van Riemsdyk (TOR) – $6,300 vs. VGK
I am expecting a big offensive night for JVR. With five goals, ten points and 40 shots on goal in 14 games this season he is always an offensive threat, but after not having scored in his last six games he’s certainly due. The Maple Leafs’ defensive struggles are well documented, but let’s not forget they rank second with 3.80 goals per game, a number that increases to 4.14 on home ice to rank fifth. They also have the league’s sixth best power play at 24% on the season, so these Leafs could be a very dangerous team tonight at home.
W – Alex Ovechkin (WAS) – $8,800 vs. ARI
Ovechkin will be a high owned player on tonight’s slate, but fade at your own risk. The Capitals welcome the Arizona Coyotes to town tonight, a team that has improved as of late but still sports a 72.2% mark on the penalty kill (29th) and a 4.13 goals against per game mark which ranks 30th overall. Ovechkin is firing a ton of pucks on goal once again this season with 67 shots on goal across 14 games. After going five games without a goal, Ovi got back on track with his 11th goal of the season in his last game so let’s look for that to kickstart another torrid stretch for the Russian sniper.
W – T.J. Oshie (WAS) – $5,700 vs. ARI
Oshie and Ovi won’t get much, if any time together at even strength tonight but they will once again be key components on the Capitals’ lethal top power play unit. They are clicking at under 20% for the season, but it’s fair to say that the talent level on this unit is among the very best in the NHL. Oshie has been inconsistent in the shot on goal department this season, but he has six goals in 14 games while seeing 20 or more minutes of ice time per game fairly consistently. I’m looking for the Capitals offense to have a big night, especially on special teams.
W – Boone Jenner (CLS) – $4,700 vs. NYR
The Blue Jackets are missing Cam Atkinson up front which has given Jenner a bump up the lineup, and more importantly first unit power play time as well. Jenner is a great two-way forward who generates a lot of offense. He has 20 shots on goal in just seven games this season to go along with two goals, one of which has come on the power play. He’s also registered three assists and six blocked shots, giving him solid cross-category upside tonight against a Rangers team that has yielded 3.40 goals per game (25th) this season.
D – Morgan Rielly (TOR) – $4,800 vs. VGK
Completing our Maple Leafs’ four-man stack is Rielly who is taking a nice jump forward in his offensive game this season. He has already tallied 11 points in 15 games this season while taking 38 shots and blocking 12 as well. Rielly will skate on the Maple Leafs’ top power play unit with Kadri and van Riemsdyk as well tonight so a big night from that unit could mean a big night for this lineup.
D – John Carlson (WAS) – $5,500 vs. ARI
Being the lone defenseman on the Capitals’ top power play unit is a big deal. Also benefitting Carlson’s fantasy upside the thin Capitals’ defensive group as he is now seeing a whopping 27:12 of ice time per game on the Caps’ blueline. He has fired a ton of pucks on goal, 46 to be exact, and has racked up nine helpers in 14 games. While he is without a goal, there’s little doubt his first tally of the campaign is on the horizon, especially if he continues to shoot the puck at a 3.3 shots per game pace.
G – Jacob Markstrom (VAN) – $7,800 vs. DET
Markstrom has quietly been one of the NHL’s most consistent goaltenders this season. He enters play tonight sporting a nice .921 save percentage, but he also hasn’t given up more than two goals over his last six appearances. The Canucks aren’t giving him much goal support as he has just four wins in 10 appearances this season, but as a team they are giving up only 2.31 goals per game, the second best mark in the NHL. They are also killing 83.3% of their penalties, good for seventh overall. Look for another steady performance from Markstrom tonight against a Red Wings’ team that is scoring just 2.67 goals per game, good for 23rd overall.