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NHL DFS Breakdown (October 18): Toronto Maple Leafs are in an Eruption Spot

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The NHL DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.

Monday has a four-game main slate starting at 7:00 pm ET.

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Center

Top Play

John Tavares ($8,000 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel) vs. New York Rangers

John Tavares may not have made it to the scoresheet on Saturday night, but the Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain made an impression. Tavares was buzzing all night, putting up four shots while playing 19:54, including time on the Leafs’ top powerplay unit. Advanced metrics support that Johnny T is due for a big performance, as he’s skating around with a 68.2% expected goals-for percentage while getting 84.6% of his starts in the attacking zone.

Tavares reverts to his usual place on the second line tonight, as Auston Matthews is back tonight to center the top line, but that should benefit Tavares. The Rangers’ top checking line will be used to neutralize the Leafs’ top line, leaving Tavares, William Nylander, and Michael Bunting more space to operate.

Tavares leads our Median, Ceiling, and Floor Projections and is our top play at center.


Top Value

Scott Laughton ($3,900 DraftKings, $3,300 FanDuel) vs. Seattle Kraken

Scott Laughton projects as a mid-range DFS option tonight with a lower-tier salary. Laughton skates on a line with James van Riemsdyk and Oscar Lindblom, which starts 50.0% of their shifts in the offensive zone. However, the Flyers also deploy this line in a checking role, meaning Laughton straddles the fantasy line between point production and accumulating points with blocked shots.

Laughton gets an ideal matchup against the Seattle Kraken tonight, who have been outplayed across all strengths in all three games this season. It also plays as a flat spot for the Kraken, as they are about to play their fourth game in seven nights, all of which have come on the road.

The Flyers will put Laughton out in any circumstance, increasing his DFS value against an inferior opponent and making him our top value play at center.

Winger

Top Play

David Perron ($6,000 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel) vs. Arizona Coyotes

The St. Louis Blues are flying high to start the season after a thrilling 5-3 victory over the Stanley Cup favorite Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. David Perron skates on the Blues’ top line and powerplay unit, giving him plenty of opportunities to produce against the Arizona Coyotes tonight.

Perron’s advanced metrics were subpar against the dominant Avalanche, but that didn’t stop him from recording two goals, including one on the powerplay on Saturday. The veteran winger has finished with an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% across all strengths every season of his career, surpassing 56% in each of the past four. This is a scenario where his production metrics catch up with output, and we’re expecting that to come tonight against the Coyotes.


Top Value

Michael Bunting ($3,700 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel) vs. New York Rangers

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a good track record of getting the most out of their players, and Michael Bunting could be the new hot commodity in Toronto.

Bunting has been dominant at five-on-five, accumulating a 58.1% Corsi rating, out-chancing his opponents in scoring and high-danger chances, resulting in a 61.1% expected goals-for rating. The Leafs value Bunting’s offensive upside as 77.8% of his starts come in the attacking zone. Bunting found the back of the net against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, and his goal-scoring frequency could improve now that he’s skating on a line with Tavares.

Bunting is a bargain option with a moderate ceiling that could continue to increase throughout the season. He’s a value play, for now.

Defense

Top Play

Ivan Provorov ($6,000 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel) vs. Seattle Kraken

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov does a little bit of everything right. In the Flyers season-opening loss,

Provorov recorded one assist, two shots on goal, and four blocked shots while finishing the game at plus-two. The Flyers rely on Provorov across special teams, as the d-man skates on the second powerplay and kills penalties, enhancing his fantasy value. Provorov led the Flyers defenseman in Corsi and expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five, thanks to impressive play in the attacking zone. Like Laughton, Provorov and the Flyers are in an ideal spot against the Kraken tonight, setting him up to thrive.

Expect another strong fantasy showing from Provorov on Monday night.


Top Value

Rasmus Sandin ($3,000 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel) vs. New York Rangers

We’re highlighting Rasmus Sandin as a value pick on tonight’s DFS slate. The Leafs’ young defenseman flies under the radar but has better advanced metrics than his defensive colleagues.

Sandin leads the Maple Leafs in Corsi rating, shots-for percentage, and expected goals-for percentage. The 21-year-old has created 30 scoring chances and 21 high-danger opportunities at five-on-five in three games while giving up a paltry 14 and four, respectively. The most impressive part of Sandin’s production is that he gets only 44.4% of his starts in the offensive zone, clearly illustrating how he elevates the Leafs’ lineup.

The Leafs are better when Sandin is on the ice, and your DFS roster will be better for including him at a discounted price.

