FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

The Stars have a chance to tie the Predators for fourth place in the Central, but they'll have to defeat the Lightning (7 p.m. EDT) in Tampa in a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup Finals. It's a busy slate with an additional nine games on the slate, including the continuing Penguins-Capitals rivalry (7 p.m.) and the Battle of Alberta (9 p.m.) Enough talk, let's dive in.

GOALIES

Alex Nedeljkovic, CAR vs. DET ($8,500): Nedeljkovic allowed just one goal on 28 shots against the Stars and should draw the start over James Reimer, who allowed four goals on 31 shots even though it should be Reimer's turn in the rotation. This should be a relatively easy matchup for the Canes and even if they take their foot off the pedal a little bit having clinched a playoff spot already. Excluding Detroit's seven-goal outburst against the Stars, they've scored just five goals in their past five games.

David Rittich, TOR vs. VAN ($8,100): There's not a lot of confidence in Rittich considering he put in one of the worst performances I've seen last Tuesday against the Canucks when he allowed five goals on 28 shots, but consider the Canucks looked listless in Wednesday's 6-3 loss to the Senators even though it was a must-win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and it's also the second half of their back-to-back with travel just one week after returning from a COVID-related outbreak.

Mike Smith, EDM vs. CGY ($8,000): Smith will get the call with Mikko Koskinen starting Wednesday against the Jets, and the Oilers have all sorts of momentum right now. Their offense is clicking largely thanks to Connor McDavid, their defense has played well and their goaltending has limited the opposition to two goals or fewer in seven of their past 10 games. They're 5-2-0 against the Flames in a lopsided Battle of Alberta this season.

Tuukka Rask, BOS vs. BUF ($7,800): Rask was excellent in his previous start against the Penguins allowing just one goal, and so far this season sports a .933 Sv% against the Sabres. After an impressive run post-Taylor Hall trade with wins over the Pens and Caps, the Sabres have now lost four of their past five games, including two against the Bruins.

Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA at CHI ($7,700): Both Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight, who replaced Bob in his last start against the Predators, should be good choices against the Blackhawks, who have lost four of their past six games with 23 goals allowed during that span.

VALUE PLAYS

Sam Bennett, FLA at CHI ($4,000): Bennett's DFS salary continues to creep up as he settles into a top-six role on the Panthers, which included a three-assist effort in his last game. The Hawks should be an easier opponent than the Predators.

Robert Thomas, STL at MIN ($3,900): A potential breakout season was cut short by injury, but now that Thomas is healthy, he seems to be back on track. His late goal Wednesday against the Wild gave the Blues the win, and over the past four games has scored a goal and four assists. Jordan Kyrou ($3,400) is the other piece of the Blues' young duo and also a potential value play.

Daniel Sprong, WSH vs. PIT ($3,700): That's now goals in two straight games for Sprong, whose role has been elevated in Alex Ovechkin's absence. Obviously, he's not the same player, but he's capitalized on his new top-six role so far and will likely continue to do so with the way he's been playing.

Vinnie Hinostroza, CHI vs. FLA ($3,600): Hinostroza's got the hot hand with two goals and five assists in his past five games playing on a line with Patrick Kane. That's key – as long as Hinostroza gets to play with one of the best scorers in the league, he can provide some fantasy value.

LINE STACKS

Flyers at Devils

Sean Couturier (C – $7,100), Claude Giroux (W - $6,900), Jakub Voracek (W - $6,200)

The Flyers' top line has ripped the Devils the shreds in their two previous matchups, combining for four goals and eight points. New Jersey goalies have a combined .883 Sv% against the Flyers this season.

Hurricanes at Red Wings

Sebastian Aho (C - $7,800), Andrei Svechnikov (W - $5,700), Teuvo Teravainen (W - $5,300)

Is there any surprise that Teravainen's return led to multi-point games from Aho and Svechnikov? Don't think so. Though Teravainen didn't hit the score sheet, his presence certainly helped, and together they generated 12 shot attempts in 10:55 5v5 TOI, second-most on the team, according to Natural Stat Trick. The downside to this stack is that if the Canes get out to an early lead, they will spread out the ice time, meaning limited opportunities to score.

Maple Leafs vs. Canucks

Auston Matthews (C - $8,800), Mitch Marner (W - $7,700), Nick Foligno (W - $4,200)

Matthews continues to terrorize opponents and his incredible hand-eye was on full display against the Habs on Wednesday when he knocked the puck out of the air and batted it into the net before anyone had processed his first move. The Canucks look like a tired bunch and have lost four straight to the Leafs. Though they usually play them pretty tough, it's just hard to see the Canucks keeping pace.

Wild vs. Blues

Victor Rask (C - $3,900), Kirill Kaprizov (W - $6,600), Mats Zuccarello (W - $5,000)

This line didn't register a point on Wednesday but both Rask and Kaprizov led the team's forward with four shots apiece. Once again, feel free to replace Rask with Nick Bonino ($4,000), who has been far more reliable and also plays on the power play. The key for this line is to get on the power play, which had only one opportunity on Wednesday; the Wild have converted 41.5 percent (!) of their opportunities in April.

DEFENSEMEN

Dougie Hamilton, CAR vs. DET ($6,600): Hamilton has not gone three straight games without a point this season and deserves to be in the conversation for the Norris Trophy. He's scored seven points on 27 shots in seven games against the Wings this season.

Kris Letang, PIT at WSH ($6,200): He plays big minutes against the Caps all the time and in six games this season has notched six assists. The Caps have shut out their opponents twice in their past four games but their defense has been up-and-down all season. Historically, their matchups have featured more goals than usual; they're averaging over 6.7 goals per game in their six matchups this season.

Keith Yandle, FLA at CHI ($3,800): Normally I'd shy away from Yandle because he can be so inconsistent, but it's a good matchup against Chicago's 27th-ranked PK. He's scored four points in six games against the Hawks this season.

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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