4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 12/9/19

Nathan MacKinnon has his running mates back and is on a tear. Who else can we pay up for tonight?

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.

Monday gives us a four-game slate with some of the NHL's best players taking the ice. Which ones should we build our lineups around?

Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $9,000

The Colorado Avalanche have returned to nearly full health, with Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen returning last week. Their return to the lineup is a boost for Nathan MacKinnon, but it's not like he needed one. MacKinnon has scored 19 points in his last ten games, to go along with 41 shots on goal. His season numbers overall are some of the best in the league as well, he ranks fourth in points per 60 minutes and shot attempts per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Tonight, the Avalanche take on the Calgary Flames at home. The Flames rate as about an average team in most defensive metrics. It will be tough for an average team to slow down the league's second-highest scoring team on the road, so the matchup shouldn't hinder MacKinnon's fantasy outlook. Our projections have him as the highest scoring center on the night, at least three points higher than every other center. Mackinnon is a great pay up option. as usual, he has become one of the highest floor players in daily fantasy hockey and has real upside as well.

David Pastrnak, Wing, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $8,700

In a shocking turn of events, David Pastrnak hasn't scored a goal in his last three games. He still leads the league in goals by five, with 25 total. He had 10 individual scoring chances in those three games, so it's not like he hasn't been able to get involved and this mini scoring drought is anything to be worried about. On Monday, he gets a cure for many scoring droughts for NHL teams and players.

The Boston Bruins travel to Canada's capital and face the Ottawa Senators. The Senators are the second-worst team in shot attempts allowed and fifth-worst in expected goals against. To make matters worse, Ottawa just had to place starting goalie Craig Anderson on the injured reserve. Boston has the second-highest implied goal total tonight with 3.42. Pastrnak is a good bet to break his small slump tonight and get on the score sheet once again.

Victor Hedman, Defense, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $6,700

Victor Hedman has been on a tear recently for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has points in five straight games and goals in his last three. He is second in points per game for defensemen at 1.08. The Lightning have been scoring a ton of goals lately and now lead the league in goals per 60 minutes. It makes sense to want the player who gets the most ice time on the highest-scoring team on a per-game basis, and Hedman leads Tampa with 22:33 time on ice per game.

The Lightning are at home to face the New York Islanders. Despite the Islanders' reputation as a stellar defensive team, Tampa Bay still has a high implied goal total at 3.4. They have done a lot of damage on the power play, as their 30% success rate with a man advantage is second in the league. The Islanders penalty kill is 14th in the NHL at 81%, and they will have their hands full against Tampa Bay tonight. We can ride Victor Hedman's hot streak and roster him in a decent spot tonight.

Braden Holtby, Goalie, Washington Capitals

FanDuel Salary: $8,700

As the goalie for the team at the top of the standings, Braden Holtby is always worth consideration. He has won his last four starts and is 15-2-4 overall. As the Washington Capitals return home, they get a good matchup for a goalie against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus is the second-lowest scoring in the league with 71 goals. They have the lowest implied goal total on the slate at 2.48. With the Capitals as the biggest favorite tonight at -230, Holtby is a goalie worth paying spending up for in your lineups.

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.