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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.

We’ve got a small three-game slate in the NHL on Monday night. As we saw with the Martin Hanzal trade on Sunday, lineups can change throughout the day based on deals consummated prior to approach Wednesday’s trade deadline, so be sure to check back with us for the most up-to-date info before game time.

GOALIE

Cory Schneider, NJD vs. MON ($8,300): This has been a rollercoaster season for the star netminder of the Devils. After posting a .947 save percentage in October, that number dropped below .900 over the course of the next two months. Since Jan. 1, though, he’s sitting on a .929 mark. This isn’t normal for him, as November and December mark the only time in his career that he’s ever posted consecutive months with a save percentage under .900. His inconsistency is also a concern for cash-game usage, and for that reason, he’s much better suited for tournaments Monday.

CENTER

Eric Staal, MIN vs. LOS ($5,300): The price on Staal is a bit mystifying right now. His shooting percentage is a little high relative to recent seasons, but that was on Carolina teams that were consistently among the worst offensively in the NHL. The rate at which the Wild score with Staal on the ice is low relative to his teammates. In short, there is nothing really out of line with regard to Staal’s production this year, so being priced in the same range as options like Derick Brassard and Adam Henrique is unusual. At this price, Staal is hard to fade in cash games.

Travis Zajac, NJD vs. MON ($4,800): New Jersey remains one of the worst teams as far as goal-scoring is concerned, but the top line is another story. When they skate together, Zajac and Taylor Hall help the Devils generate about a shot attempt per minute at 5-on-5. When they’re off the ice, that number craters to about 0.75 per minute. For that reason, when looking at Devils skaters in cash games, it’s all about the top line, and the price on Zajac is very appealing Monday.

WING

Artturi Lehkonen, MON at NJD ($3,300): Through 25 contests in calendar 2017, Lehkonen is just shy of two shots on goal per game (49) despite averaging just 14:11 of ice time. His ice time has gone up nearly 40 seconds over the last few games, as he’s moved to the second line with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. Importantly, this line shouldn’t see much of Taylor Hall’s unit on the other side, and as just mentioned, the Devils are essentially a one-line team.

Ondrej Palat, TAM vs. OTT ($4,900): The Triplets line from Tampa Bay – Palat, Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson – has long been a top-end offensive unit. Via Corsica Hockey, when this trio has skated together, the left winger has managed 2.51 points per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Only six forwards in the entire league have a higher points-per-minute mark than that in 2016-17. At this price and in a home matchup against Senators squad that’s playing its second game in as many nights, the 25-year-old is a strong cash-game play.

Tyler Toffoli, LOS at MIN ($5,500): Another trio that has been reunited: Toffoli, Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson. Their notoriety came during the 2013-14 NHL playoffs, but over the last three regular seasons, these three players have helped the Kings generate more than 70 shot attempts per 60 minutes when they’ve been on the ice together. That’s a monster number. The Kings do have a tough matchup going into Minnesota, so avoiding the high cost of Jeff Carter and opting for Toffoli to gain exposure to the team’s best offensive line is recommended.

Taylor Hall, NJD vs. MON ($6,800): The ultra-talented left winger has an 82-game pace for 66 points – a rather solid rate when you consider the Devils’ general offensive struggles. He’s also on about the same shot-taking pace that we saw over his last three years in Edmonton. The information in the section on Zajac is equally applicable here, making Hall a high-end wing target Monday.

DEFENSE

Jeff Petry, MON at NJD ($4,000): Through 60 games this year, Petry has 249 shots and blocked shots combined – an average of 4.15 shots plus blocks per game, offering a floor not often found among players priced in this range. For reference, Jared Spurgeon is at 3.69 per game, while Andrei Markov is at 2.49, and both are at least $1,000 more expensive Monday. DFS players looking to go cheap on the blue line without getting stuck with a zero should roster Petry.

Dion Phaneuf, OTT at TAM ($4,700): The veteran has missed the scoresheet over the last couple games, but Phaneuf has provided a solid foundation for DFS players with 125 shots and 114 blocks through 60 games. He offers a similar degree of offensive upside, but Phaneuf is in a better situation Monday – even though he’s on the second of back-to-backs, he draws a Tampa team that will either start inconsistent young goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy or new acquisition Peter Budaj. Either way, there’s opportunity for offense in addition to a solid floor. Phaneuf also enjoys steady power-play time, which doesn't hurt.

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.