4 NHL Studs to Target on 12/17/19

John Tavares has started to score for the Leafs this season. Who else can we target 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.

Tuesday is a busy night in the NHL with eleven games and some high implied team totals. Let's see which teams and players are set up to help us out the most for our fantasy lineups.

John Tavares, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

After an injury slowed him down to start the year, John Tavares has got his game back on track, especially since the Toronto Maple Leafs fired Mike Babcock. He has seven goals and 11 points in the 11 games under new coach Sheldon Keefe. He is also averaging over four shots on goal per game in that span, giving him a high floor/ceiling combination that we want when paying up.

Tonight, the Leafs face the Buffalo Sabres at home. Tavares had three goals in the two games in the back to back series that these two teams played at the end of November. Toronto has a huge team total of 3.7 goals tonight, the second-highest of the 22 teams in action. They will look to benefit when on the power play against the Sabres, who have the third-worst penalty kill in the league. Tavares is one of the best ways to spend at the center position in cash games and tournaments.

Steven Stamkos, Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $8,600

The team with a higher implied team total than the Leafs is the Tampa Bay Lightning. They host the Ottawa Senators, and their implied goal total is a whopping 4.19. Ottawa is on a back to back after they lost 6-1 to the Florida Panthers on Monday night. Things could get ugly for the Senators tonight going into Tampa to face the second-best offense on a goals per 60 basis.

The Lightning player that has been doing a lot of the scoring lately has been Steven Stamkos. Stamkos has six goals in his last five games, now playing the wing on the second line. He is the trigger man on Tampa's power play, leading the team in shot attempts per 60 minutes and is 15th in the entire league in that metric. Stamkos ranks second in our projections for wingers tonight and third overall. If you want to get a piece of this high team total for the Lightning, Stamkos may be your best bet.

Dougie Hamilton, Defense, Carolina Hurricanes

FanDuel Salary: $6,400

The leader in shot attempt rate for defenseman and fifth in points per 60 minutes is Dougie Hamilton. He is also tied for the most goals by a defenseman with 12. He has long been a high rate shooter, and with more power play time has turned that into more goals this season. The power play is where Hamilton and the Carolina Hurricanes could do damage in tonight's game.

The Hurricanes power play is clicking at a 22.86% rate this season, which is surprising considering that area was a huge weakness last season. Against the Winnipeg Jets tonight, they will have an advantage. We can see on the daily fantasy matchup heat map that the Jets penalty kill is one of the weaker ones playing tonight. Hamilton is our highest projected defenseman on the slate and makes for a great cash game play because of how many shots on goal he gets, and for the chance that he could produce on the power play.

Tuukka Rask, Goalie, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $8,500

Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins are huge favorites tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. FanDuel Sportsbook has them as a -250 favorite. The Kings have the lowest goal total tonight, at just 2.21. Rask has a record of 13-4-3 this season, with a solid .926 save percentage. The Bruins have allowed the fourth-fewest goals in the league this season, while the Kings have scored the fifth-fewest goals.

Despite all of this, Rask is only the fifth-most expensive goalie tonight. At numberFire, we have him projected as the highest-scoring goalie on the slate, so even being expensive, he is a good value for his price. He is worth paying for in cash games and likely will be a popular play in tournament formats.

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.