3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/29/20

Elias Pettersson has been great in his first playoffs. Which other studs can we target on Saturday?

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 two games on Saturday, with both series sitting at 1-1 after two games. Let's see which stars will look to get their team in head their respective series.

Update: This piece initially ran prior to Thursday's main slate, which has been pushed to Saturday at 7:00 pm.

Elias Pettersson, Center, Vancouver Canucks

FanDuel Salary: $7,300

Most hockey fans knew that Elias Pettersson was good, but people probably didn't realize he could be this good already. He is second in the playoffs in points with 16, behind only Nathan MacKinnon. In Tuesday's victory over the Vegas Golden Knights, Pettersson had a goal and two assists. He has six multi-point outings in 12 playoff games, showing great upside in half the games in the postseason.

The Vancouver Canucks have been a good offensive team in the bubble, scoring an average of 3.25 goals per game. Despite the Canucks being underdogs in their game tonight, they still have a healthy implied team total of 2.78 goals, according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. Pettersson tops our projections as the highest-projected skater at any position. He offers upside that isn't readily available at the center position, making him a priority to spend up on tonight.

Max Pacioretty, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $7,800

After a slow start when the NHL resumed play, a span in which he missed time due to injury, Max Pacioretty has gotten things going of late. He has goals in three straight games and is averaging five shots on goal per game in that time. Pacioretty has the third-best shot attempt rate for players in the postseason, averaging 32.51 shot attempts per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick.

The Golden Knights will want to get back on track after their Game 2 loss, and Pacioretty should help them do just that. They have implied goal of a whopping 3.72 in a game that could be a high-scoring affair. Pacioretty is numberFire's highest-projected winger on the slate today. He makes for a good cash-game play for his floor, but he's also a good tournament pick if he can continue the goal-scoring form that he has shown of late.

Semyon Varlamov, Goalie, New York Islanders

FanDuel Salary: $8,500

I recommended Semyon Varlamov on Wednesday's slate, and it went about as poorly as possible with him getting pulled and scoring -6.4 FanDuel points. There are some factors going in Varlamov's favor going into [Saturday's] game three that could make him a candidate to bounce back.

He had generally been very good in every other outing in the postseason, winning eight out of 10 games. The New York Islanders are favorites at -125 on FanDuel Sportsbook, so Varlamov has a decent chance of getting the win. Their opponents tonight, the Philadelphia Flyers, are the only team on this slate that is averaging fewer than three goals per game.

It may be uncomfortable to play Varlamov after such a bad game, but on two-game slates, there are only four goalies available and none of them might be perfect options. This Islanders game has a 5.5 total, whereas the other game is at 6.5, so it makes sense to take a goaltender in the game that is projected to be lower scoring.

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.