4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 2/25/20
Spending up in any daily fantasy sport 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.
The dust settles from the trade deadline and a 13 game slate is now upon us. Let's see which stars we want on this giant slate.
Connor McDavid, Center, Edmonton Oilers
FanDuel Salary: $8,700
Connor McDavid returned to the lineup after a six-game absence, and it was like he never left. He put up a goal and two assists in his first game back against the Los Angeles Kings. He has fallen back to third in points but is still second with 1.50 points per game. The addition of Andreas Athanasiou at the trade deadline should give McDavid a new dynamic winger to play with. Athanasiou racked up 30 goals last season with the Detroit Red Wings and is one of few players in the NHL who has the speed to keep up with McDavid. This duo could wreak havoc tonight.
The Edmonton Oilers are facing off against the Anaheim Ducks in tonight's game. The Ducks already are in the bottom 10 in goals allowed per game and will be without two of their defensemen -- Cam Fowler and Erik Gudbranson -- due to injury. The Oilers have an implied goal total of 3.22, according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map.
Alex Ovechkin, Wing, Washington Capitals
FanDuel Salary: $9,000
Alex Ovechkin hit the milestone of 700 goals on Saturday. He was in a small drought before scoring in consecutive games to reach that mark, and it doesn't look like he's going to slow down any time soon. He has the most shots on goal in the league, and the third most goals with 42. He is also fourth among wingers in ice time per game, so despite his age, the Washington Capitals have shown no hesitancy to extend him throughout the season.
Ovechkin and the Capitals are playing the Winnipeg Jets at home. The Jets' defensive problems can be traced all the way back to the offseason, when they lost four of their starting six defensemen. They currently sit as the fifth worst team in expected goals allowed per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. They also have the seventh worst penalty kill in the NHL, which should help Ovechkin add to his 12 power-play goals this season.
The Capitals have an implied goal total of 3.70, the third highest on tonight's slate. Ovechkin, as always, is a great play in all formats.
Steven Stamkos, Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning
FanDuel Salary: $8,600
The Tampa Bay Lightning hit a bit of a bump on the road after an 11-game winning streak, but that hasn't slowed down Steven Stamkos. Over his last 14 games, he has 12 goals and nine assists, making him one of the hottest point producers in the league. He's tied for the team lead in goals with 29, but he has played four fewer games than co-leader Nikita Kucherov. They both should have great opportunities to hit the 30-goal mark tonight.
The Lightning will face the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game that has a 7.0 over/under, which is rare in the NHL. The Leafs allow the fifth most goals per game in the league, at 3.27. That doesn't bode well for them against Tampa, who leads the league with 3.53 goals per game. The trio of Stamkos, Kucherov and Brayden Point will be tough for Toronto to handle, considering they've allowed 16 goals in their last four games.
Tampa's goal total is at 3.93, the second highest on the slate. Stamkos is our second-highest projected winger and could thrive given the game environment he is in tonight.
Tuukka Rask, Goalie, Boston Bruins
FanDuel Salary: $9,300
Tuukka Rask has been one of the best -- if not the best -- goalies in the NHL this season. He leads the league in goals saved above average and has the best save percentage among goalies who have played at least 30 games. He has been even better in home games, with a .933% save percentage in the split and wins in 14 of his 20 appearances.
Tonight, the Boston Bruins host the Calgary Flames, who are 21st in goals per game in the league. The Bruins are -200 favorites to get the win, so Rask is likely to get the win bonus that we need to look for when selecting a goalie. Rask projects as the best goalie, per our models, and is the best option if spending up at the position.