This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Monday's slate is filled with playoff contenders and cellar dwellers alike, meaning there is plenty of space to find impact players all around. Take a look at some of the best values...
Carter Hart, PHI vs. STL ($28)
Although he's lost his last four starts, Hart has a good opportunity to provide value in Monday's slate. The highly-touted rookie has allowed two goals or fewer in half of his starts so far, which bodes well against a St. Louis squad that averages 2.27 goals per away game. If the Flyers offense can get it going, then Hart could be looking at a win and perhaps a quality one at that.
Goalie to Avoid
Carey Price, MON vs. MIN ($34)
Price comes into Monday's matchup having played very poorly on home ice this season, showing a .895 save percentage and 8-8-2 record in games played at Bell Centre. His chances of improving that don't increase against a Wild team that has played well on the road lately, having won three straight road games while racking up 11 goals over that stretch. Don't pay the premium for Price's production.
Jonathan Toews, CHI vs. CGY ($19)
After several sub-60-point campaigns, Towes appears to be back on track and is on pace for 70 points by season's end, even while the rest of the Blackhawks struggle. The 30-year-old is on a six-game point streak and has attained five helpers with the man advantage over that span. Toews also tends to play his best hockey at home in the United Center, so grab him at this affordable price.
Center to Avoid
Ryan O'Reilly, STL @ PHI ($22)
While O'Reilly is putting up career numbers this season, he has had his fair share of struggles and most of them have been in away games – the Canadian pivot has recorded just three assists in his last nine games on the road and he has not scored in an away contest since Nov. 16. O'Reilly is being given near-elite pricing Monday, and your budget should be better spent on a more sure option.
Elias Lindholm, CGY @ CHI ($24)
The line of Lindholm, Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau has been absolutely dominating this season and especially lately, dropping 11 goals in the last 10 games, ranking them best among all lines in the NHL over that span. Lindholm represents the cheapest way to get in on the action and he's definitely no slouch, having contributed three goals and eight assists in the last eight contests.
Evander Kane, SJ vs. LA ($17)
Kane is riding a four-game point streak in which he has scored three goals and picked up three apples, but perhaps the most encouraging piece of his game right now is how much he is shooting the puck – the former Sabre has taken 27 shots on goal over the last eight contests, which includes a 10-shot game he had against Winnipeg on Dec. 20. Look for him to get on the scoresheet against a mediocre LA squad.
Wings to Avoid
Mitch Marner, TOR vs. NSH ($29)
Marner is generally a good pick in these contests, but he's definitely a big gamble Monday, especially considering his top-shelf pricing for the slate. The 21-year-old has been cursed by bouts of inconsistency this season – like his 13-game goal drought – and he'll have some tough sledding against a defensively stout Nashville team that allows just 1.24 points per game to right wings.
Mikael Granlund, MIN @ MON ($20)
Granlund is in a strange place statistically – on the one hand, he's on pace for a career-high 77 points, but on the other hand, he can't seem to get in the goal column, having gone goal-less in 15 straight contests. The Swedish winger's woes are particularly pronounced in road games, as he shows 17 points and a minus-6 rating in games away from home this season. A decent Montreal offense could cause problems for that plus-minus even further.
Mattias Ekholm, NSH @ TOR ($17)
It feels like I write about Ekholm every time I get him for this slate but it's because he is always such an outstanding value at the offering price. The 28-year-old Swede's 28 points on the campaign are good enough to rank second among Nashville defensemen, behind only Roman Josi, and 13th among all defensemen in the NHL. Ekholm provides a great floor with a decent ceiling at a very affordable price.
Noah Hanifin, CGY @ CHI ($15)
In the eight games since December 20, Hanifin has established an assist-per-game pace that has also seen him maintain a plus-3 rating. The Boston native's presence on the power play provides him additional value. Considering his basement-level pricing and his matchup with a weak Blackhawks squad, Hanifin is an excellent bargain play to free up some space in your budget.
Defensemen to Avoid
Ryan Ellis, NSH @ TOR ($19)
Ellis has not been exceeding expectations like his teammate Ekholm has, so it may not be smart to spare the extra cash for him in this slate. The Canadian blueliner has just four points and a minus-5 rating in his last 14 contests and has not shown an aptitude for scoring on the road, showing a 2.9 shooting percentage in away games. Don't try him against a Toronto team that allows just 2.48 goals per game at home.
Colton Parayko, STL @ PHI ($18)
While Parayko's pricing makes him tempting considering his goal production, it's important to keep in mind that the blue liner is very much a boom-or-bust option, which is something we like to avoid in the daily fantasy game. The 25-year-old's eight goals are nice, but the fact that he shows just three assists is frightening to say the least and he has not attained an apple since Nov. 9. Don't jump at this price.