3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 4/16/21

Friday night features four games on the NHL main slate. What high-salaried plays can we trust in DFS?

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.

Friday night has four games on the schedule. Let's hunt for some studs!

Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $9,200

Nathan MacKinnon would have had to share the slate with Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers but the game between Edmonton and Vancouver was postponed. This leaves MacKinnon as the top center on the slate Friday night.

The center has seven games of five-plus shots on goal in his last 13 contests. He had an assist and six shots on goal with four scoring chances against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night. MacKinnon hit the post in the third period on what looked like a wide-open chance.

Los Angeles Kings allow 31.5 shots per game and over 32 shots per 60 on the road. Colorado averages 34.8 shots per game and scores at a rate of 3.58 goals per game. One slight risk is that Colorado ranks eighth in the league on the power play but the Kings rank second with a penalty kill of 84.4%.

Some other possibilities on Friday may include Anze Kopitar ($7,100) going against Devan Dubnyk. Patrice Bergeron ($7,400) is a good option from the Boston Bruins as well.

Max Pacioretty, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $7,800

Max Pacioretty struck back with two 20-plus point performances this week after a slight struggle. The Vegas Golden Knights' forward had six real-world points overall in his previous four games. His shot and chance volume may be down a bit but the production is still there.

Do expect an odd sort of game as they play the Anaheim Ducks who are expected to try and play a bend-but-not-break style. It is nice to see Mark Stone ($7,000) join in on the scoring with Pacioretty. The dynamic duo both had multiple real-world points in consecutive games.

Finally, Alec Martinez makes for a decent stacking option with the two wingers on Friday night. At just $4,400, the Vegas defenseman represents salary relief for the ultra-expensive studs, considering that Pacioretty is approaching $8,000 again.

With a smaller slate, Brad Marchand ($7,800) or David Pastrnak ($7,400) can be utilized against the New York Islanders on Friday night.

Cale Makar, Defenseman, Colorado Avalanche

FanDuel Salary: $5,700

The Colorado defenseman has broken double-digit FanDuel points in three straight games. That breaks down to four assists, four shots, four scoring chances, and five blocks in that span.

With Devan Dubnyk in goal for the Avalanche, Cale Makar and the defense may feel a bit more pressure in creating increased offense. Philipp Grubauer will be in COVID protocols for at least two weeks. At least Makar and company know what they are in for. Fortunately, Los Angeles is a team that will give up three goals a game on the road. Makar expects to be able to transition against the Kings' slower top-six.

Alec Martinez is only $4,400, and take a look at Shea Theodore ($6,200) as another possibility from the Vegas Golden Knights.

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.