4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 3/25/21

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 features 11 games on the schedule. Let's find some studs!

Auston Matthews, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

The Toronto Maple Leafs enjoyed a five-day break in the middle of this crazy, compressed schedule. It could not have come at a better time for the center and his team. It is an even bigger luxury that they get to play one of the worst defensive teams in the Ottawa Senators.

Ottawa has played better of late but still is yielding 3.74 goals per game and nearly 33 shots per 60. That goals-against is dead last in the NHL still.

Expecting four-plus shots and three-plus scoring chances for the center is a given. He has nine real-world points in four meetings this season. His salary dropped a little because of the number of days off. One can stack him with Jason Spezza potentially or Morgan Rielly for salary relief.

Also, Nathan MacKinnon ($8,900) is going up against the Vegas Golden Knights at home. With Colorado just about fully healthy, they expect to put up several goals tonight.

Alexander Ovechkin, Wing, Washington Capitals

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

The Washington Capitals' winger is playing the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. New Jersey is horrendous on the penalty kill -- 31st in the league. More importantly, Ovechkin and the Capitals have scored five goals with frequency against the Devils. They did again on March 9th as Washington held off New Jersey 5-4.

The one big thing with Ovechkin is that offensive potential. The Russian winger has six goals in his last six games. Even against the New York Rangers earlier in the week, Ovechkin fired six shots on net with 10 attempts. He had five scoring chances, including three that were of the high-danger variety.

Patrick Kane ($8,000) is a big alternative here against the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Again, his line is attacked or be attacked, so viable alternatives are aplenty.

Roman Josi, Defenseman, Nashville Predators

FanDuel Salary: $6,500

The Nashville Predators' top defender returned on Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings and did not miss a beat. He nearly topped 20 FanDuel points after firing six shots on net with an assist. He gets to play Detroit again on Thursday.

When looking to go up against Detroit, it is their road numbers that are heinous. They are one of the league leaders in unblocked shots attempted from the point. That is not a good thing. Josi will quarterback the power-play, and Detroit is 30th in the league on the penalty kill at 71.3%. That number drops closer to 70% on the road.

Again, Dougie Hamilton ($6,500) is an option versus a Columbus Blue Jackets team that allowed nearly 35 shots per 60 over its last 10 games played. John Carlson has to be considered for his power-play abilities versus New Jersey alone.

Kaapo Kakhonen, Goalie, Minnesota Wild

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

Kaapo Kahkonen is expected to start against the St. Louis Blues tonight. Though Kahkonen had a rough start against the Colorado Avalanche his last time out, he had won nine straight games before that road tilt. Playing at home, Kahkonen swept three games and allowed just three goals with two shutouts recently.

Wait to see who else starts when it comes to looking for viable alternatives among the studs. Who starts for the Carolina Hurricanes? Also, who will be in net for Pittsburgh tonight? There are plenty of questions, and even in Washington, as they are on the front end of a back to back. With the compressed schedule, waiting may be the hardest part.

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.