FanDuel NHL DFS Strategy Advice: Thursday (4/8)
We’re roughly one month away from the end of the regular season. Thursday’s enormous 11-game slate pits several playoff contenders against each other, creating great value among some of the league’s first and second-line skaters. While most teams are faring well health-wise, the Vancouver Canucks are dealing with a massive COVID-19 outbreak. Let’s hope for speedy recoveries to all of the Canucks’ players and staff, as several of their games have been postponed in recent days.
A few competitive matchups will occur in the North and East Divisions. The Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets are both in playoff contention in the North, while the East Division will see both the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals square off. The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins are the other marquee matchup within the East, as both teams are heating up at the right time to make a postseason push. You can find plenty of value to use in a winning lineup on Thursday night, so let’s look at a few under-the-radar skaters to save your salary while maximizing production.
Pierre-Luc Dubois (WPG): $5,100 at MON
Dubois has been inconsistent throughout the season for Winnipeg, but he lit the lamp twice in his last game against the Ottawa Senators. Despite just over 15 minutes ATOI, the 22-year-old centers the Jets’ second line and has totaled 17 points (nine goals/eight assists) in 29 games. He also benefits from skating alongside Blake Wheeler. Montreal is expected to start Jake Allen in the net on Thursday, and he just gave up three goals to Toronto in his last start. He could be vulnerable against a Winnipeg team that ranks in the top-12 for scoring (3.21/game), well above the 2.91 league average. PLD is a super cheap roster and is in line to continue producing in Montreal on Thursday night.
Brady Tkachuk (OTT): $6,000 vs. EDM
Tkachuk is the only bright spot on the Senators’ first line, totaling 24 points (12 goals/12 assists) while pouring in an absurd 161 shots on goal across 40 games for Ottawa this season. The 21-year old Arizona native took six shots against the Oilers in their first game of a back-to-back set on Wednesday and will continue to get pucks on the net. He skates on the top power-play unit and is averaging 18:25 ATOI this season. Edmonton is an offensive juggernaut, and the Senators are at the bottom of the division for a reason. Still, Tkachuk provides great value in your lineups due to the massive opportunity he receives. He racked up an assist on six shots during Wednesday’s 4-2 loss and will likely end his two-game goal drought against projected Oilers’ goaltender Mike Smith on Thursday. Smith has a solid 2.42 GAA this season, but he has also allowed 11 goals across his last four starts.
Darnell Nurse (EDM): $5,900 at MON
One of the best defensemen in the offensive zone, Darnell Nurse has generated nine shots and a goal across his last three games. He benefits from skating on the first line behind All-Star center Connor McDavid, who has a ridiculous 68 points and seems to be a lock for league MVP. The Oilers defeated the Senators in their last game on Tuesday by 4-2, and they will have every opportunity to dominate the ice once again, as Ottawa expects to start Matt Murray in net. He has an atrocious 3.84 GAA and .880 save percentage across 20 starts this season. Although Nurse has a higher salary than the average defensemen, it’s worth the investment due to his efficiency around the net and the favorable matchup.
Juuse Saros (NSH): $7,400 at DET
In his last three starts, Juuse Saros has a 1.96 GAA and a shutout. Nashville won two of those games. The 25-year old Finnish goaltender is on fire right now, and he should maintain his momentum against the Red Wings on Thursday. He took down Detroit in net during their previous 3-2 shootout victory on Tuesday. Wins and shutouts from your rostered goalie add bonus points to your lineup, so selecting Saros in a plus-matchup against a Detroit offense that manages a league-worst 2.20 goals per game is a no-brainer. Plug Saros into your lineup without hesitation as the Predators look to hold onto the final playoff seed in the tightly contested Central Division.