This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Monday's slate features a bevy of intriguing matchups that can be exploited for fantasy gain. Here are some of the best values...
Jacob Markstrom, VAN vs. WAS ($23)
Yes, Markstrom has allowed five goals in two of his last three starts and, yes, the Capitals have the league's highest-scoring offense but follow me here. The Swedish keeper is 2-0 on home ice this season, and in those two contests he has faced down two of the league's top offenses – Calgary and Boston – to the tune of a .955 save percentage and just three goals allowed across the two. If you need a cheap goalie, this is your guy.
Goalie to Avoid
Braden Holtby, WAS @ VAN ($35)
Of the three goalies who share this price point Monday, Holtby has easily been the worst to start the campaign – the 29-year-old shows a .881 save percentage through six games and he got pulled in his last start after allowing four goals in the first period against Florida. The Caps' offense has been keeping Holtby afloat, but this feels like a trap game for the defending Stanley Cup champions, so don't rely on their shaky goalkeeping.
Dylan Larkin, DET vs. CAR ($17)
Despite the fact that he has played just a quarter of his games on home ice this season, Larkin has recorded almost half of his points there, including two on the power play where he runs with the first unit. Detroit has been good to the Michigan native, and on Monday, it will welcome back a former Red Wing, Petr Mrazek, who is not having a remarkable season by any means. Look for Larkin to take advantage.
Center to Avoid
Sean Couturier, PHI vs. COL ($20)
Expectations were high for Couturier after he posted 76 points last season, and while three goals in the first eight games isn't bad by any means, it's concerning that those scores make up all of his points thus far, with none of them coming on the power play. Aside from his zero assists, the American pivot isn't contributing much in the defensive end either, as his even rating and four blocked shots will tell.
Gabriel Landeskog, COL @ PHI ($20)
Nathan Mackinnon is absolutely on fire right now, so drafting any of the players surrounding him is a sound strategy, and Landeskog proves to be a relatively cheap and efficient way to do it. The 25-year-old Swede boasts 10 points through the first eight games and has fired 21 shots on goal over the last five. Remarkably, Landeskog also shows a plus-8 rating over that five-game span, giving him a reliable floor.
Micheal Ferland, CAR @ DET ($17)
Ferland has fit in with his new team nicely thus far, going on a point-per-game pace through his first eight contests and accruing five goals along the way. Running with Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho on the first line has been beneficial and the trio have combined to be the sixth-highest scoring line in the league this season. Look for Ferland to get it going against the mediocre defense of Detroit.
Wings to Avoid
Jakub Voracek, PHI vs. COL ($24)
Voracek is coming off a three-point performance against New Jersey on Saturday, and although he has 11 points on the campaign, what makes him undesirable in fantasy scenarios is his inconsistency. In fact, eight of his 11 points have come in just two games so far. Until he is consistently putting up points in consecutive nights, the Czech national won't be a recommended play against a solid Colorado defense.
T.J. Oshie, WAS @ VAN ($23)
After a very hot start to the year, Oshie has cooled off significantly in the last four games, having notched just one apple and five shots on goal over that span. The American winger's elevated power-play time is nice, but he has no power-play points to show for it. As mentioned above, the Canucks could make it tough sledding for the Capitals, and Oshie would be one of the first to pay for it.
Alexander Edler, VAN vs. WAS ($19)
Holtby and the Capitals have had difficulty containing all types of players so far, but have been especially bad against defensemen, as they have allowed a league-high 3.29 points per game to the position. Enter Edler, who has managed a respectable five assists on the campaign, including three on the power play where he quarterbacks the first unit. The Swedish blueliner also leads the league in blocked shots with an astounding 38, so there's upside there.
Erik Johnson, COL @ PHI ($18)
After the Capitals, the Flyers have been the worst team at defending defensemen, allowing 3.13 points per game to them thus far. Johnson boasts five assists, but what really makes him jump off the statsheet is his plus-minus, which stands at plus-7 on the season. The Minnesota native is not afraid to shoot the puck either, as he showed in Colorado's last meeting with Philadelphia on Oct. 7 when he had seven shots on goal.
Defensemen to Avoid
Alex Pietrangelo, STL @ WPG ($23)
Pietrangelo has had a rough start to the year to say the least. The Blues' captain shows a minus-5 rating to go with just 11 shots on goal to start the campaign and he only just registered his first points on the year during Saturday's win in Toronto. Winnipeg has proven a tough place to play this year as evidenced by the 2.20 points that the Jets have allowed per game there, so don't expect Pietrangelo to get anything going here.
Dennis Cholowski, DET vs. CAR ($20)
Cholowski's daily price spiked this week after he put up two power-play points in a win over Florida, but to this point, there hasn't been enough to like in the rookie's game to justify following him up to this dollar value – excluding his last game, the 20-year-old shows a minus-5 rating to go with three points in five games. Wait for some consistency from the youngster before jumping on him at this price.