4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/6/20

Auston Matthews was the hero the Leafs needed in Game 2. Can he can get it done again in Game 3?

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 from 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 main slate on FanDuel for Thursday is a bit different, as it starts at 2:30 PM eastern and has five games on it. Let's take advantage of having more options to choose from and get some stars in our lineups.

Auston Matthews, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs

FanDuel Salary: $8,800

There's a significant price gap at the top of the center position with Auston Matthews being clearly above the rest of the pack. This price is justified, as Matthews' 47 goals in the regular season dwarfs the center on this slate with the second-most, which is Elias Pettersson with 27. Matthews also was second among centers in shot attempt rate with 20.6 attempts per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. Matthews has impressed so far in this series, with a goal and an assist in Game 2 and six shots on goal in Game 1.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are -145 favorites to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 3 on Thursday. The Leafs have recorded 62 and 71 shot attempts in the first two games of this series, respectively. The should be able to dominate the shot count once again, making Matthews likely to get involved in the offense. They have a 3.1 implied goal total, which is tied for the second-highest on the slate, according to our Daily Fantasy Matchup Heat Map. Matthews is numberFire's highest-projected skater on the slate today

.I'd rather pay all the way up for Matthews than take the discount on any of the centers just below him.

Alex Ovechkin, Wing, Washington Capitals

FanDuel Salary: $8,600

The foremost gunslinger in the NHL is always a great fantasy option. Alex Ovechkin tied for the most goals in the league with 48, and he did so in two fewer games than co-leader David Pastrnak. Ovechkin was also second in the league in shots on goal. He is consistently one of the best floor plays in the NHL, because you know that the Washington Capitals' power play will focus on getting Ovechkin as many of his lethal one-timers toward the net as possible.

The matchup between the Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers has the highest over/under on the slate, a full goal higher than the rest of the games, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. This environment should benefit Ovechkin, especially if it involves a lot of power plays. We've seen an increase in the number of penalties since the league restarted, which gives Ovechkin the upside of scoring at least one power-play goal.

An Ovechkin with even more chances to score on the power play is one you'll want to roster on any slate.

Alex Pietrangelo, Defense, St. Louis Blues

FanDuel Salary: $5,800

Pending free agent Alex Pietrangelo will want to do everything he can to earn his money on his next contract, and he can prove himself as one of the game's best defensemen in this postseason. He's more thought of for his stellar defensive play, but had a breakout offensive season. He tied for second in goals among blueliners with 16. He also had the second-most shots on goal and the sixth-most power-play points for players at his position.

The St. Louis Blues have the third-best power play in the NHL and will face a Vegas Golden Knights penalty kill that was bottom five in the league. With more penalties being called, special teams takes more of an emphasis and should be more of a consideration when building lineups. Since Pietrangelo is so good on the power play, he's in a great spot in this game.

Our projections agree, listing Pietrangelo as the highest scorer at defense -- by far.

Frederik Andersen, Goalie, Toronto Maple Leafs

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

Frederik Andersen has had a very solid start since the league returned to play. He's allowed only one goal in the two games and is coming off a shutout in Game 2.

He's got a good matchup against Blue Jackets, who were the fourth-lowest scoring team in the league and the lowest scoring team to make the play-in round. Andersen and the Maple Leafs are -145 favorites, so the possibility of a win and keeping the score low is good for him.

He is the third-highest projected goalie on the slate, but the two above him are underdogs, making Andersen a potentially safer option at goalie.

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.