3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on Tuesday 5/18/21

Aleksander Barkov is an appealing option at a pretty loaded center position. Who else should you build around?

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.

Tuesday night brings us three more games on the NHL DFS playoff slate. Let's take a look at a few studs.

Aleksander Barkov, Center, Florida Panthers

FanDuel Salary: $8,100

For a small three-game slate, there are quite a few good options at the center position. Aleksander Barkov heads our list with the "Battle Of Florida" featuring nine combined goals in Game 1 on Sunday. It may be more of the same tonight.

Barkov played a touch more than 21 minutes in Game 1 and generated five shots on goal, four scoring chances, a power-play goal, and an assist. The Florida Panthers' center gave the Tampa Bay Lightning matchup nightmares all game long.

Florida has scored four or more goals on Andrei Vasilevskiy in consecutive games now. Expect Barkov and company to see plenty of scoring chances early given all the speed they have on their top line. Barkov may feel the need to press a bit more with the suspension of Sam Bennett.

Sidney Crosby ($8,400) could be a wise alternative, and don't forget Brayden Point ($7,600) on the lethal Tampa Bay man-advantage.

Nikita Kucherov, Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $8,400

One game was all it took to show us how much DFS players missed Nikita Kucherov. The Lightning winger scored twice and assisted on another goal in Tampa's Game 1 win over Florida. Kucherov had five shots on net with eight attempts. Both of his goals were on the power play.

Kucherov is like a walking cheat code who is close to the level of Connor McDavid, especially when it comes to offense in short bursts. This matchup for the Russian is quite favorable as Tampa features one of the best power plays in the entire NHL.

If Tampa Bay can draw a few penalties, they should be able to thrive on the man-advantage once more. Florida could not slow down how fast Tampa Bay moved the puck on the power play in Game 1.

Elsewhere, Jake Guentzel ($7,400) from the Pittsburgh Penguins had an assist and a bunch of quality scoring chances against the New York Islanders in Game 1. Steven Stamkos can be stacked with one or two Lightning forwards.

Kris Letang, Defenseman, Pittsburgh Penguins

FanDuel Salary: $6,100

The Pittsburgh defenseman did everything but score in Game 1. Kris Letang had two shots and three blocked shots while playing a whopping 32 minutes.

The Islanders did not look quite the same on Sunday afternoon. Whatever the reason was, it felt like a regular-season game. It may not make a difference if Semyon Varlamov or Ilya Sorokin starts for New York, Pittsburgh could easily top 35-plus shots again.

Letang plays in any and all situations and still has the speed to put fear in the heart of some Islanders defenders.

For Tampa Bay, Victor Hedman had three assists on Sunday against Florida. His $6,400 salary is still be reasonable given his power-play correlation to players like Kucherov and Stamkos.

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.