4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 2/11/21

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.

Thursday night brings us ten games on the schedule. Let's dive in.

Connor McDavid, Center, Edmonton Oilers

FanDuel Salary: $9,000

Connor McDavid hitting the $9,000 salary plateau again is significant even after just three shots on net Tuesday night. The last time McDavid had no real-world points in a game, he followed by going on a 10-game point streak. The Edmonton Oilers' center has a good matchup against a potentially tired Montreal Canadiens squad that just played the equally high-tempo Toronto Maple Leafs last night.

There is a myriad of methods to use McDavid with other Edmonton choices. It will be tougher to add Leon Draisaitl, but how about a Darnell Nurse or Tyson Barrie? This is again something to consider.

Also, looking down to Mark Scheifele against the league-worst defense of Ottawa or Sean Monahan versus the second-worst defense in Vancouver are possibilities.

Max Pacioretty, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $8,100

Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone can often be joined at the hip when it comes to opportunities and scoring chances per 60, and they are both in the top 10 currently. Pacioretty had four shots on net and four scoring chances versus Anaheim on Tuesday night.

The Ducks have played much better lately and do seem to score goals against Vegas. However, for that extra pace, they pay for it in allowing a ton of chances -- to this line in particular. Pacioretty missed a few wide-open shots on Ryan Miller, and that was rare. Vegas is a top-five offense in pace and shots (32.3 per night) because of this duo.

Elsewhere, look at Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Huberdeau, both of whom enjoy high-scoring potential on Thursday. Finally, Filip Forsberg against one of the worst penalty kills in modern memory (Detroit Red Wings) may be something to explore, as well.

Brent Burns, Defenseman, San Jose Sharks

FanDuel Salary: $6,400

This features risk, but I'm going to simply play Brent Burns again. Burns turned back the clock on Tuesday with 7 shots on net (11 attempts). The Los Angeles Kings play a style that often allows a lot of unblocked shot attempts from the blueline. It is something that is even more prevalent on their penalty kill.

The best news is that floor. Burns being back to his usual high-shot outputs is a nice development. That should continue tonight against Los Angeles, and he may find the back of the net on the San Jose Sharks' man advantage.

Of the alternatives, Roman Josi against a Red Wings penalty kill that borders on the AHL level (less than 70% efficiency the past three seasons) is a possibility. Do not forget Jeff Petry from the Montreal Canadiens even in a back-to-back scenario.

Semyon Varlamov, Goalie, New York Islanders

FanDuel Salary: $8,000

Semyon Varlamov is projected to start for the New York Islanders tonight versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has won five of his last six starts against Pittsburgh including a clutch 28-save performance in their last meeting. The Islanders' goalie comes off a 30-save shutout versus the New York Rangers earlier in the week. The expected shot volume should be moderate for Varlamov, and that is good news at his salary.

Wait to see who else starts when it comes to looking for viable alternatives among the studs. Will Robin Lehner play? Better yet, does Anton Khudobin actually start for the Dallas Stars? Those are questions not known early this morning, so be mindful as news filters in.

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.