The NHL DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using tools and metrics from FantasyLabs to highlight notable players.
Note: Projections may change throughout the day after the publication of this article. Check out the player models directly for any updates.
Conner McDavid ($ 9,000 DraftKings, $ 9,700 FanDuel) at the Vancouver Canucks
We have a big list of eight games in play, but the pick at the top is still relatively easy. Connor mcdavid plays and faces the Vancouver Canucks, a team that ranks 11th in shorthanded worst and has allowed the seventh most scoring chances against this year.
McDavid is ranked as the best game tonight in the ceiling projections in the projected points pattern and is a great deal on DraftKings, where he’s likely to push for high ownership. Even in the Oilers’ first loss of the year, McDavid had two points and one goal, and he even started closing the gap on Nathan MacKinnon and Auston Matthews in long-range shots on goal per game. In the short term, he’s in the top 1% for shots on net in the past month.
The dynamics at the two big sites are a bit different, and it’s probably easier to be overweight on FanDuel. Still, McDavid remains the most consistent player in the DFS NHL and probably brings the thunder tonight back to a great place.
Evan Rodrigues ($ 4,200 DraftKings, $ 4,700 FanDuel) vs. New Jersey Devils
The Penguins will likely bring back (doubtful) Sidney Crosby tonight, which should be a good thing for Evan Rodrigues, who skated on the front row with Crosby in training yesterday. Rodrigues comes into this game averaging 3.2 shots on goal for the season and has seen increased exposure this year in terms of regular strength and special team minutes. While his role will change here over the next couple of games, as the Penguins are also likely to pick up Jeff Carter soon, being in line with Crosby is not going to hurt his potential for fantastic purposes.
The Devils remain a team with depth issues at the back, both in net and defense, and have allowed four or more goals against now in two of their last three games. They also still rank with the fourth worst penalty in the league after having the worst PK last year.
Rodrigues scores well in FantasyLabs’ projected point model on both sites today and is a solid value that you might also consider using in an affordable mini-stack with Crosby or Jake Guentzel, depending on the. news of injuries.
Kyle conner ($ 7,400 DraftKings, $ 8,600 FanDuel) at the San Jose Sharks
Kyle conner had a fantastic start to the year. The Jets winger does a bit of everything as he collected three assists in his last game, bringing his total points for the year to 13. Not known as a playmaker, Conner carried the ‘offense so far in 2021-2022 and ranks with the fourth best ceiling projection at both venues, which is no small feat considering we have the Bruins, Avalanche and Leafs on this slate.
Conner might not go over the projections, but he ranks in the top five in almost every major long-term category, including shots on the net and consistency rating. The Sharks have started the season well, but have suffered losses in three straight games and are home to one of the weakest goaltending pairs in the league.
Despite the good start, Conner may not even be held so heavily on FanDuel, where his price tag exceeds $ 8,500, and he is the third most expensive winger on the slate. He and the front row of the Jets have built up a nice pile of pivots in the big GPPs.
His salary of $ 7,400 on DraftKings makes him easier to integrate for cash game purposes, where his short-term form makes him a good deal on this site.
Lucas Raymond ($ 4,500 DraftKings, $ 4,700 FanDuel) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Red Wings inserted Lucas Raymond straight into their top six to start the year, and the results have been great for fantastic purposes. The rookie has the best powerplay minutes and averages one point per game over eight games. It’s not the largest sample size, but it’s enough to tell us that Raymond can be successful in this role and that we should target him when the price is right.
For this list, he ranks in the top 10 on both sites in the ceiling projection on FantasyLabs – which makes his under $ 5,000 salary look like a steal as well. Raymond and the Wings are big underdogs against Toronto, but with the way the Leafs started the year badly (allowing over 3.0 goals per game and third chances against) chasing his cheap salary as value option always makes sense.
Tyson Barrie ($ 4,800 DraftKings, $ 5,600 FanDuel) vs. Vancouver Canucks
Even though the Oilers have started giving young and talented Evan Bouchard more minutes, I don’t mind coming back to Tyson barrie like a game now that his salary has fallen below $ 5,000 on DraftKings. Barrie and the Oilers have an implied team total of 3.3 goals there, and Barrie is fifth in ceiling projection on that list.
