4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/26/20

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.

Weekday afternoon hockey is back, and slates with more than two games are back as well. Let's savor these two things as it could be one of the last times we have both of these things for the remainder of the playoffs.

Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $8,800

Nathan MacKinnon has been a near must-play on every slate in the playoffs if you wanted to finish near the top of the tournament leaderboards. He leads all players in points and shots on goal according to NHL.com, despite playing a game or two less than his competitors in those categories. Despite the Colorado Avalanche losing the opening two games of this series, MacKinnon has been his normal productive self. He has three goals and two assists with 14 shots on goal in just two games.

MacKinnon is also playing big minutes in this series, reaching 24 and 23 minutes in the first two games, respectively. The Avalanche have had to ride him to try to catch up in the games and will need him to catch up in the series. The Avalanche are still favorites in this game, -140 on FanDuel Sportsbook. They also have the highest implied goal total on the slate, sitting around three according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. MacKinnon has been close to unstoppable in the postseason and is the top play across all positions.

Brad Marchand, Wing, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $7,800

When playoff time comes around, Brad Marchand brings out his best. He tied for the lead in points during the Boston Bruins run to the Stanley Cup Final last season and currently leads the team with 11 points in 10 postseason games. He's been great since the round-robin ended, with all 11 points coming in the seven games of the actual playoffs. He has four points in the two games against the Tampa Bay Lightning in this series, including two goals in Game 2.

Marchand was seventh in the NHL in points per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. A matchup he was able to exploit in Game 2 was Tampa being without defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who led the team in ice time during the playoffs. With this game being a back-to-back, McDonagh is unlikely to play in Game 3, giving Marchand a chance to have another big game. He's a great play if you can afford him with his linemates, as that's always a stack that has a chance for multiple goals. Marchand is our highest projected skater at any position, making him a fine play in all formats.

Miro Heiskanen, Defense, Dallas Stars

FanDuel Salary: $5,800

One of the breakout stars of the playoffs has been Miro Heiskanen of the Dallas Stars. The second-year Finnish defenseman is third in points overall in the postseason with 14. He has a three-game point streak, with six points in that span. He also has assumed the role as Dallas' number one defenseman, playing nearly 26 minutes per game. Heiskanen hasn't been shy about shooting the puck either, leading the team with 30 shots on goal in the playoffs.

The Stars have discovered a new offensive game over the past seven games, scoring five or more goals five times in that stretch. They've scored five goals in each of the first two games of this series as well. The Avalanche are going to be out one of their top defenseman in Erik Johnson and their number one goalie Philipp Grubauer, both of whom were injured in Game 1. This bodes well for the Stars and their chances to have another big game on offense. Heiskanen is an interesting tournament play for the upside he has shown throughout the playoffs.

Semyon Varlamov, Goalie, New York Islanders

FanDuel Salary: $8,400

While lots of attention has been paid to the other goalie in this series, Semyon Varlamov deserves recognition for his solid play in the postseason. He's coming off two straight shutouts and has won eight of his ten starts in the bubble. His .941 save percentage is the best among qualified goalies in the playoffs. The Philadelphia Flyers have only scored 2.20 goals per game since the league restarted, and have been shutout twice. Varlamov should be a safe play if you decide to want to spend up at goalie on this 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.