Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This lineup has been constructed with expensive and value picks and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
NOTE: These picks are for two-game Monday contests beginning at 7 p.m. ET
C - Evgeni Malkin, PIT ($7,300)
Malkin ranks third among skaters in DraftKings points per game (4.3), and is a superstar forward worth spending up for Monday against the Washington Capitals. He has been outstanding at home with 31 points in 22 games, has three points in as many games against the Capitals, and has a three-game point streak as well as 12 points in his past 10 games. As good as Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Connor McDavid have been, you can save between $800 and 1,000 by drafting Malkin instead.
C - Mark Letestu, EDM ($4,100)
So much of the Edmonton Oilers' recent scoring has come from their first line of McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Patrick Maroon, but the DraftKings prices of those forwards have skyrocketed as a result in recent days. One way to get cheap exposure to McDavid and Draisaitl is by investing in Letestu, their running mate on the first power-play unit. Letestu has 19 points (six on the power play) in 42 games and also stands a chance of scoring at even strength given the Arizona Coyotes' lack of forward depth. He has three points, one block and three SOG in three games against the Coyotes, who are allowing the most DraftKings points to opposing centers.
W - Phil Kessel, PIT ($6,200)
Kessel, who plays frequently alongside Malkin at even strength and on the power play, has three points in as many games against the Capitals and 26 points in 22 home games. He has 10 points and 35 SOG in his past 10 games, and should get back on the scoreboard after being held without a goal on a combined eight SOG in his past two games.
Video: MTL@PIT: Kessel races in, flips backhand past Price
W - Patrick Maroon, EDM ($5,600)
Maroon has four goals in his past five games, trailing only Brad Marchand (seven) of the Boston Bruins and John Tavares (five) of the New York Islanders in the span. As mentioned, he has held down a spot alongside the NHL scoring leader (McDavid), and his 18 goals have him tied for 12th in the NHL entering Monday. He's also one of seven Oilers skaters with at least 100 SOG (102).
W - Conor Sheary, PIT ($5,500)
In addition to the Malkin-Kessel stack, you should also seek a piece of Crosby's line in Sheary. He has 16 points in 19 home games and seven points in his past 10 overall. Sheary quietly ranks fourth on the Penguins in goals (11) behind Crosby (26), Malkin (18) and Kessel (13). He is vastly outperforming Patric Hornqvist at even strength and is still $500 cheaper in DraftKings.
D - Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI ($4,800)
Ekman-Larsson has had a down season by his standards for the Coyotes, but it's worth noting his price has dipped from the mid-$5,000 range to a season-low $4,800 Monday against the Edmonton Oilers. But fantasy owners shouldn't overlook his past success against the Oilers; he has 22 points in 26 career games against them and four points, four blocks and six SOG in three games this season (4.7 DraftKings points per game). Four of his five power-play goals have come on the road.
Video: ARI@ANA: Emkan-Larsson joins the attack to net PPG
D - Trevor Daley, PIT ($4,000)
Letang's latest injury means Daley and Justin Schultz are the Penguins defensemen in the mix for power-play time alongside Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and Patric Hornqvist. Daley has been banged-up as well lately and has struggled offensively with one point in his past seven games, but he does have 13 blocks and eight SOG in that span to salvage his DFS value. Also, remember, this is all about single-game upside. Expect at least 25 minutes from Daley against the Capitals at home, where he has scored nine of his 12 points this season. For a price this cheap with power-play exposure, draft Daley and spread out your savings over the rest of your lineup.
G - Matt Murray, PIT ($7,700)
Murray missed time because of a lower-body injury and had a rough return Thursday on the road against the Ottawa Senators, allowing four goals on 33 shots faced in the second leg of a back-to-back for the Penguins. That said, it's a bounce-back opportunity for him and the Penguins at home Monday with a chance to break the Capitals' current nine-game winning streak. Whether you're talking last season (4-1-1, .922 SV%), the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs (8-2, .925 SV%) or this season (7-0-1, .941 save percentage, one shutout), Murray has been nearly unbeatable at home in his NHL career.
Video: PIT@OTT: Murray lays out to make consecutive saves
UTIL - Justin Williams, WSH ($4,800)
Williams is the no-brainer value pick of the day after a two-goal, three-shot outing Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers (7.5 DraftKings points). The Capitals veteran has 11 points, seven blocks and 27 SOG in his past 10 games (4.5 DraftKings points per game), and has two goals, three blocks and seven SOG (3.7) in three games against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Williams is flanking Evgeny Kuznetsov on the second line and second power-play unit.
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