We know he’s more of a points defenseman than most elite defenders, but he still holds the fort as a senior quarterback on the Oilers’ top power play. So while its floor totals might not be as high as other payment options, we should take advantage of the value we get here when looking for players with a steep rise over their price.
He facilitates Conner McDavid’s play tonight – as well as the use of Barrie – which correlates well with McDavid on the power play. This reduces the effective cost of an Oilers stack.
Mike Matheson ($ 3,600 DraftKings, $ 3,800 FanDuel) at the New Jersey Devils
Mike Matheson screamed the notes in FantasyLabs models lately. Matheson’s main attraction here is without a doubt his price tag, which remains below $ 4,000 at both sites, but it shows he has elite potential with the increased opportunities he gets. He averages around 3.0 blocked shots + shots on goal per game and today ranks in the top five at both venues in terms of ceiling projections in the projected points pattern.
Matheson has seen his time on the ice increase lately and will likely see good ice again there (including power play time) with Kris Letang out. The Devils are an atrocious team in every way right now and allow teams to convert their power plays against them at a rate of over 40%. Everything we have on FantasyLabs says take the savings here and look to pay elsewhere.
Be sure to check the starting goalies page throughout the day to see which goalies are confirmed starters.
Mikko Koskinen ($ 7,900) DraftKings, $ 8,000 FanDuel) at the Vancouver Canucks
The Oilers come into this road game against the Canucks as a -143 road favorites, which is solid on a night we don’t have any favorites with odds below -190. Mikko Koskinen can be a roller coaster for everyday fantasy as it is prone to terrible games, but also brings great expectations with it. The Oilers have allowed the most shots against in the league so far at 37.0 per game, and Koskinen is scheduled here for 34.4 shots against.
The Oilers goalie has solid ceiling projections, as you can imagine, and also has the highest overall rating in the projected points pattern on DraftKings for today. Vancouver also comes out as a great opponent here as they attempt over 31 shots per game but average less than 3.0 goals. As a result, Koskinen has the best opponent-fit plus / minus score in the pattern.
The loss factor here is admittedly bigger than with many starters, but Koskinen’s heavy workload also makes him an elite player tonight.
Carter Hart ($ 7,200 DraftKings, $ 7,100 FanDuel) vs. the Montreal Canadiens
Both Flyers goaltenders have been playing well lately, with Carter Hart after a 34-save performance against the much-vaunted Oilers offense. Hart kept the Oilers at their lowest goal tally of the year, so it’s a pretty big accomplishment and something he’ll likely look to build on against a less fierce offense in Calgary.
The Flyers come into this game with +132 underdogs, but that risk is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the Flyers starter also has an expected shots total of 34.1 in the FantasyLabs model today. The Flyers have tightened the ship a bit defensively from last season and rank in the first half of the league in shots on goal against second-last in that stat last year.
Saving big on Hart here could be a great way to approach GPP queues. The Flames aren’t big home favorites and could be in a disappointment after returning home from a five-game road trip.
With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into our DFS lineups for tournaments.
Penguins L1 – Jake Guentzel – Evan Rodrigues – Sidney Crosby (questionable)
As mentioned above, the Penguins face the Devils today, so we should take a close look at their early players against the league’s worst penalty kick. I defended Evan Rodrigues above, and using it with the other Penguins frontline players significantly reduces our effective stack cost here.
Jake Guentzel could also be a little under-possessed there against New Jersey. He’s going to take the front row minutes and the use of PP1 on the wing – and might have one of the best playmakers in the world to give him the puck here. Guentzel and Crosby were great when paired up, and Crosby didn’t take the optional skate this morning (often reserved for players who don’t play), so although there is still a game decision, for now, it seems to be more likely to gamble than not.
Crosby only has $ 5,500 on DraftKings, so he’s not even going to increase the overall cost of our stack either. Expect him to get at least good power play minutes here as the Penguins look to give him soft offensive minutes in his opener.
Using these three saves us money after other elite duos in mini stacks to complete our rosters as well, making them a great value trio to attack with on Saturday.