4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 1/20/22

Jake Guentzel may fly under the radar against an Ottawa team he's been great against historically. Who else is worth their FanDuel salary?

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 presents nine games on the schedule. Let's hit the ice for some studs.

Leon Draisaitl, Center, Edmonton Oilers

FanDuel Salary: $9,900

The Edmonton Oilers are 2-10-2 in their last 14 games and have lost six straight contests. However, Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid are still producing.

They cannot help their defense and goaltending all the time, but for DFS purposes, the two forwards are still among the best in the game -- period.

Draisaitl has 26 goals in 35 games and stands a good chance of adding to that goal total on Thursday night versus the Florida Panthers. After Florida got sucked into an offensive black hole on Tuesday, the same is not likely to happen in Edmonton.

The reality is that, with Edmonton's issues in goal, the pressure is on Draisaitl and McDavid to save the day offensively. With the perils of the Colorado Avalanche on the back end of a back-to-back, Draisaitl and stacking options from the Oilers are a fraction safer.

This game will feature tons of pace and potentially 35-plus shots from Edmonton. That means more chances for Draisaitl above all.

Jake Guentzel, Wing, Pittsburgh Penguins

FanDuel Salary: $9,300

Jake Guentzel might sound like an unexpected left turn on Thursday night, but he's more than viable. With historical success against them, the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing a young Ottawa Senators team.

Guentzel is one of the more consistent wingers in the NHL right now. His shot volume may not be above four per game like Alex Ovechkin and Timo Meier, but his matchup tonight is better than those two. Guentzel has 20 goals in 32 games as well.

The forward has four goals and five assists in his previous seven games. Guentzel did almost all of his damage on a six-game road trip. With Pittsburgh returning home, the Penguins are nearly at full strength. That bodes poorly for Ottawa.

Ottawa allows 3.59 goals per game. Not surprisingly, Pittsburgh is projected to score 3.58 goals tonight (highest on the slate). Expect Guentzel to get in on some of the "Grade-A" chances.

Guentzel, in the mold of a Kyle Connor, is always a consideration on larger slates because he gets overlooked.

Aaron Ekblad, Defenseman, Florida Panthers

FanDuel Salary: $7,100

So, the Florida Panthers are playing in Edmonton on Thursday night. That means find a way to roster Aaron Ekblad, right?

The Oilers have allowed 27 goals in their last six games and almost four goals a game during this 14-game malaise. Florida still averages 4.33 goals per game on the road, and Ekblad leads the Panthers from the blueline with 10 goals and 25 assists.

Ekblad has three or more shots in five straight contests. The defenseman has three shorthanded assists in his last six games, too. There are lots of eye-popping numbers, but it is his consistency this season that has largely gone under the radar.

Florida will not sit back on Thursday night, and Ekblad will get his chances from the point against an Edmonton team struggling with basic defensive assignments and goaltending.

Tristan Jarry, Goalie, Pittsburgh Penguins

FanDuel Salary: $8,100

Tristan Jarry and the Penguins struggled early on Tuesday night in Vegas but finished strong and got the win.

The goaltender got peppered in Los Angeles and gave up six goals. It was important for him and Pittsburgh to respond with a rally, and Jarry finished with a clean final 40 minutes. That sets him up well for a home meeting with Ottawa on Thursday.

Jarry is enjoying a great season with a goals-against-average of 2.00 and a save percentage of .928. That includes 19 wins and 3 shutouts. The only risk may be shot volume; Jarry has seen 30 or less shots worth of work in six of his previous eight starts.

The Pittsburgh goaltender has a fair salary for Thursday night given his body of work this season.

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.