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FanDuel NHL Plays: Thursday

by Chris Lowery
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:01 pm ET

Each day I will be providing my recommended player picks for your FanDuel daily fantasy hockey lineups.
 
My FanDuel NHL Plays will be broken down by player positions, and will include picks for cash games (50/50s/double-ups/head-to-head) and GPPs (guaranteed prize pool tournaments).

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night's NHL games. It's just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.

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Are you new to Daily Fantasy Hockey? Check out these strategies documents first for tips and recommendations to craft your winning FanDuel hockey lineups:

Daily Fantasy Hockey Primer: 2014-15 Season
Winning Strategies for Cash Games (head-to-head, 50/50s)

Winning Strategies for GPP Tournaments

Advanced Tips for Winning by Utilizing Vegas Odds and Line Combinations

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Hockey Research and Strategy Tools

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After a quiet Wednesday night, the NHL explodes tonight with a fantastic 10 game schedule. Unlike most busy nights, we do not have a huge favorite on the board tonight. At the time of writing this, the biggest favorite sits at -185. There are a few solid home favorites to target (Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks) and only the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers are playing on consecutive nights.

It should be an action packed night of hockey with 20 teams taking the ice and you have to love nights like these in the daily fantasy hockey world. There will be plenty of cash game opportunities and more tournaments than you can possibly enter. Now, let’s get to the NHL daily plays!

GOALTENDERS

Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.

Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes, $7,500 – Since his slow start in October (3.95 GAA, .840 SV%), Cam Ward has been sensational in net for the Hurricanes (2.08 GAA, .924 SV%). Ward has been extremely consistent, posting a goal against average of 2.11 or less and a save percentage of .920 or higher in every month since October. The Buffalo Sabres have lost five games in a row and eight of their past 10. Buffalo is 4-14-1 on the road and their offense has been non-existent all season long. The Sabres are dead last in both shots per game (23.3) and goals per game (1.76) in the NHL. Normally the Hurricanes are not a team I would trust, but they have been very good defensively over the past month and Ward has been outstanding in goal. Not to mention, Buffalo is just god awful. Look for another strong performance from the moderately priced Ward tonight and the all-important win.

Other Goalies To Target (Cash Games) – Pekka Rinne, Brian Elliott, Jonathan Quick

Other Goalies To Target (Tournaments) – Corey Crawford, Semyon Varlamov, Ryan Miller

CENTER

Bryan Little, Winnipeg Jets, $5,200 – Little has points in seven straight games and is very quietly having a great season. The line of Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler has been extremely effective for the Jets and has won some big tournaments for daily fantasy players. The Coyotes were hammered in their last game versus the Blues (6-0) and are in dire need of some good goaltending. Arizona has been absolutely dreadful on the back end this season and despite being on the road, I like the Jets to score a few goals tonight.

David Backes, St. Louis Blues, $5,600 – Backes is coming off a monster game (4 G, +2, 6 SOG) versus the Arizona Coyotes and he has really picked up his offensive game of late. The Blues embarrassed San Jose last Saturday night (7-2) at the Shark Tank and they will now get another crack at them on home ice, where they are 13-4-1 on the season. The line of Alexander Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie has been on fire recently, and is currently one of the most potent lines in the league. Look for Backes and company to remain hot tonight against the Sharks.

Other Centers To Target (Cash Games) – Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, Henrik Sedin

Other Centers To Target (Tournaments) – Jordan Staal, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Fisher

LEFT WING

Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes, $6,300 – Staal is starting to heat up with points in five of his last six games and goals in four of his last five. He has been reunited with his brother Jordan and plays on the Canes’ top line and number one power play unit. The Sabres are a team we should continue to pick on, Buffalo sits dead last in shots allowed (35.3) and goals against per game this season (3.39). Carolina is simply in too good of a spot to pass up tonight, and Staal is your safest option for production.

Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks, $8,600 – Since being paired with Patrick Kane on the Blackhawks’ second line, Sharp has seen an increase in his offensive production. Sharp and the Blackhawks dominated Colorado Tuesday night (54 shots on goal), despite losing the game 2-0. Sharp has been shooting the lights out recently, with 21 shots in his past three games. The Wild have been a mess the last few games and can’t seem to get consistent goaltending from either Darcy Kuemper or Niklas Backstrom. Look for Sharp and the Blackhawks to exploit the Wild tonight.

Other Left Wingers To Target (Cash Games) – Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Steen, Marian Gaborik

Other Left Wingers To Target (Tournaments) – Jeff Skinner, Andrew Ladd, Brad Marchand

RIGHT WING

Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators, $6,600 – Forsberg broke the Predators’ single season points record by a rookie and continues to put up impressive numbers (14 G, 38 PTS, +23, 122 SOG in 39 GP) this season. Forsberg has points in 10 of his last 13 games and has been Nashville’s biggest scoring threat all year. The Stars have been a much better team over the past month, but they still allow way too many scoring chances due to their consistent defensive lapses. Dallas has allowed the fourth-most goals per game (3.26) this season and if Kari Lehtonen isn’t standing on his head, they have a tough time winning. Forsberg still has a very moderate price and should find his way onto the score sheet at least once tonight.

Other Right Wingers To Target (Cash Games) – Patrick Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, T.J. Oshie

Other Right Wingers To Target (Tournaments) – Blake Wheeler, Craig Smith, Bobby Ryan

DEFENSE

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators, $6,000Shea Weber is one of, if not the, best all-around defenseman in the game. Weber got off to slow start this season, but has 21 points in his past 29 games. Dallas has struggled against offensive defensemen all season and I see that trend continuing tonight. Look for Weber and his booming shot to be involved in the Predators scoring tonight.

Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes, $3,700 – If you are looking to save some cap room, insert Justin Faulk into your lineup on defense. By now you are aware that Carolina is hosting the lowly Sabres. Buffalo does not travel well and they have been awful in their own end all year long. Faulk logs over 24 minutes of ice time per game and will see his fair share of power play time. At $3,700, he makes a fine value play.

Other Defensemen To Target (Cash Games) – Kevin Shattenkirk, Roman Josi, Keith Yandle

Other Defensemen To Target (Tournaments) – Mark Streit, Mike Green, Dougie Hamilton

Chris Lowery
Chris "Pepsi7" Lowery is the 2013 FanDuel Baseball Champion, pocketing $235,00 between that first place finish and a third place finish with his other entry. He also qualified for the FanDuel DFBC finals in 2012, finishing 7th. Impressively, MLB may not be his best sport as Chris is one of the best Daily Fantasy NHL minds in the business. Chris contributes to RotoGrinders, and you can follow him on Twitter @Pepsi7DFS.