4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 2/4/20
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.
After a slow two weeks of byes and the All-Star break, we finally have a massive slate with 13 games on it. Let's sort through the top of the pricing tier and see which expensive players we want to make as the core of our lineups tonight.
Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
A candidate for the MVP award this season, Nathan MacKinnon continues to carry the Colorado Avalanche this season. His 72 points are fourth in the league and are 35 more than the next closest player on his team. However, now that his linemates Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen are back healthy, they combine to form one of the best lines in the league, as they have over the past two seasons. MacKinnon is the straw that stirs the drink for the line and for the team. To go with his high point total, he also is a volume shooter, ranking fourth in the league in shots per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick.
The Avalanche roll into Buffalo to face a struggling Buffalo Sabres squad. The Sabres allow the 11th-most goals per game and have been leaky at the goaltender position. Tonight's starter, Carter Hutton, has a poor .897 save percentage and a goals saved above average of -6.82. That doesn't bode well for Buffalo to go against MacKinnon and Colorado's top line. This gives the Avalanche the highest implied total tonight, according to the daily fantasy matchup heat map. MacKinnon is our highest projected center, making him a good building block for lineups tonight.
Alex Ovechkin, Wing, Washington Capitals
FanDuel Salary: $9,200
On a seemingly unstoppable quest to hit 700 goals, Alex Ovechkin has been on an absolute tear of late. He has 13 goals in the last 10 games and had a streak of five straight games with a goal until he came up empty on Sunday. In true Ovechkin fashion, he has been blasting the puck at the net, with 47 shots in the last 10 games. He ranks second in the league in shot attempt rate. Tonight, he has a great chance to add to his 695 career goals.
The Washington Capitals face off against the Los Angeles Kings at home. The Caps have the third-highest implied goal total tonight as they face the Kings, who allow the 10th-most goals per game. The Kings are also a bottom-five team in killing penalties, which is dangerous against Ovechkin, as he is second in the league with 12 power-play goals this season. Ovechkin is the most expensive skater on the slate tonight but is someone whose multiple-goal upside is definitely worth spending up on in both cash games and tournaments.
Patrick Kane, Wing, Chicago Blackhawks
FanDuel Salary: $8,100
Patrick Kane is a player who may fly under the radar tonight. He has been in good form of late, with points in 12 straight games. In those 12 games, he also has at least three shots on goal in all but two of them. He has become more of a shoot-first player this season than in the past, ranking 17th in shot attempt rate in the NHL. On FanDuel, Kane is listed as on the second line, but make no mistake, he is the Chicago Blackhawks most relied upon forward. In fact, he leads all wingers in ice time per game with 21:16.
Something that might scare players off from rostering Kane is a perceived tough matchup. The Blackhawks travel to face the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, who have a reputation as being a stellar defensive team. However, the Wild are the third-worst team in goals allowed per game. They also have the second-worst penalty kill in the league, successful just 73.5% of the time when shorthanded. Kane won't get the same hype as Ovechkin at the wing position but is certainly worth considering on Tuesday.
Tuukka Rask, Goalie, Boston Bruins
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
Tuukka Rask has been his normal, reliable self this season, posting a solid .927 save percentage. His 16.22 goals saved above average ranks second in the NHL. He also has been solid of late, winning five of his last six decisions. He has a great chance of picking up another win tonight, with the Boston Bruins being -200 favorites over the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have just a 2.56 implied total, the third-lowest of the 26 teams in action tonight. Rask at home is a goaltender who is usually dependable, making him safe enough to consider paying up for in cash games as well as in tournaments.
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.