4 NHL Studs to Target on 12/23/19
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 and 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.
There's an 11 game slate before the NHL takes a break for Christmas, so that means a lot of the NHL's biggest stars are on the ice tonight.
Jack Eichel, Center, Buffalo Sabres
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
He missed one game last week due to an illness, but Jack Eichel got right back to where he left off when he returned to the lineup on Saturday. He extended his point streak to 18 games, the longest current streak in the league. This has vaulted him up to tied for fourth in the league in points and second in goals. With how he has been playing and the matchup he faces tonight, it's no surprise that Eichel carries our highest projection tonight.
The Buffalo Sabres head north to face the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres have the fourth-highest implied team goal total on the slate against a Senators team that still struggles defensively. Ottawa has allowed the second most shot attempts against per 60 minutes, and the fifth most scoring chances per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. On a night with a lot of the star centers in action, Eichel stands out above the rest.
Patrick Kane, Wing, Chicago Blackhawks
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
He hasn't been on as long of a tear as Eichel, but Patrick Kane has been hot in his own right. He has five goals and nine points in his last four games. He also has 20 shots in those four games, so he is generating a lot of chances for himself lately. Kane is relied upon to carry a Chicago Blackhawks team that lacks depth, and he plays the fifth-most minutes of any forward in the league at 21:13.
Chicago hosts the New Jersey Devils on Monday night, and even though the Blackhawks have not been a great team this year, they are still big favorites over this Devils team. The Devils allow 3.51 goals per game, the second-most in the league. This is why Chicago's implied goal total is up at 3.35, the third-highest on the slate tonight. The Blackhawks haven't had many good opportunities for us to want to roster their players as they are 25th in the league standings, but this is as good as any spot to play Patrick Kane.
Nikita Kucherov, Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning
FanDuel Salary: $8,200
Nikita Kucherov had missed some time and got less ice time in the games he did play last week, but has played over 20 minutes in back to back games so he seems fully healthy and ready to go. He recorded a point in all the games he suited up for, now with a five-game streak. Our projections at numberFire like Kucherov a lot, as we have him as the highest scoring winger on the slate.
The Tampa Bay Lightning take on their state rivals in the Florida Panthers. The Panthers allow the eighth-most goals per game, and Tampa has scored the fifth-most goals per game. The Lightning have the highest implied team total of the entire slate, with 3.68. Part of the reason for their goal-scoring prowess this season has been their power play, as it's clicking at 28%. That's the second-best power play in the league, and Kucherov has 16 power-play points this season. Kucherov is a good way to get exposure to a Tampa team that could rack up the goals tonight.
Roman Josi, Defense, Nashville Predators
FanDuel Salary: $6,600
It was quite the week for Roman Josi. He scored six goals in four games, something unheard of for a defenseman. This streak brought him up to 13 goals on the season, tied for the most by a defenseman. He also had 17 shots on goal in those four games, another huge mark for a blue-liner. His shot attempt rate is second in the league by a defenseman.
The matchup for the Nashville Predators against the Arizona Coyotes isn't ideal, but Arizona is coming off a back to back. Josi excelled in tough matchups last week against stellar defensive teams like the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins, so this shouldn't be much of a problem for him tonight. He is still our highest projected defenseman on the slate, and can be considered in cash games because of how many shots on goal he gets for a defenseman.
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.