4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 2/22/21

Monday night features a surprising eight-game NHL slate, but Auston Matthews remains a top DFS target. Who else should we trust?

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.

Monday night comes fierce with eight games on the schedule. Let's dive in.

Auston Matthews, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs

FanDuel Salary: $9,200

Auston Matthews zooms into the $9,000 slot again and for very good reason. He has 13 goals in his last 10 games and is on a 15-game real-world point streak. The Calgary Flames has struggled mightily on defense and become very predictable to play against. The penalty kill, goals allowed, and shots allowed have all slipped close to the bottom-third in the NHL.

There is more than one way to utilize Matthews on Monday night. One can look at players like Jason Spezza, Mitchell Marner, and Joe Thornton, along with Morgan Rielly, etc. Matthews could be part of a single-play scenario in this eight-game slate because of the plethora of upper-tier choices.

Also, look down to Anze Kopitar ($7,200) against a St. Louis Blues team that is all over the place defensively. That cannot hurt. Furthermore, Vincent Trocheck ($5,800) is an intriguing option who plays like a stud but is salary slotted like a middle-tiered forward.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Wing, Florida Panthers

FanDuel Salary: $7,700

So, one of the best power-plays in the league carries a good bit of risk. Jonathan Huberdeau does not produce the greatest of shot volume but has 15 real-world points in the last 10 appearances. Typically, the winger generates more scoring chances than shots on net. He has three-plus chances in 8 of his last 11 games but only three-plus shots twice in this span.

The Florida Panthers typically give as good as they get. Honestly, they are just more fun when the top line is on the ice. Overall, they allow around three goals a game at home but score nearly 3.50 when Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov are playing together. The Dallas penalty kill is starting to dip and are now in the bottom half of the league at 78% on the road. Also, the Florida offense ranks in the top-six in three major categories (goals for, shots for, and power-play). Do not forget chances, too, where they rank seventh overall but fourth at home.

Elsewhere, look at Mikko Rantanen ($7,600) from the Colorado Avalanche for Nathan MacKinnon exposure. Finally, do not forget potential middle-tiered stud options like Conor Garland ($5,400) and even Jordan Kyrou ($4,300) from the Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis.

Drew Doughty, Defenseman, Los Angeles Kings

FanDuel Salary: $6,200

This features risk, but Drew Doughty has enjoyed a resurgence along with the Kings' top-line. His balance of shots and blocks, along with just enough real-world points (eight in the last five contests), makes him an attractive choice.

The best news is again that floor. Doughty is increasing his shots and blocked shots the past few games and plays a St. Louis team that can give up four or five goals at a moment's notice. Los Angeles scores 3.25 goals a game on the road (3.13 overall). Their blend of youth with veterans like Doughty makes Los Angeles a polarizing DFS target.

Of the alternatives, Victor Hedman ($7,100) is a great option from the Tampa Bay Lightning, along with the aforementioned Morgan Rielly.

Frederik Andersen, Goalie, Toronto Maple Leafs

FanDuel Salary: $8,700

Frederik Andersen is showing signs of the Andersen most expected at the start of the season. He has allowed two or fewer goals in five of his previous six outings. Aside from the team-wide debacle against the Ottawa Senators, the goaltender has gotten a hold of his wayward rebound control. Going up versus the Calgary Flames may prove to be an advantageous matchup, as Calgary is capable of putting up around 30 shots. If Andersen can allow two or fewer goals again, that may lead to 25-plus FanDuel points.

Wait to see who else starts when it comes to looking for viable alternatives among the studs. Semyon Varlamov should start for the New York Islanders versus the Buffalo Sabres. Also, see if Philipp Grubauer winds up starting. At $8,600, he may look expensive, but the Vegas Golden Knights can shoot in bunches (35-40 shot potential).

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.