This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The featured contests at DraftKings consist of Monday's two games. The Capitals host the Coyotes, and the Senators visit the Hurricanes. In shallow player pools, it's important to walk the fine line of rostering top talent while also differentiating your lineup in shallow player pools.
Washington enters Monday is top form with an active 10-0-1 record while scoring 4.56 goals per hour. On the flip side, Arizona has lost three straight games and surrendered 11 goals in the process. Frr the campaign, though, the Coyotes have been stingy defensively allowing a sixth best 2.04 expected goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five. It will still be a tough task for Arizona because the Caps already have seven skaters with at least five tallies and the league's fifth-ranked power-play.
After a roaring start, the Hurricanes have lost four consecutive games, including a 4-1 defeat in Ottawa on Saturday. Additionally, Carolina has surrendered at least four goals in each of the losses and only scored seven times during the skid. Ottawa, on the other hand, has been surprisingly competitive of late with a 5-3 record through its past eight outings. Albeit, the Sens' .932 team save percentage at five-on-five during the stretch is ripe for negative regression. The Hurricanes also boast an impressive 57.1 Corsi For percentage on home ice, so expect the ice to be tilted in their favor most of the night.
Washington is turning to Ilya Samsonov ($8,100), and the rookie is off to solid start with a 5-1 record, .915 save percentage and 2.38 GAA. The price doesn't break the bank, and Washington hasn't lost on home ice since Monday, Oct. 14.
It's been a hit-or-miss run for Petr Mrazek ($) of late. He's allowed three or more goals in five of his past eight starts, but the Czech has also collected a pair of shutouts during the stretch. For the campaign, he's down to an unsustainably low .904 save percentage, yet still sporting a rock-solid 7-3-1 record. It would be surprising if Ottawa beat Carolina in consecutive games, too.
The Coyotes are an underappreciated club, and as noted, typically play solid team defense. Darcy Kuemper ($7,100) and Antti Raanta ($7,100) have also proven to be capable of stealing a game at the highest level. The price is right to take a contrarian flier on the Arizona starter, but there's also probably more risk than reward.
Jordan Staal ($4,000) has been held to a single goal and no assists through the past 12 games despite logging 18:29 of ice time with 2:01 on the power play per contest. He's recorded a 61.0 Corsi For percentage and been on the ice for an impressive 14.33 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes during the stretch, so his strong play will translate to offensive production sooner than later. The price and matchup also check out favorably Monday.
Producing at a point-per-game pace with five tallies, three helpers and 27 shots through his past eight outings, Anthony Duclair ($5,200) is taking advantage of his opportunity in Ottawa. He's averaging a career-high 16:10 of ice time (3:03 with the man advantage) per contest, and as noted, Carolina is in the midst of a defensive slide.
While the fantasy floor is low, Martin Necas' ($3,600) salary is, too. He's slid into a middle-six role and recorded two goals, seven assists and 18 shots through his past 14 contests and is locked into a power-play role. The rookie checks out as an upside source of cap relief.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Washington's top two lines are both in play and producing impressive numbers. Nicklas Backstrom ($7,000), Alex Ovechkin ($8.500) and T.J. Oshie ($6,000) have clicked for 6.64 goals and 18.32 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes this season, whereas Evgeny Kuznetsov ($6,700), Tom Wilson ($5,500) and Jakub Vrana ($6,700) have combined for 8.88 and 11.84 marks. Just note, you'll be bargain hunting after loading up either of those trios.
A new-look Arizona line is intriguing. Nick Schmaltz ($4,500), Phil Kessel ($5,700) and Christian Dvorak ($3,900) are affordable and have scored and driven possession with a 69.6 Corsi For percentage in their limited shared ice time.
The Hurricanes have also shaken up their lineup recently, and Sebastian Aho ($7,300), Andrei Svechnikov ($7,500) and Teuvo Teravainen ($6,500) should dominant the Sens. The trio has combined for 5.72 goals and an astonishing 26.21 high-danger scoring chances per hour dating back to last season.
John Carlson ($7,800) and Dougie Hamilton ($6,900) are having career-best seasons and warrant nightly consideration as long as they're producing. However, the prices are high and limit lineup flexibility. It is more difficult to find value in a shallow defense pool, though.
It's hard to imagine Jake Gardiner ($3,800) continuing to plod along with underwhelming fantasy numbers. He's registered just five points, 18 shots and 17 blocks through 17 games, and his .948 PDO refinforces puck luck hasn't been on his side. He's been on the ice for a healthy 13.53 high-danger scoring chances per hour, too.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($4,700) collected an assist Saturday to snap a five-game point drought. His salary reflects his recent dip in production, but the veteran remains solid option due to his reliable shot volume, willingness to block shots and proven offensive track record. As highlighted, it just might not be the best matchup against the rolling Caps.