This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Here's something we're not used to: A full day of NHL action on a Monday in August. It's weird to see a game on a Monday starting at noon, but I won't be including the early games for the purposes of this article. I will be focusing on the four games that start at 4:00 PM ET or later. For those games, here are players to target and avoid for your DFS lineup.
Robin Lehner, VGK vs. DAL ($24): Hey, remember when the Golden Knights traded for Lehner? We only got to see him play three games behind Vegas' defense, but on the year he has a .920 save percentage. Given that, I'm puzzled that he's the cheapest goalie Monday. After all, the Stars only scored 2.58 goals per game.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TAM vs. WAS ($34): Meanwhile, Vasilevskiy is the most expensive goalie Monday. He's a great player who was hot before the hiatus, but he's facing a tough matchup. The Capitals were second in goals per game this year, trailing only the Lightning. Given that Vasilevskiy will never face his own team (obviously), this is as difficult as it gets for him.
Anthony Cirelli, TAM vs. WAS ($15): It's easy to be overlooked on Tampa, but Cirelli has risen to being the second-line center for the team. While his calling card is his defensive prowess, he also added 16 goals and 28 assists this season. Braden Holtby has gotten it done in net during the postseason in the past, but the fact remains he had a .897 save percentage this season.
CENTER TO AVOID
Nicklas Backstrom, WAS at TAM ($24): In past seasons, Backstrom's skill as a goal-scorer has been overlooked, but this year he took a step back on that front. The Swede only managed 12 goals, as he saw his shooting percentage fall to 9.1 On top of that, he usually skates as the center on Washington's second line, which means not playing with Alex Ovechkin.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, EDM vs. CHI ($25): Nugent-Hopkins had three points in Game 1 of this series, which is the kind of thing that happens when you play on Connor McDavid's line and the top power-play unit in the NHL. Chicago's penalty kill is good, but it also allowed 35.1 shots on net per contest. That kind of defensive porosity is a problem against a team like Edmonton, and the Nuge is in a spot to clean up.
Alex DeBrincat, CHI at EDM ($22): It was only one game, but the Oilers had big-time issues defensively in the opener of this series. The team had a 3.03 GAA this year and a collective .905 save percentage, so it didn't exactly come out of nowhere. DeBrincat was incredibly unlucky this year, as his shooting percentage cratered down to 8.7. Eventually regression will arrive, especially for a guy who starts a team-high (among forwards) 57.8 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone.
WINGS TO AVOID
Mark Stone, VGK vs. DAL ($24): Stone was injured when the NHL went on hiatus, but now he's healthy and ready to go. The Stars had a 2.52 GAA this season, second best in the NHL. Max Pacioretty being injured and not being able to skate on Vegas' top line with Stone also doesn't help.
T.J. Oshie, WAS at TAM ($20): Oshie usually has an elevated shooting percentage, but this season he scored 26 goals on only 133 shots for a 19.5 shooting percentage. That's hard to sustain. It's even harder to perform like that against a goalie like Andrei Vasilevskiy. Since January, Vasilevskiy posted a 2.16 GAA and .930 save percentage over 24 games.
Mikhail Sergachev, TAM vs. WAS ($17): Sergachev scored double-digit goals for the first time in his career, thanks in part to starting 54.3 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. That was highest among Tampa defensemen. The Russian is also a power-play weapon, as he had 13 points with the extra man. With Ilya Samsonov injured, the Capitals have no choice but to play Braden Holtby, who had an .897 save percentage this season.
John Klingberg, DAL at VGK ($17): Yes, I think starting Lehner is smart, but there are only four games worth of players to choose from, and these are all playoff teams. Plus, the Golden Knights had the 27th-ranked penalty kill. Klingberg had a down year by his standards, but not on the power play. There, he had 17 points in 58 games.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
John Carlson, WAS at TAM ($29): Yes, Carlson is great. He's also $4 pricier than any other defenseman. He really needs to have an impressive showing to be worth that price. I wouldn't put it past him, but the Lightning have Andrei Vasilevskiy with his 2.52 GAA. The price is too steep for this matchup.
Shea Theodore, VGK vs. DAL ($21): I used to feel like Theodore was an underrated defenseman, but given this price, there's no bargain here. Against a Stars team with a 2.52 GAA and .920 save percentage, I expect a rough day offensively for Theo in this one.