Frederik Andersen, TOR vs. ARI ($32) – We’re riding the hot hand with Andersen, who has posted shutouts in two consecutive games. Other than a dreadful performance against the Blues, Andersen’s been reliable in net. The Leafs are healthy with Auston Matthews back in the lineup, and generate a lot of scoring opportunities from the slot, an area that the Coyotes have had a lot of trouble defending this season. The Coyotes are generating some momentum with two straight wins, but one came against the hapless Habs and the other came in overtime against the Sens in which the notoriously inconsistent Anthony Duclair managed to sneak the puck past backup Mike Condon to complete the hat trick.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Pekka Rinne, NSH vs. WPG ($36) – Rinne’s allowed 14 goals in his past four games, and he’ll be going up against the sixth best offense in the league, a Jets squad that's averaging 3.32 goals per game. Historically, Rinne’s been very good against the Jets, but the current roster has never been as good as they are now. Rinne’s 6-0-1 at home, but after an excellent October (.940 SvP, 1.86 GAA) he’s been pedestrian in November (.901 SvP, 3.12 GAA).
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William Nylander, TOR vs. ARI ($20) – Nylander has been held without a point for at least two consecutive games just eight times since last year, a testament to his offensive ability and consistency. He posted zeroes across the board in a 6-0 win against the Habs, the first time this season he failed to register a single shot. The Coyotes have won two straight but they were hardly convincing wins, and the jury’s still out on expected starter Antti Raanta. Nylander doesn’t come cheap, especially for someone who gets second-line ice time at 17 minutes per game, but playing with Matthews will provide a lot of added value.
CENTER TO AVOID
Jack Eichel, BUF vs. CLS ($26) – With the season already at the quarter point, it’s pretty obvious that the Sabres just aren’t where they thought they would be and will likely finish near the bottom of the league once again. Despite having a talented crop of forwards, the Sabres are dead last in goals scored per game (2.30), and Eichel has scored just five times in 20 games, none of which came on the power play. He’s an elite shooter going through a rough stretch and his shooting percentage is trending in the wrong direction, so he’s just not a reliable option at the moment.
Evander Kane, BUF vs. CLS ($23) – Here’s a fun fact: Kane’s 93 shots on goal account for over 15 percent of the total generated by the Sabres, and his 11 goals account for nearly a quarter of the team’s 46 – that’s a higher percentage than the league’s top two goal scorers, Nikita Kucherov and John Tavares. That’s how important Kane’s been to the Sabres offense, and a big reason why the impending free agent has been linked to many teams in trade rumors. The Sabres have lost five straight but Kane has been pulling the offensive weight with two goals and two assists in that span.
Nino Niederreiter, MIN vs. NJ ($17) – Cory Schneider will be difficult to beat, but El Nino’s got the hot hand with a five-game point streak, including a goal in each of his past three games. He’s appeared in just 13 games this season but he’s picked up where he left off last year, and over the past four seasons with Minnesota he has become one of the league’s most efficient shooters. The drawback to Niederreiter is that he doesn’t get first-line minutes, which is a little baffling considering how much Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu have struggled to start the season and with the Wild sitting 21st with just 56 goals scored.
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WINGS TO AVOID
Corey Perry, ANH at SJ ($18) – He’s got six assists in his past four games, but the fact remains that the Ducks' offense hasn’t been very good all season. They lack depth down the middle with Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler out of the lineup with injuries, and despite 49 points in 66 career games against the Sharks, Perry is not an elite scorer. His numbers against their in-state rival makes him a tempting pick, but there’s little value to be had when Niederreiter, Mitch Marner ($17), Jason Zucker ($18) and Clayton Keller ($18) all available for a similar price.
Boone Jenner, CLS at BUF ($17) – He hasn’t scored a goal in seven games and he’s registered just three assists over that stretch despite getting a lot of ice time. John Tortorella loves Jenner because he’s versatile and he competes every shift, but he’s not considered a scorer by any means even though he potted 30 goals two seasons ago. Buffalo’s an easy target, but teammates Artemi Panarin ($22) and Cam Atkinson ($20) are much better at creating offense and play on the first power-play unit so they’re worth the premium, while Josh Anderson ($16) provides better value with seven goals already this season.
Roman Josi, NSH vs. WPG ($23) – He’s on a three-game point streak with a goal and three assists, nine shots on goal and five blocked shots. With an all-round game like that, even when Josi doesn’t score he can still stuff the score sheet in other areas. The Jets like to play a wide-open game but are still prone to the occasional missed assignment and blown coverage, and a player like Josi who has both skill and smarts will certainly be able to exploit them.
Seth Jones, CLS at BUF ($19) – Zach Werenski ($21) has the hot hand with a goal in each of his past two games, but Jones continues to be Columbus’ No. 1 choice. Even though Jones hasn’t registered a point in his past five games, he’s registered 20 shots on net and 10 blocked shots, and was recently promoted to the first power-play unit. Jones is priced slightly lower than Werenski, but in reality, he has a little more to give. Both defensemen have 12 points, but Jones has the edge in shots (+6), blocked shots (+11) and ice time (+1:49).
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Brent Burns, SJ vs. ANH ($32) – Until he starts scoring there’s no reason to pick Burns, who is $9 more expensive than the next player even though he’s yet to score this season. The law of averages says that Burns will light the lamp sooner or later, but until he gets into an offensive groove, it’s best to avoid him altogether. Burns’ dry spell extends to the rest of the team, which has scored a total of 44 goals this season, the lowest total in the league entering Monday.
Will Butcher, NJ at MIN ($16) – Not to take anything away from his excellent rookie season, but Butcher has cooled off considerably since his hot start, and prior to his two-point effort against the Jets on Saturday he’d managed just two assists in his previous eight games. He doesn’t put a lot of pucks on net and doesn’t play a big enough role against the opposition’s top lines to block a lot of shots, and the Wild have been very stingy on defense this season.