This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Monday's five-game slate his chock full of matchups featuring some surprise leaders at this early stage. Read on to see how two of last year's awards winners are not the way to go Monday.
Antti Raanta, ARI vs. PHI ($31)
The Coyotes have been enjoying the home ice in the desert lately, racking up four straight home wins with a combined score of 20-6. The offensive support is clearly there for Raanta, but he's holding up his end of the deal too, showing a .954 save percentage in his last three starts and a .940 percentage in all home games this season. Expect him to keep it going against a Philadelphia offense that has underwhelmed thus far.
Goalie to Avoid
Keith Kinkaid, NJ @ PIT ($34)
Kinkaid has been good, but not great to start the campaign, so to see him advertised at this price Monday is a bit odd, especially considering the uninviting matchup. No matter how you slice it, an offense that has Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin is always going to be dangerous. Kinkaid has allowed nine goals over his last two starts, so you shouldn't trust him to perform in the elite price slot.
Leon Draisaitl, EDM @ WAS ($18)
There's another center in Edmonton that seems to get a lot of attention, so it's sometimes easy to forget about Draisaitl, who has put up 70 or more points in each of the last two seasons. The German pivot's game has really picked up in the last seven contests, as he has five goals, three assists and a surprisingly strong plus-8 rating. His knack for shooting the puck also makes him a steal at this price.
Center to Avoid
Mathew Barzal, NYI vs. MON ($20)
Barzal has been on a nice points pace this year, but the fact that he is not scoring goals is concerning from a fantasy perspective. In fact, the 2017-18 Calder Trophy winner isn't even trying very hard to score, as he has just 15 shots on goal in the first 13 games. A home matchup with Montreal can be enticing on paper, but until Barzal can get the scoring going for himself, he's not a good option at this price tier.
Brendan Gallagher, MON @ NYI ($22)
In contrast to Barzal, Gallagher has been an absolute scoring machine, recording nine of his 10 points this season with goals and averaging 3.46 shots on goal per game. The 26-year-old's extensive use on the power play also inspires confidence and he is a crucial piece of the Montreal first line that has recorded nine goals thus far this season.
Josh Bailey, NYI vs. MON ($17)
On the other end of the ice Monday, Bailey finds himself having a productive season, even though some thought his production would decline following the departure of John Tavares in the offseason. His 15 overall points are nice, but where the Canadian winger really shines is with the man advantage, as he now shows seven points while averaging 3:32 of ice time with the power-play unit. Take advantage at this relatively low price.
Wings to Avoid
Taylor Hall, NJ @ PIT ($31)
It feels like blasphemy to bet against last year's Hart Trophy winner, but his road splits paint an ugly picture – Hall has recorded just three of his 13 points on road ice, where he also shows a hideous minus-9 rating. That last part could really hurt him against Pittsburgh's explosive offense, especially if he is unable to buck the trend and start putting up real production in an away game.
Patric Hornqvist, PIT vs. NJ ($21)
Any success that Hornqvist has had this season so far has really boiled down to a small handful of games – outside of a two-game stretch in late October where he posted five points, the veteran forward shows just one assist on the campaign. His minus-5 rating in the last three games, as well as the fact that he is averaging just 15:06 of ice time per game, is uninspiring, so don't chase him at this price.
Oscar Klefbom, EDM @ WAS ($18)
In the last seven games, Klefbom has been outstanding on both ends of the ice, showing four assists and 27 shots on goal to go with a tremendous plus-10 rating. Given his ice time both at even strength and with the man advantage, the young Swede will see plenty of opportunity to break this vulnerable Washington defense, especially with Connor McDavid roaming at his side on the power play.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI vs. PHI ($17)
As the Coyotes have gotten hot, so too has their star defenseman – over the last eight contests, Ekman-Larsson shows six assists and a goal to go with an impressive plus-8 rating. Plus-minus has been a sore spot for OEL over the last few seasons, so to see him get that on track is encouraging and makes you believe he'll be focused on offense when he takes on the Flyers on Monday.
Defensemen to Avoid
Torey Krug, BOS vs. DAL ($22)
Since returning from an ankle injury two games ago, Krug has been decently reliable, but does not thus far look to be back to his usual offensive-minded self, showing just one assist and two shots on goal in his only action so far. The Michigan native is a central piece to Boston's defense, so it's only a matter of time before he gets back to normal, but until then, don't use him against a solid Stars offense.
Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI @ ARI ($20)
Gostisbehere has been off to a disastrous start to the year, showing just five points in the first 14 games. Even worse, his defensive metrics look worse than ever, as he already has an alarming minus-8 rating. It's difficult to assess what type of player Ghost is at this point because we've seen so many different versions of him season-to-season. Until he can figure it out, he's not a recommended play on the road against a hot Arizona team.