4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 4/15/21

Spending up in any daily fantasy lineup is how to get the superstars and the highest upside players in your lineup. NHL DFS is different from NBA or NFL daily fantasy. Someone can be one of the highest-salaried players at his position and put up a total dud of a performance, and committing a ton of salary to him can be very costly. Let’s make sure we are going after the right high-salary players when building our lineups tonight.

Thursday night brings us nine games in all. Let's find some studs!

Sidney Crosby, Center, Pittsburgh Penguins

FanDuel Salary: $8,200

The Pittsburgh Penguins' center plays the rival Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, and the Flyers come in a wounded team.

Philadelphia has fallen on tough times and allowed six goals in a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night. The Flyers now rank 30th in goals allowed per game (3.57) and 30th on the penalty kill (73.2%). Pittsburgh comes in 3rd in the league in goals per game (3.41) and ranks 10th on the man advantage (23.0%).

There are a number of studs on this Thursday night slate, but Sidney Crosby has one of the best matchups. He has three assists in his last two meetings versus the Flyers, and overall he has five straight games with three-plus shots on net and five-plus shot attempts. He is shooting the puck more, which leads to more chances and fantasy points.

Elsewhere Auston Matthews ($8,900) is coming off a rough performance on Tuesday but plays the Winnipeg Jets at home. Mika Zibanejad could be one to watch from the New York Rangers as they face the New Jersey Devils.

Artemi Panarin, Wing, New York Rangers

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

Artemi Panarin is too hard to stay away from on Thursday. Yes, New Jersey is a much better team on the road (10-5-3 record), but they still allow more than three goals a game away from home. The over is 11-5 in New Jersey's last 16 road games. That means there should be a good amount of room for scoring today. Panarin had a bit of an off night by his standards last time out but scored a goal on his only shot of the night. The winger also blocked a shot.

No one expects Panarin to play just 14 minutes again on Thursday. That alone should raise his prospects for an even better night, and with him having only one shot over his last two games, Panarin may not be as popular as he should be.

New Jersey has the league's worst penalty kill (71.1%), and Panarin has two power-play goals in his last six contests. You could use a Zibanejad-Panarin pairing or maybe Panarin and Adam Fox.

Alex Ovechkin ($8,300) will be a chalk play tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. Do not forget about Patrick Kane as a viable alternative from the Chicago Blackhawks.

John Carlson, Defenseman, Washington Capitals

FanDuel Salary: $6,900

John Carlson is going up against the worst team in the league in the Sabres. The addition of Anthony Mantha has made Washington that much more lethal, which boosts Carlson's point potential even more.

Washington has the second-ranked power-play in the NHL, converting at a 27.4% rate. Buffalo's penalty kill is 20th (77.8%). Furthermore, Buffalo has yielded 32.8 shots per game and ranks the third-worst in the league at unblocked shots from the point. In his last game versus the Sabres, Carlson had an assist, hit a crossbar, generated three scoring chances, and blocked three shots.

The aforementioned Fox ($6,300) had another effort of 20-plus FanDuel points on Tuesday against New Jersey. Also, Kris Letang has a great matchup against the Flyers.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Goalie, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

Andrei Vasilevskiy is facing the Florida Panthers on Thursday night after posting a 36-save shutout against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

How much is Vasilevskiy missed when he does not start? The Tampa Bay Lightning were hammered for seven goals when Curtis McElhinney started on Tuesday night against those very same Predators. Vasilevskiy should see a lot of shots as Florida averages 33.9 shots per game, which ranks second in the NHL.

Igor Shesterkin ($8,100) is coming off a shutout against New Jersey but has risk at home. Ilya Samsonov ($8,700) is the highest-salaried goaltender, but he may not see enough shot volume.

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.