4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/12/20

Vladimir Tarasenko is back and will be looking to help the St. Louis Blues go on another Stanley Cup run. Who else can we spend up for on Wednesday's slate?

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.

After a wild opening day of the first round of the playoffs that saw a game go into five overtimes, there is more action on Wednesday. Let's see what studs are available for us to consider today.

Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $8,700

MVP candidate Nathan MacKinnon showed no signs of rust in the round robin games for the Colorado Avalanche. He got a point in each game and had at least four shots on goal. Those games were against some of the Western Conference's best defensive teams. While his opponent, the Arizona Coyotes, were pretty good in not allowing goals, they did rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of expected goals against rate and shots allowed rate, according to Natural Stat Trick.

MacKinnon had an elite offensive season, which is why he was nominated for the Hart Trophy. He was fifth in the league in points and had the most shots on goal in the NHL. The Avalanche have the highest implied team total on this slate at 3.2, according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. MacKinnon is easily the top play at the center position tonight, and a player you're going to want to find a way to get in most of your lineups.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Wing, St. Louis Blues

FanDuel Salary: $7,700

The break in action allowed a longer recovery period for some players, including St. Louis Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko. He only played ten games in the regular season before going down with a shoulder injury. He was able to put up ten points in those ten games, but this ended his streak of scoring at least 30 goals in five straight seasons. The Blues will be grateful that they have him back as they look to make another run to the Stanley Cup.

Tarasenko was 3rd in goals in the playoffs last season with 11 and has 33 goals in 70 career playoff games, which is excellent, considering the playoffs are usually lower-scoring than the regular season. He'll face the Vancouver Canucks in this series, a team that was fourth-worst in expected goals against per 60 minutes and shots against per 60 minutes. Tarasenko was rested in one of the round robin games, but played in the last one and should be a full go here. He's a sharpshooter who will not go missing when the playoffs begin.

Quinn Hughes, Defenseman, Vancouver Canucks

FanDuel Salary: $5,200

A great rookie season was rightly recognized as being worthy of a Calder Trophy nomination for Quinn Hughes. He led all rookies in points, despite being a defenseman. He didn't let up in the play-in round either, with five points in four games for the Canucks as they eliminated the Minnesota Wild. He already has become of the game's elite power play quarterbacks, having the third-most points on the PP for a blueliner.

The matchup against the St. Louis Blues is a tough one, but Hughes produced in a tough matchup against the Wild, the league's second-best team in terms of expected goals allowed per 60 minutes. The Blues were strong in some defensive metrics but were only the 12th-best team in that particular one. There are paths to Hughes having big games in this series, and it could be against St. Louis' penalty kill, which was in the bottom half of the league. Hughes is an intriguing upside play at defense on Wednesday.

Carter Hart, Goalie, Philadelphia Flyers

FanDuel Salary: $8,400

Carter Hart was great in the two round robin games he appeared in, allowing just one goal in each game against the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning. He got the win in both of those games, and he'll have a good chance of doing that here, as the Philadelphia Flyers are -160 favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook. The Flyers are, somewhat surprisingly, one of the best defensive teams in the league, allowing the least shots on goal per 60 minutes. Hart is the second-highest projection in numberFire's goalie projections on this slate and comes in at a slight discount from the top guy, Philipp Grubauer. Hart is a good play in net in all formats.

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.