The Maple Leafs have a ridiculous 4.4 implied team total for this game, and we should expect them to hit the over given the recent paths of these two teams. Toronto ranks fourth in goals per game and is also fourth in expected goal rate (xGF%) on the year. Matthews has 18 points in his last 10 games, with 10 of those being assists. We could aim for bigger odds in the multi-point game category, but he’s been more productive as a playmaker of late (at least one assist in seven of his last 10 games). The odds look more than fair on an over against such a weak opponent.
The Kraken’s offense has shown a little spunk of late, and they’ve certainly been buoyed by having Giordano in the lineup. The veteran defenseman heads into this game averaging 22.5 minutes of ice over his last 10 starts and has grabbed points in three of his last four games, as well. The Canucks have a terrible penalty kill — you could also look at Giordano +295 to score a point on the power play — and his recent production levels make this +130 line look a little too juicy to pass on.
John Tavares ($7,300) — William Nylander ($6,700) — Alex Kerfoot ($3,200)
A two-game late slate means we should be getting a little creative with our lineup-building techniques if we want to have any chance at lower-ownership on some of our plays. The Leafs have a massive implied team total at 4.4 goals, which of course means it’s very possible we’ll see one of their top two lines score two or more times.
Much like the Leafs’ top line, their second line also carries an elite center-winger duo who play together at even strength and on the power play. Tavares hasn’t been the fantasy stud Auston Matthews ($9,200) has of late, but that’s not stopped him from cashing in 10 real-life points in his last 10 games either. Tavares has hit the shots on goal bonus three times in his last 10 games, so the recipe for a big fantasy outing is certainly in tact against a weaker team like Montreal — who is fourth-last in shots against per game.
If you’re using Tavares, then you almost have to pair him with Nylander, who will also get less attention than his top-line counterpart in Mitchell Marner ($8,400) in daily fantasy hockey contests Monday. Like Tavares, Nylander is fully capable of breaking out to be the high fantasy scorer Monday and comes in having posted 17 or more DKFP in three of his last six starts. Using Kerfoot with these two keeps the salary levels down, too, so we can potentially “max out” on Toronto forwards and grab one of their top-line players. Kerfoot has grabbed seven points in his last 10 games and posted 12 or more DKFP in four of his last 10 games. His upside at these levels are as good as any punt you’ll find on this smaller slate.
Superstar to Target
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens ($9,200)
There’s no harm in going overboard on Leafs Monday. As mentioned, we have a small, two-game evening slate, and the other game (Seattle at Vancouver) features a handful of interesting, but relatively affordable daily fantasy targets. Matthews sets up as a player we’re really only fading for game-theory purposes than in big fields, where he’s likely to be owned by a large portion of the field. The issue with not using him, however, is that even on a lower-scoring slate, Matthews’ shot production could still make him one of the top five finishers at forward (even if he’s held off the score sheet).
Matthews has been held scoreless just once in his last 10 games and is averaging 5.3 blocked shots + shots on goal per game. The way to differentiate Monday is likely to just use as many Leafs as possible. Build around Matthews (who bounced back with 25 DKFP the last time he was held scoreless), and don’t be afraid to add in Leafs from all areas Monday, given the big spread and goal total for this game.
Value on Offense
Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks vs. Seattle Kraken ($4,400)
The Canucks haven’t played great of late, but their offense has started to get more consistent production form its second line. Pettersson comes into this game with 11 points scored in his last 10 games. He’s posted 15 or more DKFP in five of his last 10 games, showcasing the upside that once made him a player we’d often see go off in the $6K-range, or higher, on a nightly basis. Even if I like the Kraken for a potential upset, they’re not great on the penalty kill, where Pettersson has grabbed 13 of his 32 points this season. At under $4.5K, he’s the best value available at forward on Monday by a wide margin.
Calle Järnkrok, Seattle Kraken at Vancouver Canucks ($3,700)
The Canucks have allowed 19 goals against in their last four games and received suspect (at best) goaltending from Thatcher Demko ($7,900) of late — who has allowed 33 goals on the last 42 shots he’s faced. Seattle’s offense isn't scary, but some of their top-liners have produced nicely in the short term, with Jarnkrok leading that group. He has grabbed goals in three of his last five games and gets us exposure to the Kraken’s top power-play unit, which is in a great spot against the worst penalty kill in the league. Jarnkrok is a solid value target under $4K Monday.
Philip Grubauer, Seattle Kraken at Vancouver Canucks ($7,600)
The Kraken goaltenders have been awful this season, both in real life and for daily fantasy hockey. Although, we have seen some improved play of late from Grubauer, who is coming off one of his best games of the season — and also posted a shutout just four starts ago. The former Avalanche starter should take some confidence from nearly shutting down the hottest offense in hockey in his last start, and he gets a Canucks team that has been beaten badly in two of its last three home games.
The Kraken are +150 underdogs on DraftKings Sportsbook, but Vancouver has suffered through some terrible goaltending of late themselves and look ripe for a potential undoing vs. Seattle Monday. With rostership expected to be popular on the two main favorites in net, going to the slowly improving Grubauer looks like a very favorable strategy in big GPPs.
Value on Defense
Jeff Petry, Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs ($3,400)
The Canadiens aren’t going to the playoffs this year, but they have started to play a little more respectable of late. Montreal has scored at least three goals in each of its last three games and come into Monday on a two-game winning streak. Part of that resurgence has been due to improved play from Petry, who has suffered a mostly terrible season by his standards. Petry comes into this game having landed four points in his last three games and has landed the blocked shot bonus in three of his last four.
It’s hard to say why the big surge has come from Petry, but it’s worth riding for daily fantasy hockey purposes. Petry’s power-play time may have been cut (for now), but he’s still playing well over 22 minutes a game and looks like good value — considering he’s posted 14 or more DKFP in each of his last three games. Ride with him if you want to pay down on one of your defensive spots Monday.
Power Play Defensemen
Mark Giordano, Seattle Kraken at Vancouver Canucks ($5,400)
The Kraken haven’t been world beaters this year, but they have got a bit of a boost on special teams recently with the return of Giordano. He has landed three power-play assists in his last 10 starts and has upped his overall production to the point where he’s averaged 4.6 blocked shots + shots on goal over his last 10 starts.
At $5.4K, this price would be a decent bargain for any day, but with the Canucks as the opponent on a small, two-game daily fantasy hockey slate for President’s Day, Giordano looks like the perfect way to anchor your blue line. Vancouver continues to feature some of the worst special teams in hockey and is the only team in the league with a penalty kill that operates under 70% in efficiency. Giordano has a great shot at coming up with a point or more Monday and has the best floor-upside combo at his position.
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