3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 5/17/21

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.

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

Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $8,800

Nathan MacKinnon looks ready to go for the Colorado Avalanche against the St. Louis Blues on Monday night in Game 1 of their series. The center did not quite look like himself during his final two games of the regular season, totaling just four shots and three scoring chances in that span.

MacKinnon played just 20 minutes in each of those two games, which had been a couple of minutes off from what he had played over the final month of the regular season. The last four meetings in St. Louis saw the center rack up 8 real-world points, 20 shots on goal, and 2 goals. St. Louis had few answers and will likely be without David Perron, Vladimir Tarasenko, and maybe Vince Dunn.

MacKinnon has fared well against Jordan Binnington in the past, and little seems to indicate that will change on Monday night. Colorado averages 3.75 goals per game at home and tops the league at 35 shots per 60 at home.

Patrice Bergeron and Sebastian Aho both have a salary of $7,800 on Monday and also have plus matchups. Aho, in particular from the Carolina Hurricanes will go up against Nashville and their bottom defensive pairings all night.

David Pastrnak, Wing, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $7,600

One Boston Bruins' winger came to play on Saturday night, and that was David Pastrnak. Expect more of the same on Monday night as there was room for plenty of scoring chances.

Pastrnak had 6 shots in all on 10 shot attempts. He had three of Boston's five high-danger scoring chances in the second period of Game 1 and assisted on the Nick Ritchie power play goal as well. Craig Anderson was just a little more up to the task than the winger and the Bruins expected.

If Boston can generate three or four power play chances again, the opportunity for power-play points will be high for the winger. Also, his level of play at five-on-five was excellent (a 1.12 expected goals for).

Also see if Andrei Svechnikov ($6,500) can fit into your lineup on Monday. The Carolina forward is well rested and will be given plenty of opportunities on the man advantage where Nashville is ranked dead last among all playoff teams (penalty kill of just 75.4%).

Devon Toews, Defenseman, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $5,200

The Colorado defenseman is the more stable floor-wise between himself and Cale Makar. Makar ($6,000) has the higher upside, but Devon Toews saves some salary.

This looks good for Game 1, as St. Louis will not be at full strength. Toews had an assist in his last game of the regular season, with three shots on goal, two scoring chances, and two blocked shots. That was all while playing 26-plus minutes and not looking fatigued in any way.

Toews will see some power-play time as well in Game 1, and St. Louis ranks the second-worst on the slate with a road penalty kill of just 77.0%. Playoff daily fantasy is different in a lot of ways when compared to regular-season NHL DFS.

If you are looking for alternatives, Dougie Hamilton ($6,600) is the defenseman we want to spend up for. He has the highest upside of any blue-liner on the slate against a poor Nashville penalty kill.

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.