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Fantasy Spin: Monahan, Russell worth picking up

by David Satriano /

Center Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames had an impressive rookie season in 2013-14 with 22 goals and 34 points, but is actually having a better season despite being owned in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues.

He had a goal in a 5-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday in 19:44 of ice time (including 2:55 on the power play), and has six goals in his past eight games. Monahan has one point fewer than last season, is a plus-8 (he was minus-20 last season), has more power play points (nine) and is 10 shots behind last season's total of 140.

Monahan's teammate, Kris Russell (12 percent owned, D), doesn't have any goals but has 18 assists and a League-leading 161 blocked shots. Russell had an assist and a season-high nine blocked shots Monday and has 13 games with five or more blocks this season. If you're in a league where blocks count, he is a must-own.

- The Florida Panthers' playoff hopes may be dwindling, but that doesn't mean some of their players can't help your fantasy team.

Take forward Brad Boyes (4 percent owned, C, RW), who had two assists and five shots in a 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers. In his past 10 games, Boyes has three goals and five assists, and ranks fifth on the Panthers in scoring. Boyes has 10 goals, 14 assists and has taken 100 shots. He's also a plus-3.

Then there's Brandon Pirri. After scoring three goals in his first four games, Pirri was held without a goal for 15 games, but has four goals in five games since (including one Monday). Pirri (1-percent owned, C). His seven goals in 24 games translate to 24 goals over an 82-game season. Pirri also averages 2.5 shots per game.


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