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Goalie

Top Play

Jacob Markstrom ($8,000 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel) vs. Anaheim Ducks

The Calgary Flames season got off to a rough start against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night, but they’ll face a less daunting attack against the Anaheim Ducks tonight. That should benefit Jacob Markstrom, as the netminder gets back on track on home ice.

Through two games, Anaheim has attempted a cumulative 26 scoring and 11 high-danger chances at five-on-five, resulting in two goals. Those metrics look even more lackluster when we consider that they were playing at home for their first two games of the season. The Flames checking style relies on getting their lines matched, and they’ll have that opportunity on home ice tonight. The result will be a decreased workload for Markstrom, giving himself a chance to shine and work his metrics back up towards career averages.

The Flames will play a tight-checking style at home this season, and Markstrom will be the beneficiary.


Top Value

Jordan Binnington ($7,800 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel) vs. Arizona Coyotes

According to our projections, Jordan Binnington has the second-highest ceiling amongst goalies tonight, but his salary doesn’t reflect that. We’re anticipating a better showing against a subpar Coyotes offense on Monday.

Binnington stopped 29 of his 32 shots against the Avalanche on Saturday, including all three powerplay shots he faced against a potent Avs team. The Coyotes managed just 11 scoring chances and seven high-danger opportunities at five-on-five in their last game against the Buffalo Sabres and will be facing a much more structured St. Louis Blues team tonight. The Blues finished last season in the top half of the league in shots and scoring chances allowed.

A strong defensive structure against a struggling offense makes Binnington an ideal candidate to get close to his Ceiling Projections.

Notable Stack

We used our Lineup Builder to optimize an ideal stack based on projected points at full strength, and the St. Louis Blues have the highest projected fantasy points total tonight.

As noted, Perron was our top play at winger and is included in our Blues stack. Pairing him with center Ryan O’Reilly effectively maximizes points distribution as the forwards skate on the Blues top line and top powerplay unit together. O’Reilly has the second-highest Median, Ceiling, and Floor projections tonight among centers, benefitting both him and Perron. Colton Parayko’s salary places him in the middle of the pack, but our forecasts rate his value much higher than that. Similarly, Binnington should shine tonight, making this combination of Blues players our Notable Stack.

The Blues’ ideal circumstances are also reflected in the betting market, as St. Louis is priced as -180 favorites at FanDuel Sportsbook.

The NHL DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.

Monday has a four-game main slate starting at 7:00 pm ET.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Center

Top Play

John Tavares ($8,000 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel) vs. New York Rangers

John Tavares may not have made it to the scoresheet on Saturday night, but the Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain made an impression. Tavares was buzzing all night, putting up four shots while playing 19:54, including time on the Leafs’ top powerplay unit. Advanced metrics support that Johnny T is due for a big performance, as he’s skating around with a 68.2% expected goals-for percentage while getting 84.6% of his starts in the attacking zone.

Tavares reverts to his usual place on the second line tonight, as Auston Matthews is back tonight to center the top line, but that should benefit Tavares. The Rangers’ top checking line will be used to neutralize the Leafs’ top line, leaving Tavares, William Nylander, and Michael Bunting more space to operate.

Tavares leads our Median, Ceiling, and Floor Projections and is our top play at center.


Top Value

Scott Laughton ($3,900 DraftKings, $3,300 FanDuel) vs. Seattle Kraken

Scott Laughton projects as a mid-range DFS option tonight with a lower-tier salary. Laughton skates on a line with James van Riemsdyk and Oscar Lindblom, which starts 50.0% of their shifts in the offensive zone. However, the Flyers also deploy this line in a checking role, meaning Laughton straddles the fantasy line between point production and accumulating points with blocked shots.

Laughton gets an ideal matchup against the Seattle Kraken tonight, who have been outplayed across all strengths in all three games this season. It also plays as a flat spot for the Kraken, as they are about to play their fourth game in seven nights, all of which have come on the road.

The Flyers will put Laughton out in any circumstance, increasing his DFS value against an inferior opponent and making him our top value play at center.

Winger

Top Play

David Perron ($6,000 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel) vs. Arizona Coyotes

The St. Louis Blues are flying high to start the season after a thrilling 5-3 victory over the Stanley Cup favorite Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. David Perron skates on the Blues’ top line and powerplay unit, giving him plenty of opportunities to produce against the Arizona Coyotes tonight.

Perron’s advanced metrics were subpar against the dominant Avalanche, but that didn’t stop him from recording two goals, including one on the powerplay on Saturday. The veteran winger has finished with an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% across all strengths every season of his career, surpassing 56% in each of the past four. This is a scenario where his production metrics catch up with output, and we’re expecting that to come tonight against the Coyotes.


