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FanDuel NHL: Monday Value Plays

Michael Clifford

Michael Clifford writes about fantasy hockey for RotoWire. He was a FSWA finalist in 2015 and 2013 for Hockey Writer of the Year. Former SportsNet hockey columnist, where he churned out four articles a week.

We have a five-game slate of NHL action on Monday night; some of the league's worst defenses are in action, as are some of the top skaters. Here are some of the finest values for your FanDuel lineups.

GOALIE

Cam Talbot, EDM vs. LOS ($8,800): According to Corsica Hockey, the Kings have taken the second-most shot attempts in the league at five-on-five, yet they've generated just the 12th-most scoring chances. That discrepancy indicates a lot of low-quality shots, which is good news for the opposing goaltender. Beyond that, the Kings are playing back-to-back nights on the road, which increases the win expectancy for the Oilers in this contest. Talbot can bring your lineup both a big save total and a win.

CENTER

Henrik Zetterberg, DET vs. BUF ($6,500): The last time the Sabres were in Detroit, Zetterberg was matched up against Jack Eichel for over 80 percent of his shifts and more than half of his ice time. Itís clear that with the advantage of last change, the Red Wings' coaching staff want to get that matchup as often as possible. Eichel has been on the ice for the most scoring chances allowed among all Buffalo forwards with at least 50 games played this year. Ryan OíReilly joining his wing may help in this regard, but I do wonder how long that lasts in this contest. If Zetterberg and his linemates get this matchup again for large chunks of this game, they'll be in good position to convert.

Auston Matthews, TOR vs. BOS ($6,700): Reports coming out of Boston are that while Patrice Bergeron took a maintenance day on Sunday, heís actually dealing with an injury and may not play Monday night. This would be great news for a Leafs team that may face the Bruins without their best two-way player (and arguably the best in the league). Itís not necessarily that Matthews would see a lot of the Bergeron matchup, but it also gets the rookie into the depth lines of the Bruins, and the scoring chances allowed increase the further you go past Bergeron the lineup. You'll want to look for an update on Bergeron ahead of game time.

WING

Kevin Fiala, NAS vs. ARI ($3,400): In a home matchup against the Coyotes on a short slate, there will be a lot of ownership on the top line for the Predators. Given Fialaís placement on that line with Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson, heís hard to ignore at his price. The rookie is averaging more than two shots on goal per game this year, which may not seem remarkable, but thatís come in just 13:18 of average ice time. So far this season, the 20-year-old leads the Predators forwards in individual scoring chances per minute, and playing on the top line should only help in this regard.

Patrick Marleau, SAN at DAL ($5,600): Jannik Hansen had been playing with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski of late, but he was injured in their last game and did not return. In his place, both Marleau and Tomas Hertl skated on the top line. Even if Marleau stays on Logan Coutureís line, he remains on the top power-play unit, and Dallas has given up the sixth-most high-danger shots while shorthanded. Watch for updates from their gameday skate today, but the Stars are also enduring a lot of injuries to top players right now, so this is a great spot for San Jose.

Andreas Athanasiou, DET vs. BUF ($4,100): Over the last month, Athanasiou is averaging just over 15 minutes of ice time per game, a rise of about two minutes from his average prior to this stretch. That's
good news for fantasy owners, as ice time usually leads to productivity. Importantly for this game, his line shouldnít see much of the OíReilly-Eichel combination, so for DFS players concerned with the Zetterberg matchup, moving down to Double A is just fine. He's got game-breaking speed and skill, making him appealing in tournaments.

Tyler Ennis, BUF at DET ($3,300): The third wheel on the top line for Buffalo right now is none other than Ennis. The concerns about this line staying together all game are valid, but that's why the winger is listed here instead of the much more expensive OíReilly or Eichel. If their line is broken up, not getting much production from Ennis won't hurt a cash game lineup too much; it would be a much different story for Eichel or O'Reilly owners.

DEFENSE

Brent Burns, SAN at DAL ($7,600): Listing the obvious, expensive plays is rare in this column, but an exception needs to be made here. Burns is so mispriced that he should be the first skater slotted into cash-game lineups. He's missed the scoresheet in five consecutive games, but he does have 21 shots on goal and eight blocked shots in that span, a testament to his floor. That's 9.3 FanDuel points per game through those two categories alone, and we all know the offensive upside.

Oscar Klefbom, EDM vs. LOS ($4,700): Speaking of a high fantasy floor, Klefbom is averaging 4.3 shots plus blocked shots per game. Thatís not quite Burnsí level, but it is a very high floor for a defenseman in this price range. He's also getting more ice time of late, averaging 23:24 per contest since the All-Star break (he averaged 21:41 pre-break). That only helps his fantasy floor even more.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.