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NHL DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Thursday (3/24)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Mar 24, 2022
Nick Suzuki

Recently, NHL slates have been filled to the brim, and Thursday will be no different, with ten games filling the schedule. In late March, several playoff contenders find themselves stalling out and trending in the wrong direction. Teams currently in playoff seeds like Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Carolina, and Vegas are all in desperate need of a mini-win streak, so expect players on these teams to carry extra motivation in future matchups. The divisional races are underway, but the gap between contenders and pretenders in the Eastern Conference divisions is much more significant than in the Western Conference. Teams on the bubble include Vancouver and Nashville, so expect plenty of high-caliber play based on their proximity to earning a playoff seed.

Tuesday’s recommended prospects were a mixed bag. Mark Scheifele (C – WPG) was the best value, scoring a goal and netting his 33rd assist of the season in a 4-0 blanking of the Vegas Golden Knights. Other notable performers included Pittsburgh’s goaltender Tristan Jarry (G – PIT), allowing only one goal on 27 shots in a 5-1 rout of Columbus, Jamie Benn (W – DAL), who buried two assists against a tired Edmonton team, and Shayne Gostisbehere (D – ARI) managing to produce an assist in a 4-2 loss against Seattle. On the other hand, Alex Ovechkin (LW – WAS), Yanni Gourde (C – SEA), and Nate Schmidt (D – WPG) were the busts, with Ovechkin’s lackluster effort being the most detrimental based on his high salary.

As always, regrouping and assessing the following slate is what I’m here to do. I’ve narrowed it down to eight high-value prospects who will be assets in DFS lineups Thursday night. Use as many of these players as you’d like to establish a strong foundation and save a few dollars for a blue-chip prospect at the same time. This is a solid strategy to deploy to give yourself the best chance to launch your lineups into the green by the end of the night. Let’s get it!

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Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Nick Suzuki (C – MTL): $5,200
Nick Suzuki is catching Florida Panthers’ goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (G – FLA) at the perfect time to return a massive amount of value in DFS lineups. Bobrovsky has missed four straight games with an undisclosed injury but is slated to start in between the pipes on the road against the Canadiens. While Montreal is all but mathematically eliminated from the postseason, the 22-year old first-line center has a lot of talent and firepower left to tap into. Suzuki was held without a point or a shot on goal in his last outing against a surging Boston team, so expect a return to his typical one or two-point production against a rusty Bobrovsky. Suzuki usually attempts anywhere from three to eight shots on goal per game, plus the occasional blocked shot, raising his floor outside of his ability to score or contribute an assist. Suzuki’s last game against Bobrovsky resulted in his scoring a goal on five shots, a phenomenal output at his current $5,200 salary. Take the value and plug Suzuki into lineups with confidence despite being on the inferior team.

David Perron (RW – STL): $5,900
The 33-year old first-line winger for the St. Louis Blues has been on an absolute tear in March, entering Thursday’s home game against Philadelphia with at least one goal in eight straight games. David Perron is arguably the best value on the slate due to his consistent ability to finish in the offensive zone. Perron earns extended minutes on the Blues’ top powerplay unit and has momentum generated from two consecutive multi-point games, totaling four goals and two assists since last weekend. He’s a high-volume shooter and will face a volatile goaltender in Carter Hart (G – PHI), who has surrendered four goals in three of his previous four starts. This matchup is the perfect storm for Perron to return insane value at under $6,000 0n DraftKings, so use him as a high-value foundational piece when constructing DFS lineups Thursday night.

Charlie McAvoy (D – BOS): $5,200
24-year old Charlie McAvoy has a 4:1 assist: goal ratio for Boston this season, navigating the offensive zone with ease and linking up with any of the talented first-line attack to elevate their offense to a playoff-caliber level in March. McAvoy has 32 assists and has three points, including a goal, across his last three games played. He comes equipped with a high floor due to the high shot volume and his nose for physicality, yielding at least one blocked shot in his previous five games. Not many defensemen with McAvoy’s versatility skate on good teams, and even fewer are available to roster under $5,300 on DraftKings. Take the value and McAvoy’s high floor against Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (G – TB), who has improved across the last few starts but remains vulnerable against good offenses such as the Bruins.

