The NHL DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Sunday has a five-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.
Connor McDavid ($9,200 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel) vs. St. Louis Blues
We are picking some low-hanging fruit with our top play at center. Connor McDavid has been underproducing over his past three outings but is due for a breakout performance. That could come against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.
McDavid has recorded just three points over his last three games, failing to register more than 15.2 fantasy points. His advanced metrics support increased output, as McDavid’s actual goals-for percentage remains below expected value. Across all strengths, McDavid is responsible for 56 scoring and 25 high-danger chances this season and has relative values at 65.0 and 65.1%, respectively. The two-time Hart Trophy winner remains invaluable, although his contributions have decreased.
The Blues have given up 12 or more quality chances in 10 of their 13 games this season, and McDavid will be there to capitalize on Sunday night.
Elias Pettersson ($5,800 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel) vs. Anaheim Ducks
The Vancouver Canucks are a bit of a disaster right now, but they are showing signs of improvement. We’re expecting that to continue on Sunday night and looking for Elias Pettersson to lead the charge.
Petterson has been snake-bitten this season, recording just two assists at five-on-five through his first 15 games. However, that hasn’t impacted the Canucks trust in their young centerman. Pettey gets 78.3% of his five-on-five starts in the offensive zone, playing nearly 14:00 minutes at five-on-five a night. Pettersson’s true fantasy value comes on the special teams, where he’s recorded six points, including all three of his goals. The Canucks continue to deploy Petterson on the team’s top powerplay unit, resulting in 85.1% of his starts coming in the offensive zone.
The Canucks showed signs of offensive progression last night against the Vegas Golden Knights, and that should continue tonight against the Ducks. Look for Pettersson to leave his mark all over the score sheet in this one.
David Pastrnak ($8,600 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel) vs. Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens were dealt another blow last night when Jake Allen was forced to leave after a collision with Dylan Larkin. That leaves Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau to try and limit a potent Boston Bruins lineup.
David Pastrnak will torment the Habs on Sunday night. Pasta has been a force this season, being on the ice for 145 scoring and 52 high-danger chances across all strengths. Those gaudy production metrics have resulted in a 63.8% expected goals-for percentage. However, we’re seeing decreased output from Pastrnak this season. The eight-year veteran has never finished with a shooting percentage below 10.8% but is scoring on just 7.3% of shots this season. That sets him up for meaningful progression as his output catches up to career norms.
The Bruins continue to set Pastrnak up for success, and that offensive progression we’re waiting on is likely to come against an inferior Habs goalie tonight.
Taylor Hall ($4,600 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel) vs. Montreal Canadiens
There are two winger spots on main slates tonight, and both positions can be used on Bruins wingers.
The Bruins scoring is powered by their top line of Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand; however, Taylor Hall has quietly asserted himself as a solid fantasy contributor. Hall skates on the Bruins’ second line and second powerplay unit but has posted the best expected goals-for percentage on the team. The former first overall draft pick has a 69.4% expected goals-for percentage, which is propped up by above-average relative metrics across the board.
Hall’s actual output remains well below expected, and that’s reflected in his .959 on-ice PDO. He’s in an ideal spot tonight against the Habs, and like Pastrnak, is an excellent progression candidate.
Adam Fox ($7,200 DraftKings, $6,900 FanDuel) vs. New Jersey Devils
The defending Norris Trophy winner, Adam Fox, picked up where he left off last season and has been an important contributor across all strengths for the New York Rangers.
Fox plays under any circumstance, leading the Rangers in ice time, featuring prominently across special teams. Fox has the fifth-best expected goals-for rating on the team and is trending in the right direction over his recent sample. The 23-year-old has recorded at least 15.6 FanDuel fantasy points in six of his last seven games, increasing his per game total in each of the past three. He sets up nicely to continue that trend on Sunday against the New Jersey Devils on home ice.
Fox doesn’t have the most expensive salary on DFS slates, but he does present with one of the best ceiling projections. He’s our top play on d.
Tyson Barrie ($4,900 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel) vs. St. Louis Blues
Tyson Barrie followed up a monster performance against the New York Rangers earlier this week with three tepid results. We like his value on the Sunday slate as the Oilers get back on track against the Blues.
Barrie’s primary fantasy value comes on the Oilers’ top-ranked powerplay unit. Three of his eight points have come with the man-advantage as Barrie skates with the top dogs on the first unit. That time contributes to his 57.1% expected goals-for rating and his relative production metrics that are all above average. Barrie is counted on to deliver shots on net, hammering eight on the Buffalo Sabres last time out, making it 16 total over his past five games.
The Oilers will have plenty of opportunities against the Blues tonight, and Barrie’s output metrics should catch up with his solid production over his recent sample.
Be sure to check the Starting Goalie Page throughout the day to see which goalies are confirmed starters.
Jeremy Swayman ($8,200 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel) vs. Montreal Canadiens
As noted above, the Bruins are set up for offensive success against the Habs tonight, but we can also turn to Jeremy Swayman to deliver a strong outing.
The Habs come into tonight’s contest on the second night of a back-to-back and have had poor offensive showings throughout the season. Montreal has scored more than two goals just four times this season and is 0-2-0 on the second night of a back-to-back, recording three combined goals in both games. Swayman is trending up over his recent set of games. The second-year netminder has stopped 92.5% of shots over his past four outings, going 3-1-0 over that span.
Circumstances favor the Bruins tonight, and Swayman will be one of the beneficiaries. He rates highly across our projections and is worthy of the top play designation.
Jaroslav Halak ($7,500 DraftKings, $7,400 FanDuel) vs. Anaheim Ducks
It’s easy to point to Jaroslav Halak’s 0-2-1 record and 90.8% save percentage to validate that he’s not worth including on DFS rosters on Sunday. But, a closer look into his metrics supports that he’s well-positioned against the Anaheim Ducks.
Halak has appeared in four games this season, starting three of those. The Slovakian netminder has been more effective when starting, posting a 91.0% save percentage and 92.3% of high-danger chances. To this point, Halak has been let down by goal support, with the Nucks tallying just four goals in his three starts. The Ducks are also poised for offensive regression. Anaheim has overachieved substantially over their recent sample and will start coming back down to earth.
We’re expecting a stronger offensive showing from the Canucks tonight, and that will go a long way to helping Halak secure his first win of the season.
With Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into our DFS lineups for tournaments.
Our Sunday projections have several highly-rated stacks, but we’ve elected to load up on the Bruins as they face the Canadiens for an Atlantic Division showdown.
One of the best-rated stacks includes linemates Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. Bergeron projects similarly to Pastrnak, our top play at winger, getting time on the top powerplay line while also posting solid metrics at five-on-five. They will have plenty of chances against the Habs, who are starting an inexperienced netminder. Charlie McAvoy is a force on the Bruins blue line, recording 10 points, five of which have come on the powerplay, also leading the team in blocked shots. As noted, Swayman gets an ideal matchup against the Habs underwhelming offense amid improved performances from the tendy.
The betting line on the Bruins opened up in the -200 range and has been bought up to -265. Our lineup builder also reflects that confidence, which rates the Bruins as a top option on the Sunday slate.