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FantasyDraft NHL: Monday Picks

Sasha Yodashkin

Sasha Yodashkin writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Monday's three-game NHL slate features exclusively Atlantic Division teams. Each game consists of one likely playoff-bound Canadian opponent facing off against an inferior American squad, with value to be found in every contest. These six players are best positioned to outperform their salaries given their combination of role and opponent…

CENTERS

William Nylander, TOR vs. BUF ($13,100):
Buffalo's 26th-ranked penalty kill is by far the worst in action here, with no other squad ranking worse than 18th in that category. That means Toronto has the clearest path to success with the extra man, making their most prolific power-play scorer a strong choice here. Nylander has racked up 25 of his 59 points on the power play, and should be able to add to that team-leading total given that Buffalo's opponents have scored on 22.6 percent of opportunities in such situations. His value also receives a bump in this matchup since the Sabres give up the most shots in the league at 34.1 per game.

Ryan O'Reilly, BUF vs. TOR ($12,600): Buffalo's underdog status doesn't matter as much in a format that doesn't account for plus-minus, so owners looking to take advantage of Toronto's 20th-ranked defense can do so risk-free. Those without the funds to afford Jack Eichel would do well to settle for O'Reilly, who's in the midst of his fifth 50-plus point campaign in the past six seasons. The league leader in ice time among forwards also maximizes his opportunities to produce across the board by playing in all situations, suggesting the difference in scoring potential between him and Eichel in this favorable matchup isn't as large as the $3,500 gap between their prices suggests.

WINGS

Phillip Danault, MON at FLA ($8,900):
Danault is taking advantage of his first-line role alongside Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov. He has produced two goals, two assists and nine shots during his current three-game point streak while averaging 16:56 of ice time per contest over his past four. Don't expect him to slow down against a Panthers team that's down to its third-string goaltender due to injuries.

Max Pacioretty, MON at FLA ($14,600): Pacioretty has lived up to his high price tag more often than not, ranking tops among available wingers with 35 goals while sitting just one point shy of his career high with 66. Matching or even surpassing his 2014-15 mark shouldn't prove difficult against the Panthers, who have allowed 11 goals in two games since James Reimer joined Roberto Luongo in the press box following a collision with Toronto's Brian Boyle. The skilled winger comes into this one on a four-game point streak, so he has the combination of confidence and motivation necessary to take advantage of this matchup.

DEFENSEMAN

Dion Phaneuf, OTT at DET ($8,700):
With Erik Karlsson (lower body) highly doubtful for this contest, and Cody Ceci's (lower body) status unclear after he exited Saturday's game early, Phaneuf is expected to be the team's best source of offense from the blue line. The 31-year-old defenseman is over the 30-point mark for the eighth time in his career this season, yet remains affordable at just $8,700. Phaneuf's chances of outperforming that price will drop significantly once his teammates return, so take advantage of this opportunity while you can.

Team Goalie

Detroit Red Wings, DET vs. OTT ($13,900):
The Red Wings, Sabres, Panthers and Senators have all scored between 2.41 and 2.52 goals per game this season, making all four of their opponents strong plays. Detroit is by far the cheapest of those options, and will likely outperform its valuation even more significantly if Jimmy Howard gets the start as expected. Injuries have kept him from reaching enough starts to qualify, but Howard's 2.16 GAA would rank third in the NHL and his .927 save percentage would be second to only Sergei Bobrovsky.

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. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.