3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 3/19/21

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.

Friday night features five games in all. Let's take a look at some studs.

Auston Matthews, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs

FanDuel Salary: $8,800

The Toronto Maple Leafs go up against the Calgary Flames on Friday night in what could be a revenge game of sorts. The last miniseries featured some lower-scoring contests. Toronto is top-five in the league in goals per game (3.4), power-play (29.9%), and shooting percentage (11.1%). Calgary was able to hold them down defensively to a point until very late in their last meeting when Toronto struck late and then in overtime. Matthews got both assists in that game and turned an awful night into a good night.

The good thing is that Matthews had just four shots in his last two games. Expect him to come out and look for his shot a bit more on Friday. Toronto has not played since Sunday night. Matthews should be well-rested. Whomever Calgary matches up against the Matthews line is not going to have it easy this time around.

Also, Logan Couture ($7,000), is up against the wildly erratic St. Louis Blues on Friday. Many will be on Mika Zibanejad ($6,800) against the Washington Capitals, but be careful there.

Max Pacioretty, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $7,900

The Vegas Golden Knights' Max Pacioretty is a reasonable option against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night. This game may feature a surprising amount of offense. Vegas ranks in the top-five at even-strength goal production, while Los Angeles is eighth on the power play at 25.7%. Also, the Kings allow nearly 32 shots per 60 at home, which is the 8th worst in the league.

Again, this is about that Vegas dynamic duo with Mark Stone. Few winger duos create scoring chances like them, and the Kings' top line did not slow them down in the last miniseries, as Pacioretty had four assists in the two games and eight scoring chances combined -- five were high-danger. If anything, Pacioretty may be due for a goal or two against this Kings team.

The Golden Knights' wingers will be rostered at a higher rate but so will Artemi Panarin ($7,700) for the New York Rangers after New York's nine-goal outburst on Wednesday against Philadelphia. So, Alex Ovechkin ($8,100) may be a solid alternative. Also, consider looking at Evander Kane ($7,100). This is if one does not want to go after the highly-rostered Tyler Toffoli ($6,900), as he plays against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.

John Carlson, Defenseman, Washinton Capitals

FanDuel Salary: $6,600

Keep knocking at the front door. John Carlson has upside against a Rangers team coming off a 9-0 shutout. How? This is simple. In a pandemic season, letdowns are almost inevitable. Teams bounce back and forth like a yo-yo. Washington is also 9-3-2 at home and ranks second at home in averaging over 3.5 goals per contest. New York has allowed nearly 3.2 goals on the road in their past 10 road contests.

The Washington power-play is fifth in the league at home and sixth overall at 27.4%. Carlson setting up Ovechkin from the point along with T.J. Oshie has been excellent over the past several weeks, as the Capitals' power play has heated up considerably to around 30% over that span.

Some other options on Friday have to include Jeff Petry ($6,400) from Montreal and even Brent Burns ($6,100) as an extreme-risk play versus St. Louis.

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.