NHL

4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/18/20

Max Pacioretty and the Golden Knights have a chance to finish off the Blackhawks. Where else should we pay up on Tuesday'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.

The first round has produced some excellent hockey, and Tuesday should be no different. Let's see what stars we want to spend up on in this four game slate.

Alex Ovechkin, Wing, Washington Capitals

FanDuel Salary: $8,400

The Washington Capitals will look to their sniper Alex Ovechkin to help them salvage at least one game in this series. Ovechkin hasn't been the problem for the Capitals with three points and 13 shots on goal. Shot volume has always been Ovechkin's game, as he racked up the second-most shots on goal in the league this season with 311. That resulted in 48 goals, tied for the most in the league.

The matchup with the New York Islanders looks like a tough one on paper, but there are some paths for the Capitals and Ovechkin to have a good game. The Isles actually allowed the second-most shot attempts per 60 minutes in the NHL during the regular season, according to Natural Stat Trick. New York has also been weak on the penalty kill in the postseason, sporting the third-worst penalty kill since the league resumed. Ovechkin ranks second in numberFire's projections overall and should be a safe floor play in a matchup that will see him get a lot of opportunities to shoot.

Max Pacioretty, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $7,100

Coming in a little cheaper at the wing position is Max Pacioretty, but he's a similar type of play. He gets fantasy points in the same type of way as Ovechkin -- through taking a ton of shots. He had 10 shot attempts in the Vegas Golden Knights' Game 4 loss in which they dominated the puck but couldn't score more than one goal. Pacioretty had 307 shots on goal this season, one of only three players to have more than 300. The Golden Knights look set to dominate again as they look to close out the series.

Vegas has severely outplayed the Chicago Blackhawks in every game in this series. The odds suggest they will do it again with Vegas being a -210 favorite on FanDuel Sportsbook. They also have the highest implied goal total on the slate, sitting around 3.3, according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. Pacioretty is at the top of the projections regardless of position, so he is a priority to pay up for on this slate.

Shea Theodore, Defenseman, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $5,800

One of the most consistent fantasy performers in the postseason has been Shea Theodore. He has 24 shots on goal in the last six games with at least three shots on goal in each game. He also has four goals and six points in those six games. Those four goals are the most among defensemen since the league began playing again. Theodore finished in the top 10 in goals for defensemen with 13, and he had the fourth-most shots on goal.

We know that Vegas has a great matchup against the Blackhawks, and Theodore is clearly the best offensive defenseman they have. Chicago has allowed 3.25 goals per game in the postseason, tied for the second-worst among teams still remaining. Since the Golden Knights are projecting so well, you can stack Theodore with Pacioretty or another forward that you like for the upside in tournaments. Speaking of projecting well, Theodore is forecasted for the second-most points among defensemen on Tuesday, making him a great option to spend on.

Carter Hart, Goalie, Philadelphia Flyers

FanDuel Salary: $8,500

After a bad Game 2 performance, Carter Hart came back in Game 3 with a shutout. He has won four of his five games since the restart and has allowed one goal or fewer in all four of those wins. His Philadelphia Flyers will face the Montreal Canadiens as -135 favorites. The Canadiens also have one of the lowest implied goal totals on the slate, as it currently comes in at 2.4. Hart is our highest-projected goalie on the slate and is an option you should feel comfortable rostering in all lineup builds.


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.