3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 5/13/21

Thanks to this being just a three-game slate, it's a little harder than usual to find high-end plays you can feel great about. Which studs can you 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.

Thursday night features three games on the NHL DFS slate. Let's take a look at a few studs.

Ryan O'Reilly, Center, St. Louis Blues

FanDuel Salary: $6,700

Nathan MacKinnon looked like he might play on Wednesday and then just like that he was getting held out for the rest of the regular season. It appears that this is a case of load management once again. Now, will Ryan O'Reilly play against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night? That answer is, hopefully, yes.

O'Reilly only played 14 minutes against the Wild and still had an assist with three shots and a blocked shot. The forward has 24 goals and 29 assists on the season with only 126 shots on goal. Shot volume was never his strong suit but real-world points have been this year.

The goalie for Minnesota will not matter much as they have nothing to play for. Expect the Wild to rest some players as well so this game could be more like pond hockey. If, for some reason, O'Reilly gets the night off, J.T. Miller ($6,300) could be worth a look.

Another possibility has to be Mikael Backlund at $4,400. The Calgary Flames should see more ice time with Sean Monahan out due to impending hip surgery.

Johnny Gaudreau, Wing, Calgary Flames

FanDuel Salary: $7,000

The good thing here is that Calgary plays the Vancouver Canucks who have been giving up 3.5 goals per game over the last 10 contests. John Gaudreau is heating up with 11 real-world points in eight of his last nine games.

Finally, we are seeing the Gaudreau that had nearly a 100-point campaign once. It may be too late for Calgary but at least the offensive creativity of the left-winger is finally coming to the forefront. Vancouver is one of the worst teams defensively and allows 33.5 shots per game (29th in the NHL). Gaudreau is averaging 2.4 shots per game over his last nine contests. That is a tick upward from the middle of the season.

Calgary's star could oddly be one of the highest-rostered on the slate because of all the uncertainty in the other games which feature three playoff teams and the Los Angeles Kings.

See if Kirill Kaprizov ($6,900) plays on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues. If he does not, then consider David Perron ($6,500).

Devon Toews, Defenseman, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $5,000

The Colorado defenseman racked up two more assists in the rout of Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Devon Toews is projected to play on Thursday night also.

This looks like a 50-50 shot between Devon Toews and Cale Makar ($6,100). It is about sliding down a little in salary. The idea that Toews had several shots and several more blocked shots on Wednesday was a lot better than the odd doughnut that Makar gave DFS owners.

Toews still played more than 22 minutes and might see his ice time curbed a bit more. However, there should be plenty of chances against Los Angeles. Shots to start the game last night were 13-0 in favor of Colorado. The Avalanche never looked back and that led to several scoring chances for Toews.

If one is poking around for other choices, is Colton Parayko ($3,700) worth a look? He might see increased time just to get some extra reps in. Also, Samuel Girard ($4,500) is in the same boat, but because he just came back from injury, he may play less too. Again, check all forms of social media before rostering players on Thursday 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.