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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.

It's a six-game slate on Monday night, which is unusually large for the first day of the week. There isn’t a bevy of high-end options, so the focus here should be more on finding players in good spots than on using every dollar available to fill out our FanDuel rosters.


Robin Lehner, BUF vs. FLA ($7,900): Playing behind a poor defensive team – the Sabres have allowed the second-most shot attempts per minute over their last 25 games – has its benefits for a fantasy goalie. The obvious benefit is that there's a lot of upside if he can earn the win with two goals allowed or fewer; the secondary benefit is that he generally has a high floor because of his strong save percentage. Lehner can be used in any format Monday, though tournaments should be the focus.


Elias Lindholm, CAR vs. DET ($5,400): Carolina is in a very fortunate situation here, playing host to a Detroit squad playing its second game in as many nights. The Red Wings are a very low-event team, meaning they don’t take a lot of shots, but don’t give up many either. The good news is that while they've allowed the sixth-fewest adjusted shot attempts per minute over their last 25 games, they've also given up the 12th-fewest scoring chances and the 13th-most high-danger shot attempts. While their raw shots attempts allowed are low, it’s clear they give up way more scoring opportunities than they should. This should be a good night for Carolina’s scorers.

Brayden Point, TAM vs. CHI ($4,400): In the eight games since Tyler Johnson’s injury, Point is playing a whopping 21:43 per game, and he's averaging a point per game in that span. He's been skating on the top line with Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat, and he's also positioned on the top power-play unit. Though he’s averaged a relatively modest 2.25 shots per game in that span, the plethora of ice time and top-end linemates make him appealing even against a high-degree-of-difficulty opponent like Chicago.


Jaden Schwartz, STL vs. ARI ($5,900): The injuries that the Blues are going through have been causing them to heap more ice time onto their top-line players. Schwartz has been no exception, averaging almost 19 minutes and nearly three shots per game over the past four weeks. Obviously, the most compelling reason to use him Monday is the opponent, as Arizona is arguably the worst defensive team in the NHL both at five-on-five and on the penalty kill. There will be a lot of ownership on the top trio for the Blues, which makes Schwartz more of a cash-game target.

Micheal Ferland, CGY vs. COL ($3,700): In more than 330 career minutes together, the line of Ferland, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan has been on the ice for more than 60.5 shots generated per 60 minutes. When playing in any other combination, none of the three have been on the ice for more than 54.3. It appears this trio has developed offensive chemistry together, which is likely why they’ve remained a line for large swaths of the last two months. In a home matchup against the woeful Avalanche, Ferland is a very solid bargain option.

Sam Reinhart, BUF vs. FLA ($4,800): The return of Kyle Okposo has normalized the lines for Buffalo, which means Reinhart is back on the right wing of Jack Eichel. Those two have helped an anemic Sabres offense generate nearly 60 shots per 60 minutes over the last two seasons, with an expected goal rate of 2.66, a solid number for fantasy purposes. The right winger is a great way to get a piece of Eichel's line without paying Eichel's steep price.

Kevin Fiala, NAS at NYI ($3,300): The Nashville forward with the second-most individual shots per 60 minutes this year is Fiala at 9.43. His issue had long been consistent ice time, but since moving to a line with Calle Jarnkrok and James Neal, he’s earning about 30 more seconds per game. That line should avoid the tough John Tavares matchup at even strength against the Islanders, which makes Fiala a target for cap relief if you need it.


Alex Pietrangelo, STL vs. ARI ($5,400): Since Kevin Shattenkirk was traded away from St. Louis, Pietrangelo has averaged 26:53 of ice time per game, compared 24:51 up to that point. He's also consistently skating on the top power-play unit, which has a lot of appeal in a home matchup against Arizona. There are only a few expensive options on the blue line Monday, which makes the captain an easy choice for cash games.

Mike Matheson, FLA at BUF ($3,200): The unfortunate injuries suffered by Aaron Ekblad have meant a lot more ice time for this 23-year-old defenseman. In fact, Matheson has played at least 22 minutes in each game his teammate has missed this month after averaging under 21 minutes a game this season. He's averaged more than two shots along with one blocked shot per game, which is a very high floor for someone at his price. This is the bargain blueliner to use for cap space.

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.