With the All-Star break on the horizon the NHL has jammed 35 games into the next four days, starting with a really exciting six-game Monday slate.
Gabriel Landeskog ($6,300)-Nathan Mackinnon ($7,800)-Mikko Rantanen ($6,500)
Given the DFS community’s inclination to stack against the Sabres, you can expect the Flames’ top line of Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland to be close to chalk tonight. As a result, Mackinnon and his band of expensive buddies make for a sneaky-good play. The Avs’ top line has dominated at even strength this season, posting a 59.7 HDCF% together on the year, as well as a 70.7 GF%. It’s no secret the Maple Leafs are a high-event hockey team; they’re a bottom-five team in shots against and bottom-ten in high-danger chances allowed. Mike Babcock lives and dies by his line-matching, and with the last change at his disposal tonight, you can expect him to stick his ‘shutdown’ line of Marleau-Kadri-Komorov on Colorado 1. Despite their perceived defensive abilities, this line has shown little ability to sustain meaningful possession in the opponent’s zone, which means Landeskog-Mackinnon-Rantanen should see plenty of offensive zone time this evening. This line has been insanely productive lately and it’s become impossible to get them at reasonable ownership, which is why fading the Flames in favour of the Avs’ could be so rewarding tonight. If you want to make it a full stack, let your remaining budget decide between Erik Johnson ($5,400) and Samuel Girard ($3,300).
Anthony Beauvillier ($4,200)-Mathew Barzal ($6,500)-Jordan Eberle ($5,900)
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the Islanders second line and it certainly won’t be the last. I mentioned last week that the days of Barzal being priced at sub-$6,000 were coming to an end, and a cushy match-up against the Coyotes has helped drive his price all the way up to $6,500. I’m here to tell you, if you can believe it, that Barzal and his linemates are still under-priced. Not to rehash too much of what I already said last week, but the Josh Bailey injury means two-thirds of this line is on the Isles’ top powerplay unit alongside John Tavares, and Beauvillier has climbed onto the second unit in the process. Expect Tavares to receive the bulk of the even strength ice-time against the Coyotes top pair of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jason Demers, which should leave the floodgates open for Barzal and the second line. This is the highest price we’ve seen for the Islanders’ second line all season, and that combined with Arizona’s surprisingly strong performance against the Blues on Saturday should help keep their ownership relatively low. If you’re looking to make it a full stack, Nick Leddy ($5,400) is the obvious play.
Anthony Mantha ($4,900)-Henrik Zetterberg ($5,300)-Gustav Nyquist ($4,600)
If you’re aiming to play either of the stacks mentioned above, you’re going to need some value to round out your lineup, and tonight Detroit’s first line offers you just that. The line is coming off a frustrating game against the Canes on Saturday, after being held off the score-sheet despite registering ten shots on goal. Look for the Devils to use the last change to get the Taylor Hall line against the depth of the Red Wings as much as possible tonight, which leaves Marcus Johansson-Travis Zajac-Drew Stafford to face-off against the Zetterberg line, a favourable matchup for the Wings to say the least. The Devils’ second-line has seen a number of different looks this season, but it boasts a CF% below 45 when Zajac is on it. Look for the Zetterberg line to take advantage of this extra zone-time tonight. If you want to make it a full stack, Mike Green is the only defencemen on the Wings that’s ever worth playing in DFS.