5 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/26/21

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-salaried 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.

Tuesday night presents the first mega slate of the DFS NHL season. Let's take a look at what studs we may find.

Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $8,600

While most people are talking about Connor McDavid versus the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, Nathan MacKinnon is up against one of the worst defenses in the San Jose Sharks. San Jose does not deploy its bottom pairing much, so Colorado will be going up against mostly the same four blueliners. San Jose has yielded 21 goals in six games this year and faces a motivated MacKinnon, who has fired four-plus shots on net in every game but one this season and has three-plus scoring chances in five of six contests.

With MacKinnon's line generating tons of chances, he should be able to stretch the San Jose team defense, as well. San Jose yields just 29.6 shots per game but gave up nearly 35 a night to the Avalanche across the last two seasons. San Jose allowed the fifth most unblocked shot attempts last season.

If you want to slide down a little in salary, Jack Eichel ($7,400) is still in the top tier when it comes to production and is facing a New York Rangers that has allowed four goals apiece to the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils.

Mark Stone, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $7,600

Mark Stone gets a prime matchup against one of the surprise duds of the early season in the St. Louis Blues. The Blues on special teams, in particular, have been horrid. They are giving up the fourth most minor penalties in the league, have the sixth-worst penalty kill (66.7%), and are allowing 3.67 goals per contest. They are a team yielding 31.2 shots per game and nearly 19 scoring chances a night.

The Golden Knights have been one of the more impressive teams when it comes to creating opportunities and chances. Stone and Max Pacioretty are among the league leaders in individual scoring chances created. The draft percentage for Vegas players should be more spread out due to the enormous slate tonight. Filip Forsberg ($7,100) against the Chicago Blackhawks is another quality option in this salary range.

Brad Marchand, Wing, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $8,100

There was some doubt as to whether Brad Marchand would perform a bit more like the Marchand we are used to. Well, 41 FanDuel points against the Philadelphia Flyers in his last start put those doubts to rest. Is the consistency there? Not yet. Is the potential there? Yes.

The Boston Bruins have typically fared well against the Pittsburgh Penguins the past couple seasons. This year, Pittsburgh is giving up 3.83 goals per game despite surrendering only 26 shots per night. What happens against a Boston team that averages 32.2 shots per contests and has the fifth best power play in the league (35.5%)? It could be another good night for the Boston top line and whoever comes along for the ride.

Patrick Kane ($8,200) from the Chicago Blackhawks is an intriguing choice from this tier against the Nashville Predators, who have had issues killing penalties of late.

Roman Josi, Defenseman, Nashville Predators

FanDuel Salary: $6,400

There is this odd wonderment of what is wrong with Roman Josi. The Nashville defender has just one assist in five games this season. Part of it may be the postponement of a game or two, the compressed schedule, and even just bad luck. He has 20 shots on goal and 10 scoring chances. Nothing has gone in. Even his floor, which normally has been stout, is less than stellar. Josi is averaging just 1.2 blocks per night.

This season just has not started well for him. A meeting with the freewheeling Blackhawks may help. Chicago yields 3.83 goals per game (a touch more than four per night on the road), has just a 72% penalty kill and gives up over 33 shots per night away from United Center. Nashville needs to get their offense moving, and the Blackhawks may just be the panacea.

Philipp Grubauer, Goalie, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

Grubauer had a difficult time against the Anaheim Ducks in his last start, allowing four goals. His previous three starts were excellent, though. As is the theme this year, goaltenders are seeing decreased save percentages and some decreased workload. The chances are more dangerous. That has been the problem.

The Blues have been an inconsistent mess in the early going. The special teams have been poor, and despite generating a lot of chances, they have the second worst power play in the NHL at 5.6%. If that continues tonight, Grubauer should see around 30 shots, which means he has a decent chance of putting up a solid FanDuel point total.

Wait for other confirmations first for possible alternatives, but the Colorado starter is a good choice on this night.

Chris Wassel is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Chris Wassel also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username chriswassel. 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.