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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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It has been a crazy week of NHL action, and it continues tonight with a very exciting seven-game slate on tap. Fourteen teams in action is not a big deal for a Thursday night, but we do have some of the best teams and players in world going tonight, which certainly makes up for the lack of games. With some of the best offensive teams facing off against some of the weaker defensive teams in the league, it should lead to a very high scoring night.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $30,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night's NHL games. It's just $2 to join and first prize is $3,000. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.

GOALTENDERS

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

Ray Emery, Philadelphia Flyers, $6,400 – Yes, I know it is hard to trust Ray Emery, but here he is again in a tremendous spot at an inexpensive price. I mean after all, he is facing the pitiful Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo is easily the worst offensive team in hockey, ranking last in every offensive category. The Sabres have won a measly five games on the road all season long and I don’t see them winning their sixth tonight in the city of brotherly love. Why pay up for the likes of Carey Price, Pekka Rinne and Marc-Andre Fleury when Emery could have similar numbers at a huge discount? He is always a roll-of-the-dice, but tonight I think it pays off.

Other Goalies To Target (Cash Games) – Carey Price, Pekka Rinne, Marc-Andre Fleury, Braden Holtby

Other Goalies To Target (Tournaments) – Cam Talbot, Jaroslav Halak, Kari Lehtonen

CENTERS

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers, $7,800 – Giroux has certainly not played his best hockey of late, but he is in way too good of a spot to ignore tonight.  The Buffalo Sabres are the worst defensive team in hockey and Giroux is due to break out of his slump. Buffalo is dead last in shots against (34.7) and goals against per game (3.39) this season. The Sabres have been absolutely awful on the road this year (5-20-2) and I don’t see that changing tonight in Philadelphia. It is daily fantasy and we have to forget about Giroux letting us down recently - it is a good night to jump back on the bandwagon.

Jason Spezza, Dallas Stars, $6,600 - Many thought Dallas was in a lot of trouble on offense with the loss on Tyler Seguin. Everyone but Jason Spezza at least. Spezza had a monster game (3A, +2, 4 SOG) in the Stars’ upset win in St. Louis on Tuesday night and he will look to stay hot tonight versus the Sharks. San Jose has lost five of their past six games, giving up a whopping 26 goals in the process. Spezza is a very talented and underrated player, and not only is he now centering the Stars’ top line and number one powerplay unit, but he gets to skate alongside stud Jamie Benn. Spezza may very well roll out his second consecutive multi-point performance tonight.

Other Centers To Target (Cash Games) – Sidney Crosby, Nicklas Backstrom, John Tavares

Other Centers To Target (Tournaments) – Ryan Johansen, David Desharnais, Mike Ribeiro
 
WINGERS

Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, $9,400 – Ovechkin had a multi-point game in the Capitals’ big win in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night and he continues to dominate hockey games offensively. The “Great Eight” is the hottest scorer in the NHL right now, registering three goals, six points and 14 shots on goal in his last two games. Since the beginning of January, Ovi has produced 20 goals, 29 points and 106 shots on goal in 22 games. All signs point to another big night for Ovechkin.

David Perron, Pittsburgh Penguins, $5,900 – Perron has been quite productive in Pittsburgh and has settled in nicely on the Penguins’ top line. The Columbus Blue Jackets have allowed the second-most shots per game (33.3) and the fifth-most goals per game (3.11) this season. Columbus has been even worse in the month of February, allowing the most shots against per game (36.6) in the NHL. Until Sergei Bobrovsky returns, don’t expect things to get much better for the Blue Jackets defensively. Perron has been great as a member of the Penguins and is the cheapest way to go exposure to their explosive top line.

Other Wingers To Target (Cash Games) – Jakub Voracek, Rick Nash, Chris Kunitz, Jamie Benn
 
Other Wingers To Target (Tournaments) – James Neal, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Andre Burakovsky

DEFENSE

Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins, $7,600 – Letang has been fantastic for Pittsburgh since January 1st, with 22 points in 19 games. Letang and the Penguins have a plus matchup at home tonight against a defensively challenged Columbus squad. Letang has the skillset to take over a game offensively and has more upside than any other defenseman in hockey. In a game where I expect Pittsburgh to dominate, Letang is my top defenseman of the night.

Mike Green, Washington Capitals, $4,500 – The Washington Capitals are playing great hockey right now and so is Mike Green, with 17 points in his last 21 games. The Winnipeg Jets have allowed 25 goals in their past eight games (3.13) and are the second-most penalized team in hockey. Green is a powerplay specialist and one of the reasons why the Capitals have the second-best powerplay in the NHL. When you consider the Jets’ recent defensive struggles, the fact that they lead the league in penalty minutes and Washington’s killer powerplay, you have to love the potential in rostering Mike Green tonight.

Other Defensemen To Target (Cash Games) – Shea Weber, John Klingberg, Brent Burns, Mark Streit

Other Defensemen To Target (Tournaments) – Ryan McDonagh, Andrei Markov, Aaron Ekblad, Johnny Boychuk

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.