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

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

Sean Couturier, Center, Philadelphia Flyers

FanDuel Salary: $7,600

Sean Couturier produces well even when the Philadelphia Flyers go ice cold. Couturier's real-world point streak is now six games after scoring nearly 20 FanDuel points on Tuesday night. While the rest of the team duck-hooked one into the Delaware River, Couturier had seven shots on ten attempts, five scoring chances, and drew iron.

Couturier's biggest asset is his improved skills in all phases including the power play. Once he gets off the ice, other teams seem to be able to exhale. The Pittsburgh Penguins did well to manage the damage done by the Flyers' top line on Tuesday night but can they do that again on Thursday night?

Pairing Couturier with James van Riemsdyk ($6,600) could work especially as part of a special team's stack. There are other options like Joel Farabee and Ivan Provorov as well.

Also, Auston Matthews ($8,900) against the Vancouver Canucks has to be considered on Thursday night even as an individual play. He had seven shots on 11 attempts Wednesday night versus the Edmonton Oilers.

Patrick Kane, Wing, Chicago Blackhawks

FanDuel Salary: $8,700

This features a lot of risk because of who Patrick Kane is playing tonight. That would be none other than the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay yields just 1.95 goals per game and should feature Andrei Vasilevskiy in net. However, are the Lightning due for regression? This is a team that leads the NHL in minors taken at 10.4 penalty minutes per contest. Yet, they have the second-best penalty kill at 88.6%.

The one nice thing about Kane is to see who his line is matched up against. There is a counter-intuitive balance to look at players who go up against this Chicago Blackhawks line for DFS opportunities. This will be the matchup to watch as Kane had a goal on six shots with six scoring chances in the two previous meetings to open the season. Expect a different Kane tonight and a different Tampa Bay.

Jake Guentzel ($7,500) is another possibility in matchup number two versus Philadelphia along with Andrei Svechnikov ($6,000) versus the Detroit Red Wings.

Kris Letang, Defenseman, Pittsburgh Penguins

FanDuel Salary: $5,900

The fact that Kris Letang has a salary under $6.000 is rare. He fares well fantasy-wise against Philadelphia especially. Letang had four shots on net with a blocked shot and three scoring chances on Tuesday night. There was that helper as well. Arguably, Letang might have had a bigger night if not for a few shots that were blocked at the worst time.

An increased floor is expected for Letang against a Philadelphia team that still allows over 30 shots per 60 even with Sean Couturier in the lineup. The Penguins were able to adapt without Sidney Crosby quite well and looked a little faster on Tuesday night. Even Letang looked the best he has all season. It makes one wonder

Ivan Provorov is an option to consider. Roman Josi ($6,700) could see an increased floor versus Florida. Finally, there is Victor Hedman ($7,100) versus Chicago.

Semyon Varlamov, Goalie, New York Islanders

FanDuel Salary: $8,600

Semyon Varlamov is projected to start against a team that the New York Islanders dominate. Also, the Buffalo Sabres are going up against an Islanders team that has not lost in regulation (7-0-2) at home. New York also allows just 2.23 goals per game (third-best) on the season. Varlamov has stopped 54 of 57 shots in two wins against the Sabres in the early going.

Wait to see who else starts when it comes to looking for viable alternatives among the studs. Does Andrei Vasilevskiy start tonight for Tampa Bay? Can Connor Hellebuyck surprise the Montreal Canadiens? Who will start for the Toronto Maple Leafs? These are some of the questions one may have to wait for a bit before making that goaltending decision tonight.

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.