Cal Petersen (G – LAK): $8,000
Cal Petersen has to be itching to wash the bad taste out of his mouth after surrendering four goals on just 23 shots in a 5-1 blowout loss to Vegas during his last start this past weekend. The 26-year old netminder previously recorded his third shutout against San Jose, showing he’s more than capable of playing an elite brand of goaltending when he’s entirely on his game. Fortunately for Petersen, his opponent on Thursday, the Chicago Blackhawks, have a sporadic offense that runs through veteran Patrick Kane (RW – CHI) and their top goal-scorer, Alex DeBrincat (LW – CHI). The latter has only managed to score once in his past five games, so Petersen is catching the Blackhawks at the perfect time. Expect a strong performance from the Kings netminder and pay up to acquire the production that will follow.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000

Ryan Johansen (C – NAS): $5,200
Ryan Johansen has ascended into the first-line attack for Nashville throughout the 2022 NHL season. The 29-year old center has been heating up lately, notching assists in his previous two games and scoring his 17th goal of the season against a spiraling Anaheim Ducks team on Tuesday. The Preds will be playing their third straight game, but they are battling to cling onto the final playoff seed in the Central Division with Dallas breathing down their neck. At times, Johansen will have tired legs, but Vegas has dropped two games and will deploy Laurent Brossoit (G – VGK) in the net, who last surrendered four goals in back-to-back starts. He’s had time off, but he’s returning against a hungry Nashville team with seven wins across its last ten games. Johansen will have plenty of opportunities on the top powerplay unit, so at $5,200 on FanDuel, take him as a value play capable of generating production despite a low shot volume.

Blake Wheeler (RW – WPG): $6,000
Blake Wheeler is not known for his goal-scoring, but the veteran has managed to rack up two goals in his previous five games, alongside five assists. He’s the real deal for Winnipeg, which finds itself improving at the right time. Only nine points separate the Jets from being the two-seed in the Central Division, so there is quite a lot of motivation to build on their two-game winning streak. In his last matchup, Wheeler didn’t even need to take a shot on goal to yield points, burying two assists by the end of the game. This is a rare occurrence, as Wheeler usually attempts two to six shots on goal while adding a couple of blocked shots. He does it all and only has one game without a point in his last five games. At $6,000, Wheeler is a fantastic value against Ottawa, a solid goaltender but a porous defense that has allowed 25-plus shots on goal in five straight games. Add Wheeler and watch your lineups soar.

Moritz Seider (D – DET): $6,000
20-year old rookie phenom Moritz Seider has been a walking assist for the Red Wings all season. Seider is currently enduring a three-game point drought, but he still attempts a couple of shots on goal and is particularly active in the defensive zone, stacking three or more blocked shots in each of his previous three games. Detroit will face a New York Islanders team on the road Thursday and will likely be tested against Ilya Sorokin (G – NYI). Sorokin is solid, but the Isles’ defense is not, as he’s faced 30-plus shots in three straight starts. Seider can solidify his baseline and potentially end his point drought against a volatile Islanders team that few can predict. Seider is a bit pricey, particularly due to his point drought, yet he’s worth the risk due to his high usage and opportunity on both ends of the ice.

Cam Talbot (G – MIN): $7,900
Minnesota just traded away Kaapo Kahkonen (G – SJ) at the deadline, showing their confidence in Cam Talbot as April approaches. Talbot has been a beast defending the crease lately, earning his second shutout of the season in his last start against Vegas and surrendering three goals across his previous three starts. This stretch includes talented offensive teams like Boston, so don’t doubt Talbot’s ability in tough matchups. Minnesota will host Vancouver on Thursday as -233 favorites on the Moneyline, as the Canucks have only scored more than three goals once in their last four games. So invest in the value, and momentum Talbot possesses entering Thursday’s home game against struggling Vancouver.

View daily consensus odds from all major sportsbooks for the NHL at BettingPros >>

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

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