FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

There are six games on the docket though none have any playoff implications with most of the spots decided. The only thing that remains to be figured out is seeding, with the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs facing opportunities to move closer to clinching the top seed in their division facing the Blackhawks (7 p.m. EDT) and Canadiens (7 p.m.), respectively.

GOALIES

Petr Mrazek, CAR vs. CHI ($8,500): Mrazek allowed three goals in his last game against the Blackhawks and earned the win after getting six goals of support from his offense. It was a decent performance after an eight-game absence, and it'll likely be a similar story here with Carolina's offense the big reason why they should win. Managers look for good peripheral numbers may want to look elsewhere and as the goalie with the highest salary, there isn't much value here.

Tristan Jarry, PIT vs. BUF ($8,300): The Sabres' run is impressive, but it's a series the Penguins have dominated this season with Jarry sporting a perfect 3-0 record and a .926 Sv%. The Pens trounced the Flyers in a 7-3 win after getting dominated in the prior game, and they've lost just five times in regulation since April 1. It's the Pens' first game at home following their road trip, where they have a division-best 20 wins.

Mike Smith, EDM vs. VAN ($8,000): Connor McDavid remains unstoppable, and he's been even better at home with 51 of his 93 points. He's ripped the Canucks to shreds and will likely do so again as the Canucks struggle to reach the finish line. Beset by fatigue and numerous injuries, they simply don't have the talent or depth to compete with the Oilers at this point. Smith has a .957 Sv% and 1.34 GAA in three games against Vancouver this season.

Tuukka Rask, BOS vs. NYR ($7,900): That must've been a draining series against the Capitals. The Rangers will be without Artemi Panarin and expended a lot of energy literally fighting the Caps on Wednesday. The Bruins, meanwhile, have won 10 of their past 13 and kept the Rangers to two goals or fewer in four of their past six matches.

MacKenzie Blackwood, NJ at NYI ($6,700): This is a series the Islanders have dominated this season, but they seem to be falling apart a little following two uncharacteristic collapses late in the game against the Sabres. The Devils, meanwhile, have won four of their past five, and they've also been quite effective on the road with a 11-10-4 record. This one seems to have more upset potential that most of the games Thursday and Isles top center Matt Barzal did not play last game.

VALUE PLAYS

Cole Caufield, MON at TOR ($3,400): Caufield's role has gotten a little bigger since his debut but there's no denying he really likes shooting the puck and he's darn good at it, too. He's never finished fewer than two shots in any game and has solidified a top-six role.

Anders Bjork, BUF at PIT ($3,000): Just in case the Pens' goaltending isn't very good, Bjork is a strong value play with a top-line role and averaging over 19 minutes over his past four games. Sam Reinhart's move to center has paid huge dividends and Bjork has been a big beneficiary, too. He scored two goals against the Isles last game.

LINE STACKS

Hurricanes vs. Blackhawks

Sebastian Aho (C - $8,100), Andrei Svechnikov (W - $6,200), Teuvo Teravainen (W - $5,900)

The Canes' top line has been excellent against the Hawks and there's little reason to think it won't happen again. Aho has five points in his past two games and presents a pretty strong value play on the lower end of the spectrum salary-wise among the elite centers available.

Penguins vs. Sabres

Sidney Crosby (C - $8,300), Jake Guentzel (W - $7,600), Bryan Rust (W - $6,400)

This line is coming off an outstanding effort against the Flyers after going a combined minus-12 in the game prior, and they've been very successful against the Sabres this season with Crosby scoring eight points in six games, Guentzel scoring five and Rust scoring four.

Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens

Auston Matthews (C - $8,900), Mitch Marner (W - $7,600), Joe Thornton (W - $3,400)

The inclusion of Thornton keeps the cost of this line stack lower, and both Matthews and Marner have played very well against the Habs this season, who are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Sens ad will likely be starting either No. 3 Cayden Primeau or Jake Allen in back-to-back games.

Oilers vs. Canucks

Connor McDavid (C - $9,300), Leon Draisaitl (W - $8,300), Jesse Puljujarvi (W - $4,300)

For obvious reasons. It's expensive but could be very worthwhile with the Oilers getting last change on home ice for better matchups and the Canucks are banged up and look pretty tired.

DEFENSEMEN

Tyson Barrie, EDM vs. VAN ($6,300): Two points and eight shots in two games against the Canucks. Shares the ice with McDavid a lot. Next!

Kris Letang, PIT vs. BUF ($6,200): Letang's scored five points in six games against the Sabres this season, and few defensemen have his kind of upside for Thursday's games.

Darnell Nurse, EDM vs. VAN ($5,600): Apologies for picking on the Canucks, but there's no prisoners, here. Nurse scored two points on four shots and added another two blocked shots last game. His offensive upside isn't as high as Barrie's, but the Canucks are so weak on defense the difference could be marginal, and Nurse is generally more reliable when it comes to getting shots on net and blocking them as well.

Matt Grzelcyk, BOS vs. NYR ($4,200): Grzelcyk's on a three-game point streak and faces a possibly fatigued Rangers squad that has gone through a lot this week. Over the past two weeks the Rangers PK ranks 26th at 74.1 percent and probably won't have the ability to handle either of the Bruins' power play units.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Chen
Jason won the 2021 FSWA Hockey Writer of the Year award, and was also a finalist on 2019. He joined RotoWire in 2013. Jason has also written for Yahoo Sports, CBS Sports, The Hockey News, The Hockey Hall of Fame's Legends Magazine, and Centre Ice Magazine.
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