4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/11/20

Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Tampa Bay Lightning were embarrassed by the Columbus Blue Jackets last year in the playoffs. Can they get revenge in their series this year?

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 play-in rounds and round-robin are over and now we are on to the normal playoffs, or at least the closest thing to the normal playoffs that we will see in 2020. While we saw some of the NHL's biggest stars go down in the play-in rounds, there are still plenty of studs to target in this round and on this slate for Tuesday.

Patrice Bergeron, Center, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $7,300

Patrice Bergeron and his linemates had another elite season in terms of production and advanced statistics. The trio of Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak put up the most five on five goals as a line together, per Left Wing Lock. Bergeron himself was one of the best goal-scoring centers in the NHL, scoring the fifth-most goals per 60 minutes according to Natural Stat Trick. He also had the seventh shot attempt rate among centers.

The Boston Bruins are facing the Carolina Hurricanes in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference Finals. Bergeron had five points in four games in the series last year, tied for the most for any player. In this series, Boston is a -160 favorite on FanDuel Sportsbook. In this game, they have an implied goal total hovering around three, according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. Bergeron makes a good standalone play, and also in an expensive line stack with his fellow members of the "Perfection Line".

Max Pacioretty, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $7,600

After missing the round-robin games, Max Pacioretty will be back in the lineup for the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of their series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Pacioretty had a great regular season. He led Vegas with 32 goals and 66 points. He continued to be one of the league's highest volume shooters, as his 307 shots on goal ranked third only behind Alex Ovechkin and Nathan MacKinnon. He has a great matchup in this series for a high-volume shooter.

The Golden Knights are the biggest favorite of any team in the first round of the playoffs, and with good reason. The Blackhawks allowed the most shots on goal per 60 minutes during the regular season, while Vegas had the most shots on goal per game. Their implied goal total is around 3.8 in this game, comfortably the highest on the slate. Pacioretty has a great floor because of his shot volume, and the perfect matchup to have a ceiling game.

Shea Theodore, Defense, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $5,900

Shea Theodore was one of the standout players in the Western Conference round-robin games. He had two goals and two assists, to go with 11 shots on goal. He was also one of the best offensive defensemen in the league this season, tied for ninth in the NHL in goals and tenth in points among blueliners. He's a nice play in this matchup against the Blackhawks.

We already know that the Golden Knights are in a great spot against Chicago in this series. Theodore leads the team in power-play time on ice for defensemen, which will come in handy if the number of penalties that we saw in the play-in round continues. Theodore comes in as the second-highest projected defenseman in numberFire's projections. Theodore makes for a great play in cash games as well as in lineups with other Vegas players to capture the goal-scoring upside that they have in this game.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Goalie, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $8,900

There is revenge on the mind of the Tampa Bay Lightning in this first-round matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets. After a historically great regular season last year, the Lightning were promptly swept by the Jackets in the first round. They'll obviously want to avenge that this season, and it will start in net with Andrei Vasilevskiy. Last year's Vezina Trophy winner was solid again this season, ranking eighth in goals saved above average. He's in a good spot for revenge in this series.

The Blue Jackets were the second-lowest scoring team of any of the 24 that made the postseason, and also were second-lowest in expected goals per 60 minutes. Vasilevskiy and the Lightning are -165 favorites to win this game, giving him a good chance at getting the win bonus. He's also projecting as the highest-scoring goalie on this slate, making him the perfect way to spend up in net if you have the salary to do that.

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.