3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 5/20/21

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

Auston Matthews, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs

FanDuel Salary: $8,800

This is the time for Auston Matthews to rise up and carry the Toronto Maple Leafs to Round 1 success.

The Montreal Canadiens will not be an easy team to face, and Toronto has struggled with its special teams over the last 10 games, ranking just 29th in the NHL in that span. But Matthews has three goals and an assist in his last four games against the Habs, with four or more shots and three or more scoring chances in each game.

Matthews plays a style that Montreal may be less apt to match up against. Also, he faces Carey Price in Game 1. Toronto and Matthews have had past success against Price.

Elsewhere, Aleksander Barkov ($7,800) found a way to fire five more shots on goal and chip in with an assist on Tuesday. Expect the Florida forward to be a solid pick again on Thursday.

Nikita Kucherov, Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

Nikita Kucherov came back to Earth a bit on Tuesday night with just a couple of shots on goal and an assist. If the zig-zag theory works in DFS, then maybe the scene shifting to Tampa should help the winger on Thursday.

The biggest question with Florida is will they be more disciplined again on Thursday. If they give Tampa Bay just two or three power-play chances, that could limit Kucherov's effectiveness as he -- and the Lightning -- thrive on the power play.

Another option is to save some salary and look at Mark Stone ($7,300), but it carries considerable risk depending on the status of Max Pacioretty. Also, do not forget about Mitchell Marner from Toronto.

Alex Pietrangelo, Defenseman, Vegas Golden Knights

FanDuel Salary: $6,700

The Vegas Golden Knights' blueliner redeemed himself for a poor decision made in Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild. He bounced back in Game 2 with an assist, four shots on goal, and three blocked shots.

Alex Pietrangelo had nine real-world points in the final 10 games of the regular season. It was a point that somewhat got lost in the shuffle along with a game on May 5th most forgot about, when the blueliner had five shots and four blocked shots to go along with a goal. Pietrangelo took the lion's share of the minutes in Game 2 playing 25-plus minutes once more.

Among other defensemen, Mathew Dumba and Jared Spurgeon are worthy choices. There is also Jake Muzzin ($4,400), who has a little playoff pedigree and has posted real-world points in six straight games.

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.