4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 3/5/20

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.

Thursday's NHL slate brings us ten games, with many having a huge impact on the playoff race. So which stars do we want tonight?

Connor McDavid, Center, Edmonton Oilers

FanDuel Salary: $8,900

Connor McDavid does seem to be nearly indestructible. After a serious knee injury in the last game of last season, he was able to avoid surgery and not miss any time in this regular season. This season, a quad injury that could have kept him out for longer had him miss just two weeks. Since returning from that injury, McDavid has been on a tear. He has 14 points in the six games since coming back into the lineup, and also has 22 shots on goal. This hot streak has him back in second place in points in the NHL with 95.

McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers are facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. The Blackhawks have not been a good defensive team all season, allowing the most shots on goal per game. They also traded defenseman Erik Gustafsson and goaltender Robin Lehner at last week's trade deadline, in theory making them even worse defensively. McDavid hasn't played with NHL leading scorer Leon Draisaitl at five on five regularly in a long time but two have combined to form the league's best power play, scoring nearly 30% of the time. Together, they could wreak on this Blackhawks team. McDavid is usually worth paying up for, and tonight he gets a matchup that may allow him to have a breakout performance once again.

David Pastrnak, Wing, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $9,200

The NHL's leading goal scorer is still David Pastrnak. There have been a few standout offensive performances this season from certain players, but Pasta's has to be among the best. Only he and Leon Draisaitl have more than 40 goals and 40 assists. Pastrnak is getting the job done through shot volume, ranking fourth in the league in shot attempts per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. The game environment he is in on Thursday night should set up well for him to add to his already lofty point totals.

The Boston Bruins get to play the Florida Panthers tonight, in what should be another high scoring game between the two clubs. The Panthers average the fifth-most goals in the league, but also allow the third-most. They also kill under 78% of penalties, which doesn't bode well for them facing the Bruins number two ranked power play. Pastrnak himself leads the NHL with 19 goals with the man advantage, so he would look to exploit that advantage. Boston has the fourth-highest implied team goal total on tonight's slate, and that means that Pastrnak and the rest of that top line should be in a great spot in this game.

John Carlson, Defense, Washington Capitals

FanDuel Salary: $6,800

John Carlson continues to lead defensemen in points as he has done almost the entire year. His 73 points also have him 12th in the league in scoring. He has been doing through his passing ability all season long, with his 58 assists being third in the NHL. The Washington Capitals rely heavily on him on the blueline, as Carlson sees the ninth most ice time per game of any player. Tonight, being on the ice a lot will be a huge benefit for Carlson's fantasy outlook.

The Capitals are on the road tonight against the New York Rangers. The Rangers are still the same team they have been all season, a team that struggles defensively. They allow the most shot attempts per 60 minutes and the most expected goals against per 60. The Capitals have the third-highest implied goal total on the slate tonight as a result of the Rangers' weak defensive play. Carlson comes in as our highest projected defenseman on tonight's slate, making him the blueliner worth paying for tonight.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Goalie, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $8,600

Last season's Vezina Trophy Andrei Vasilevskiy winner has got his game back on track after a shaky start to the season. He now has a .915% save percentage and an impressive record of 33-13-3. His Tampa Bay Lightning face the Montreal Canadiens tonight as -195 home favorites. Vasilevskiy has had Montreal's number this season, with a 3-0 record and a .948 save percentage against them this season, per Hockey Reference. Montreal has the second-lowest implied goal total on tonight's slate. Vasilevskiy tops the projections for goalies tonight and is the top goalie play 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.