4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/16/20

With Washington in a great spot, John Carlson is one of the night's best plays. Who else is worth paying up for?

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.

Most of the teams in the NHL are in action on Thursday with 13 games tonight. Let's hope that 13 is a lucky number when making our lineups and looking for stars tonight.

Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $8,800

Nathan MacKinnon keeps chugging along like he has all season. Over his last 10 games, he has 15 points and 49 shots on goal. He's third in the NHL in points behind the two Edmonton Oilers stars. MacKinnon is also a shooting machine, second in shots on goal in the league. When you see these stats, it's not a surprise that MacKinnon has our highest projection for any player at the center position tonight.

The matchup is also aiding MacKinnon's outlook today. The Colorado Avalanche are hosting the San Jose Sharks. Poor goaltending has sunk the Sharks this season, leading to them allowing the third-most goals in the NHL. Colorado is projected to face the goalie with the worst save percentage on the slate, according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. The Avalanche have the second-highest implied goal total tonight.

MacKinnon is a building block for lineups on a team that sets up nicely to score lots of goals, and he can be considered in all formats.

Alex Ovechkin, Wing, Washington Capitals

FanDuel Salary: $8,600

Alex Ovechkin may be skipping the All-Star game this season, but there is no doubt the Ovechkin is still one of the brightest stars in the league. He ranks third with 28 goals after adding two on Monday. He's still the shot-volume king, leading the league in shots on goal with 216. On Thursday night, he and the Washington Capitals have a great opportunity to rack up goals.

The Capitals have a great matchup against the New Jersey Devils. These two teams played last week, and the Devils got the best of Washington, winning 5-1. Taking a look at the underlying numbers in that game, the Capitals dominated the shots and put up 3.79 expected goals. A repeat of the outcome of that one is not likely if the Capitals play the same way in this game.

The oddsmakers aren't expected a repeat, either, setting the Capitals implied goal total above four. Ovechkin should be able to get his if Washington does what's expected of them, and he has a good chance of scoring at least one goal tonight.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Wing, Florida Panthers

FanDuel Salary: $7,500

Playing for the Florida Panthers lets players slip under the radar in the NHL, and that's what has happened to Jonathan Huberdeau this season. It may surprise people to learn that Huberdeau has more real-world points than Auston Matthews, Patrick Kane and Nikita Kucherov do this season. He has 14 points in the last 10 games, and he became the Panthers all-time leading scorer with two points on Sunday.

Huberdeau's Panthers get a home game against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday after three days of rest. It's somewhat surprising that the Panthers have the third-highest implied total on a slate with 26 teams. A matchup that could drive that total is the Panthers' power play against the Kings' penalty kill. The Panthers have the seventh-best power play while the Kings are the fifth-worst kill. Huberdeau himself is sixth with 21 power-play points this season.

Huberdeau makes for a good tournament play as he could easily go overlooked on this huge slate.

John Carlson, Defense, Washington Capitals

FanDuel Salary: $7,100

Another Capital to consider tonight is John Carlson. He is still the leader in points for defensemen and is 11th overall in scoring. He hasn't had a blow-up game in a while, but he has been consistent with nine points over his last 10 games.

The lack of a ceiling game in a long time may keep his ownership lower than it should be, given what we know about the spot for the Capitals tonight. Carlson is in the top 10 in ice time per game this season, which should give him the chance to get points in a spot in which the Capitals have the highest implied goal total on the slate.

Devils goaltender Louis Domingue came back to earth last game, allowing five goals and getting pulled. The Devils have allowed the second-most goals per game this season, and the Capitals score the fifth-most per game. Carlson is our highest-projected defenseman tonight, and he makes for a good pairing with Ovechkin if you can afford that in your lineups.

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.