The Capitals come into this game with some serious injuries up-front to the likes of Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. The Panthers finally lost a game but they’ll be starting Sergei Bobrovsky in net tonight, who remains perfect on the season and faces a Capitals team who has now lost three of their last five games. The Capitals are thin up-front and have not been great on the penalty-kill, which could really hurt them against the elite special teams options Florida has. The moneyline looks worth taking on for Florida.
With the news that Jack Eichel has now been traded, a proverbial sigh of relief is likely flowing through the Sabres organization and it may even flow all the way to the ice. Buffalo takes on a Kraken squad who doesn’t have a ton of offensive weapons and has given up 3.3 goals per game thus far. These teams rate out fairly evenly in a lot of advanced stats and Buffalo has received solid goaltending from Craig Anderson to this point, who looks slated to start. At big plus money, the Sabres make for a good target tonight.
Top Line Stack
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
John Tavares ($6,900) — Mitchell Marner ($6,700) — Alex Kerfoot ($2,800)
The Maples Leafs take on the Lightning in an Eastern Conference battle between two of the top teams in hockey. The Leafs’ second line has been great of late as the reunion of Tavares and Mitch Marner has sparked some serious offensive output for the Leafs in their last few games. Both men come in at under $7,000 today on DraftKings, which makes them a cost-effective pairing. Marner has started to show more of that elite upside which made him such a great target for all of last season, as he’s now averaged over 4.0 shots on net per game over his last three contests and has five points over that span as well. To see him under names like Claude Giroux ($6,900) in the salary here makes him an easy target for DFS.
Pairing him with John Tavares here is also easy. Tavares has also benefited from the reunion and comes in with five points in his last three games. We could think about a power-play stack here with Toronto’s other big names, but the Lightning have maintained a solid penalty-kill of late. Stacking these two with their even strength line-mate in Alex Kerfoot—who has collected three points in the last two games playing with these two—keeps our cost down and gives us good exposure to a Toronto offense that comes in as solid home favorites and has a 3.0 implied puck total on this slate.
Superstar to Target
Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals ($6,400)
Barkov looks ultra cheap tonight against the Capitals and it’s likely a good idea to take advantage. The center has started out well with nine points in eight games and landed his first power-play goals of the season in the Panthers’ last game. Florida has been producing wins despite mediocre output from their special teams, so there’s perhaps even the potential for some positive regression in that area for Barkov, who ranks second on the slate at center just in terms of pure DKFP per game over the last 12 months at 13.3 per game. The Capitals carry the 10th worst penalty-kill in the league into this game and are banged up. Barkov’s an elite value to build around.
Value on Offense
Jeff Skinner, Buffalo Sabres at Seattle Kraken ($4,800)
The Sabres’ winger has really picked up his game to start the season. Playing on a top line with Tage Thompson ($5,800), Skinner heads into this game averaging 3.6 shots on goal per game thus far and has hit the DraftKings shots on goal bonus three times in his last nine games. The Kraken are still finding their legs in this league and enter having allowed 3.3 goals per game. Skinner’s elite shot on goal rate alone makes him a good value under $5K but the matchup definitely has multiple goal upside as well.
Reilly Smith, Vegas Golden Knights at Ottawa Senators ($4,800)
Smith will again be called upon to try and provide some offense for the Golden Knights, who remain without both of their top-two wingers. The team is coming off a bad loss to Toronto and also made a massive trade today for Jack Eichel, so perhaps that will build some good vibes on the ice. Smith is a solid play at this price regardless as he’s averaging 3.0 shots on goal per game and is still shooting well under his career shooting percentage for the season, so he is due for some positive goal regression. He’s got a great matchup against the Senators, who have allowed 18 goals in their last four games.
Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals ($8,300)
Bobrovsky is the confirmed starter for the Panthers today and will go looking for his seventh straight win on the season. He brings in a sparkling .944 save percentage into this game and shows up as a -150 favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook. DFS players may even look away from Bobrovsky given the perceived bad matchup against the Capitals, but Washington is without two of its best forwards and will have a tough time stopping the Panthers’ elite forward crew. It’s a good spot for Bobrovsky to grab another win and he may not even be that popular in GPPs either.
Jake Allen, Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Islanders ($7,100)
Allen is coming off a 22-save home shutout against the Red Wings and will get another weaker offensive opponent in the Islanders to work against. The Canadiens are rightfully the underdogs against the Islanders, but New York has endured struggles of its own to start this season. The Islanders are on a 13-game road trip thanks to delays in their new building and offensively have been just about as bad a Montreal. Allen’s only a +110 underdog so at $7,100, especially with him coming off a massive game, he looks like good value for those wanting to punt goalie tonight.
Value on Defense
Mikhail Sergachev, Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs ($4,100)
The Leafs/Lighting game will be an interesting matchup as both teams have elite offenses that are likely better than their current stats indicate. One Lightning player who has not started slow though is Sergachev, who comes into this game averaging 22 minutes of ice time and well over 3.0 blocked shots + shots on goal per game over the last month.
Sergachev is available at his lowest price-point in a few games so it’s a spot we should be looking to buy low on. He’s averaging well over a minute of power-play time per game and is someone you can stack with Tampa’s second-liners given his role on the second-unit power-play. He’s started the season producing better offensively (0.6 points per game) and makes for one of the best upside plays at under $5K tonight.
Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals ($6,000)
As you can tell, I’m pretty high on the Panthers’ players tonight and there may be no better Panthers target than Aaron Ekblad. The defenseman has been great for the Panthers to begin the season and comes into this game averaging a PPG on the season. From a DFS perspective, Ekblad has been an elite roster on most nights as he’s now averaging over 4.0 blocked shots + shots on goal for the first month and continues to excel in the power-play for Florida where he has four of his nine points.
Regardless of opponent, Ekblad would be a great roster tonight at this price, as it’s the lowest we’ve had on him since game one of the season. The salaries here are giving the Capitals too much credit in my eyes and this is a Washington team who has given up three or more goals in four of its last five outings (and the one exception was against Arizona). Ekblad is a great value and should be the first Panther player you consider on a slate where their best fantasy players all look underpriced.
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