4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/2/20
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 than paying up in sports like NBA or NFL. Someone can be one of the highest-priced 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.
The first big NHL slate of 2020 is happening tonight with 12 games. Which star players are in a position to start the new year off on the right foot?
Evengi Malkin, Center, Pittsburgh Penguins
FanDuel Salary: $8,600
With no Sidney Crosby in the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin has taken on the role as the top line center, and boy has he excelled in this role. He only went pointless in one game he appeared in during the month of December and finished the month with a nine game point streak. Malkin is third in the league in points per game and is only not on the leaderboard in overall points because of the time he missed earlier in the season. He has been one of the most consistent fantasy producers in the NHL this season and should be able to keep that up on Thursday night.
Malkin and the Pens are at home against the San Jose Sharks, and San Jose has just not been able to get it going at all this season. They have the third-fewest points in the league this season and have allowed the second-most goals. The Penguins have the second-highest team total on the slate at 3.60 goals. Malkin is the driving force behind that goal total and is in play in all formats.
David Pastrnak, Wing, Boston Bruins
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
Another player on a point streak is David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins. He has points in eight straight games and still leads the NHL in goals with 29. He also continues to be one of the highest rate shooters in the league, with the fourth-most shot attempts per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. Pastrnak is projected for the most fantasy points on this slate, according to our projections at numberFire.
The Bruins are facing a banged up Columbus Blue Jackets at home tonight. They are getting back their power play quarterback, as Torey Krug returns from injury. Krug had 15 points on the power play before his absence, and the Bruins' power play was among the best in the league with him on it. Boston's implied goal total is over three, and the "perfection" line of Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron could put up three goals alone as we have seen many times this season.
Alex Pietrangelo, Defense, St. Louis Blues
FanDuel Salary: $6,300
After winning the Stanley Cup last year, it's hard to go under the radar if you're having a good season. Somehow, this is what Alex Pietrangelo has done this year. He's sixth among defensemen in points, and he's third in shots on goal. He has been a steady performer for fantasy over the last 10 games, with at least eight FanDuel points in all but one.
The St. Louis Blues go on the road to face a good Colorado Avalanche team. One area that the Avalanche have not been great in is the penalty kill. They have killed off less than 80% of the penalties this season, and the Blues' power play has been strong at 23.77%. Pietrangelo has been very good on the power play himself, scoring 14 of his 31 points with the man advantage, the second-most on the team.
Colorado just allowed the Winnipeg Jets to score seven goals on Tuesday night, and the defending champion Blues will look to pounce on them if they see any weakness that they can exploit. Pietrangelo might go overlooked as he has most of the season and makes for a fine play in cash games tonight.
Tuukka Rask, Goalie, Boston Bruins
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
Tuukka Rask at home is usually a safe bet, and in the spot he's in tonight, that is certainly the case. The Bruins are -195 favorites over the Blue Jackets, and Columbus has just a 2.37 implied team goal total. It's fair to say that the Jackets have been decimated by injuries of late:
Total # of players now out of #CBJ lineup due to injury: 11.
Milano (upper body)
Texier (lumbar stress fracture)
— Alison (@AlisonL) January 1, 2020
With all of these injuries, it's tough to see Columbus being able to really damage a Bruins team that allows the third-fewest goals per game this season. Rask has been solid in his own right, too, with a .923 save percentage this year. He is the best way to spend at the goaltender position tonight, with the safety he should give you and the potential he has for a win and a shutout.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.