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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 just a two-game slate in the NHL on Monday night, and there are few few expensive options; just two skaters are priced above $7,000, while no goalie is above $9,000. That allows a lot of flexibility with rosters, as no single roster slot will constrict your cap space.

GOALIE

Chad Johnson, CGY vs. ARI ($7,900): The cheapest goalie on the slate Monday, Johnson draws an Arizona team that's coming off a shocking and emotional overtime win over the Penguins on Saturday; this matchup doesn't project to get the Coyotes quite so jacked up. For his part, Johnson also beat the Penguins his last time out, which was nearly a week ago thanks to the Flames' bye. Even with the Coyotes' recently improved offensive results, they're still 29th in the league in goals per game, and this is a big spot for Johnson as he tries to hold off Brian Elliott for the starting role. The big risk here from a DFS perspective is that they're also 27th in shots per game, which hurts Johnson's ceiling a bit.

CENTER

Mika Zibanejad, NYR at CLM ($5,600): The trio of Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, and Mats Zuccarello was reunited last month following Zibanejad's return from injury; that forward unit has generated more than 12 scoring chances per 60 minutes of ice time. That's in the neighborhood of top-tier lines like Ryan Getzlafís in Anaheim and Connor McDavidís in Edmonton. Since returning from injury nearly a month ago, heís been more of a distributor, averaging under two shots per game, but his line is still elite at generating chances, which puts him in a good spot to produce Monday.

Martin Hanzal, ARI at CGY ($5,200): The Flames have allowed 3.63 power plays per game to this point, ahead of the league average of 3.11, which should mean more man-advantage opportunities than usual for the Coyotes. That's good news for Hanzalís fantasy value, as he averages the most ice time per game among Arizona forwards at an even three minutes. He's also averaging more than 2.5 shots per game, which represents a three-year high. Hanzal's is a fine option both in cash games and in tournaments.

WING

Chris Kreider, NYR at CLM ($6,500): This has been a breakout campaign for the 25-year-old winger, who has already set a career high in goals with 22 despite not having played 50 games yet. While his shooting percentage is a bit high at 16.3 percent, he did shoot at a 12.4 percent clip over the previous three years. The important note here is that Kreider is landing 2.76 shots per game on goal, an increase from 2.11 over that same three-season span. As noted in the Zibanejad section, his line generates a lot of chances, and all this brings him into play, considering the lack of high-priced options on Monday night.

Troy Brouwer, CGY vs. ARI ($4,500): Not only has Brouwer been slotted on the top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, but he's on the top power-play unit as well. Over the course of the season, in just under 100 minutes of time together, those three forwards lead all Calgary lines in shots generated per minute as a unit. The sample isnít large, but the early returns are hard to ignore. Calgary hosting Arizona means a home game against a team giving up the second-most shots per game. For those wanting to avoid paying up for his linemates, the right winger represents a cheap way to get exposure to them.

Boone Jenner, CLM vs. NYR ($4,800): After scoring 30 goals last year, the 23-year-old is on pace for fewer than 20 this year. One reason for this is that his shooting percentage has fallen by nearly five percent from his career average. That's despite Jenner averaging nearly an identical rate of individual scoring chances per 60 minutes this year (3.27) to his first three seasons (3.26). Though his shots per game have declined, that's due to a fall in ice time, not a drop in individual performance. Assuming his shot percentages normalize down the stretch, Jenner is underpriced right now. He'll carry a lower ownership than the top
line as well, making him a perfect one-off option in tournaments.

Radim Vrbata, ARI at CGY ($5,600): The conundrum of Vrbata is this: He's averaging more than three shots on goal per game, which is great for cash-game value, but he also has the fifth-farthest average shot distance among all regular forwards this year, which makes it hard to convert those chances into goals. Those using Hanzal in tournaments should stack his linemate Vrbata, but the veteran winger can be left in the player pool for cash games.

DEFENSE

Seth Jones, CLM vs. NYR ($5,000): The young blueliner is averaging 3.85 shots plus blocked shots per game, which provides a solid floor for cash-game purposes. He's also being relied upon more by his coach, averaging 24:20 of ice time since Christmas, a notable rise from his 23:03 before the holiday break, and all those minutes mean he's almost always guaranteed to give you some fantasy points. Jones should be a staple for those playing head-to-head and double-up contests Monday night.

Nick Holden, NYR vs. CLM ($3,800): On a per-minute basis, Columbus has given up the eighth-most scoring chances when down a man. That gives some fantasy value to Holden on Monday, as heís been slotted on the second power-play unit for the Rangers of late, although he's also gone five games without a point. For tournament players looking to save a bit of cap space Ė with Monday's salaries, going cheap at just one roster spot should do the trick Ė Holden warrants consideration.

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.