4 NHL Studs to Target on 12/19/19

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 night gives us a ten-game slate in the NHL with lots of stars for us to look towards. So which expensive players are the best tonight?

Mark Scheifele, Center, Winnipeg Jets

FanDuel Salary: $7,600

With a lot of talk about point streaks around the NHL, Mark Scheifele is quietly on one of his own. He has points in each of his last seven games, and twelve points overall in that stretch. Scheifele is a heavily relied upon player for the Winnipeg Jets, being fourth in the league in ice time per game for forwards. Given his recent play and the matchup, being on the ice a lot is a great reason to want to roster him.

His Jets take on the Chicago Blackhawks, who travel to Winnipeg for the second game of a back to back. The Blackhawks allow the fourth most shot attempts per 60 minutes and the second most expected goals per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. The Jets have the highest implied team total on the night, with 3.65 goals implied. Scheifele has the upside to be a great tournament play tonight, and has the consistency to be considered for cash games as well.

David Pastrnak, Wing, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $8,700

Still the NHL leader in goals, David Pastrnak is the most expensive winger on the slate tonight. He has cooled off a bit since his incredible start, but 28 goals in 35 games is still a 65 goal pace. He is well in front of the pack in terms of goals per 60 minutes, and is fifth in the league in shot attempts per 60 minutes. The matchup tonight might look tough on paper, but it's one he can still win.

The Boston Bruins are facing the New York Islanders, a team that has been known to be good defensively since head coach Barry Trotz took over last season. The Islanders actually have allowed the third most shot attempts per 60 minutes this season, right among the teams we always target -- the New York Rangers, aforementioned Chicago Blackhawks, and the Ottawa Senators. The Islander's penalty kill is also not too imposing, ranking in the middle of the pack on tonight's slate according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. Pastrnak may go overlooked given the Isles reputation, so that's a spot we can take advantage of and spend up where others might not.

Roman Josi, Defenseman, Nashville Predators

FanDuel Salary: $6,600

Already having a great season, Roman Josi has stepped up his game even further this week. He has three goals and four points in the two games he already played this week. He's third among defensemen in points, and second in shot attempt rate. Tonight's game could just continue his great play and launch him into being one of the NHL's three stars of the week.

Josi's Predators go to Canada's capital city to face the Ottawa Senators. The Senators are a team we always like to play players against, with their shaky defense allowing the second-highest shot attempt rate in the league. The Predators have the second-highest implied team total tonight at 3.48. Josi is a high volume shooter that always makes for a good play on FanDuel because he has a floor that is hard to find. With the way he has been scoring of late and facing Ottawa, he is the top play at defense tonight.

Darcy Kuemper, Goalie, Arizona Coyotes

FanDuel Salary: $8,800

It's a few years late, but this is a revenge game narrative for Darcy Kuemper of the Arizona Coyotes against his former club, the Minnesota Wild. That's not the reason you should be playing him though, there are several better ones. He is playing behind a well-structured Coyotes team that has allowed the third-fewest goals this season. Kuemper himself has been performing well, with a 15-7-2 record and a .935 save percentage.

Minnesota is implied for just 2.5 goals tonight, tied for the second-fewest of any team. The Coyotes are substantial favorites in this home game at -160. Kuemper has a great chance of getting the win tonight, while not allowing too many goals. He is the top goalie in our projections, so if you are going to pay for a goaltender, it makes sense to play for him.

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.