Yahoo DFS Hockey: Monday Picks
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Monday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.

GOALIE

Tuukka Rask, BOS at TOR ($29): After beating up the young Leafs by a combined score of 12-4 in the first two games, momentum has swung back and forth in the series, and with the Leafs managing to win two games in Boston it's time the Bruins returned the favor. The Bruins staged a late comeback but fell short in a one-goal loss in Game 5, but Rask has also shown an ability to come back strong after tough losses. The Leafs' home crowd may provide an additional edge, but memories of their 2013 collapse remain and Rask and the Bruins are an experienced squad.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Braden Holtby, WAS at CLS ($35): It's not entirely that I don't trust the Caps, but Holtby and Bobrovsky being the two most expensive goalies on the slate in a game that could go either way means taking on unnecessary risk if you roster either one. Coach John Tortorella came back with a guarantee of his own after Alex Ovechkin made good on his, and neither Holtby nor Bobrovsky have shown they can steal a game. If a decision has to be made in this duel, Holtby has the edge with momentum on the Caps' side, and also because Bobrovsky has allowed at least three goals in each game this series.

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CENTER

Patrice Bergeron, BOS at TOR ($28): He was a key catalyst in the 2013 comeback against the Leafs and is arguably one of the best players in crunch-time situations in the league. He played 21 minutes in Game 5 and registered six shots, so his upper-body injury is not a huge concern at the moment. The Bruins' top line has to find their mojo again if they want to close out the series; Bergeron has yet to score a goal this series, but in eight previous playoff appearances he's only failed to score a goal twice.

Nicklas Backstrom, WAS at CLS ($21): He's come alive after a 15-point decline during the season, and with eight points in five games he's averaging the highest points per playoff contest of his career. The Jackets are using Seth Jones and Zach Werenski almost exclusively against Evgeny Kuznetsov's line, helping open up opportunities for Backstrom which he's certainly taken advantage of.

CENTERS TO AVOID

Pierre-Luc Dubois, CLS vs. WAS ($20): He's gone quiet this series with zero points and a minus-2 rating in his past two games, and perhaps the superb rookie's inexperience is starting to show. The Jackets trust him, but realistically they have no one else to turn to – Alexander Wennberg is probably playing hurt and Nick Foligno should stay with Josh Anderson and Matt Calvert. Perhaps home-ice advantage and last change will help Dubois, but he's being asked to take on more than he can probably handle right now.

William Nylander, TOR vs. BOS ($16): The spotlight's been pretty harsh on Auston Matthews, but how about his partner-in-crime who has just one assist and a minus-3 rating? Nylander has been invisible this series and played just 12:31 in Game 5. Connor Brown took his spot and Nylander was dropped down to Tomas Plekanec's line, which is like going from the penthouse life to your uncle's attic, and with a win in Game 5 the Leafs will likely stick with the same lineup again.

WING

Alex Ovechkin, WAS at CLS ($35): It's getting a little scary. While Ovechkin has always been a pretty good playoff performer, the Caps have never played with such conviction, have they? They've taken control of the series when almost everyone was ready to jump on the Jackets' wagon after trailing 0-2, and Ovechkin has three goals and 30 shots on goal. Bobrovsky, by the way, has improved in this year's playoffs, but the last time he allowed less than three goals in a postseason game was April 2014.

Artemi Panarin, CLS vs. WAS ($28): He's gone two straight games without a point, but he's been driving the bus for the Jackets offense all series and coming through at the most key moments. A loss will send the Jackets to the golf course and set up Pens-Caps IV – which is nice – but based on past performances Panarin won't let that happen, and Tortorella still has to make good on his guarantee of a Game 7.

Connor Brown, TOR vs. BOS ($11): Riding shotgun with Matthews has to pay off at some point, so perhaps after scoring a goal and skating a series-high 17:44 in Game 5, Brown will be in for an even bigger night in Game 6. He's one of the cheapest wingers available despite skating as the No. 1 right winger after Nylander was demoted and played just 12:31. Even though Brown is not considered a scorer, he's a hard worker who gets involved in the play a lot, and good things happen when you're close to the puck.

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WINGS TO AVOID

Cam Atkinson, CLS vs. WAS ($23): After Panarin, the scoring talent in Columbus takes a bit of a nosedive and no one really stands out. That's a good thing for the Jackets, who can roll three good lines, but it becomes hard to predict which player will be the hero. In a series that has seen its share of weird bounces, it's already hard enough to guess who will win.

David Backes, BOS at TOR ($16): He's scored twice in the series but the pace will only get faster as the series draws to a close, and that's not Backes' type of game. At even strength, he seems too slow to keep up, so the only damage he'll be able to do is in front of the net when the Bruins have the man advantage. Backes' goals came in Games 1 and 5, and in both games the Bruins went on the power play six times, which is twice as often as their season average. The Leafs should know by now to stay out of the box if they want to win.

Tom Wilson, WAS at CLS ($16): He scored two goals and registered 15 shots in the Caps' three wins, and at his best he's a feared power forward who has some scoring touch. However, scoring just isn't his preferred job, as he likes to leave those duties to Ovechkin and instead focus on creating room for his more talented linemate. Wilson is the grind-it-out player who can get rewarded with a late, momentum-shifting goal by the hockey gods, but his premium only comes because he's playing on the top line.

DEFENSE

John Carlson, WAS at CLS ($26): He's been brilliant for the Caps, creating key goals and showing he can be a No. 1 defenseman. He has a goal and seven assists in a series in which the Jackets' goaltending hasn't been consistently great, but he's also played less than 27 minutes just once in the series. Many of the goals scored in this series have come from the point, which just happens to be the place where Carlson patrols.

Torey Krug, BOS at TOR ($23): He's been held without a point just once in the series, back in Game 3, but otherwise he's been phenomenal for the Bruins. He may never be a classic shutdown defenseman, but modern teams place less emphasis on size. The Leafs have been undisciplined at times and Krug has made them pay nearly every time on the power play.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Charlie McAvoy, BOS at TOR ($19): He has just one assist and four shots on goal this series, with much of the offense from the blue line coming via Krug instead. McAvoy is a very strong two-way defenseman who can contribute in all aspects of the game, but points have been hard to come by this series when he's so focused on keeping the Leafs' top forward in check.

Ron Hainsey, TOR vs. BOS ($12): He played a huge role in Game 5's win, but let's not kid ourselves. Hainsey is a 37-year-old defenseman whose best skill is sacrificing his limbs to block frozen pucks from getting to the net. The Leafs certainly needed him to do that to win Game 5, but Hainsey ultimately makes a poor play in fantasy because he's unlikely to score.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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