3 NHL Studs to Target on 10/7/19

Star center Auston Mattews has five goals in three games to start the season. Is he a stud player we should be paying up for tonight?

A small two game slate on Monday still offers up some studs that we can target for our NHL lineups.

Spending up in any Daily Fantasy lineup is how to get the superstars and the highest upside players in your lineup. In NHL DFS, it’s different than paying up in sports like NBA or NFL. Someone can be one of the highest-priced players at his position a put up a total dud of a performance, and paying that much for him would be a huge mistake. Let’s make sure we are paying up in the right spots when building our lineups tonight.

Auston Matthews, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs

FanDuel Price: $8,900

October has been Auston Matthews month ever since he broke into the NHL. He already has five goals in three games this season for the Toronto Maple Leafs, bringing his total in October to 30 in 35 games in his career, per Hockey-Reference.com. That isn't a great reason to play him on Monday, just a fun fact. What are some great reasons to play him is the fact that he leads the league in shots and individual expected goals, according to Natural Stat Trick.

He's the trigger man on the Leafs power play that includes elite setup men in Mitchell Marner and John Tavares, leading them with eleven shot attempts in the first three games. FanDuel Sportsbook has Toronto as a favorite against the Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues, and even with the Blues' stellar defensive reputation, this game could have a lot of goals in it for the Leafs. Matthews is worth spending up for tonight and capitalizing on the early season hot streak and the opportunity he has on a dangerous Leafs attack.

Jack Eichel, Center, Buffalo Sabres

FanDuel Price: $7,500

A second American center is a stud to target for Monday's slate. Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils. Now he gets a matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets that surrendered seven goals to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. The Blue Jackets goaltending was a major question mark going into this season, and it has not given us any good answers after allowing eleven goals in their first two games. Eichel is the player we want to exploit that weakness with, as he leads all Sabres forwards in ice time.

Eichel had the highest shot rate on Buffalo last season with 18.49 shot attempts per 60 minutes. He has formed good chemistry thus far with his linemates Sam Reinhart and Victor Olofsson, as they have connected on three goals already. Buffalo has looked like an improved team as their depth got better during the offseason, and it benefits Eichel's fantasy outlook that they have some better defensemen who can actually move the puck quickly and efficiently out of their own zone now.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Wing, St. Louis Blues

FanDuel Price: $7,600

On the other side of the game against the Leafs, Vladimir Tarasenko and the Blues are set up nicely as well. When looking for a stud in NHL DFS, we want a guy who will shoot a lot and will be on the ice a lot. It also helps if the player is on the team's top power-play unit. Tarasenko ranked tenth in shot attempts per 60 minutes among forwards last year. He leads the Blues in power-play time on ice per game last season. What also is a good thing for him is the pace of this game should be fast, the Leafs have already played a 5-3 game and a 6-5 game and don't look like they want to start playing defensive, slow hockey any time soon.

Tarasenko is preferred to someone like Mitchell Marner because of his shoot first nature. Players who shoot more have a higher floor and also a higher ceiling because scoring goals is worth more fantasy points than assisting on them. He also should be considered a better play than Cam Atkinson due to his line chemistry with Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz being settled, whereas the changes over the summer in Columbus still have them figuring things out.

Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.