Top Value

Michael Bunting ($3,700 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel) vs. New York Rangers

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a good track record of getting the most out of their players, and Michael Bunting could be the new hot commodity in Toronto.

Bunting has been dominant at five-on-five, accumulating a 58.1% Corsi rating, out-chancing his opponents in scoring and high-danger chances, resulting in a 61.1% expected goals-for rating. The Leafs value Bunting’s offensive upside as 77.8% of his starts come in the attacking zone. Bunting found the back of the net against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, and his goal-scoring frequency could improve now that he’s skating on a line with Tavares.

Bunting is a bargain option with a moderate ceiling that could continue to increase throughout the season. He’s a value play, for now.

Defense

Top Play

Ivan Provorov ($6,000 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel) vs. Seattle Kraken

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov does a little bit of everything right. In the Flyers season-opening loss,

Provorov recorded one assist, two shots on goal, and four blocked shots while finishing the game at plus-two. The Flyers rely on Provorov across special teams, as the d-man skates on the second powerplay and kills penalties, enhancing his fantasy value. Provorov led the Flyers defenseman in Corsi and expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five, thanks to impressive play in the attacking zone. Like Laughton, Provorov and the Flyers are in an ideal spot against the Kraken tonight, setting him up to thrive.

Expect another strong fantasy showing from Provorov on Monday night.


Top Value

Rasmus Sandin ($3,000 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel) vs. New York Rangers

We’re highlighting Rasmus Sandin as a value pick on tonight’s DFS slate. The Leafs’ young defenseman flies under the radar but has better advanced metrics than his defensive colleagues.

Sandin leads the Maple Leafs in Corsi rating, shots-for percentage, and expected goals-for percentage. The 21-year-old has created 30 scoring chances and 21 high-danger opportunities at five-on-five in three games while giving up a paltry 14 and four, respectively. The most impressive part of Sandin’s production is that he gets only 44.4% of his starts in the offensive zone, clearly illustrating how he elevates the Leafs’ lineup.

The Leafs are better when Sandin is on the ice, and your DFS roster will be better for including him at a discounted price.

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Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only

Goalie

Top Play

Jacob Markstrom ($8,000 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel) vs. Anaheim Ducks

The Calgary Flames season got off to a rough start against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night, but they’ll face a less daunting attack against the Anaheim Ducks tonight. That should benefit Jacob Markstrom, as the netminder gets back on track on home ice.

Through two games, Anaheim has attempted a cumulative 26 scoring and 11 high-danger chances at five-on-five, resulting in two goals. Those metrics look even more lackluster when we consider that they were playing at home for their first two games of the season. The Flames checking style relies on getting their lines matched, and they’ll have that opportunity on home ice tonight. The result will be a decreased workload for Markstrom, giving himself a chance to shine and work his metrics back up towards career averages.

The Flames will play a tight-checking style at home this season, and Markstrom will be the beneficiary.


Top Value

Jordan Binnington ($7,800 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel) vs. Arizona Coyotes

According to our projections, Jordan Binnington has the second-highest ceiling amongst goalies tonight, but his salary doesn’t reflect that. We’re anticipating a better showing against a subpar Coyotes offense on Monday.

Binnington stopped 29 of his 32 shots against the Avalanche on Saturday, including all three powerplay shots he faced against a potent Avs team. The Coyotes managed just 11 scoring chances and seven high-danger opportunities at five-on-five in their last game against the Buffalo Sabres and will be facing a much more structured St. Louis Blues team tonight. The Blues finished last season in the top half of the league in shots and scoring chances allowed.

A strong defensive structure against a struggling offense makes Binnington an ideal candidate to get close to his Ceiling Projections.

Notable Stack

We used our Lineup Builder to optimize an ideal stack based on projected points at full strength, and the St. Louis Blues have the highest projected fantasy points total tonight.

As noted, Perron was our top play at winger and is included in our Blues stack. Pairing him with center Ryan O’Reilly effectively maximizes points distribution as the forwards skate on the Blues top line and top powerplay unit together. O’Reilly has the second-highest Median, Ceiling, and Floor projections tonight among centers, benefitting both him and Perron. Colton Parayko’s salary places him in the middle of the pack, but our forecasts rate his value much higher than that. Similarly, Binnington should shine tonight, making this combination of Blues players our Notable Stack.

The Blues’ ideal circumstances are also reflected in the betting market, as St. Louis is priced as -180 favorites at FanDuel Sportsbook.