3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 3/6/20

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.

We get a nice six-game slate on a Friday evening to ease into a weekend that will be filled with lots of hockey. Let's see which stars we want in our lineups tonight.

Auston Matthews, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs

FanDuel Salary: $9,200

The three-way race for the Rocket Richard trophy for most goals is on. It's between David Pastrnak, Alex Ovechkin and Auston Matthews. Matthews currently has 46 goals, one behind the other two who each have 47. Wherever he ends up, Matthews is having a fantastic season. He's fourth in the NHL in shots on goal with 279. He has at least four shots on goal in six straight games. He should be able to continue getting a lot of shots on goal in the game tonight.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the road against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. Despite the Leafs being on a road back-to-back, they are still -165 favorites over an Anaheim that hasn't had a good season. The Ducks have seen a lot of injuries to their defense corps, missing four of their top six blueliners. They've now allowed the sixth-most goals per game in the league. The Leafs implied goal total is 3.58, which is tied for the highest according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. With how consistent Matthews has been with shooting, he's good for cash games and his goal-scoring upside makes him great for tournaments as well.

Patrick Kane, Wing, Chicago Blackhawks

FanDuel Salary: $7,900

Patrick Kane has been doing his best to keep the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoff race. After four straight wins, they sit four points out of the last wild card spot in the Western Conference. Kane has goals in two straight games and 12 points in his last 10 games. The Blackhawks rely upon Kane more than any other forward, and he plays the second-most ice time per game for all wingers, according to Natural Stat Trick. He produces lots of shots on goal with the time on ice he gets, ranking eighth in the league in that department.

The main reason to like Kane tonight is the matchup he gets. Even a team outside the playoffs and on a back to back like the Blackhawks are favorites over the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings have allowed 3.75 goals per game this season, by far the most in the league. The next team closest to them are the Ottawa Senators, who allow 3.37. This gives the Blackhawks a 3.58 implied team total, which is tied with Toronto for the highest on tonight's slate. Kane is our highest projected skater in action tonight and makes for a great play to pay up for in all contests.

Max Pacioretty, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $7,800

One of the kings of shot volume in the NHL this season has been Max Pacioretty of the Vegas Golden Knights. He is third in the league in shots behind only Nathan MacKinnon and Alex Ovechkin. On a per 60 minute basis, however, Pacioretty's 14.53 shots tops the league. He hasn't just been getting empty shots on goal either, as he has seven goals in his last ten games. He has now hit the 30 goal mark for the sixth time in his career. Tonight, he looks to march towards hitting the 40 goal mark for the first time.

The Golden Knights are in Canada to face the Winnipeg Jets. Vegas should have a huge advantage at five on five in this game, as they have the best expected goals for % in the league, while Winnipeg sits as the second-worst team in the same metric. Overall, the Jets allow the fifth most expected goals per game in the NHL. Pacioretty could take advantage of that, and it's why he ranks second in numberFire's projections at the wing position. When paying up in an NHL lineup, looking for a floor is key and Pacioretty certainly has that, making him a fine way to spend your salary 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.