FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

It's a full slate with – knock on wood – zero games postponed, giving DFS managers all 11 games to work with. It'll be an interesting night because many of the matchups seem to significantly favor one team over another. Even the most dire of playoff hopefuls – Blackhawks and Islanders, among them – face matchups they should easily win.

The league is starting to find its footing again after an unexpected pause in December, and many of the good teams are starting to really ramp it up. The Lightning and Pens, for example, have been playing very well but only recently saw their former MVP's return to their lineups.

GOALIES

Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB vs. VAN ($8,600): If Brian Elliott gets the start, then save your precious salary dollars. The gulf between them is huge, and even with the Canucks stumbling a little bit they have enough offensive talent to score a few goals. If Vasilevskiy is in net, it's a surer win.

Juuse Saros, NSH vs. BUF ($8,400): Both Saros and David Rittich will be a good choice. The Sabres' goaltending situation is pretty dire, and they will likely start Dustin Tokarski (4-5-3, 903 Sv%, 3.28 GAA), who allowed six goals in his last start on Nov. 29.

Frederik Andersen, CAR vs. CBJ ($8,300): Andersen is gunning for his eighth straight win and it should be easily attainable, and he's had extra rest after missing the Panthers game and the Flyers game was postponed. Even if Andersen isn't sharp, the Jackets goaltending should succumb to the Canes' potent offense.

Jordan Binnington, STL vs. SEA ($8,200): The Blues should have no problem even though the Kraken are on the road, where they've generally fared better but will also be playing the second half of a back-to-back. This is Binnington's first time facing the Kraken in his career, so there's some risk.

Tuukka Rask, BOS vs. PHI ($8,000): While highly-anticipated returns after lengthy absences tend to fall short of expectations, Rask couldn't face a better opponent. He's 19-2-4 with a .927 Sv% and 2.06 GAA in his career against the Flyers, and the Bruins will surely be motivated to get him a win after a lengthy rehab from a hip injury.

Ilya Sorokin, NYI vs. NJ ($7,800): Either Sorokin or Varlamov should be a good choice against the Devils, who will likely start Jon Gillies with no other goalies available. Both Isles 'tenders looked very good in their last start, and easy competition at the other end means they might end up getting decent goal support this time.

Connor Hellebuyck, WPG at DET ($7,600): The Jets were trounced in their last game 7-1 by the Avs, but the Wings will definitely be an easier opponent. It's a potentially good value play; the Jets have the deeper lineup and the Wings have fallen to .500 and may be without top center Dylan Larkin.

Marc-Andre Fleury, CHI vs. MTL ($7,100): Fleury should get the easy win. The Habs lost 5-1 against the Bruins on Wednesday night and have been playing shorthanded all season. Fleury's by far the best value play among goalies tonight.

VALUE PLAYS

Seth Jarvis, CAR vs. CBJ ($5,100): Jarvis has been moved up and down the lineup all season and right now he's skating on the top line with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen and playing PP2. He's scored five points in his past five games and the Jackets goaltending has been bottom-five since the calendar flipped.

Tanner Jeannot, NSH vs. BUF ($4,800): Piling on the Sabres seems cruel but it's the right idea. Jeannot has been one of the league's most impressive rookies this season and has a three-game point streak on the line.

Dylan Strome, CHI vs. MTL ($4,600): Playing with Patrick Kane against an easy opponent should be an easy assignment for Strome, who has scored three points in his past four games. The talent is evident but the lack of consistency is baffling. Strome won't get an easier assignment this season.

Kieffer Bellows, NYI vs. NJ ($4,200): His usage yo-yo's a lot, making him a risky play, but Bellows is one of their better finishers. After playing just seven minutes before the pause, he returned playing on the second line and as scored three points in two games averaging more than 16 minutes per contest. With the Devils scrambling for goalies, this might be the rare boon for the Isles offense.

Lukas Reichel, CHI vs. MTL ($3,000): No word on what line Reichel will play on but he's expected to make his NHL debut Thursday. The former 17th overall pick is a talented scorer who was leading AHL Rockford with 20 points in 20 games at the time of his call up. If he plays opposite Kane or Alex DeBrincat, or draws Jonathan Toews or Kirby Dach as his center, Reichel could be a sneaky high-upside play.

LINE STACKS

Predators vs. Sabres

Mikael Granlund (C - $5,300), Matt Duchene (W - $7,700), Eeli Tolvanen (W - $4,700)

Granlund and Duchene have been two of their best players this season and a big reason for their success, while Tolvanen is a decent value play as a winger who can score goals. Not having Filip Forsberg hurts their finishing ability, but they should still be able to generate plenty of offensive chances. This should be a popular line stack on an opponent everyone expects to get beat up.

Islanders vs. Devils

Mathew Barzal (C - $6,900), Anders Lee (W - $6,200), Josh Bailey (W - $4,500)

Lee is on a five-game point streak so he comes at a very palatable price. By the same token as the Preds line stack, the bet is the Isles will have a much easier time scoring goals against the Devils, who have no choice but to start Jon Gillies and will also not have top defender Dougie Hamilton in the lineup.

DEFENSEMEN

Tony DeAngelo, CAR vs. CBJ ($6,400): DeAngelo is on a three-game point streak with eight shots on goal, and against the Jackets' 24th-ranked penalty kill, his upside should be just as good as any other defenseman.

Oliver Kylington, CGY vs. OTT ($5,300): Kylington's scored four points in his past five games and will quarterback the top power play playing with one of the best lines in hockey. The Senators PK ranks 22nd, and even though the Flames went 0-3 on their road trip, they should have a clear advantage over the Sens.

Ty Smith, NJ at NYI ($3,900): If Damon Severson isn't available, look for Smith to handle a lot of the power play duties. He'll share them with P.K. Subban ($4,400), but Smith definitely has more upside and also comes a slight discount.

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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