3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 3/4/20
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.
A smaller four-game slate takes place on Wednesday, but there are still some of the NHL's best players on the ice that we can consider for our lineups.
Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
A star all season long, Nathan MacKinnon has actually been in a slump for his standards over the past ten games. He has just one goal and eight points in that span. He has been getting opportunities though, with a whopping 52 shots on goal in those ten games. MacKinnon is too talented and proven to think that a 1.9% shooting percentage is anything more than a string of bad luck. With five shots in the last game, he became the first player in the league to hit the 300 shot mark. Tonight could give him a good chance to get at least one of those shots in the back of the net.
The Colorado Avalanche are at home to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. Anaheim is fresh off being dismantled by the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 on Tuesday, and are now eighth in goals allowed per game, according to NHL.com. That doesn't look good for them as they face the Avalanche who are third in goals for per game, and have an implied team total of 3.4. MacKinnon is lapping the field in our projections, projecting for nearly five points more than the next closest skater. He could easily bust of his scoring slump tonight against a tired Ducks team, making him easily the top play at the center position.
Alex Ovechkin, Wing, Washington Capitals
FanDuel Salary: $8,900
Alex Ovechkin will be the next player to hit 300 shots on goal behind MacKinnon, provided he gets two shots on goal in tonight's game. Considering he averages 13.42 shots per 60 minutes, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. His two goals on Sunday brought him up to 45 on the season, third in the NHL. He has cooled down since his stretch of 14 goals in seven games, but will look to build on the two-goal game as he has been a streaky scorer all season long.
The Washington Capitals face off against the Philadelphia Flyers in a matchup between the top two teams in the Metropolitan division. Looking at the daily fantasy matchup heat map, the Capitals are a -150 favorite and have an implied team total of 3.49. That's the highest on the slate tonight, and part of the reason could be because of the Flyers goaltending. Philly appears to be starting Brian Elliott, who has a save percentage below .900 and also has a goals saved above average of -8.22. That is scary when facing a barrage of shots from Ovechkin. Ovechkin's shot volume and goal upside make him a great play nearly every night.
Zach Werenski, Defense, Columbus Blue Jackets
FanDuel Salary: $6,500
There are a number of defensemen having good offensive seasons in the NHL this season. However, the leader in goals by a blueliner isn't John Carlson or Roman Josi, It's Zach Werenski. Werenski is up to 20 goals now, four more than any other defenseman in the league. He's had to shoulder a bigger load since Seth Jones went down early in February, and is averaging over 25 minutes of ice time per game since Jones' injury. He's also shooting the puck a lot more as the Columbus Blue Jackets need him to provide some offense with all of their injuries, as he has 37 shots on goal in his last ten games.
Columbus is on the road tonight against the Calgary Flames. Calgary has been an inconsistent team all season long, and their defensive numbers are not too impressive. They allow the seventh most shots on goal per game and rank in the bottom half of shot attempts allowed per 60 minutes and expected goals allowed per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. With Werenski being the leader among active players in goals for the Jackets, they will look to him to jump up in the attack to exploit Calgary's weaknesses defending. The added responsibility he has now make Werenski a great play on defense in all formats tonight.
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.