3 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/19/21

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-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.

Aleksander Barkov, C, Florida Panthers ($7,100)

Welcome to the chalky high-priced center of tonight's slate.

That is none other than Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers. The Panthers have the highest (3.60) implied goal total on the slate. Barkov has a good ceiling and a nice floor, and that should make him a popular option in cash games. He is on the first forward line and the first power-play unit, giving him plenty of upside. Last season, we saw Barkov hold 3.08 goals for per 60 minutes in five-on-five situations and a 58.55 Corsi For per 60, both of which were in the top seven on the Panthers.

He is up against the Chicago Blackhawks, who are allowing 4.74 goals per 60 minutes in five-on-five play this season, which is dead last in the league. Yes, it's a small sample size to start the season, but we saw the Blackhawks finish in the bottom 10 last season, and they are fully expected to be back there this campaign.

John Carlson, D, Washington Capitals ($6,700)

If you need a consistent option on defense, look no further than John Carlson from the Washington Capitals.

Carlson has been a mainstay in NHL DFS over the past several seasons, and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon. Carlson averaged 24 minutes of ice time last season and is known for his high floor of points. He averaged slightly more than 2.5 shots per game, 1.5 blocked shots per game, and 1.0 real-world points per game. He's an ideal option at the high end of defensive position, and it doesn't stop there.

Carlson also skates on the first power-play unit for the Capitals, which has him seeing plenty of ice time with Alex Ovechkin. That brings him a ceiling of points on a nightly basis, and that could be on display tonight with the over/under at 6.5 for this game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mikko Rantanen, W, Colorado Avalanche ($7,700)

The Colorado Avalanche are whopping -270 road favorites against the Los Angeles Kings, making them a team to target tonight.

Winger Mikko Rantanen has started this season right where he ended last year's, piling up nine shots and two points already. With the moneyline being what it is, it should tell you enough about the Kings and the quality of their roster. The Kings are allowing 3.7 goals per 60 minutes in five-on-five situations to start the season, which is the fourth-worst clip in the league.

Looking to Rantanen and the rest of the Avalanche's top line -- Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog -- will put you in a great spot for plenty of fantasy points.