FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

It's the usual busy Thursday with 10 matchups, with the toughest ones featuring the Blues visiting the Lightning, the Predators hosting the Bruins and the Stars looking to keep their winning streak intact hosting the Blue Jackets.

Otherwise, there are some lopsided matchups – Senators at Hurricanes and Sabres at Panthers, for example — which means plenty of options in net.

GOALIES

Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA vs. BUF ($8,500): Bobrovsky will be a popular pick and he's one of the safest options available. The Panther would be 0-3-1 instead of 2-2-0 if not for him, and the Sabres have been trending in the wrong direction for an entire month, losing six of their past seven and winning just three times in November.

Jacob Markstrom, CGY vs. LA ($8,400): The Kings have trouble scoring and the Flames defend very well. That's a recipe for a low-scoring game the Flames should win because they have more talent and depth. Markstrom has allowed three goals or more only three times in November.

Cam Talbot, MIN vs. NJ ($8,200): Jack Hughes looked rusty, which is good for the Wild, who remain one of the league's toughest teams to beat at home with an 8-2-0 record. Talbot has not allowed more than two goals in five of his past seven starts.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB vs. STL ($8,100): The Blues barely scraped by when the Lightning started Brian Elliott and didn't have Steven Stamkos in the lineup. The Lightning offense won't be able to provide good support if Stamkos misses another game, but Vasilevskiy should tilt the scales in their favor.

Frederik Andersen, CAR vs. OTT ($7,900): There's no doubt Andersen's play has fallen off a little bit, but it hasn't crashed to Ottawa-levels of ineptitude just yet. This should be an easy win for the Canes, and the Sens are coming off a 6-2 loss to the Canucks on Wednesday.

Ilya Samsonov, WSH vs. CHI ($7,800): This should be a scheduled win for the Caps, who have brushed off injuries to key players. The Hawks, meanwhile, don't have a reliable top-six center and they're having a ton of trouble scoring; they've scored three goals or more just three times in their past nine games.

Adin Hill, SJ at NYI ($7,700): The past month was not kind to Hill, but this should be an excellent matchup for the Sharks. The Isles are getting healthy but it will be their first game since their two previous games were postponed, and will still be missing Brock Nelson and Ryan Pulock. The Isles have not been able to score goals at all this season, and one aspect that the Sharks have improved a lot this season has been on preventing goals.

Juuse Saros, NSH vs. BOS ($7,500): The underappreciated Saros has put up good numbers all season and coming off a 27-save shutout against the Jackets in his last start. The Bruins have been very inconsistent and will be without Brad Marchand, further hurting their ability to score. Saros should be a popular pick both for a high probability of winning and as a potential value play.

Braden Holtby, DAL vs. CBJ ($7,300): Holtby has allowed only three goals in his past two starts, and was surprisingly named the starter against Carolina despite Jake Oettinger's strong play. It seems as though the Stars will continue to defer to their veterans, though either Holtby or Oettinger will give them a very good chance to win. After Saros, the Stars' starter seems like the second-best value play.

Darcy Kuemper, COL at MON ($6,800): Kuemper was a late scratch against the Leafs, which resulted in a 8-3 loss with Jonas Johansson in net and Justus Annunen backing him up. If Kuemper doesn't start — and he's a fantastic value play at $6,800 — all bets are off. Johansson would be playing two nights in a row and Annunen is completely unproven. There are better options even though the Avs hold a distinct advantage over the Habs.

VALUE PLAYS

Sam Bennett, FLA vs. BUF ($6,100): Bennett's scored three goals in five games and played the hero in a dramatic comeback win against the Caps. He's centering the top line while Aleksander Barkov is out and has the fortune of having Jonathan Huberdeau on his wing.

Connor McMichael, WSH vs. CHI ($4,000): Protas is likely the better value play because he gets more minutes and better linemates, but McMichael is the more polished player. He has at least one shot in eight straight games and two points in his past four games.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi, CAR vs. OTT ($3,600): Kotkaniemi and his three-game goal streak going up against the team with arguably the worst goalies in the league – what's not to like? KK's minutes are limited because the Canes are deep, but against the Sens they can afford to roll all four lines, which means potentially more minutes for their depth players.

Brett Murray, BUF at FLA ($3,000): Murray's scored three points in two games playing on the second line with Dylan Cozens and Kyle Okposo. It's not a sexy line, but no other top-six forward will come cheaper than Murray, who's had trouble scoring in the pros but was a prolific sniper in the junior circuits.

Aliaksei Protas, WSH vs. CHI ($3,000): Protas has stuck on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and registered a shot for the third straight game. He's definitely a third wheel but he's also getting power-play time, and you don't stay in that role unless you've got some scoring talent.

LINE STACKS

Predators vs. Bruins

Mikael Granlund (C - $4,800), Filip Forsberg (W - $6,400), Matt Duchene (W - $7,000)

Forsberg scored four games last game, giving him six goals in four goals since returning from injury, and both Granlund and Duchene have been excellent this season on the offense. The Bruins' goalies aren't bad, but they're very consistent and they've been having trouble winning games on the road, a task that will be much harder without Marchand.

DEFENSEMEN

Cale Makar, COL at MON ($7,200): There's plenty of elite options but Makar's offensive upside still outpaces everyone else, and he's got an easy matchup against the Habs and Jake Allen. The Avs spent too much time defending against the Leafs, but still managed to score three goals.

Miro Heiskanen, DAL vs. CBJ ($6,200): Watch for John Klingberg's status, who missed Wednesday's skate due to illness. If Klingberg doesn't play, look for Heiskanen to get more minutes on the power play along with Ryan Suter, though there's no debate Heiskanen has far more upside.

Devon Toews, COL at MON ($4,700): Consider it a potential defensive pairing stack because Makar and Toews have been excellent together. Toews has scored 10 points since returning from injury.

Maxime Lajoie, CAR vs. OTT ($3,500): Lajoie played 13:36 in his season debut but that included 2:14 on the power play, second only to Brett Pesce, and finished the game with two shots and two blocked shots. It's reasonable to expect Lajoie to play more minutes against a lesser opponent who are playing the second game of a back-to-back.  

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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