3 NHL Studs to Target on 12/16/19

Aleksander Barkov and the Florida Panthers get a great matchup tonight. Who else should we spend for on Monday?

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 five games in the National Hockey League, and some of the best players in the league are taking the ice. So which players stand out from the rest of the pack?

Aleksander Barkov, Center, Florida Panthers

FanDuel Salary: $7,600

If you're purely playing matchups, Aleksander Barkov stands out at the top tier of the centers on tonight's slate. The Florida Panthers are facing the Ottawa Senators, while the other stars at the position have much tougher matchups. Connor McDavid is on the road facing the stingy Dallas Stars, and Nathan MacKinnon is away to the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues. Both of their team's implied goal totals are under three, while Florida's is at a slate-high 3.68.

Barkov doesn't have any points in his last three games, but two of those were against top-five defenses in terms of goals allowed. Now, he's facing Ottawa, which is in the bottom half of the league in goals allowed and the third-worst team in shot attempts against per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. Before this cold streak, Barkov had points in five straight games. He's tied for eleventh in points in the NHL and could easily add to that tonight against the Senators.

Fillip Forsberg, Wing, Nashville Predators

FanDuel Salary: $7,300

Another player who is boosted by a good matchup is Filip Forsberg. His Nashville Predators take on the New York Rangers on the road. The Rangers are the worst team in terms of shots attempts against per 60 minutes and expected goals against per 60 minutes. This has vaulted the Predators implied goal total to 3.19, the third-highest on the slate.

Forsberg leads the Predators in both goals per 60 and points per 60. Our projections at numberFire have him as the third-highest scoring winger on tonight's slate, but he's the fifth-highest priced wing on FanDuel. He is also projected for the most shots on goal of anyone on the slate, meaning he should have a high floor and could be considered for cash games.

John Carlson, Defense, Washington Capitals

FanDuel Salary: $7,400

John Carlson has continued to torch the league from the defense position. He is the leading point scorer on defense and is seventh overall in points. He has nine points in his last 10 games, more than his teammate Alex Ovechkin in the same time span. Carlson tops our projections for a defenseman, and the Washington Capitals could be in line for a big night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Capitals implied goal total sits at 3.32, the second-highest on the night. They have a top-five power play unit in the league and are facing a bottom-half penalty kill unit for the Blue Jackets. Carlson has 14 points on the power play this season, the most for any defenseman on the slate. Power-play points get you a small scoring bonus on FanDuel, so that's even more reason to want to roster Carlson.

His $7,400 price tag seems expensive for a defenseman, but when you consider that he has 45 points compared to the 25 points another $7,400 player in Tyler Seguin has, maybe the price isn't too rich for your lineups 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.