3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 9/4/20

Nathan MacKinnon has been one of the best players in the playoffs. Can he do it again with everything on the line Game 7?

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 no Game 7s in the first round, we've got three in round two, including two on the Western bubble on Friday. Let's see which stars could help their teams in these win or go home games.

Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $8,800

With all the marbles on the line, you may want to keep riding Nathan MacKinnon, since he has been the best player in the postseason. MacKinnon has 25 points in 14 games (including round-robin play), which would have been the most points in the playoffs last year. He has points in all 14 of those games, a streak that is second all-time to start a playoff run. MacKinnon has eight multi-point games in the playoffs, showing upside that most players can't match. He also leads the playoffs in shots on goal with 62, and he led the league in the regular season with 318.

The Colorado Avalanche have forced a Game 7 after winning two straight games against the Dallas Stars. MacKinnon had a goal and an assist in each of those games. According to our daily fantasy matchup heat map, the Avalanche have the highest implied team total of the four teams on the slate. MacKinnon has been lapping the field in fantasy production for the whole playoffs, and if Colorado wants to advance, they'll need him to keep up his dominating play. He's the top play across all positions tonight.

Max Pacioretty, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $7,700

When the Vegas Golden Knights won Game 1 5-0, most people were not expecting this series to go seven games. Max Pacioretty has been doing his best to wrap up this series earlier, with four goals in six games. While Vegas has lost the last two games, Pacioretty has five shots on goal in each of those games, so he has continued to get opportunities. The Golden Knights dominated in the shot attempt battle in Game 6, attempting 90 to the Vancouver Canucks' 42, per Natural Stat Trick.

Vegas is still a huge favorite in this game, -240 on Fanduel Sportsbook. It remains to be seen how Canucks goalie, Thatcher Demko, can hold up in back to back scenario after being thrust into the starting role with an injury to Jacob Markstrom. With all the work he had to do in Game 6 last night, it wouldn't be too surprising, if his performance dropped in this Game 7. Pacioretty and the Golden Knights could take advantage of that, and they have a healthy implied team goal total of 3.29 goals. Pacioretty is close to the top of our wing projections, and could see his shot volume turn into a goal or two in this game.

Shea Theodore, Defense, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $6,500

One of the breakout stars of the playoffs has been Shea Theodore. People really should have been paying attention to him in the regular season too, as he was in the top 10 in goals and points for defensemen, along with the fourth-most shots on goal. He has taken it to another level in the playoffs, with 15 points in 14 games, and the second-most shots on goal for any player. Last night's game ended his seven-game point streak, but he did continue his streak of having 13 straight games of multiple shots on goal with five.

If the Golden Knights get a bit more shooting luck than they did in the past two games, Theodore should have a big game. He has the most power-play points on the team with five, so if the team is to get five power plays as they did in Game 6, he is likely to be involved in a goal. Theodore correlates well with Pacioretty since they both play on the top power-play unit. If Vegas is able to break out of their scoring drought in a big way, these guys both could have a big game. Theodore has offered the best floor/ceiling combination throughout the playoffs on defense, and tonight is no different.

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.