5 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/14/21
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-priced 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 the first big slate of the DFS NHL season. Let’s take a look at what studs we may find.
Jack Eichel, Center, Buffalo Sabres
FanDuel Salary: $7,900
While most people are talking about Connor McDavid going pointless on Wednesday night and how angry he will be, we take a different tact. Jack Eichel is one of the best centers in this league period. He plays for a bad team in the Buffalo Sabres but is top-10 in scoring and scoring chances. Eichel is going up against a Washington Capitals defense that was sixth-worst in the NHL after the All-Star break last year. The middle of their defense has only aged further. With the addition of Taylor Hall, Eichel’s fantasy fortunes can only go higher here.
With Eichel’s line, it may be more of a who sticks on the right wing type of scenario. Keep an eye on this, but do not be surprised if Victor Olofsson is on the power play at the very least. Eichel and Olofsson meshed well on the man advantage, and a big question mark for Washington will be the penalty kill this season. Eichel could enjoy a big night at home tonight against a Capitals team trying to find itself.
Mark Stone, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights
FanDuel Salary: $7,400
Mark Stone gets a lot of love in the analytics community for how good of a player the advanced stats say he is. Turns out, he’s also a pretty good fantasy player as well. He finished with seven goals and 10 assists during the 2020 NHL playoffs and was among the top 10 in scoring chances created. That bodes well for this shortened regular season.
The Golden Knights have been one of the more impressive teams when it comes to creating opportunities and chances. They face a team in the Anaheim Ducks that allowed the fourth-most shots in the league. Starting goalie John Gibson saw the third-most shots per 60 out of any starting goalie in the NHL. Vegas, at home, should almost be able to generate shots and scoring chances at will. Stone, Max Pacioretty, and company should have a fair amount of scoring potential tonight against an at times undisciplined Ducks squad.
Brad Marchand, Wing, Boston Bruins
FanDuel Salary: $8,300
There was some doubt as to whether Brad Marchand would play tonight against the New Jersey Devils. After being a full participant in practice on Wednesday, those doubts were laid to rest. Though the winger will not have usual running mate David Pastrnak, Marchand will have Patrice Bergeron with him in the lineup.
The Boston Bruins typically have feasted on New Jersey in recent years, scoring well over three goals a game while the top line averages over a third of that total. Over the past three years, Marchand has averaged just over a point a game versus the Devils and has been a major thorn in their side. New Jersey was 30th in scoring chances allowed and 31st in high-danger chances yielded last year, so Boston’s top line should have plenty of opportunities tonight.
Roman Josi, Defenseman, Nashville Predators
FanDuel Salary: $7,100
There is little debate as to which player most teams fear offensively from the Nashville Predators, and it is actually Roman Josi, their defenseman. With a hard shot and the ability for Josi to find the net in all phases, he should have a good matchup tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who face a season of uncertainty.
Most forget the sour taste left in Josi’s mouth in his last playoff game in 2020. In that contest, he had 14 shots on goal, 9 scoring chances, and 3 blocks. He was a one-man wrecking crew who did everything but put the puck in the net. It was a microcosm of the Nashville season. Josi plays a high-risk game and will yield opportunities, but he also creates them at a high rate. He led FanDuel in points per game last season at just over 17 per contest. He is a good bet to top that total tonight.
Tuukka Rask, Goalie, Boston Bruins
FanDuel Salary: $8,700
Rask is back and reinvigorated after a long offseason. He goes up against a New Jersey team where he enjoys much success. The goalie is 10-4-2 with a sparking 1.32 goals-against average and .952 save percentage versus the Devils. While Zdeno Chara is gone, there are enough pieces in place for Boston to keep a team like New Jersey at bay.
The Devils were 30th in scoring over the final month of last season and have historically struggled over the past several campaigns against Boston. New Jersey may be able to muster enough of a shot load versus the Bruins tonight. They have averaged around 30 shots a game over their previous six meetings.
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.