The NHL DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Friday has a six-game main slate starting at 7:00 pm ET.
Note: Projections may change throughout the day after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates.
Auston Matthews ($9,300 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel) vs. San Jose Sharks
The snowball is starting to gain momentum for Auston Matthews. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ center started the season off slowly but is starting to increase output, and he projects as a top play up the middle against the San Jose Sharks on Friday.
Matthews has five points over his five-game sample, recording two multi-point games over that span. He’s been peppering his opposing goalies, putting 24 shots on net over that span, and should continue his productivity against a Sharks team that gives up 30.0 shots and 28.4 scoring opportunities per game. Matthews remains below his team-leading expected goals-for percentage by a substantial margin and will continue to progress over his coming games.
The Leafs offense should continue their upward trend, and Matthews will be a big part of it.
Nick Suzuki ($5,200 DraftKings, $6,700 FanDuel) vs. Buffalo Sabres
Nick Suzuki’s value on DFS slates tonight is more pronounced at DraftKings than FanDuel, but he should get closer to his ceiling than his floor projections against the Buffalo Sabres.
The Montreal Canadiens aren’t as bad as their record implies. The Habs have been underachieving relative to metrics and should start to progress. They have a good matchup to do that tonight, as the Sabres have given up 68 high-danger chances over their past five games. Look for Suzuki to have a good fantasy outing as he starts to progress towards expected values. Suzuki has been on the ice for more shots and scoring chances than any other Habs’ forward, but the center has just one point and a -6 rating over his past six games.
Suzuki’s path forward is analogous to the Habs, and we should see progression from both. His low salary, particularly at DK, makes him a value play tonight.
Steven Stamkos ($7,800 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel) vs. Seattle Kraken
There is some disagreement between the DFS platforms on how Steven Stamkos should be listed. At DK, he’s available as a center; however, at FanDuel, he’s a wing option. In either case, he projects as a top option on tonight’s state.
Stammer is coming off a three-point performance, making it seven points over his past five outings. The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to deploy Stamkos prominently across all strengths, as he leads the team in powerplay minutes while skating on the top unit. The former first-overall selection gets 62.7% of his starts in the offensive zone and is individually responsible for 44 shots, 45 scoring chances, and 16 high-danger opportunities.
The Bolts are set up for another strong showing against the Seattle Kraken tonight, who haven’t traveled well to start the season. That should help Stamkos continue his productive stretch.
Jakub Voracek ($4,100 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel) vs. Vancouver Canucks
Jakub Voracek has been an assist machine for the Columbus Blue Jackets this season, recording 15 through 17 games. He and the Columbus Blue Jackets will have more opportunities to score against the defensively-inept Vancouver Canucks tonight.
The Jackets have increased their output, scoring three or more goals in nine of 10 games, and Voracek has been an important part of that success. The Czech winger has 11 points over that sample, recording at least a shot in nine of the 10 games and averaging 13.1 fantasy points per game. We’re expecting that trend to continue against a Canucks team that has given up 30 goals over their past seven games.
Voracek should continue to thrive at home against the Canucks on Friday’s slate, and his low salary doesn’t capture his fantasy ceiling.
Brent Burns ($6,700 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
You wouldn’t know it by looking at their results, but the Toronto Maple Leafs defense is falling apart at the seams. The Leafs have given up 15 or more high-danger chances in three of four, leaving the Sharks with plenty of opportunities to continue their recent hot streak.
Brent Burns remains a key cog of the Sharks’ offensive success. Burns leads Sharks’ defensemen in points and shots while also leading the team in ice-time, scoring and high-danger chances. The former Norris Trophy winner has done most of his damage at even strength this season, recording eight of his 12 points at five-on-five. Burns is underachieving on the powerplay, being on the ice for four goals, which is below the expected value.
Getting Burns’s metrics back on track on the powerplay will have a monumental effect on his fantasy points. Based on our projections, we should expect that tonight.
Jeff Petry ($4,000 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel) vs. Buffalo Sabres
With Shea Weber unavailable for the Canadiens, Jeff Petry has moved up the team’s depth chart. The veteran rearguard has underachieved relative to expected metrics, but he will have opportunities to catch up against the Sabres.
Petry has been a mainstay on the Habs powerplay, skating the second-most powerplay minutes per game among defensemen. However, he has yet to record a special teams point this season, tallying just two assists. That leaves Petry on the wrong side of his expected goals-for total as he has an expected value of 21.7 while actually being on the ice for 17.
Petry’s on-ice progression will lead to increased fantasy output, helping him exceed his implied value and get closer to ceiling projections.
Be sure to check the Starting Goalie Page throughout the day to see which goalies are confirmed starters.
Andrei Vasilevskiy ($8,200 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel) vs. Seattle Kraken
The Lightning host the Kraken tonight, who have just one win in eight road games this season. That means that Andrei Vasilevskiy is set up to continue his hot streak on Friday night.
The Russian netminder has a 92.8% save percentage at home this season but won’t face a sincere challenge from the Kraken tonight. Seattle has attempted nine or fewer quality chances at five-on-five in six of eight road games this season and 24 or fewer scoring chances in seven of eight. That has resulted in decreased output, as the Kraken have scored 12 goals over their past six road games, going north of two goals just once.
Vasilevskiy has a 93.2% save percentage coming in on two or more days rest. That sets him up to perform well against an inferior Kraken attack.
James Reimer ($7,200 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel) vs. San Jose Sharks
James Reimer has been one of the best goalies to start the season, but his DFS salary doesn’t reflect that yet. Reimer gets a chance to continue his improved play against his former team on Friday night.
Part of the reason that Reimer has been so successful this season is the defense that is playing in front of him. The Sharks have limited their opponents’ shots to 26 or fewer in six of Reimer’s last eight starts. That has facilitated Reimer’s ascent to the top of the goaltending leaderboards, as he ranks sixth in the league in save percentage and goals-against average among goalies with at least five starts.
This sets up as a bit of a flat spot for the Leafs tonight, which means that Reimer could easily surpass his median projections tonight.
With Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into our DFS lineups for tournaments.
There are several teams that rate well in our projections tonight. You wouldn’t be wrong for electing to go with a Colorado Avalanche, Pittsburgh Penguins, or Blue Jackets stack. However, we’ve elected to highlight the Lightning as our notable stack tonight.
Stamkos is catching up for lost time this season and is running hot, making him our centerpiece on offense. The Lightning stack that rates most highly includes Ondrej Palat next to him. Palat has a knack for timely scoring, with three of his four goals being game-winners. He’s positioned next to Stamkos on the Bolts’ top line and powerplay unit, making them a strongly correlated pairing. Few defensemen can compete with Victor Hedman in terms of on-ice and fantasy contributions. Adding him to your Bolts’ stack is a no-brainer against the Kraken on Friday. As always, we’ve included tonight’s projected starter as part of the notable stack. Vasilevskiy plays well at home and won’t face too much pressure from the Kraken.
Betting confidence is high in the Lightning tonight as they enter as -170 against the NHL’s newest franchise. That confidence is reflected in our projections, which rate Tampa as our notable stack.