4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/7/20

Evgeni Malkin will need to be at his best to help the Penguins avoid elimination. Who else is in position to help their team survive on Friday?

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.

There are five games on the main slate again on Friday, and every game is an elimination game. The stakes are high for the teams, so which stars are we going to want to roster when the chips are down? Let's take a look:

Leon Draisaitl, Center, Edmonton Oilers

FanDuel Salary: $8,400

The Edmonton Oilers' "other star" was the one you wanted to own on Wednesday's slate, as Leon Draisaitl had two goals, an assist, and six shots on goal. It was his second three-point game in the series, after his goal and two-assist performance in Game 1. Draisaitl, of course, won the scoring title with 110 points in the regular season. No other player even hit triple-digits. Draisaitl should be in a position to have another big game on Friday.

The Oilers will look to exploit the Chicago Blackhawks once again, as despite being down 2-1 in the series, they've scored 13 goals. Edmonton's power play has been clicking throughout the series, scoring at a 41.7% clip. The Oilers have the highest implied goal total on today's slate, sitting at 3.5 goals when looking at the Daily Fantasy Matchup Heat Map. You'll want to get a lot of pieces of this game as the over/under is at 6.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook. Draisaitl is the second-highest projected skater on the slate and fits all lineup builds.

Evgeni Malkin, Center, Pittsburgh Penguins

FanDuel Salary: $7,700

The Pittsburgh Penguins are facing elimination after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3. Evgeni Malkin will do all he can to avoid elimination, and add to his one-point in the three games. It hasn't been for lack of trying, though, as he has attempted 30 shots in the three games. Malkin had a great regular season, scoring 4.14 points per 60 minutes, good for third in the NHL, according to Natural Stat Trick. The chances for him to shoot should keep coming in this next game.

Taking a look at this series as a whole, the Penguins have been dominating in all the advanced metrics. They have 12.86 expected goals but have scored only eight actual goals. The regression should be coming for Pittsburgh -- they just better hope it comes soon. Malkin likely would be the beneficiary of it if they were to get it together in this game, seeing as he led the team in points in the regular season. The Penguins have an implied team total of 3.1 goals, so the betting market still believes in them. With lots of good center plays on the board, Malkin's lack of blow-up games so far in the playoffs may cause him to go overlooked on Friday.

Roman Josi, Defense, Nashville Predators

FanDuel Salary: $7,100

Another team that could be eliminated on Friday is the Nashville Predators. They'll look to their captain and leading-scorer Roman Josi to help extend their season for at least one more game. Josi had a fantastic offensive regular season, coming in second in points and tied for second in goals for defensemen. He also led defensemen in shots on goal with 260, 35 more than Alex Pietrangelo.

While Nashville trails the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 in this series, they are still -145 favorites to win this game. The Predators also have an implied goal total around 2.9. Josi has three assists in the three games so far and has attempted 24 shots. Josi is at the top of numberFire's projections for defensemen, and it's not even close. He's a good spend in cash game lineups because of how many shots on goal he is likely to get.

Jacob Markstrom, Goalie, Vancouver Canucks

FanDuel Salary: $7,800

The Vancouver Canucks and Jacob Markstrom are on a bit of a roll in their series against the Minnesota Wild. They've won two games in a row, including a shutout in Game 3 on Thursday. The Wild were not a particularly threatening offense during the season, with the third-worst expected goals per 60 rate in the league. Markstrom had a good season himself, with a .918% save percentage and 11.40 goals saved above average. Markstrom has a good matchup and has been solid in the series, so he makes sense as a goalie play on today's slate.

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.