This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
With just two games on tap for Monday's slate, choosing the best values will make all the difference. Check out these pointers on where to find them.
Devan Dubnyk, MIN @ VAN ($34)
Dubnyk has been on an absolute roll of late, notching four wins in a row and compiling a .959 save percentage over that span. Although the Vancouver offense has shown sparks of greatness, – more on that later – it is still the 25th-ranked offense in the league at the moment with 2.50 goals per game. The Saskatchewan native has looked good in limited away action this year, allowing just three combined goals on 72 shots.
Goalie to Avoid
Mike Smith, CGY @ TOR ($26)
It has not been a hot start to the year for Smith and he will enter Monday's matchup having lost his last three starts. The veteran keeper now shows a .869 save percentage and 3.91 GAA on the year, and now he has the unenviable task of trying to slow down the explosive Toronto offense on the road. Contrarian picks sometimes work, but don't count on that happening here.
Elias Pettersson, VAN vs. MIN ($19)
After missing six games due to a concussion, Pettersson returned to action Saturday and promptly posted no points and no shots on goal. That could be discouraging to a lot of fantasy owners, but considering Pettersson's excellent start to the campaign, it could be chalked up as more of an anomaly. After all, the rookie winger is still averaging over four minutes per game with the man advantage and still runs with Brock Boeser on the first line.
Center to Avoid
Sean Monahan, CGY @ TOR ($20)
Ever since he started the season with three goals and an assist in the first two games of the season, Monahan has not been able to find the back of the net, having posted five apples, 17 shots on goal and a minus-2 rating in the last eight. Frederik Andersen and the Maple Leafs come into the contest having looked solid defensively, so look for more reliable options in this price range.
Jason Zucker, MIN @ VAN ($19)
What you have to like about Zucker is how complete his game is – the American winger has recorded a point in four of the last five games, taking at least two shots on goal and posting at least an even rating in all games over that span. On Saturday, the 26-year-old also notched his first point with the power-play, a unit that he averages over two minutes a game with, so expect good things against this beatable Canucks defense.
Zach Hyman, TOR vs. CGY ($13)
If you're looking for some budget relief so that you can grab a pricey player, – say, linemate John Tavares – Hyman is your guy. As mentioned, the 26-year-old is part of the very effective Toronto first line and while he doesn't have the goals to show for it, he does have six assists. Expect him to play a lot of minutes and have some quality chances against a Calgary team that allows 3.55 goals per game.
Wings to Avoid
Matthew Tkachuk, CGY @ TOR ($22)
While Tkachuk has really developed as an offensive player, it's his issues away from the offense that keep him from being a completely reliable fantasy player, especially at this price point. Over the last five contests, the Arizona native has four points, but he also has a minus-4 rating. Additionally, Tkachuk has shown a penchant for getting thrown in the penalty box, as shown by his 176 career penalty minutes, including eight in the first four games of this season.
Patrick Marleau, TOR vs. CGY ($17)
Marleau is a great playmaker and real-life player, but as a fantasy player, he has stunk this year, showing just one goal on 14 shots in his last eight contests. Even when he had Auston Matthews (shoulder) by his side, the 39-year-old wasn't particularly effective, so it's not gonna be any easier now that the young stud is sidelined. This is a case where having a key piece in an explosive offense just isn't worth it.
Mark Giordano, CGY @ TOR ($20)
Giordano sees tons of ice time on a nightly basis and he has managed to stay plenty involved with the offense as a result. The Flames captain has racked up five assists in as many games, with two of the helpers coming with the man advantage where he also averages 4:21 of ice time per game. He also likes to shoot the puck often, as he has four shots or more in five of the last seven contests.
Jared Spurgeon, MIN @ VAN ($13)
Spurgeon has developed into something of a playmaker from the blue line, having recorded a goal and four assists in the last seven contests. The coaches in Minnesota seem to be noticing too, as the Canadian defenseman has put in at least three minutes on the power play in each of the last two games. Spurgeon's ability to contribute across categories gives him a nice floor and makes him a good bargain at this low price.
Defensemen to Avoid
Matt Dumba, MIN @ VAN ($19)
Due to the limited slate, Dumba is actually the fourth-highest priced blueliner on the board Monday, though his level of play hasn't exactly justified that – the 24-year-old has five points through 10 games thus far. That is on par with or lower than several options that are in a lesser price tier, and Dumba's inconsistency specifically makes him difficult to recommend when you have so few choices.
Jake Gardiner, TOR vs. CGY ($16)
It seems like a sound strategy to have any piece of the dominant Maple Leafs right now, but at this price point, Gardiner is probably not worth your dollar. The Minnesota native only features with the second power-play unit, where he has racked up just one point so far, and he also can't be relied on to block shots like other defensemen can, as he has zero blocked shots in seven of his 10 games.