FanDuel NHL: Friday Targets

FanDuel NHL: Friday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

Just four games for Friday starting with the Jets at Canadiens (7 p.m. EDT) in a battle between two faltering teams. The Jets' playoff hopes are safe, but they need to start generating some positive momentum in a potential showdown against the Oilers in Round 1 while the Habs are just trying to make it.

Then it's the Sharks at Avalanche (9 p.m.), Golden Knights at Coyotes (10 p.m.) and Kings at Ducks (10 p.m.) as Ryan Miller begins his farewell tour after announcing his intention to retire at the end of the season.

GOALIES

Robin Lehner, VGK at ARI ($8,700): It's Lehner's turn in net and he draws a pretty easy matchup against a team Vegas has only lost to once this season. On a night where there aren't many goalie options, Lehner is probably the safest pick and will certainly be a popular one. His numbers against the Yotes - .880 Sv%, 3.35 GAA – haven't been great, but the Golden Knights clearly have the advantage.

Devan Dubnyk, COL vs. SJ ($8,500): We shall see who starts this matchup since Jonas Johansson was assigned to the taxi squad on Thursday, which could pave the way for Philipp Grubauer's return. There shouldn't be much confidence in Dubnyk even though the matchup heavily favors the Avs. Expect a win, but get ready for ugly numbers across the board.

Connor Hellebuyck, WPG at MON ($7,100): This one's tough because both teams are going through a rough patch. The Jets enter on a season-worst five-game losing streak, but they're 6-2-0 against the Habs with Hellebuyck starting all of them sporting a .921 Sv% and 2.49 GAA. It's a coin-flip, but note that the Habs' goalies come at a $500 premium, so this is more like a value play.

Jonathan Quick, LA at ANH ($6,800): It's been a close series with the Kings holding a 3-2-1 edge, but one important thing to note is the wins have been blowouts and the losses have been close. That generally indicates the Kings are obviously the better team when they're playing well, and the Ducks' margin for error is much smaller. Quick only allowed one goal on 22 shots in his last start against Anaheim.

VALUE PLAYS

Nick Schmaltz, ARI vs. VGK ($3,700): You don't usually get decent playmakers at this salary, especially one that plays as many minutes as Schmaltz. He produced three assists in two games against San Jose and has been surprisingly effective against Vegas this year with four goals and six points across six games. Michael Bunting ($3,500) is also another undervalued top-six forward who has been putting up points of late.

Mason Appleton, WPG at MON ($3,500): The points haven't come because the Jets are struggling as a whole, but Appleton has played 21 minutes in each of his past two since being promoted to the top-six. The opportunity is there; it's just a matter of when he can capitalize.

Quinton Byfield, LA at ANH ($3,100): Byfield saw 17 minutes and notched four shots on goal in his NHL debut even though he played on the third line. He obviously offers a lot of upside, but it's rather difficult to capitalize because there are so many veterans in front of him. The silver lining is he's been playing on the second PP unit, which is young but talented and includes Andreas Athanasiou and Gabriel Vilardi.

LINE STACKS

Avalanche vs. Sharks

Nathan MacKinnon (C - $9,100), Gabriel Landeskog (W - $7,000), Andre Burakovsky (W - $4,600)

MacKinnon and Landeskog have combined for 19 points against the Coyotes this season while Burakovsky has reaped the benefits of playing with them with five in four.

Golden Knights vs. Coyotes

Chandler Stephenson (C - $4,600), Mark Stone (W - $7,700), Max Pacioretty (W - $8,300)

It's not exciting, but at least Stephenson can bring the cost of this stack down a bit. Both the Golden Knights and Avs line stack represent favorable plays, but I like the Colorado one a bit more because MacKinnon is clearly the best player and the difference in total salary is rather marginal at just $100.

DEFENSEMEN

Shea Theodore, VGK at ARI ($6,800): An assist against Colorado extended Theodore's point streak to five games as his outstanding season continues. He'll be one of the top options on Friday, although it's interesting to note he's averaging the least amount of ice time (20:51 ATOI) against the Yotes than any other opponent - especially the last two where he's played fewer minutes than Brayden McNabb due to game flow.

Cale Makar, COL vs. SJ ($5,700): No need to further point out Makar's offensive upside is tremendous against the Sharks, who have been chum for most of the season. He was held off the scoresheet in his past two contests, but has posted four assists in two against the Sharks while the Avs are averaging four goals against them this season.

Jakob Chychrun, ARI vs. VGK ($5,600): That's four straight outings Chychrun has registered at least five shots on goal. And while the matchup against Vegas will be much more difficult than his previous game against San Jose, there's no denying he's the Yotes' top defender and will see plenty of minutes. Chychrun's ability to get shots on net makes him a very safe pick.

Haydn Fleury, ANH vs. LA ($3,500): Fleury's strictly a value play, and one with fairly low upside because he doesn't play on the power play. But note two things: first, he's paired with dynamic offensive defenseman Jamie Drysdale at even strength. And second, he's averaging close to 21 minutes per game with the Ducks, a huge jump from the 13:36 he averaged with the Hurricanes. He's scored as many points (one) in seven for Anaheim than he did in 35 with his former club.

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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