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FanDuel NHL: Monday Picks

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.

Monday nightís FanDuel NHL slate is just two games, which means that the options are minimal. In fact, the options are so few and far between that just using one bottom-dollar option will allow you to fill your roster with all the most expensive skaters. In that sense, spending right to the cap isnít necessarily the priority that it is on most slates.

As always, be sure to check RotoWire throughout the day for lineup and goaltender information.

GOALIE

Tuukka Rask, BOS vs. NJD ($8,900): With Taylor Hall missing from the lineup, the Devilsí offensive engine doesnít usually fire on all (or any) cylinders. In the two games theyíve played without Hall since his most recent injury, theyíve managed just 50 shots and three goals. Looking for a lot of saves is typically important for a DFS goalie, but given the lack of options and the anemic Jersey offense, Rask makes a lot of sense on a slate like this.

CENTER

Patrice Bergeron, BOS at NJD ($6,400): It was an incredibly slow start to the season for the Boston captain, scoring just four goals in his first 31 games. That was simply a string of extreme bad luck, however; his shot rate on the year is similar to what it was last year (3.53 shots per game). Furthermore, per Corsica Hockey, his average shot distance was 30.35 feet at five-on-five. Thatís quite comparable to his mark from the four seasons since the lockout (30.19 feet). Given how much he shoots and the apparent similarity in shot quality, Bergeron should be in for a big second half of the season.

Bo Horvat, VAN vs. COL ($4,800): In a nice little nugget of information from ESPN writer and stats researcher Rob Vollman, Horvat led the Canucks in points during the calendar 2016 year. With 25 points so far this season, the young center is well on his way to clearing 50 for the first time. The one thing Horvat doesnít do is shoot much, as heís been sending less than two shots per game on net. That makes him more of a tournament option because his floor isnít so reliable for the purposes of cash games. Hosting a Colorado team that gives up the third-most adjusted five-on-five shot attempts per minute is a good situation for the Canucksí future franchise player.

WING

Jayson Megna, VAN vs. COL ($3,000): Quite often, a playerís value is determined by his linemates rather than his own personal talent. Thatís the case for Megna, whoís on his third team in four years with just 75 NHL games under his belt at the age of 26. Usually a depth player, Megnaís recently been skating on the top line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, a very cushy landing spot. In three games since joining the Twins, Megna has seen his ice time jump over 16 minutes a game; it was under 11 previously. Like Horvat, he doesnít shoot much, but at his price, itís well worth the risk.

Mikko Rantanen, COL at VAN ($4,500): Since Gabriel Landeskog returned from injury, heís been spending a lot of time with Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon. Per Corsica, that trio has combined for controlling 49.25 percent of adjusted shot attempts at five-on-five. Thatís not a great number in itself, but given that the team as a whole is an even 46 percent, theyíre faring considerably better than the rest of the roster. The quality of the team makes it difficult to rely on most any Avalanche player, but the cheapest winger on the top line makes for a reasonable bet.

Frank Vatrano, BOS at NJD ($3,900): A darling of both the analytics and DFS community, Vatrano has looked a lot like his AHL self since returning from injury, posting four points in five games with 12 shots on goal. Over his 44-game career in the NHL, the 22-year-old has managed more than 2.5 shots per game despite hovering around 12 minutes of average ice time. Thatís extremely impressive. He may not enjoy the most premium role yet, but Vatrano lands his fair share of shots on goal and is being given second unit power-play minutes as well.

P.A. Parenteau, NJD vs. BOS ($5,000): The injury to Taylor Hall forced the Devils to shift their lines around, and the latest iteration had Parenteau skating on the second line with Adam Henrique and Beau Bennett. Targeting players on top lines is usually preferable, but that means an extremely tough matchup for the Devilsí top line Monday, as theyíll face Patrice Bergeronís unit Ė they control the second-most shots of any line relative to their team in the NHL. For that reason, itís safer to target Devils on the second line. Parenteau. The 33-year-old has recently bounced back from a rough patch, netting five points in his last seven games, and heís playing big power-play minutes.

DEFENSE

Colin Miller, BOS at NJD ($3,200): The issue with Millerís fantasy potential is ice time, given that he very rarely plays more than 20 minutes a game. Thatís curious for a defenseman with 64 points in his last 90 AHL games. Actually, over the last two seasons, Miller ranks second on the Bruinsí blue line in points per 60 minutes and second in shot attempts generated. With second-unit power-play minutes now going to Miller, he has fantasy upside for such a cheap blueliner. There arenít really any high-end defensive options Monday, so if thereís one place some cap space can be saved, itís among the rearguards.

Troy Stecher, VAN vs. COL ($4,600): Itís been an impressive rookie campaign thus far for Stecher, whoís on pace for 28 points and more than 200 shots on goal. The last rookie blueliner to reach both of those marks in the same season was Dion Phaneuf in 2005-06. Doing so on such a poor team makes it all the more remarkable. Stecher is also running the top power-play unit for the Canucks, and the Avalanche spend the third-most time shorthanded of any team in the league.

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.