NHL Plays: Thursday

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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).

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out NBC Sports EDGE's Player News, and follow @NBCSEdgeHK and @CoreAbbott on Twitter.

Thursday night has four games on the schedule.

Forwards:

Aleksander Barkov - $7,800 (FanDuel), $8,000 (DraftKings), $31 (Yahoo)

Barkov has recorded one goal, two assists and 10 shots through two games versus Tampa Bay in the postseason. He has accounted for two goals and five helpers during a six-game playoff scoring streak that dates back to the qualifying round from last year. The Panthers need Barkov and Co. to step up on Thursday night with the team trailing 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

John Tavares (Toronto) - C - $7,100 (FanDuel), $6,400 (DraftKings), $25 (Yahoo)

Much of the focus will likely be on Auston Matthews for the Canadiens, which means Tavares could take advantage of matchups. He concluded the regular season with nine goals and 22 points in 19 games. He had seven multi-point performances during that span and he produced 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 10 games versus Montreal. He also added 30 shots on target.

Jeff Carter (Pittsburgh) - W/C - $5,200 (FanDuel), $5,000 (DraftKings), $19 (Yahoo)

Carter has posted one goal, one assist and seven shots in two games versus the New York Islanders during the playoffs. He has proven to be an excellent addition for the Penguins. Carter accounted for nine goals and 11 points in 14 games with Pittsburgh in the regular season after he was acquired from Los Angeles.

Bargain Bin: Zach Hyman (TOR) - W - $4,700 (FanDuel), $5,500 (DraftKings), Sam Bennett (FLA) - C - $4,500 (FanDuel), $5,400 (DraftKings), $18 (Yahoo), Nick Suzuki (MON) - C - $5,500 (FanDuel), $5,100 (DraftKings), $19 (Yahoo), Reilly Smith (VGK) - W - $4,700 (FanDuel), $4,400 (DraftKings), $18 (Yahoo), Alex Tuch (VGK) - W - $4,500 (FanDuel), $4,500 (DraftKings), $19 (Yahoo)

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Defensemen:

Shea Theodore (Vegas) - $5,800 (FanDuel), $5,900 (DraftKings), $23 (Yahoo)

Theodore has been quiet offensively recently, but it’s hard to imagine that will continue much longer. He has picked up eight shots through two games against Minnesota, while being credited with three hits and two blocks in Game 2. Theodore’s cap hit has been decreasing after he went five straight games without a point to end the regular season. That gives him some bang for the buck upside. Theodore racked up seven goals and 19 points in 20 postseason matches last year. He also had eight markers and 42 points in 53 outings during the 2020-21 campaign.

Bargain Bin: MacKenzie Weegar (FLA) - $4,300 (FanDuel), $5,000 (DraftKings), $18 (Yahoo), Jake Muzzin (TOR) - $4,400 (FanDuel), $4,700 (DraftKings), $19 (Yahoo), Ryan McDonagh (TB) - $4,000 (FanDuel), $4,100 (DraftKings), $16 (Yahoo)

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news and updates. Plus, it allows you to easily track your favorite players. Get it here!

Goaltenders:

Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas) - $8,400 (FanDuel), $8,100 (DraftKings), $37 (Yahoo)

Fleury was outstanding during the 2020-21 season and he has been phenomenal in the playoffs despite losing Game 1 to Minnesota. He has shielded 63 of 65 shots through two games, while allowing only one goal against in each outing.

Bargain Bin: Semyon Varlamov (NYI) - $7,700 (FanDuel), $7,900 (DraftKings), Chris Driedger (FLA) - $6,900 (FanDuel), $7,500 (DraftKings), $31 (Yahoo)