NHL Plays: Thursday

·5 min read

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NHL Plays will highlight the best and the most underrated daily fantasy options among forwards, defensemen and goaltenders.

Please note, these players were chosen early in the day, so make sure to check NBC Sports EDGE's player news for any lineup changes, injuries and potential changes in the crease for starting goaltenders.

Additionally, it is worth reminding everyone that FanDuel allows you to roster nine players (2C, 2W, 2D, 2UTIL 1G) with a salary cap of $55,000, while DraftKings has a cap of $50,000 for nine players (2C, 3W, 2D, 1G, 1UTIL) and Yahoo has a $200 budget for nine players (2C, 3W, 2D, 2G).

Thursday night has 10 games on the schedule.

Forwards:

Connor McDavid (Edmonton) – C - $9,300 FanDuel, $9,500 DraftKings, $36 Yahoo

McDavid is very easy to recommend for obvious reasons. He was in a league of his own last season and so far 2021-22 isn’t looking any different. He already has four goals and eight points in three contests in 2021-22.

Aleksander Barkov (Florida) – C - $8,100 FanDuel, $7,700 DraftKings, $32 Yahoo

Barkov has started the season on a three-game point streak, scoring two goals and five points over that span. He’s one of the best forwards in the game today, but he compares favorably against other stars in terms of price.

Mika Zibanejad (NY Rangers) – C - $7,600 FanDuel, $7,500 DraftKings, $30 Yahoo

Zibanejad has a goal and five points in four games to start the season. It’s a nice contrast to 2020-21 when he had a slow opening before getting on a roll later in the campaign and ending with 21 goals and 39 points in his final 29 contests.

J.T. Miller (Vancouver) – W - $6,900 FanDuel, $4,800 DraftKings, $19 Yahoo

Miller is well priced overall, but he’s an especially good pickup on DraftKings today. He has a goal and five points in four games this season and that’s not just a hot streak for him. He had 42 goals and 118 points in 122 contests between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaign, so a roughly point-per-game pace is just par for the course for him since coming to Vancouver.

Timo Meier (San Jose) – W - $5,900 FanDuel, $6,900 DraftKings, $19 Yahoo

The Sharks have won their first two games and Meier was a significant factor in that. He’s scored a goal and four points to start the campaign. He’s a bit more of a questionable choice on DraftKings, but he’s a nice selection on FanDuel and Yahoo.

Jesse Puljujarvi (Edmonton) – W - $5,700 FanDuel, $5,700 DraftKings, $21 Yahoo

Puljujarvi has been playing primarily with Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid so far this season and that’s worked out great for him. Puljujarvi already has two goals and six points in three contests. As long as he stays on the first line, he should have considerable value.

Bargain Bin: Tom Wilson (WAS) - $5,600 FanDuel/$4,100 DraftKings/$17 Yahoo, Chris Kreider (NYR) - $5,600 FanDuel/$4,700 DraftKings/$18 Yahoo, Conor Garland (VAN) - $5,400 FanDuel/$5,100 DraftKings/$17 Yahoo, Carter Verhaeghe (FLA) - $5,300 FanDuel/$6,400 DraftKings/$20 Yahoo, Patrik Laine (CLM) - $5,300 FanDuel/$6,100 DraftKings/$16 Yahoo, Anthony Duclair (FLA) - $5,100 FanDuel/$4,100 DraftKings/$16 Yahoo

Defensemen:

Adam Fox (NY Rangers) - $6,600 FanDuel, $6,600 DraftKings, $26 Yahoo

Fox was one of the league’s top offensive defensemen last season and he’s picked up right where he left off. He has a goal and three points in four contests in 2021-22. He’s up there for a defenseman in terms of price, but he’s not the most expensive blueliner out there and he’s worth the cost.

Darnell Nurse (Edmonton) - $5,800 FanDuel, $6,100 DraftKings, $23 Yahoo

Nurse has chipped in an assist in each of his first three games of the season. He’s a great all-around defenseman that the Oilers lean on heavily. From a purely offensive defenseman there are better blueliners out there, but that’s factored into his price.

Bargain Bin: Thomas Chabot (OTT) - $5,300 FanDuel/$6,300 DraftKings/$17 Yahoo, Brent Burns (SJS) - $5,000 FanDuel/$6,500 DraftKings/$17 Yahoo, Zach Werenski (CLM) - $5,000 FanDuel/$6,200 DraftKings/$17 Yahoo, Erik Karlsson (SJS) - $4,900 FanDuel/$4,800 DraftKings/$16 Yahoo

Goaltenders:

Vitek Vanecek (Washington) - $8,000 FanDuel, $8,200 DraftKings, $28 Yahoo

Vanecek has gotten off to a strong start with a 1-0-1 record, 1.44 GAA, and .938 save percentage in two starts. He was solid as a rookie too, posting a 21-10-4 record, 2.69 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 37 contests. He’s not the league’s best goaltender, but he’s fairly priced, especially in FanDuel.

Frederik Andersen (Carolina) - $7,500 FanDuel, $7,800 DraftKings, $33 Yahoo

Andersen had a rough 2020-21 campaign with Toronto, but so far he’s settled in well with his new team. He posted a 2-0-0 record, 2.50 GAA, and .926 save percentage in his first two starts. The Hurricanes will be up against the Canadiens tonight, who have scored just three goals over their first four games.

Bargain Bin: Elvis Merzlikins (CLM) - $7,400 FanDuel/$7,000 DraftKings/$30 Yahoo, Igor Shesterkin (NYR) - $7,300 FanDuel/$7,700 DraftKings/$37 Yahoo

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