4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/31/20

Mika Zibanejad and the Rangers, fresh off a bye week, have a plum matchup with the Red Wings. Who else is worth spending up for 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 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.

Teams are coming off their bye weeks and hitting the ice on Friday for a seven game slate. Some of the best players in the NHL are playing, so let's see which ones we want to make a priority tonight.

Mika Zibanejad, Center, New York Rangers

FanDuel Salary: $7,800

Mika Zibanejad is making an effort to establish himself as a number one center in the NHL this season. His 39 points in 35 games played has him in the top 20 in points per game in the league. He also hasn't been hesitant to fire the puck of late, with 19 shots on goal in his last three games. Overall this season, he leads the New York Rangers in shot rate, according to Natural Stat Trick. Zibanejad actually paces our projections for fantasy points tonight at the center position, ahead of the likes of Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby. A big reason for that is because of the matchup.

The Rangers are playing the Detroit Red Wings at home. The Wings have been the league's whipping boy, sitting dead last in the standings. They are also last in goals allowed in the league, giving up a massive 3.88 per game. This is driving the Rangers' implied team total up to 3.75, the highest on tonight's slate. Zibanejad will see the ice a ton for the Rangers in this game, making him a safe play with good upside.

David Pastrnak, Wing, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $8,700

The Boston Bruins come off their bye week and go to Canada to face the Winnipeg Jets. This means that the NHL's leading goal scorer and All-Star game MVP David Pastrnak returns on his quest for 50 goals and beyond. Pasta has been on a tear all season long and hasn't slowed down lately with eight goals in his last 10 games before the break. He continues to be a high-volume shooter, putting 40 shots on goal in the last 10 games, and is fifth in the league in shot attempt rate.

With the Bruins going to Winnipeg, Pastrnak has a good opportunity to increase his lead at the top of the goal-scoring charts. The Jets allow the third most expected goals per 60 minutes in all situations, and they also have a penalty kill that ranks in the bottom five in the NHL.

Some of that has been masked by stellar play of goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, but tonight backup goaltender Laurent Brossoit will be in net. Brossoit has really struggled this year, and given how often Pastrnak likes to shoot the puck, that could be a big problem for the Jets. Pastrnak is a great play in all formats tonight.

Alex Pietrangelo, Defense, St. Louis Blues

FanDuel Salary: $6,800

A free agent after the season, Alex Pietrangelo is making his case to get paid big time on his next contract. His defensive play has always been solid, and now he is matching it with very good contributions on offense. He has 11 points in his last 10 games, moving him to sixth in points per game for defensemen. His 13 goals from the blueline are the fourth most for players at his position.

Pietrangelo's St. Louis Blues will face the Edmonton Oilers tonight. The Blues are on the road but are -135 favorites. Their implied goal total above three suggests they shouldn't have a problem getting on the score sheet, and Pietrangelo will likely be a part of that. Pietrangelo leads the Blues in time on ice per game and should be tasked with playing a lot of minutes in this one to attempt to slow down Connor McDavid.

Pietrangelo is numberFire's highest-projected defensemen on the slate, and he should continue to be a reliable fantasy asset we can count on.

Tristan Jarry, Goalie, Pittsburgh Penguins

FanDuel Salary: $8,500

One of the bigger surprises on the season has been the play of Tristan Jarry of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jarry had mostly been a backup goaltender before essentially replacing Matt Murray as the starter for the Penguins. Now, his .929% save percentage is the best in the league among qualified starters.

Jarry will be at home today against the Philadelphia Flyers, and he has been outstanding at PPG Paints Arena this year. His save percentage jumps up to .938% at home, and he has three shutouts to go with it. The Penguins are -170 favorites, so Jarry is pretty likely to get you the win if you decide to put him in your lineup.

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.