NHL

4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 11/14/19

Leon Draisaitl has been red-hot lately and is a great guy to build around tonight. Who else should you pay up for?

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.

An eight game Thursday slate has some intriguing matchups and some studs we can spend our salary on. Which ones should we prioritize tonight?

Nathan Mackinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $8,900

Nathan MacKinnon paid off for fantasy owners on Tuesday night, recording two goals and two assists. Tonight, his Colorado Avalanche face off against the Edmonton Oilers on the road in what is a showcase of two of the leagues biggest superstars.

MacKinnon has been performing slightly better than his center counterpart, Connor McDavid, as of late. He is also more of a high-volume shooter as his shot attempt rate is fourth in the NHL among those who have played at least 100 minutes. The Oilers have not been shutting down anyone defensively, allowing the sixth most expected goals per 60 minutes in the NHL.

The Avalanche are slight underdogs in Edmonton tonight, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, but that shouldn't slow anyone down when it comes to rostering MacKinnon. He is tied for the most expensive player on the slate for a good reason, and his floor is high enough to give serious consideration to in cash games.

Leon Draisaitl, Wing, Edmonton Oilers

FanDuel Salary: $8,900

Another player who is up at the top of the salary charts is Leon Draisaitl. Draisaitl isn't playing second fiddle to McDavid anymore. He's leading the entire league in points by five. He has points in nine straight games, with six multi-point games in the span.

That's exactly what we want when we spend up in daily fantasy hockey, a player who is consistent and has a chance to break out for a 40-point outing like Leon has done. The Oilers' implied goal total is over three tonight, and they will be facing a backup goalie as Philipp Grubauer has landed on the injured reserve. Edmonton's power play is the best on the slate, according to our Daily Fantasy Matchup Heat Map, giving Draisaitl an opportunity to hit on a few power-play points and pay off his expensive price tag.

He is a great play in all formats and is our highest-projected player of the night.

Nikita Kucherov, Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $8,100

The Tampa Bay Lightning return from their two-game series in Sweden having won both games. They return to a perfect matchup as they're at home against the New York Rangers. The Rangers have been the weakest team in the league defensively, allowing a hefty 3.71 expected goals per 60 minutes.

Kucherov had a point in each of the international games the Lightning played and could easily have that small streak to grow in this game. His Lightning have an implied goal total of a massive 3.93, by far the highest on the slate. Kucherov has done a lot of his damage over the past few seasons on the power play, and the Rangers are giving up the most power-play opportunities of any team playing tonight.

Kucherov hasn't hit the heights which saw him win the league MVP and scoring title last season, but this game could help him get back on track toward being the dominant player he was last year. The upside he has makes him a great play in tournaments.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Wing. Florida Panthers

FanDuel Salary: $7,600

Quietly one of the hottest players in the league has been Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers. He has 12 points in his team's last six games, including a three-assist night on Tuesday to lead a comeback effort against the Boston Bruins. Huberdeau is producing points at an elite rate; his 4.28 points per 60 minutes are fourth in the NHL.

On Thursday, he'll face a Winnipeg Jets team that has allowed the 10th most expected goals per game and the fifth most high danger chances per game. This is part of what's driving the Panthers' high implied goal total as their 3.58 clip is the second highest on the slate.

Huberdeau has gone overlooked this season, and him and his Florida teammates could continue to go under-owned on a night with bigger names playing. But they have nearly as much upside as anyone playing tonight.



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.