This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
There's just one game on Monday's slate with the struggling Senators visiting the similarly struggling Canucks. After winning their season-opener against the Leafs, the Sens went 0-3-1 with 14 goals allowed in their three-game series against the Jets. However, this was somewhat expected, as the Senators are a young, re-building team and expected to finish at or near the bottom of the division.
The Canucks, on the other hand, are an absolute mess. With high expectations going into the season following a strong playoff showing, they have allowed a league-worst 33 goals in seven games (their worst start in 15 years). Vancouver needs to right the ship quickly to keep up with the Leafs, Jets and Canadiens, who are already showing signs of pulling away from the rest of the pack.
With only one game on tap, each FanDuel entry will have just five player slots, with the Captain slot awarded 1.5x fantasy points.
As per usual on FanDuel, no goalies will be available with a one-game slate. But, if we had to pick, the Canucks should be able to win this one. Expect to see Thatcher Demko (.866 Sv%, 5.47 GAA) for the Canucks as they continue to alternate starts, while the Sens will likely go with their No. 1 Matt Murray (.880 Sv%, 3.79 GAA).
Brock Boeser, VAN vs. OTT ($9,500): He's the 10th-ranked player by salary, but on the ice, he'll be one of the best forwards. He has four goals and two assists this season, and for long stretches looks like the only Canuck who is playing well. He's a good value play relative to his peers, a fixture on the top six and the top power-play unit.
Josh Norris, OTT at VAN ($7,500): Norris has a very good skill set and will get a season-long look as the Sens' top center. The Sens have plenty of vets and Norris can be feast-or-famine because he doesn't shoo the puck very often, but he's one of their best playmakers.
Jake Virtanen, VAN vs. OTT ($7,000): Virtanen is very much matchup-dependent. He was bumped up to the top line last game with Boeser moving down to Bo Horvat's line, generating one shot and a blocked shot in 14 minutes. If Virtanen isn't in the top six or on the second PP unit, he's not worth picking.
Drake Batherson, OTT at VAN ($6,500): Through five games, Batherson has 18 shots on goal, second on the team only to Brady Tkachuk's 19 and six ahead of third-place Derek Stepan. Batherson's high-volume shooting makes him a safe pick even if he doesn't convert on his chances.
Zack MacEwen, VAN vs. OTT ($6,000): He's a fourth-line winger and was the only Canucks forward to finish with less than 10 minutes of ice time Saturday, but during Sunday's practice MacEwen joined the second power-play unit as a net-front presence. Keep in mind, though, the Canucks lean on their top man-advantage unit a lot, and it's not unusual for them to play the majority of the two minutes.
Pettersson got the monkey off his back with his first goal of the season Saturday against the Habs, in what must have been a huge sigh of relief for the Canucks' most talented player. When skilled players get going, they tend to go on a roll. That's the bet here with the Canucks' "Lotto Line," which also forms the core of their first power-play unit.
Quinn Hughes, VAN vs. OTT ($10,000): If the Canucks power play is humming, that usually means Hughes is playing well, too. It's been a mixed bag so far this season, but Hughes remains one of the premier playmakers from the back end with six assists. He's the best play among blueliners Monday.
Alexander Edler, VAN vs. OTT ($7,500): Edler is the safe choice because he plays a lot and blocks a lot of shots. There's an added bonus if he can get some power-play time, and there's some savings to be had compared to Nate Schmidt ($8,000).
Mike Reilly, OTT at VAN ($7,000): He's a curious choice to quarterback the second unit even though Christian Wolanin ($6,000) is considered to have more offensive skill. Regardless, we default to head coach D.J. Smith, so Reilly is the better option as long as he stays in that role.
Erik Gudbranson, OTT at VAN ($6,500): The former Canuck has been solid for his new team so far. He has almost no offensive upside, but he's arguably their best shot blocker with 12 so far. Josh Brown leads the team with 14, but he tends to play fewer minutes than Gudbranson.