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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).

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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 slow Wednesday night in hockey, the NHL schedule explodes with 11 games on tap tonight. It is strange night, with a lot of the better teams in tough matchups and some of the weaker teams finding themselves in great spots. It should make for a very interesting night in your cash games and tournament play.

GOALTENDERS

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

Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues, $9,200 – It is a tough night to find a goalie you can trust, as all the elite tenders seem to have difficult matchups. With that in mind, I gave Brian Elliott the number one spot. The Blues are an excellent team on home ice (18-4-2) and are one of the best defensive teams in hockey. Elliott has had a terrific season (1.86 GAA, .930 SV%) for the Blues and I think he finds a way to get it done tonight. Without Pekka Rinne in net, the Blues should have no problems scoring enough goals to get Elliott a win.

Other Goalies To Target (Cash Games) – Henrik Lundqvist, Roberto Luongo, Ben Bishop

Other Goalies To Target (Tournaments) – Michael Hutchinson, Ben Scrivens, Jhonas Enroth

CENTERS

Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars, $7,900 – Seguin has five points in his last two games and he has three multi-point games in his last five. He leads the league in goals and is third overall in scoring. Ottawa is an average team at best and they do not have a defensive pairing that can shut Seguin and company down. Dallas has had 34 or more shots on goal in each of their last three games and I think they keep firing away tonight. Seguin is a cash game stud and he rarely disappoints. Play him with confidence.

David Backes, St. Louis Blues, $7,800 – I am willing to bet David Backes was not interested in taking a break for the All-Star game. Backes was red hot prior to the break with points in seven consecutive games, including five multi-point performances. During his seven-game hot streak, Backes racked up seven goals and 14 points. Backes and his linemates are the hottest trio in hockey and I don’t see the Predators slowing them down without Pekka Rinne in net.

Other Centers To Target (Cash Games) – Claude Giroux, John Tavares, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins,

Other Centers To Target (Tournaments) – Ryan Johansen, Nazem Kadri, Antoine Vermette, Tyler Ennis

Wingers

Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs, $7,600 – The month of January has not been kind to Phil Kessel, but he is just too talented to slump for much longer. At some point he is going to break out with a big game, and I think that happens tonight. The Maple Leafs have scored more home goals than any other team in hockey and I think they score a few more tonight versus a bad Coyotes squad. The Arizona Coyotes are a team we like to pick on, since they’ve been lousy in their own end all year, ranking 25th in shots allowed (32.3) and 29th in goals against per game (3.32). Since the calendar turned to January, those numbers have actually been worse. In 2015 the Desert Dogs have allowed 33.9 shots per game and have given up 3.70 goals per game. As long as Mike Smith (3.49 GAA, .889 SV%) continues to be their the starter, I don’t see it getting any better for the Coyotes. Arizona has lost seven games in a row and look like a team more interested in the Connor McDavid sweepstakes than in winning hockey games.

Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks, $6,000 - Marleau has really picked up his offensive game of late with two goals, five points and 19 shots on net in his last four games. Marleau is back on a line with Logan Couture and this duo has been extremely effective when playing together over the years. San Jose always plays Anaheim tough and the Sharks have scored 15 goals against the Ducks in their four meetings this season. Marleau is moderately priced and has started to heat up lately.

Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers, $5,700 - I know what you are thinking: are the Buffalo Sabres really that bad that we can start looking at Edmonton Oilers to roster? The answer is “Yes”. Buffalo is awful on the road (4-18-1) and by far the worst defensive team in hockey. The Sabres have allowed the most shots per game (35.1) and goals per game (3.54) this season. The Sabres are a country mile worse than any other team in hockey, making Eberle and the Oilers’ top line a target in any format.

Other Wingers To Target (Cash Games) – Jakub Voracek, Jamie Benn, Vladimir Tarasenko, T.J. Oshie

Other Wingers To Target (Tournaments) – Andrew Ladd, Bobby Ryan, Nick Foligno, Ryan Callahan

DEFENSE

Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators, $7,300 – Karlsson has scored three goals in his last two games and continues to play great hockey for the Senators. Karlsson is ranked fifth overall in shots on goal (176), which is 26 more than any other defenseman. The Dallas Stars are one of the weaker defensive units in the NHL and they struggle mightily to defend offensive defensemen. Karlsson is the best offensive defenseman in the game today and is my top dog on defense tonight.

Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs, $3,400 - With Dion Phaneuf injured, Jake Gardiner takes over as the Maple Leafs’ top offensive defenseman. Gardiner will see an increase in ice time and should be Toronto’s powerplay quarterback. Despite playing on consecutive nights, the Maple Leafs are still in a great spot versus the defensively-challenged Coyotes.

Other Defensemen To Target (Cash Games) – Kevin Shattenkirk, Keith Yandle, Aaron Ekblad

Other Defensemen To Target (Tournaments) – Dustin Byfuglien, Justin Schultz, Cody Franson

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.