4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 4/1/21

On a nine-game slate, which high-salary plays should you lock in on FanDuel?

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

Mika Zibanejad, Center, Buffalo Sabres

FanDuel Salary: $7,800

So, the Buffalo Sabres finally won a game and now have to play the back end of a back-to-back against the New York Rangers and Mika Zibanejad.

Though Zibanejad has cooled off the past two games, he gets a prime matchup against a team not expected to start Linus Ullmark in net. For what it is worth, the New York center now averages almost three shots a game and one blocked shot per contest. That is a decent floor for the pivot. Buffalo still ranks in the bottom three in shots per 60 allowed and unblocked shot attempts. In their last meeting, Zibanejad had an assist with four shots on goal and four scoring chances. Artemi Panarin could provide a boost as part of a power-play stack from New York.

Also, Sebastian Aho is going up versus the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. The $7,800 salary may be expensive but Chicago has yielded 35+ shots per 60 in its last ten games.

Alex DeBrincat, Wing, Chicago Blackhawks

FanDuel Salary: $7,300

The Chicago Blackhawks can be an adventure defensively but offensively they are quite entertaining. Alex DeBrincat has three goals in his last two games and is joined to the hip of Patrick Kane in all situations which means extensive power-play time. That is something to take advantage of on Thursday night with the winger averaging 3+ shots a game and 15+ FanDuel points in three of his previous four outings.

The Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Blackhawks feature a matchup of two of the best power plays in the league. Carolina executes at 29.9% with Chicago converting at 27.4%. If this was not a nine-game slate, this contest would have some game stack possibilities. Utilizing DeBrincat saves $700 from using Kane and then around $1,000 from some of the highest-salaries choices on Thursday.

Alex Ovechkin ($8,500) scored ten goals in the month of March for the Washington Capitals and Steven Stamkos ($7,600) has a good matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.

Dougie Hamilton, Defenseman, Carolina Hurricanes

FanDuel Salary: $6,800

The Carolina Hurricanes defenseman has been remarkably consistent aside from Tuesday night against Chicago. He had 14 straight double digit FanDuel point games including eight 15+ point contests. That represents some solid value. The only drawback to Hamilton's 27 real-world points this season is the fact that he has just three goals in spite of 107 shots on net (less than 3% shooting percentage).

When looking to go up against Chicago, it is okay to try and stack in a center-wing-defense alignment. So using Sebastian Aho with a value winger and Dougie Hamilton is viable. The key is taking advantage of strong matchups with high outputs for establishing a good floor. Hamilton is one of the best typically at bolstering said floor.

Adam Fox ($5,800) is the Rangers' most gifted defenseman producing at a high rate along with Alex Pietrangelo ($5,500) of the Vegas Golden Knights. Pietrangelo's salary is at least $500-$1,000 under what it likely should be.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Goalie, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $8,400

If it feels like Andrei Vasilevskiy has not played in forever, then one might be right. The Tampa Bay Lightning goalie last played on Saturday against Carolina. The rest hopefully did the goaltender some good. After a dozen straight wins, Vasilevskiy faced 40 shots in back-to-back games, giving up eight goals, and was in clear need of a break. The Columbus Blue Jackets tend to bring the best out of Vasilevskiy. Everyone remembers last year's playoffs but the Tampa goaltender did stop 25 of 27 in his season debut versus the Blue Jackets.

Columbus is a team capable of producing 30-35 shots in a game and they allow around that amount as well. This game will come down to goaltending and Tampa Bay has the better goaltender here. This is a good opportunity for Vasilevskiy to bounce back and Tampa Bay is 13-3 at home.

The anxiety-inducing part of tonight is trying to figure out who will be confirmed to start in net for their respective teams. It may be wise to wait a little but Robin Lehner ($8.400) of the Vegas Golden Knights could be a viable alternative against the Minnesota Wild 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.