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FanDuel NHL DFS Strategy Advice: Thursday (4/15)

Apr 15, 2021

Playoff-bound teams and franchises in the midst of a rebuild will collide during Thursday’s nine-game slate, creating great opportunity and value amongst skaters on the first two lines. I’ll be targeting players on teams projected to be on the winning side of each contest to bolster lineups heading into tonight’s action.

Pittsburgh, Washington, and the New York Rangers all rank within the top-eight scoring teams in the league and have favorable matchups against opposing netminders. Let’s look at a few skaters I really like who will help launch your lineups into the green on Thursday night.

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Jared McCann (PIT): $4,400 vs. PHI
McCann centers the Penguins’ second line and has racked up three points (goal, two assists) with five shots on goal across his last two games. The 24-year-old Canadian is a great value add at this salary, especially going up against Flyers’ struggling goaltender Carter Hart, who has a 3.79 GAA and .872 save percentage across 24 starts in net this season. Pittsburgh ranks top-three in scoring (3.48 goals per game), and McCann earns extra time on the ice skating on Pittsburgh’s top power-play unit alongside Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, and Bryan Rust. McCann totaled four blocks against the Devils in his last start, an added bonus on top of his efficient play in the offensive zone. I fully expect McCann to continue his point streak at home against the Flyers on Thursday, so make sure to prioritize him as a great value addition to your lineups.


Anthony Mantha (WSH): $4,800 vs. BUF
The Red Wings traded Mantha from Detroit to Washington earlier in the week at the league’s trade deadline, and he made an immediate impact on Washington’s second line. The 26-year-old Canadian lit the lamp and dished an assist to rack up two points in his debut against the Flyers on Tuesday. He will certainly continue to find a role with the Capitals, but his first game was an incredible success. He totaled six shots on goal and earned 15 minutes on ice with one of the league’s best second-line units, which includes Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. Buffalo is scrappy, but goaltender Linus Ullmark has allowed 3.88 GAA across his last three starts, and Buffalo lacks offensive firepower. Mantha will find himself skating in the offensive zone frequently with massive opportunity on Thursday night. He is a must-add to your lineups.


Adam Fox (NYR): $6,100 vs. NJ
The 23-year-old first-line defenseman from New York has enjoyed a successful 2020-21 campaign. Fox is coming off of a two-assist performance against New Jersey in their previous 3-0 win on Tuesday, and he has a chance to replicate that performance on Thursday night. He averages over 24:30 minutes on ice for the Rangers and is in the midst of a four-game goal drought that could definitely end against projected Devils’ netminder Mack Blackwood (3.82 GAA/.838 SV%). The Rangers have a lot to compete for, as they are four points behind Boston for the fourth and final playoff seed in the East Division, so expect a flurry of shots to be set up and taken by the young defenseman. Fox has evolved into a complete 200-foot player this season — he has a fairly high salary for a defenseman, but the matchup and bonus points from the seven blocks he has totaled across his last five starts make him a must-start.


Igor Shesterkin (NYR): $8,100 vs. NJ
The Rangers have been heating up as of late, thanks in part to the play of goalie Igor Shesterkin. The 25-year-old Russian netminder logged a shutout on 27 saves during Tuesday’s 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. The Rangers host the Devils again tonight, and Shesterkin is projected to start in net. He should be able to transfer the momentum generated from his shutout against New Jersey on Tuesday, as he has only allowed one goal against the Devils in their last two contests. Although the salary for Shesterkin is high, goaltenders are the foundation of your lineup, and his proven track record against New Jersey qualifies him as the top-tier goalie to roster during Thursday’s nine-game slate.

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Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.