4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/17/20

Nikita Kucherov and the Lightning look to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. What other expensive players can we consider on Monday?

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 four more round one playoff games on Monday. Let's see where we should be looking to spend our salary on this slate, considering one player at each position.

Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $8,800

A consistently great player for the entire season has been Nathan MacKinnon. He has been his usual self in the postseason, recording a point in all six games. He also has 25 shots in the six games since the league resumed play. This was exactly how he played during the regular season, as he leads the league in shots on goal with 318. With the matchup and how his series has been going, there's no reason to believe he will slow down.

They may have lost the last game, but the Colorado Avalanche were dominant in the shot count. The Avs had 92 shot attempts compared to just 39 for the Arizona Coyotes, according to Natural Stat Trick. The loss seems like it was a minor bump in the road for Colorado, who are -195 favorites in this game on FanDuel Sportsbook. They also currently have the highest implied team total, according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. MacKinnon has one of the highest floors in fantasy hockey, scoring 16.5 and 19.2 FanDuel points in every postseason game. That's with only two goals scored, so there is still a ceiling that he could reach that we haven't seen yet in the playoffs.

Nikita Kucherov, Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

If there is one Tampa Bay Lightning player who wants revenge for last season's shocking upset to the Columbus Blue Jackets it's Nikita Kucherov. He was suspended for game three in that series, and the Lightning were swept. He has come out and played well in the first three games of this series, with four points and 13 shots on goal. It was another regular season of elite production for Kucherov, finishing sixth in points per 60 minutes.

The Lightning have dominated the puck in all three games, attempting 72.66 shots per 60 minutes in this series. They should be able to do the same in this game, and their implied goal total is creeping near three. Kucherov tops numberFire's projections for points by a skater at any position, which makes him the top priority spend at the wing position on this slate.

Dougie Hamilton, Defenseman, Carolina Hurricanes

FanDuel Salary: $5,800

After a lackluster return in the first game, Dougie Hamilton that fantasy owners know and love has been back for the last two games. He had twelve shots on goal in the two games and scored a goal on one of them. Another positive sign was that his playing time was up around 25 minutes per game in the last two games, after playing 26 in a double-overtime game in game one. What made Dougie such a valuable fantasy asset was his shot volume, as he leads all defensemen in shots on goal per 60 minutes with 9.32.

The Carolina Hurricanes have played the Boston Bruins, losing one game in double overtime and another by two goals, one being an empty netter. The Bruins are without star goaltender Tuukka Rask and could be without NHL co-leading goal scorer David Pastrnak again. This would give the Canes a great chance to even up the series, and Hamilton coming back and playing well would be a big part of that. He is our highest projected defenseman for Monday's slate and can be used in any format.

Philipp Grubauer, Goalie, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $8,600

Philipp Grubauer got the day off in game three on a back-to-back but should be back in the crease for game four. He's been pretty solid in the bubble, winning three of his four starts, including both against Arizona. The Coyotes' attack doesn't really scare anybody, as they had the fourth-fewest expected goals per 60 minutes of any team that made the first round of the playoffs. The Avalanche are the biggest favorite on Monday's slate, sitting at -195. Grubauer has a good chance of getting another win in this game and could post a shutout as he did in game one.

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.