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

Patrik Laine got a goal against Detroit on Tuesday and gets to face the struggling Red Wings again tonight. Who else can we look at on Thursday?

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.

Thursday is a busy night in the NHL with twelve games on tap. Some of the stars look like they could be in for a big night, so let's identify the ones that we want to roster tonight.

Jack Eichel, Center, Buffalo Sabres

FanDuel Salary: $8,800

Jack Eichel has been on fire ever since his four-goal game on November 16th. He has a point in every game since then, a streak of 14 games. He's up to 20 goals on the season, which is tied for third in the NHL. The Buffalo Sabres will be at home tonight, where Eichel has been dominating. He has 15 goals and 28 points in the 15 games he's played at home this season, averaging nearly two points per game.

The matchup against the Nashville Predators is not an easy one for Eichel. They allow the fifth-lowest shot attempt rate and the second-lowest expected goal rate, per Natural Stat Trick. However, they are a below-average team in goals against because of sub-par goaltending from Pekka Rinne, who will be in net tonight. Eichel has had success during this streak against tough defensive teams such as the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues, so it would be no surprise if he continued it tonight. He could be a good way to pay up to differentiate tonight, as some people may shy away from Eichel due to matchup.

Artemi Panarin, Wing, New York Rangers

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

Artemi Panarin looks to be starting another hot streak with goals in his last two games and three in his last four. He has 37 points this season, the eighth-most in the league. The New York Rangers ride Panarin a lot, especially when trailing. His ice time is up to 20:31 per game, one of 20 forwards in the league who average above 20 minutes per game.

The Rangers take on a San Jose Sharks team that has just dismissed Head Coach Peter Deboer, and has been a huge disappointment all season. They have allowed the second-most goals in the league. Most of this down to poor goaltending, and tonight's projected starter Martin Jones has been the main culprit. He is dead last in goals saved above average in the league. Panarin is second in our projections for fantasy points by a winger tonight, and third overall. He is a good play in what should be a high scoring game.

Patrik Laine, Wing, Winnipeg Jets

FanDuel Salary: $7,900

A lot has been made of Patrik Laine changing the way he plays this season. He has not been the same volume shooter and pure goal scorer that we came to know during his first three seasons in the NHL. However, he is still a valuable fantasy asset and is producing in different ways. He has 29 points in 28 games, which is the highest point per game average of his career. Laine has been turning up the goal-scoring of late, with five goals in his last 10 games.

We wanted to target Winnipeg Jets players against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, and that is still true for Thursday night even though this one is on the road. They have the second-highest implied goal total on the slate at 3.42. Laine was able to score a goal on that game on Tuesday, and could easily do so again tonight against the team that has allowed the most goals in the league. He makes for a pretty solid tournament play with some of his Jets teammates in hopes that they can all get in on the goals tonight in Detroit.

Erik Karlsson, Defense, San Jose Sharks

FanDuel Salary: $6,600

He hasn't quite been at his Norris Trophy winning best this season, but Erik Karlsson is starting to turn it on as of late. He has eight points in his last ten games, and 31 shots on goal in the span. He has at least three shots in his last six games, and now is the on the top power-play unit for the Sharks. His shooting percentage is 4.4%, below his career average, so the hope is that he finds his scoring touch once again.

He could do just that on Thursday night as the Sharks take on the Rangers. The Rangers are allowing the most shot attempts and expected goals per game in the league. This is why the Sharks have the highest implied goal total on the night at 3.55. Karlsson plays the most minutes of anyone on San Jose, so paying for him in this game makes sense. Karlsson is a bet on talent in a matchup that could see him score multiple points.

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.