This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
The tight three-game slate features a marquee matchup of two standings leaders, but there are values to be had throughout. Take a look at some key pieces for Monday's fantasy game.
Anton Khudobin, DAL vs. EDM ($29)
Sure, Khudobin has just two wins in his last seven starts, but keep in mind that the losses came while he was filling in for regular starter Ben Bishop. Receiving his first start since returning to backup duties, the Russian keeper could be poised for a good night at home against an Edmonton team that has struggled to score, averaging 2.69 goals per game (2.50 in away contests).
Goalie to Avoid
Pekka Rinne, NSH vs. BUF ($40)
There's little denying Rinne's greatness to begin the campaign, but this Monday matchup is not one that is especially advantageous to the veteran netminder. The Sabres come into the fray looking effective and tied with the Predators and Avalanche for the third-most points in the league, potentially setting this game up to be a highly offensive one. This price is too high to risk sending Rinne out there to come away with a quality win.
Leon Draisaitl, EDM @ DAL ($22)
Monday's listing of centers is a bit tricky to navigate because there are some very expensive elite options and some mostly ineffective cheaper ones, so try Draisaitl for an option closer to the middle. The German forward recorded six goals and nine assists to go with 42 shots on goal in the month of November, and he began December with an assist Saturday against Vegas. Look for him to get on the scoresheet against Dallas.
Center to Avoid
Steven Stamkos, TB @ NJ ($28)
Though Stamkos is on pace for almost 70 points this season, his struggles in the defensive end are preventing him from reaching the kind of consistent daily fantasy production worthy of recommendation – Tampa Bay's captain shows a minus-3 rating in the last five games. He has had spurts of goal droughts this season too, so don't take the risk.
Sam Reinhart, BUF @ NSH ($18)
Reinhart has been one of the main catalysts for this revitalized Sabres team, racking up four goals, eight points and 16 shots on goal in the last seven games. The 2014 second overall pick features on a deadly first power play where he has accumulated a third of his points this season, so trust him to keep the good times rolling in a potentially wild game in Nashville that could see a lot of scoring.
Tyler Johnson, TB @ NJ ($17)
Although Johnson's stats may not jump off the page like some other forwards, but he does hold the distinction of running on a line with Nikita Kucherov and the red-hot Brayden Point. As such, the American winger is always a threat for assists, and he's no slouch himself, as he notched three goals in two games near the end of November. Look for him to get involved against the defensively unsure Devils.
Wings to Avoid
Kyle Palmieri, NJ vs. TB ($23)
Since starting the season with nine goals in nine games, Palmieri has been quiet in recording just eight points in the last 16 contests. Really, it's not that surprising when you think about it, as the 27-year-old's career high for points is the 57 he acquired in his first season with the Devils, so regression was likely. Don't count on him to get it going against this stout Tampa Bay squad.
Yanni Gourde, TB @ NJ ($19)
Gourde's daily pricing is still riding high off of his strong start to November, but the fact of the matter is that the Canadian winger is on a significant cold streak right now, as he has no points, eight shots on goal and a minus-4 rating to his name in the last five contests. With the aforementioned Point taking over the Lightning offense, Gourde isn't involved in as much offense.
Mattias Ekholm, NSH vs. BUF ($18)
In the wake of P.K. Subban's upper-body injury, Ekholm has had to step up with the man advantage and has done so effectively thus far, compiling all four of his power-play points this season in the last seven games. The Swedish veteran also plays a solid defensive game, as shown by his plus-13 rating, so get him while his price is still cheap enough to afford.
Rasmus Dahlin, BUF @ NSH ($17)
After a relatively slow start to the season, Dahlin has been heating up as part of this amazing surge by Buffalo and was named NHL Rookie of the Month for November, recording 10 points and a plus-9 rating over 15 games. The 2018 first-overall pick is going to be something special in this league, so grabbing him as he's on the rise and while his price is still low is a good move, even against elite competition in Nashville.
Defensemen to Avoid
Ryan McDonagh, TB @ NJ ($20)
Though he had a nice offensive swell early in the season, it's important to keep in mind that McDonagh has mostly made his career on being a solid two-way defenseman, not as much offensive. Case in point, the Minnesota native has taken two shots or fewer in each of the last 13 games, which has resulted in just one goal. He's a bit overpriced for what he might actually be able to produce, so don't reach.
Ryan Ellis, NSH vs. BUF ($17)
Ellis, like McDonagh, has not had a lot of success attacking the net this season, managing just one goal and 11 assists on the year thus far. The 27-year-old has been especially ineffective on the power play, notching just two points there. It would not be surprising to see his point drought extended to four games Monday, especially against this upstart Sabres squad.