The Sharks have been cutting a swath through the Canadian teams on their current road trip picking up wins vs. Winnipeg, Montreal (who they beat 5-0) and Ottawa, who they beat 2-1 last night. They head into Toronto to face a rested Leafs squad today (in an early start game), and this matchup feels like the end of the line for them. Despite the hot start, this is a team with low expectations who hasn’t really faced as good as a team as Toronto. The Leafs should be angry after firing 41 shots in their last game but losing in overtime 2-1, and the undermanned Sharks don’t even get a full 24 hours rest since the start of their last game. Toronto feels like a solid value at +110 on the puck line.
Top Line Stack
Las Vegas Golden Knight's vs Edmonton Oilers
William Karlsson ($5,600) — Reilly Smith ($3,800) — Jonathan Marchessault ($4,600)
The Golden Knights take on the Oilers tonight who are fresh off a blowout win over Arizona. Despite the Golden Knights being down two of their top players and injured at pretty much every position, they still enter this slate as -140 favorites and with an implied puck total of 3.5 goals, which is the highest on the slate.
Edmonton’s top line certainly remains in play for DFS (as it is every night), but the extreme value lies with the Vegas L1 right now, which remains ridiculously cheap considering the opportunity. Jonathan Marchessault may have started his season slow, but he’s averaging over 3.0 shots on goals over the last 12 months and has the third-best CorsiFor rating at winger on this slate over that same span. Reilly Smith rates out with slightly lesser stats in those same categories, but remains a great value at under $4,000. He skated over 18 minutes in the Golden Knights last game and his ice time isn’t going down anytime soon.
This trio should be stapled together tonight at both even strength and on the power-play where they are now the de facto top unit. Edmonton is a great matchup for fantasy purposes too, as they’ve allowed over 37 SOG (per game) and may even be starting a third-string goalie. Build around the Knights’ top unit, which will allow you to fit in studs elsewhere.
Superstar to Target
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. San Jose Sharks ($8,500)
Auston Matthews hasn’t scored yet, but he did fire eight shots on net in his first game of the new season. Matthews and the entire Leafs offense was snake bit by a hot goalie in Igor Shesterkin in Matthews’ first game back, but they get a better matchup against Adin Hill ($7,000) and the Sharks in his second game. Hill has started the season out with two wins, but did allow three goals on 23 shots in his first start and has just a .910 save percentage for his career. Matthews leads this slate in SOG per game over the last 12 months by nearly a full shot and also is averaging nearly a full blocked shot per game over that same span. Toronto averaged over 31 shots on goal last year and are already over that mark in 2021-2022. Matthews feels likely to break through here against a goalie who has been propped up by two low shot totals.
Value on Offense
Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins ($4,400)
The Sabres may not be great this year, but Victor Olofsson does look like he’s going to be a great value for fantasy purposes most weeks. The winger is averaging around 2.5 SOG in long term form, but has eclipsed that in short term form averaging 4.0 SOG through his first three games. He’s getting top six and PP1 exposure every night, which may not mean as much on the Sabres, but as one of the only elite shot producers on the team the opportunities should be there for him all season. On a short slate, we shouldn’t hate taking him as a value option, and it is worth noting that the Bruins are starting Linus Ullmark ($8,100) who was poor in preseason action.
Michael Bunting, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. San Jose Sharks ($4,100)
Bunting has been a solid addition for the Maple Leafs so far, skating in a second-line role across from John Tavares ($6,700). The former Coyote isn’t playing huge minutes but is clearly thriving as a wing across from an elite center. This is a role where he’ll rarely be facing off against a teams best defensive line due to Auston Matthews being on the team. Bunting has the 11th-best CorsiFor rating at wing today, and makes for a great value against a Sharks team who is due for a little defensive and goals against, regression.
Robin Lehner, Vegas Golden Knights vs. Edmonton Oilers ($7,800)
Lehner is an obvious tough spot against an Oilers offense who has now scored 11 goals in their last two games and features two of the best offensive players in the league. Starting goalies against Edmonton can be tricky, but Lehner is the type of goalie we don’t mind targeting them with. He’s a decent favorite at -140 and will likely be called on to make a few more saves than usual given the Golden Knights injury issues right now (he stopped 35 of 37 SOG in his last game). Lehner is not your typical cash game play, but his upside is big and he makes for a good leverage play against the popular Oilers forwards in GPPs.
Braden Holtby, Dallas Stars vs. L.A. Kings ($8,000)
One of the more interesting stories from the start of the season has been the re-emergence of Braden Holtby in Dallas. The former Canuck and Capital has played in three games and posted save percentages of .926 or better in each of those starts. He’s now stopped 64 of the last 67 shots he’s faced, and takes on a Kings team who ranked fifth-worst in goals scored last year. The move to a better defensive team has seemingly sparked Holtby, who should be played early in the year while this form lasts. He and the Stars are solid -150 favorites on the DraftKings Sportsbook making him a good cash and GPP option.
Value on Defense
Evan Bouchard, Edmonton Oilers at Las Vegas Golden Knights ($3,600)
I mentioned Bouchard in the article yesterday, and he promptly paid off for us again producing an assist and four SOG. This is getting pretty serious now, as the Oilers seem committed to actually playing their talented young defenseman in meaningful spots and minutes. He’s been getting clear power-play looks every night (which is a huge deal for fantasy given the Oilers’ power play) and his ability to get his shot through from the point night in and night out is starting to make him look like he will end up being one of the elite offensive talents at the position. Don’t step off the gas now, keep taking these gift prices while they last.
Matt Grzelcyk, Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres ($3,400)
The Bruins have a great matchup against the Sabres. The team enters this slate with an implied puck total of 3.3 and are -200 favorites. Grzelcyk has been getting solid minutes to start the season and still sees good power play exposure on the second unit. He remains a talented all-around defenseman and is averaging well over 2.0 shots on goal per game over the last 12 minutes, while also checking in with the sixth-best CorsfiFor rating on this slate. In short, he’s good at getting pucks through and faces off against a weak team in the Sabres. His goal probability is heightened and he’s been paying off this small salary of late, which makes him a great value once again tonight.
Alex Pietrangelo, Las Vegas Golden Knight’s vs Edmonton Oilers ($6,500)
The Golden Knights are down their biggest shot creator on the PP1 in Max Pacioretty and also have injury issues on the blueline where Alec Martinez (day-to-day) could be out in this spot, too. Pietrangelo is no stranger to seeing big minutes, and we’ll likely see the talented defenseman approach 30 minutes of ice here. He comes in leading the slate in terms of long term shots on goal + blocked shots (at 5.52 per game) and faces an Oilers team who is allowing the second-most SOG through the first two weeks of the season.
There’s a big basket of elite defenseman on this slate—Charlie McAvoy ($5,700) also looks solid going up against Buffalo—but if you can get up to Pietrangelo, you probably should. He’s clearly the best play from a long term perspective, but also looks primed for a big night against an Oilers team who forces action on both ends.
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